The Post Where I Pull Back the Curtain

So if you read this and know me outside the blog and love me, you probably know this stuff already. Maybe not. Maybe I've done a great job of convincing you -- because I did a REALLY great job of convincing myself -- that I eat really healthy and exercise and just can't seem to reach a healthy weight.

But that is not true, actually. That book I mentioned? Has completely changed my life.

Here's why: I have food issues. Specifically, I use food to avoid feeling things. My drugs of choice are carbs, like cookies, cake and anything crunchy and of the Nacho cheese variety.

Since starting Atkins, I realized that I had been using sugar and carbs to um, check out when life gets a little hairy. Having a crap day at work (which was basically M-F then)? Just have a brownie. That dread in the pit of your stomach? Whisked away by the sugar rush.

When I started doing Atkins, I realized my coping mechanisms were gone and I felt completely raw. RAW. There was no buffer for me and I finally had to FEEL things, and well it wasn't always the best feelings (still isn't). Because it's called life. Though I love my husband, kid, friends and family, things get on my nerves. Because I am human.

So while I didn't have sugar, I had things like mayonnaise. And bacon. And jars of delicious peanut butter.

I read the book. I realized that MUCH MORE than using carbs/sugar to check out, the problem friends is that on some fundamental basis, and going back to when I was a little girl, I fundamentally believed that I wasn't enough -- I couldn't handle my emotions myself, so I needed to avoid them.

This breaks my heart on like, 17 levels. I don't need to air (all of) my dirty laundry and tell you my various theories as to WHY. What matters is I am not a little girl anymore. I can do just about anything and I can certainly handle my feelings when they come along, even if they're negative. They're not forever (that phrase still reminds me of that hysterical dentist video). I can handle them.

The book also reminded me that I'm enough and that all my obsessing over every detail of every diet and fitness plan is just fulfilling a story I've been telling myself that I'm not enough as-is and I must throw myself into some plan because I must be fixed!  Except that's just a false story. A lie. I've been lying to myself all this time. There's nothing wrong with me. All of the answers are inside, right here. Right in my heart. When I'm feeling the need to check out, pay close attention to what that is and why, and learn from it.

The author of the book recommends 7 eating guidelines, most of them being so unbelievably simple but actually much harder to do when you're in the habit of numbing yourself with a nibble here, nibble there. Eat when you're hungry. Stop when you're full. Not stuffed. That one is particularly hard for me, I like to stuff myself. I like the volume and the feeling of being stuffed. Why, because it takes me away from thinking about other things.

But since I have read the book, I've felt a tremendous sense of peace. I typically wake up and start thinking about food and how I'm going to follow the plan JUST SO and everything will be perfect. I feel slightly raw again, because my buffers aren't there. But I also feel a tremendous sense of relief that I am enough and I don't have to follow any plan besides listening to my body. I eat when I'm hungry. While I'm still learning how to do this and therefore not doing it 100% perfect, I am blown away by the number of times I was reaching for food when I wasn't hungry. To numb myself and distract myself and take myself away from my present situation.

I've also been blown away by the amount of negative self talk that is incessant in my head, and I'm working on really challenging that -- and basically telling what Geneen Roth calls The Voice, to go to hell. To question those old stories that I've told myself about situations and people in my life, and really ask, Is that true?

So I haven't wanted to share all of this with you because I didn't want you to think I was amazing. But then I realized that you probably know I'm not perfect anyway, and still think I'm amazing. Which is fantastic, because I am learning to agree with you.

Comments

  1. Excellent post! We are all awesome, don't you think?

    I'm on chapter 4 of the book and I, too, feel such peace, it's fantastic. No more dieting. Seriously.

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  2. Melissa, I DO think we are all awesome! I'm so happy you're reading it too -- everyone should. It's so nice to just let it all go and remember that you have the tools inside!

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  3. most of them being so unbelievably simple but actually much harder to do when you're in the habit of numbing yourself with a nibble here, nibble there.

    AGREE.

    So glad you read it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, totally inspiring. :)

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  4. Yay!!!! I'm so happy that you have had such a revelation with this book.

    I am with you on the volume eating. There are days that I just want to eat A LOT of (insert name of yummy food here.) I always feel like crap after, so I am trying to really think about how that feels before I give in to the temptation.

    I wrote this in the comments on Katie's post, but I'll put it here, too.

    The biggest thing I came away from the book with is that I need to take care of myself. Be kind to myself. Not beat myself up for the 40,000 reasons I have been beating myself up . Not wait until I have lost 7 pounds to buy a new bra. I deserve to have a new bra now. So I am going to follow her eating guidelines and take better care of myself. My spirit, not just my body. And see where I end up.

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  5. I am really looking forward to reading this book.

    Wow, I don't know what it is these days...I have so much going on in my head, but so little to say in the comments. That is so unlike me;)

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