While doing the evening tapping routine (EFT) with Brad Yates several nights ago, I had a really strong emotional reaction. While tapping to something like “I deeply and thoroughly love and accept myself” my voice caught in my throat, as though I were about to cry. No real surprises for me there. I have issues with self-love and self-acceptance, and I know that. But then when tapping to “I deeply and completely love and forgive and accept myself” I had to swallow hard to keep from breaking down right then and there. The tears were in my voice, in my eyes, and in my throat. Just as Yates suggests, I kept tapping, but every time we tapped on forgiveness, my throat clenched and I teared up again. It was a really strong reaction. I didn’t know that I had an issue with self-forgiveness.
When the tapping was over, I thought about it. What do I need to forgive myself for? There is one incident from my childhood that immediately came to mind, but that didn’t feel like the answer. I’d already dealt with it in therapy and talked about it with my best-friend, Jane, and pretty much worked through most of the guilt I had about it. So what was it? The next thing that came to my mind was my weight. I needed to forgive myself for being overweight. That immediately felt right, and in fact, a weight (no pun intended) lifted from my shoulders at the mere thought. But that’s not all I need to forgive myself for upon reflection. I need to forgive myself for some of my eating habits, too. I have a favorite binge food that I call “goo” that I need to forgive myself for loving and eating. Basically, it’s just butter and brown sugar mixed together. Sometimes, it has raw oats stirred into it, too. It’s rich and tasty and my favorite binge food. I’ve never tried doing the worm exercise for it, because I didn’t want it to be off-limits to me. I’ve never tried tapping my craving away, either. I don’t know why I’ve never done that. I just never think to do that at the time.
ANYWAY … since I had this breakthrough that I need to forgive myself for being overweight and for some of my eating habits, my eating has been much better. Following the Four Golden Rules has been much easier. And I’ve only eaten “goo” once — and I didn’t even really like it! I’ve had emotional cravings for it, but never hunger for it. In fact, the one time that I have eaten it, I had to talk myself into it. And as I said — I didn’t really enjoy it at all. In fact, I’m not sure that I even ate it all. I really don’t remember, as I wasn’t present with it, because I wasn’t enjoying it.
I’m not sure how to go about forgiving myself for being overweight and for my past eating habits, other than just acknowledging that it needs to be done. I talked about it in therapy today, and I’m not sure that we really came to any conclusions. The jist of the conversation was that I need to start living — doing some of the things that in the past I’ve put off until I was thinner. That would be the ultimate act of self-forgiveness — kind of like “living well is the best revenge”. I’m not sure I’m ready to live like that, but it’s an interesting thought.
I’m back, after a little time away from Paul and conscious eating. I confess, I pretty much just ate what I wanted, when I wanted, hungry or not, full or not, consciously or not. Did I mention the 100 Day Reality Challenge over at the CCOR site? I think I did. Anyway, for 100 days, I work with certain practices trying to reach my goals and manifest my intentions. One of my goals/intentions has to do with the McKenna System. My intention is to “follow the Four Golden Rules effortlessly, faithfully, and consistently.” I started my 100 Day Reality Challenge on July 4 (Independence Day!), but only started the McKenna portion of my Challenge today. I waited 10 days for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I’d have been completely overwhelmed, trying to do too much at one time. For another (and this is the main reason!), I’m working with the 90 Day Success Journal, and I wanted my 90 Days to end at the same time my 100 Days ended, for continuity’s sake. That seemed to make the most sense to me. Today is the first day I’ve filled out the Journal, but I think I’m really going to like it. It’s going to help (1) keep me accountable and (2) keep me positive, as Paul is a very positive minded guy. He’s all about focusing on the positive, what you’ve done right for the day.
Today has been a good McKenna day. I ate when I was hungry; I ate what I wanted (mostly without judgment) and I stopped when I was full. I ate consciously most of the time that I ate. I drank more water than I did the day before, but still probably not enough water. I drank significantly less Diet Pepsi. I didn’t move my body any more than usual, but tomorrow is a gym day! YAY for the gym!
Now, it’s off to bed, so I can get up early and do those things I need to do before going to the gym. And so I can have energy to ride my exercise bike! Although, it seems as though I do best on days I’m really tired. Maybe I work harder to keep from falling asleep! LOL!
Thanks to my friend, Jane, Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Thin 90-Day Success Journal is on it’s way to my post office box. Two of them, in fact! I was just about to order a copy from Amazon UK (for about $12.83) when Jane found a couple of copies for $4.99 each at Alibris. As far as I know, I bought the last two copies, but you might keep checking back to see if they get anymore.
I’m so excited to have these books. The support will be great. The best part is that they arrive on or before June 27. On June 28, I start a 100 Day Reality Challenge, where I’ll be really working on my goals with focus and intention for 100 days. The timing is pretty divine, don’t you think? Of course, I have listed as one of my goals/intentions to “Follow the McKenna System for developing a healthier relationship with food. I follow the Four Golden Rules effortlessly, faithfully, and consistently. I buy a 90 Day Success Journal to support my efforts. I watch the “I Can Make You Thin” DVDs and listen to my iPod nightly to reinforce my new eating habits. Each day I visualize a thinner, firmer, healthier body. I update my McKenna blog weekly. By doing all of these things, I learn to feel more comfortable in my own skin, increase my self-confidence, heal my relationship with food and lose weight.” I’d like to lose 25 pounds during that 100 days, but I’m not going to hold myself to that, as I know that the weight loss will happen in its own time and can’t really be dictated. So, my goal is simply to follow the program to the best of my ability and feel better about myself.
Wish me luck!
I’ve been feeling a bit lost today. And I’ve been eating. I thought at first that the two were connected, that it was emotional eating that I was doing. I thought I was eating simply because I was longing for some human contact. I was playing on the internet, hanging out at my favorite social network. No one was there, in real time. I’d check my email, and there were no new messages. My mother was supposed to call, but I hadn’t heard from her yet. My husband has been out of town on a business trip all week and won’t be home until much later this evening. I just felt lonely, so I assumed that’s why I was eating every hour, on the hour. I had BBQ chicken, boiled shrimp, cereal. Then finally, I had a fruit cup. The combination of the sweetness and the cold just hit the spot and I haven’t had anything else to eat. Could it just be that I wasn’t hearing what I was hungry for? I was asking myself what I wanted to eat, but could it be as simple as the fact that I wasn’t tuned in and listening? That’s very frustrating.
That’s frustrating, because I’m not new at this and this whole system is about being tuned in. It’s not, thank God, about counting calories or carbs, or weighing food or measuring portions. It’s not a diet, and won’t work if I approach it with a diet mentality. The only thing that works is really tuning in and developing a relationship with my body and listening to it. That’s why Paul recommends that you ditch the scales (or at least, weigh yourself every two weeks instead of daily or weekly). That’s external validation, and this is an internal process. The joy comes in getting to know my body and listening to its signals, its needs, its voice. My internal voice; developing a relationship with myself.
I have to wonder if the fact that I’ve fallen off the CDs has anything to do with this setback. For some reason I just keep forgetting to turn on my iPod at night, or when I lay down for a nap. It’s a mental block. It’s the same way I get with my meds some times; I can pick them up to clean the counter underneath them and not remember to take them! I’ve never understood it, but it happens from time-to-time. And now the iPod thing. Is it some perverse form of self-sabotage?
Has It really been so long since I’ve blogged?
I’ve just been going along, having my days, doing McKenna as best as I can. I still struggle with how fast I eat. I try to slow down, but find myself eating faster than I intend. I am, however, eating more slowly than I used to.
The past few days have been good McKenna days. I’ve been eating just when I was hungry, stopping when I was full. Oh, if every day could be like these have been! Oh, if it could always be this easy! For some reason, some days are very easy and some are very difficult. I don’t have much problem with emotional eating these days — except for boredom eating, once-in-awhile — but I do have a problem sometimes stopping when I’m full. I don’t always know when I’m full. Some days I just don’t feel it and some days it comes to me quite naturally. It’s kind of confusing to me.
For about two weeks, I’d been falling asleep to McKenna CDs that had been transferred to my iPod. I couldn’t tell that it did much good as far as my eating was concerned, but oddly enough, I seemed to be standing taller. Noticeably taller. For a few days, I forgot — yep, just forgot! — to turn on my iPod as I went to sleep, and it’s been hard to get back in the habit. The CDs ask that I count down, with my conscious mind, from 300 to 0. But McKenna also asks me to imagine things. It’s hard to imagine myself slimmer while I’m counting backwards!
Actually, I just have a hard time imagining myself slimmer. I can imagine my face; I remember a picture of myself from a slimmer time. But I have a hard time imagining a body. By the time I get a body pictured in my mind, I’ve lost the face. It’s been so long since I’ve been thin (somewhere between 30 years and never!) that I don’t have a mental picture of myself. It’s hard to find a picture in a magazine that I can use as a role model, because so many of them are near-anorexic. I don’t want a body with bones showing. I want a round, curvy, healthy body. I just don’t see many images of bodies that I can use as examples for myself.
But it’s not just that I can’t find a picture of a role model. It’s more that I have trouble imagining. I have trouble developing and keeping pictures in my mind. Does anyone else have trouble with that? Any ideas how to improve that skill? I assume by practicing, so I’m going to make that a priority.
One more note … my favorite jeans seem to be a little more comfortable. I haven’t been to the doctor’s office for quite some time, so I haven’t been weighed. I’m not sure if I’ve actually lost weight or imagined it.
I did a pretty good job of following the Four Golden Rules most of the day, though I did eat emotionally a little bit. Eating slowly is, as always, my challenge. Even when I ate emotionally, I managed to eat consciously, though. I think that’s a good thing.
I find myself profoundly depressed today. I know it’s a meds issue, so that’s comforting. That means that within a few days of being back on track with my meds, I should be okay again. I got off track when I was sick for a few days and sleeping a lot. It’s hard to properly manage meds when you’re asleep all day. It’s an odd depression; I’m not filling myself with self-loathing self-talk. I’m mostly just feeling hopeless. It was very hard to feel like getting started again was worth the effort. Of course, I know that it is. I felt so much better when I was on the program, following the Four Golden Rules more strictly. I had more energy and felt more positive. I felt more in control and like I was actively doing something to manage my life.
I watched the first DVD in my set, hoping that Paul McKenna’s “presence” would inspire me. It did a little bit, but not nearly as much as I had hoped for. I started watching the second DVD, but then realized that it’s the same thing as the CD that comes with the book, which I listen to each night. McKenna isn’t nearly as polished in the DVD set as he was in the television show I Can Make You Thin. It was interesting to see that.
It was also a bit distracting for me, watching a less professional version of Paul McKenna. I hope I don’t let that get in the way of this DVD set helping me. Notice the way I worded that … I hope I don’t let that get in the way. I’m fully aware that it would be my issues. Paul McKenna’s message is the same, and I believe in that message.
I’m almost through reading the book I Can Make You Thin; just a few more pages to go. I should finish it tonight. The book isn’t great — McKenna’s charisma and dynamic personality don’t shine through — but I’m glad to have read it nonetheless. The extra bit of support is well worth the money I paid for it. I also like having some of the exercises in written form, so that I can do them at my own pace. Sometimes McKenna went too fast for me in his TV show, especially when it came to remembering events from my past.
Well, if there’s anything I know about depression, it’s that I need to get enough sleep to help combat it. It’s 2:17 AM, so I’d better get to bed!
I just started reading I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. As you might expect, it’s mostly a rehash of the information he shared in his television show. It’s only 167 pages long with rather large type; in fact, he makes the point in the book that you can read it in less than a day. But what a life changing day that could be, if you were new to the information.
I’m glad I’m reading it. I’ve fallen off the McKenna wagon, with traveling and being busy and then getting sick. For the past few days, I’ve eaten whatever I’ve wanted, whenever I’ve wanted it, with no regards for hunger or fullness, physical hunger or emotional hunger. I’ve just eaten. (You’d think being sick, I’d have a diminished appetite, but that’s rarely the case for me!) McKenna talks about this in his book. He warns us that at some point we will not follow his guidelines. He says, “You can beat yourself up (like you’ve done in the past) and give up, telling yourself that you’re a worthless piece of shit and that you’re never going to change.” That’s what I’ve done after every slip of every diet I’ve ever been on. Or, he says, “You can RELAX, smile … and return to eating what you want when you are hungry, consciously enjoying each mouthful and stopping when you think you are full. No matter what happens, always go back to following my instructions.” So the past few days don’t have to be anything more than just a slip up. In fact, McKenna warns they will happen, so they are almost part of the plan. That’s comforting and reassuring.
In thumbing through the rest of the book, I ran across something else that McKenna said that was really a wake-up call for me: “Life will always intervene, and there will always be things clamouring for your attention. But if you really want to lose weight, increase your confidence and feel great inside, you have to remember that you are in charge of you. Regardless of what is going on in your life right now, you are the only one opening your mouth and shoving food into it when you’re not really hungry, and you are the one letting your mind pay attention to everything but the delightful sensations and flavours of your breakfast, lunch and dinner. The system never stops working — you stop following it.”
I was — am — guilty of saying I can’t follow the guidelines because I’m too busy. Okay, maybe I was too busy to watch my new DVDs or read the book right away, but I already had all the information I need to follow the program; I got that off the television program. And how busy is too busy to eat consciously, anyway? After all, I have to eat. Yes, it takes more of my attention and emotional energy to follow the guidelines, but does it really take anymore of my time, or do I just perceive that it does? Well, I do know that meals take a little longer, eating consciously, but so much longer that I don’t have time to do it? I don’t think so! I think that was just an excuse.
I remember when I first joined the McKenna Community, there was a popular thread about not being ready to lose weight. I skimmed over the thread, nodding my head at a lot of the posts. Jane and I have talked about this through email. I’m not completely sure that I’m ready to lose weight. I want to on one level, but am I ready to? That, as they say, is the question. I’ve been heavy for all of my adult life and most of my teen life. I’m big boned (I know, everyone says that, but I really am! LOL!), so even when I wasn’t really fat, I was big. Being big — being fat — is all I know. I don’t have any mental image of myself as a non-fat person. Certainly not as a “thin” person. My fat has protected me and, well, been my identity for most of 40 years. I just don’t know if I’m ready to give that part of my personality up. So, I have to wonder if this latest bit of eating in the face of Paul’s promised success was some self-sabotage.
I’ve mentioned before that I once followed a program similar to Paul McKenna’s, written about by Geneen Roth. That program worked excellently for me, until I turned it into a diet — basically, until I stopped working the program. That very positive experience with Roth’s program gives me every reason in the world to believe that the McKenna program will work for me, too, if I just won’t turn it into a “diet”. So why am I making up excuses to keep from applying myself whole heartedly? Self-sabotage is the only thing I can think of. Am I really that afraid of being my natural weight, that I would keep myself from pursuing this?
I know it probably sounds wacky to you — especially if you only have 15 or 30 pounds to lose, weight that you gained when you had the last baby. But if you are significantly overweight, and have been all/most of your life, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. On the one hand, the idea of being my natural weight is totally liberating. To not obsess about food all the time, to be able to shop for clothes in any store, to be confident about seeing old friends, to feel attractive to my husband — all of those things sound wonderful to me. But on the other hand, I’ve been fat most of my life, as I’ve already said. It’s such a part of who I am. And it’s no accident that I’m fat, either. I don’t just mean that I’m fat because I’m fat because I take in more calories than I expend, but being fat keeps me invisible. It keeps me off people’s radar and out of their line of sight. Being fat allows me to be shy more easily. People just don’t pay as much attention to the “fat girl” as they do to the other people in the room. It keeps me safe and out of focus, especially in sexual situations. Being fat also helps me know that people like me for who I am, rather than for what I look like (at least, that’s the theory. Don’t get me started on the reality of this one!).
After a full day of travel, I finally made it home. I had a wonderful time. My mother and I spent a lot of time together, talking over some things that needed to be discussed. Jane and I also spent a lot of quality time together. We chewed over our pasts, enjoyed our present, and talked about our individual futures.
I’ll be posting on a more regular basis starting next Monday, as I’ve come home to a really busy week-end. I appreciate everyone sticking with me through my vacation. According to the statistics, several people stop by and read; don’t be shy — leave a comment! I’d love to know who you are and how you are doing.
My DH called me earlier in the day — he’s not on vacation with me, sadly! — to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day from him and our furry little critters. We have not been blessed with children of the human kind, only of the kitty-kind and what a blessing that is! I miss my husband and my critters very much, but will be home in a few days to see them soon.
Well, my vacation is almost over. I go home on Wednesday, May 14. I’m over at a friend’s house, waiting for her to get dressed, so the fun can begin. Jane — that’s my friend — she’s cooking dinner for me tonight. Cornish Hens. Yummy. She makes the best Cornish Hens, even though she professes to not be the world’s greatest cook. When it comes to Cornish Hens she is!
I got my McKenna treasures today, although I haven’t had a chance to look at them yet. The DVD set that was recently on sale for $99? I ordered it on the last day of the sale and received it today. I can’t wait to immerse myself in McKenna and really get back on track. I’ve not been as conscientiousabout following McKenna’s guidelines while I’ve been on vacation as I might have been. Even when Jane and I are eating together — she’s been following the guidelines, too — we haven’t been following them very well. I’m not sure why I stopped, other than that I’ve been on vacation. At first the traveling made it difficult to eat what I truly wanted, to eat when I wanted and to eat completely consciously — but traveling was only two days, and it was nearly a month ago.
At any rate, regardless of why I haven’t been following the guidelines strictly, I’m eager to get back to following them again. I felt better about myself and I felt better physically. I had more energy than I have now, both physical energy and emotional energy. I just felt better.
So, on May 15, I return to my everyday life. Vacation has been nice, but I’m ready to get back to the structure and day-to-day-ness that is my life. I’ll be updating more regularly then.