For Better or Worse

April 1, 2008 at 2:29 am (mckenna) (, )

I’ve been following Paul McKenna’s Four Golden Rules for a week now, and for the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful. Not so much hopeful that I’ll lose weight (although I have that hope, too), but hopeful that for the first time in my life, I’ll develop a normal relationship with food. After a week of eating consciously and eating what I want — but only when I’m hungry! — I’m not obsessed with food the way I was two weeks ago. I’m not thinking all the time about what I’m going to eat next. Instead, I’m thinking about what I’m actually eating right now, or I’m thinking about making art, or posting on one of my blogs, or exchanging email with a friend, or something like that. I mentioned to Jane a couple of days ago that as I’ve gotten bigger over the last ten years, my world has gotten smaller. Well, it feels as though my world is enlarging itself. Not a lot yet, but it does feel as though there is some movement there.

It will probably surprise you to hear that I started following McKenna’s guidelines with a friend, but without having seen his show. We don’t have cable television (gasp!), so I had to get my in-laws to tape it for me. Well, last night I finally saw the first three episodes, back-to-back. What a treat that was! Jane had been telling me, each week, about the episodes and I’d been reading the message board and I’d explored the website, but it was so encouraging to get the full on I Can Make You Thin experience. I am so motivated to continue following the Four Golden Rules, and to introduce the new techniques into my life. I tapped along with Episode Two, and my anxiety about today’s upcoming therapy session just drifted away. I tried the Craving Busting Technique as I watched Episode Three. I was able to do the revulsion aspect with no problem. But when it came to the positive association aspect, I had trouble. I wasn’t able to really “get into” a moment when I was happy. I could think of one, and very cognitively go through the moment. I could think about the colors and sensations of the moment and I could remember specifics about it. But I couldn’t actually feel the feelings that went along with my memory of a happy time. It’s as though I have no emotional memory, just a cognitive one. Maybe this is something to talk about in therapy today.

I made that last remark half joking, but maybe it is something to bring up in therapy. This is a serious issue for me. Because memories are often tied to our emotions, and I have little emotional memory, I have few memories of my own past. It’s not as though I’m an amnesiac; I remember my name and current circumstances well enough. But when it comes to things in my past, I just don’t have a lot of memory about them. I don’t really remember my feelings around losing my virginity, for example — a fairly major event in a girl’s life! I had a younger sister make her transition when I was in high school, but I remember very little of that event, either, because I don’t have much emotional memory. I’ve been aware of this phenomena for a long time, but had managed to put it out of my mind. The Craving Busting Technique of Episode Three brought it to the forefront of my mind again. Maybe it really is something I should bring up in therapy again. I have a different therapist than I had the last time I tried to deal with this.

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