This has been a hell of a week and while I’m not quite in love like in The Cure song, it is Friday and a damn good day it’s been. It seems the ever practical theory that letting go of what you want will bring you what you need has struck again. So many things came together for me today in an ending I can only think to describe as peaceful. I wish we had more words in English, because that isn’t quite specific enough but I have more to write about so I’m going to move on.
First. About cutting out white flour and sugar.
DAMN! That’s hard! I made it about 3 days until I made an exception thinking it would be no big deal and I found myself in the complete experience of weaning off a chemical I was addicted to. The cravings were so powerful. The relief from them was short lived and I quickly found myself in a familiar cycle.
Forgive me if I am repeating myself here, but I realized I was addicted to food when I started to recognize my experiences of trying to stop eating certain things as being identical to how people describe what it’s like to stop drinking alcohol. The first several days are fairly easy with some solid resolve. Days four through six are filled with insistent cravings promising euphoria in exchange for a grilled cheese sandwich. Then if I have even the tiniest bit of what I’m craving I start the whole cycle over again. I know from these experiences cutting out cheese (specifically) that exceptions cannot be made.
To take a harm reduction to approach to cheese withdrawal this last time I had lots of fake cheese on hand for the first week or so that and relied on it heavily. I was not expecting to need to do the same with white flour and sugar… And I was, um, not prepared. So, I haven’t been successful. In fact I’ve been downright unsuccessful and I’m starting again once I can stock up on some whole grain bread and agave sweetened treats to get me through the early days of torture.
All that being said I am about 20lbs down from the horrid ass photo in the sidebar… and like I said, today was a great day.
I know I’ve said this before, but I’ve been wanting a good therapist for so long and now I have her and it’s greater than I could have imagined! Hooray! I promise to tell you about brainspotting soon (next week okay?), but here’s something new I learned from her today.
We have five levels of consciousness:
1. Physical: our bodies and how our bodies interact with the world
2. Mental: our thinking
3. Emotional: our feelings
4. Spiritual: our connection to spirit (whatever that means to us)
5. Unconscious: the parts of our experience that are constantly existing but we aren’t aware of
When we have a problem it can usually be described as existing on one of these levels. My problem: I am not happy with my weight or my relationships to food. That’s a physical problem. We often try to solve the problem on the same level it exists on. So for weight/physical problems we change our eating habits and may start to exercise and we may even be effective at losing weight but it isn’t a lasting change and we continue to cycle through weight changes. It isn’t until we look to the other levels that we are able to make lasting changes. My physical problem will not be solved on the physical level, it will be solved on a mental, emotional, spiritual, or unconscious level.
Awesome, right? Here are some examples from the world:
1. Oprah, bless her. She has all the money and resources in the world but a focus on trying to solve her weight problem on a physical level led to nothing but a very public battle with a constantly changing figure
2. 12-Step programs. The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups following a 12-step model do not go like this: step 1. Don’t drink, steps 2-12. Repeat step 1. No! The 12 steps that millions (I’m just guessing here, correct me if I’m) of people around the world (again… Is this true?) credit with their sobriety couldn’t be further from focusing on the same level the problem exists on. The focus is very clearly on doing the work on the spiritual, emotional, and mental levels… In fact, physical level sobriety isn’t even required in order to get support.
I’m not going to abandon the changes I have made to my diet or activity routines. They work for me. I feel better. I am going to pursue more ways to figure out how I can feel good as it relates to food and movement. But it won’t stop there (it was never going to… I just wasn’t so clear about where to start before).
My homework, both tasks to reprogram my brain (do you know that your brain doesn’t know the different between past and present, real and pretend? It is at your command to believe whatever you tell it) both to do some work on an emotional or mental level…
1. A new belief to bring into my life: My body is perfect for what I’m here to do-what I’m here to learn.
2. A new daily practice: in the shower each day as I clean each part I am to say aloud that I love it. “I love my body. I love my shoulders, my hips, my thighs, my breasts” until it becomes true.
Anyone up for trying either or both of these assignments? I’ll be doing them too so you’ll know you’re not alone.