Carrying on where I left off, I'm following Renee Stephen's 6-week program from her book Full-Filled, along with listening to her Inside Out Weight Loss podcasts. It's not about eating specific foods in a diet, it's about behaviour change, and changing how you think and behave around food. So, to keep a record beyond my private journal, here are my thoughts (all that I journalled, in fact) about her exercises for week 2.
Dig In: Notice Your Objections
Maybe I've been listening to so many of Renee's podcasts lately that I'm really, truly good with becoming the person I've been envisioning, but I really couldn't come up with too many objections. I would love to end my struggle to stay in control around food, to listen to my body's signals of hunger/satiety, to not feel overstuffed after eating, to not have the guilt of whatever I've been snacking on. I've been more slim than I am now, and I liked how that felt, how confident I was and I am truly looking forward to the positive changes that are coming along with getting my attitude about food adjusted through this process. I will continue to pay attention, to see if some objections arise, but I do think that I am ready.
Dig In: What is the Positive Intent of Your Eating Habits?
- I go to the fridge/cupboard when I am lonely or feeling disconnected
- I snack when I don't feel like preparing a decent meal for myself; I equate cooking for one with lonely business ("cooking for one stinks" has long been my woe-is-me attitude about it)
*** Since writing this in my journal at the start of the week, I have cooked several delicious meals, just for me, with enough leftovers to keep me going for a couple of days. Each time, it felt like a special treat, as if I was truly caring for myself by taking the time to cook something fabulous and tasty for myself. I guess it doesn't stink after all, nor require anyone else's seal of approval (more on that below)***
- I overeat in restaurants to keep up with and fit in with my (male) friends
- I do have some of the characteristics of The Fraud described in the book. Food provides safety and security; eases the pain of the feeling of inadequacy I have (due to my education not being aligned with my career, in spite of 15 years of experience in the industry). The positive intent is seeking comfort, safety and security.
- Also, traits of the Perfectionist: I put a lot of pressure on myself, trying to gain approval; I am a procrastinator, avoiding failure by not starting or trying at all with some things. I'd rather not cook for one than make an elaborate mean with nobody to give it the nod of approval. And simple meals... suck.
- And, I'm also very accomplishment-driven, so eating can be a respite from doing, taking a break and having some downtime with an energy boost.
Dig In: Pinpoint Your Fear
What am I afraid of? What do I fear?
- That I won't be good enough, that my incongruent education & career path will fall apart, that I'll be found out to not have the skills needed. Which ones? Can I still get them? Business Analyst skills? Technical Skills? Can I accept that 15 years of industry experience is light years beyond anything that was being taught when I got my degrees? (Perhaps this is behind my intrigue with PhD programs... if I get the PhD, I will surely be qualified to do what I'm already doing...)
- Also, I'm afraid of being alone forever, never finding my mate, never getting married and into a relaxed relationship. So I eat to combat this fear and the loneliness. Food is a stable relationship for me; food doesn't feel threatened by me, it doesn't judge. It is just there for me, like the fudge was during my lonely exchange program which started this 25-year struggle.
-- Joy, acceptance, worthiness, peace, love, contentment are what I seek.
I did the mindful meditation to resolve my inner conflict, and did feel quite at peace afterwards! On to week 3!