A Major Breakthrough

August 1, 2008 at 1:21 am (Uncategorized)

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.


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I’m Back!

July 15, 2008 at 1:36 am (Uncategorized) (, )

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!

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90 Day Success Journal Coming My Way

June 13, 2008 at 1:28 am (Uncategorized)

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!

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Feeling Lost Today

June 8, 2008 at 4:51 pm (Uncategorized) ()

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?

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Trying To Get Started Again

May 27, 2008 at 2:21 am (I Can Make You Thin, Paul McKenna) (, , )

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!

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm (Uncategorized)

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.

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I Weighed

April 6, 2008 at 12:23 am (Uncategorized)

Thursday I stopped by my doctor’s office to be weighed before I started a busy day. I have to admit to being a little disappointed. My weight was up from my February 11 weighing, from 313.3 to 315.7. I had hoped, of course, that it would be down, but for all I know it is! I started eating mindfully, according to the Geneen Roth approach 16 days ago (that was before I saw the Paul McKenna show I Can Make You Thin). Up until the very day I started eating consciously, I was gaining weight, and I have no idea how much weight I gained. I don’t really have a starting weight. I guess 315.7 will have to be my starting weight.

Not only was I disappointed to have discovered that I had gained weight, but I was disappointed in myself for being disappointed. I keep telling my friend, Jane, that this isn’t about weight loss for me at this point, but that it’s about my relationship with food. I want to continue down this road of peace, calm and sanity. I want to continue to watch my world expand as I have time for more in my life than food and weight issues, and I have more energy.  When I discovered that I was disappointed I had to really think about it; I finally decided that the disappointment was that I gained, not so much that I hadn’t lost. At any rate, I haven’t overeaten as a result of the number of the scale — a new reaction for me!

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April 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve found a few other blogs written by people following the McKenna system and would like to add them to my blogroll, but can’t figure out how to do that. If anyone knows how to do that in WordPress, please leave me a comment and let me know. I’d appreciate it.

EDITED TO ADD: Never mind! I kept poking around and I found what I was looking for. Be sure to check out the blogs that I’ve linked to for more personal stories about the McKenna system.

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Why This Time Is Different

March 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm (inutitive eating, Uncategorized) (, , )

So today wasn’t my best day! I followed McKenna’s conscious eating guidelines as much as I could — it was really hard today for some reason — but I wanted to just say “Fuck it!” and eat some Easter goodies. I wasn’t aware of anything triggering my emotions, as I woke up with this attitude. I could have had them for breakfast, but I didn’t wake up particularly hungry for them. I was hungry for Cheerios. I just wanted the candy. It was a strange dynamic going on in my psyche this morning.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not on a diet. The guidelines say I can eat whatever I want am hungry for. This is the same basic approach championed by Geneen Roth, and the authors of Intuitive Eating. In fact, I am reading the Intuitive Eating book right now, and working through Why Weight? by Geneen Roth, a workbook aimed at helping you overcome compulsive eating. I’m enjoying the working book, even though I’m stuck on one of the exercises that says to set aside an hour to complete. When am I going to find an hour to do one exercise? I guess I’m going to have to make an hour.

A friend and I were talking today about why this time feels different. I haven’t dieted in quite some time, but the usual pattern was this: Get motivated to “be healthier” (i.e., lose weight) because I felt poorly after a recent weight gain, do something about it (go on a diet, make healthier choices, etc.,), lose enough weight to feel better, lose motivation, gain weight. Sound familiar to anyone?

This time feels different though. This time, it feels like a keeper. For one thing, I’m working on my head for the first time. I’m really working on why I eat, what I’m getting out of the food I eat, out of being fat (Yes, Virginia, there’s an upside to being fat for me. It was just so hard to admit). I have a therapist who really “gets it”. I told him I wanted to talk about my weight and we spent the next half hour talking about being invisible and how that works, being my size (I’ll talk about that sometime). For another thing, I’m working on my relationship with food, not my weight. I’m working on how I deal with food and my emotions. I’m working on recognizing my emotions and dealing with them outright, rather than eating to stuff them down or to distract myself from my emotions. I feel as though by taking this approach, I can get my head straight, and my weight will stabilize naturally.

The question was, do I think I’ll lose the impetus to work on this once I lose enough weight to feel better? My answer: I don’t think so. Not this time. That’s not to say that I won’t experience little — or even big — blips along the way. I may even temporarily lose sight of my goal. But I really think that I’ll get back on track because, as I gain control over my eating and my head, I’ll be happier and more whole. And once I experience that peace, I’ll want it back. Hopefully, I’ll fight to get it back.

Another thing that makes it different is my public declaration to experience this healing: this blog. I haven’t told many of my friends or family what I’m doing. I’ve talked a little bit to my husband and a great deal to my best friend. But by creating this blog, I’ve made a public statement, even if it’s an anonymous one. This blog will be my inspiration on days when I can’t find it in myself. I’ll have an outlet for my thoughts and feelings, but I also have a responsibility to whomever may be reading this. I have to assume that at least one person is reading this, and gaining something from it. That will help keep me honest and inspired.

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Hello world!

March 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve been threatening for a few days now to start a blog about my adventures in overcoming overeating, and here it is. Today is Day Four of actively trying to eat when I’m hungry and then stopping when I’m satisfied — whatever the hell that means! Sometimes that means being physically satiated, but sometimes that means eating a little bit more, to appease my emotional hunger. It means trying to eat more consciously and really enjoying the food I am eating. I am working with the guidelines of Geneen Roth and Paul McKenna.

So, why am I doing this? Well, at 5’7″ and 313 pounds as of my last doctor’s appointment (on February 11), I have to do something.  My weight is affecting my quality of life and my health. I have diabetes, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. I have trouble taking care of myself and trouble walking any distance at all.

But worse than my weight problem is my relationship with food. I am, I’m afraid, a compulsive eater. I eat because I’m happy and I eat because I’m sad. I eat because I’m bored, both in the moment and with my life.  The time I spend thinking about food and my weight is time I’m not spending thinking about the quality of my life and how to change it. It’s time I’m not spending thinking about what’s wrong with my life and the steps I might have to take to make it better. In other words, as miserable as it makes me, it also keeps me safe.

I went looking for blogs about compulsive eating and found a lot of diet blogs. I am, most emphatically not on a diet.  Diets don’t work for most people, yet most people continue to go on diets, and then blame themselves when the diet doesn’t work for them. I’m off that merry-go-round, although I have to admit that I’m considering following The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet (I wish they didn’t call it that, as it’s really a lifestyle program) for two weeks to evaluate it’s efficacy for me. I haven’t dieted in years and thought I’d given up the idea totally, but I recently read this book, and the science in it made so much sense to me, that now I don’t know what to do. I’m impressed that no food is off-limits in the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, that it’s a matter of timing and balancing your food. But parts of it seem impractical to me, too. That’s why the two week evaluation period. Like so many other people, I have dieted and failed — or, more appropriately, dieted, succeeded and then regained the weight with a few extra pounds  — that I don’t think my psyche could withstand going through that cycle once again. Whatever I do will have to include conscious eating. That really makes a lot of sense to me and I think it is compatible with another program.

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