McKenna’s Book

May 26, 2008 at 1:07 am (mckenna) (, )

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!). 


1 Comment

  1. Vivian said,

    Hi Heather,

    I am reading Paul McKenna’s book, too. And like you I also read Geneen Roths books and listened to one of her workshops on CD. Just like you, Geneens program worked fine for me (for about 2 or 3 weeks) and then I turned her program into a diet. Not willingly, it just happened.

    I’m a little afraid the same could happen again, while reading Pauls book. But what it is really good, is the CD. So I will try it and see what happens :-).

    Found your blog by typing “Paul McKenna Geneen Roth” by the way. I like your writing!

    Best wishes

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