Friday Report

March 29, 2008 at 12:01 am (conscious eating, personal growth) (, , )

Today has been a good day. I’ve eaten consciously most of the day and enjoyed my food. I ate one time when I wasn’t altogether hungry, but it was because I had the opportunity to eat lunch with my husband. I haven’t actually taken a meal with him in several days, because I’ve been eating according to my own needs. Because I wasn’t altogether hungry, I only ate half my portion (lasagna and bread) — enough to satisfy me physically and emotionally. My meager hunger was satisfied, but so was my need for the dining experience.  He’s going away for several days on work-related travel next week, so I’ll have plenty time to each alone, whenever my need dictates.

I’m still working with the Geneen Roth book Why Weight?. Currently I’m supposed to be writing down my food intake for one week; I began on March 26, so I’ll be doing it through April 02. Because I’m doing the conscious eating exercises along with the workbook, I think I’m missing the point of the exercise. The stated point is to look for patterns in my eating. In the column labeled “feelings before eating”, I almost always put “hunger” and in the column labeled “feelings after eating”, I almost always put “satisfied” or “full”. 75% of the time where I eat is the dining room table. In the workbook, eating guidelines have been introduced, but not worked with, so I think I’ve kind of “jumped the gun” by working with Paul McKenna’s guidelines. But, I was moved to do something about my eating before I started the workbook.

The Geneen workbook is starting to get issue oriented and hard. I breezed through the first several exercises as they mimicked discussions that a friend and I were having or things that I’d already journaled about. Don’t get me wrong — they were still valuable. It was reinforcing to hear myself say it again. But the exercises now are asking me to dig deeper and to make commitments to specific actions that I’ll take in the upcoming days, and that’s scary. Even making the commitment to dance around the house or call about yoga classes is kind of scary, but these commitments go further than that. 

I told my friend (should we give her a name? Jane, perhaps?) a few days ago there comes a point when we have to take the step from thinking about things to doing about things. In fact, what I said to Jane was, “I think writing about and talking about why we overeat is a good first step. And maybe second step and third step, too. But ultimately, one day, we have to make a different choice. And that’s the scary part. One day, we have to say, “Instead of eating my feelings [for example], I’m going to reach out to someone.” or “I’m going to put myself out there and be visible.” I know from all my time in therapy that insight and understanding isn’t enough. Ultimately, it takes action. And, like I said, that’s the scary part. That’s where change happens, and that’s where the hurt is possible. There’s a certain amount of vulnerability in just talking about stuff, true. But the real vulnerability comes from doing things differently. And that’s where I always trip up.”

That’s why these current exercises in the Geneen Roth workbook are so hard and anxiety producing. Because the ask me to commit to action, to change. And that’s where I always trip up.

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