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LADYIRIS313's Photo LADYIRIS313 Posts: 926
9/13/09 2:13 P

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Rosie makes a very important point -- and somewhere in the program it says that how you KNOW this won't completely flatten you, or do you in, is that you are breathing and doing NOW .. just as you are. Whatever happened may have hurt you then, but it didn't stop you then, and now .. with some distance, it certainly won't have that power. Discovery can be challenging, but in the end - it is so worth it to clear out those emotional closets.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us
are looking at the stars"

Oscar Wilde


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ROSIED49 Posts: 2
9/13/09 8:49 A

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To Carrilu~ I too, am in awe of a woman such as yourself caring for EIGHT children while trying to go on your own journey of discovery! As I read your posts, one thing stood out to me that I'd like to comment on: you said that you didn't want to go back to your childhood and that it was long gone.

I'd like to say that your childhood is where your emotional overeating was born and bred and those behaviors are most definitely present. To me, the ONLY way I am going to recover is to go "back there", experience the painful moments and get past them.

Through the SY program, I now know that I experience emotional flashbacks brought on by some "trigger" in the present. The trigger usually has NOTHING to do with the flashback it brings on but the place or moment in time that it sends me to, is where I feel the coping mechanism was born.

Prior to SY, I would experience these moments but NEVER let them "play out". I would squash or "stuff" them with food since I too, wanted to never go back to those awful moments in time.

I would encourage you to re-think this part of your recovery.
I KNOW how scary it is to even consider doing this and it takes all I have to "let it happen" when it wants to but I'll tell you this: it's NOT as bad going to those places in your memories as an adult and WATCHING, knowing that you can make it stop whenever you want.
That alone, gives me a sense of powerfulness.

I invite comment from any of you wise souls here at Sparkpeople and look forward to chatting with you all soon.

Rosie



TIME4CARRI's Photo TIME4CARRI Posts: 322
9/9/09 1:51 A

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I will say that I am really liking the online program and being in week one, ya want to know my biggest reason why? Because I type the responses to the questions. I have refused to journal for YEARS because I hate my writing. I am so all or nothing that I had to use a certain pen and then I had to use the same pen for the next entry and then I had to have cute paper...etc It's so lame and yet I love my typed work,it doesn't frustrate me. Also, I have never been honest in my written work because I fear someone will find it and be hurt by what I said when I was feeling low. With the online program the user name and password go to the grave with me emoticon

Carrilu


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LADYIRIS313's Photo LADYIRIS313 Posts: 926
9/7/09 11:19 P

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The online program is packaged somewhat differently. The questions are all designed to be fully answered, and then what you see in the subsequent sessions will reference what you write. So, your own answers and insights are more fully thought through and reinforced. Now, I can't say I sat and wrote out answers to every question in the book. I would think about how to answer them, in my head - then move on to the next chapter. For me, at least, having the common threads allowed me to build on my insights. The online program is thus semi-personalized for your individual triggers, issues, strengths, tools, etc.

I can't speak for others, but I got a great deal more from the online program than just the book because I was paced through it and was accountable to DO the work. The writing may not seem that important, but it really does turn out to be. And, in the end, you have a record of your work and can reference back to it when you need to.

It is the best $100 I ever spent in my life. But, I did look at it a good long while before I committed to it. When a friend pointed out that this is what I would spend on a pair of jeans and a shirt, or even a single counseling session with a therapist, I realized I could find a way to afford it.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us
are looking at the stars"

Oscar Wilde


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UCFGAL's Photo UCFGAL Posts: 625
9/7/09 9:45 P

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Hi Everyone,

I have the SY book and haveread it, but I do not belong to the online SY. From reading the previous posts, it seems like the online program has more assignments to help you work through your emotions.Can anyone comment onthis? I have also read that the online program is nothing different than the book. What do you all think? I only recently read the book. Now that Labor Day is officially here and gone, I'm ready to do some serious soul-searching and get to the bottom of my eating. I, too, feel terribly lonely at times. I have a loving husband and children and don't know why I feel this way. Maybe I'll get to the bottom of it soon. I really enjoy everyone's post on this team. I think the Shrink Yourself is the key to weight loss. Look forward to your replies.
Trish







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LKG9999's Photo LKG9999 Posts: 1,393
9/7/09 3:53 P

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When I started paying attention to the thoughts and feelings behind my overeating, I was surprised to find that my nighttime binges were usually fueled by loneliness. Carrilu, like you I live with my wonderful DF and DD, but the loneliness has nothing to do with them. I don't know exactly why this started, but I remember feeling alone even as a child with two loving parents and a brother. It has been a great help for me on my journey to understand and acknowledge those feelings instead of trying to avoid them with food. At least for me, just sitting with the feeling and not trying to do anything about it has been the "fix". I've found that while it's uncomfortable, it doesn't last forever and I don't die from it.

Edited by: LKG9999 at: 9/7/2009 (16:00)
Lisa
Highest weight: 230
Current weight: 177
Target Weight: 155

"Be more stubborn than the scale." - Vivian Bedoya (BEMORESTUBBORN)

"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt


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LADYIRIS313's Photo LADYIRIS313 Posts: 926
9/7/09 3:23 P

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OOLALA53 is SO right ... being present in the moment with your child is such a beautiful and powerful idea. There isn't a human being alive who doesn't crave feeling fully and totally connected with another person - and looking at them deeply, feeling their hair, lingering with the hug, connecting with their hearts - that will be so wonderful for you both.

I DO so utterly get how challenging the slowing down to do this work is. I've always been a 'jump to the back of the book' kind of gal. I only recently realized HOW much I dislike feeling uncomfortable, stupid, slow - whatever I was not 'naturally' good at, I just avoided. This included watching my meals and exercising, unfortunately. But ... it meant I gave up SO much. Finishing my degree was impossible because I 'couldn't get through math and pe'.. ironically I'm doing them both now. I had to get over being perfect, heck even being 'good' at things and just take things one tiny, baby step at a time. I had to tell myself, "what if I flunk? So what? I'll take it again." I had been doing what OOLALA53 pointed out - being catastrophic about it -- "I'll NEVER be able to do this." Just slowing down to work through and 'feel' as I was going was too painful - it overwhelmed me. But, this program helped me begin to walk through things. Now, I feel like all those things I put on my, "I"ll never be able to do that" list just may have to be erased.

Oh I get that you want more practical steps now. By week 3 I wanted to write Dr. Gould and say, "enough on the insight already .. what do I DO?" But, believe me, within a week after that I had puhlenty to do! And I hope you share that when you come to it - because I need to be reminded too!

I think the first week or two were the hardest for me. Being smacked back down into my body, into my emotions and my experiences was not comfortable at ALL. Of course not - that what all the nibbling was about, yes?
emoticon (laugh)
But it does get easier and with every breakthrough and new insight, your focus will shift.

I'm very impressed, btw - you have a very busy life being a mom and I am humbled by your decision to focus on yourself at this time. You are being a great role model to your children as you do this - they will learn by example how to face their fears, and overcome. Bravo! And, time for yourself doesn't have to be huge - it can be 10 minutes in the morning, or 10 minutes after the kids are in bed. Trust me .. there will ALWAYS be more house to clean or more 'stuff' to do - but if mama isn't doing well, nobody will be doing well. I'm SO proud of you.
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Edited by: LADYIRIS313 at: 9/7/2009 (15:33)
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us
are looking at the stars"

Oscar Wilde


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TIME4CARRI's Photo TIME4CARRI Posts: 322
9/7/09 12:44 P

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Such good advice. I need to be reminded that distraction is just that, distraction and like you said, not forever and suprisingly not for long. I also like the idea of being present but to the higher degree. I will concentrate on using all of my senses in the moment. I want to say too that the SY program does address this in the book so of course it will in the online program so if you are reading this thread, don't worry I just tend to jump the gun and freak out.

Carrilu


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,396
9/7/09 10:51 A

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You definitely have a challenge, but it is totally surmountable. Even if it isn't now, it is possible to reach the point at which you choose to do different things than eat out of avoiding feelings of loneliness. I think it's a great insight that being able to concentrate on meeting the needs of the moment (your children, for example) will be part of the solution. Another thing about alternative activities to eating is that we have to do them even though we don't feel like doing them. They are a diversion from what we want because the want doesn't truly serve us. If we felt like doing them, we wouldn't be feeling like eating! Sometimes the activity will eventually become a new reward that we desire instead of food and sometimes it's just a way of outlasting the desire. You don't have to outlast it forever. Just until you're hungry!

There are so many spiritual and psychological avenues for dealing with loneliness. For myself, what has helped is giving myself a few minutes to actually experience the feelings in my body, not the thoughts in my mind. Are there sensations in my stomach, chest, etc.? Really look! (Gould recommends this, too. It is mostly what attracted me to his work first.) What's fascinating is that they are fleeting, if I don't allow my attention to go back to the thoughts. The other part is coming to the realization that the thoughts are often irrational. "No one understands me. I'm not really loved. People won't stay with me. I'm going to die alone." Etc. These thoughts seem as if they describe true situations, but they can rarely be proved, and they are usually irrelevant to the needs of the present. Oh, I'm sounding all I-don't-know-what. You just have to try it. Find where the feelings are, notice that if you divert yourself from the thoughts, the feelings grow milder or disappear, and give your full attention to what you are doing. For example, really look at your child's mouth while you wipe it, feel the wet cloth in your hand, feel his hair, if you are holding his head to steady him, feel him move away, then go on to your next action. That's as real as it gets, not your thoughts about it or anything else, at that moment. Who knows if you will die alone? You can't solve that problem now anyway. And if you find that you are just dwelling on thoughts of loneliness when you are not doing anything-that's when you need to get busy. Do something that you can pay attention to.

However, the previous post that recommended that you also get in touch with what is pleasurable or inspiring for you is great, too. You may not have time for pursuing such activities right now in your life, but sometimes recognizing them can be the beginning of making time. They can help balance the feeling of always being obligated.

Finally, sometimes I just remind myself that I'm not in a gulag! Is what I'm having to do right now so bad? It really could be so much worse! (Just trying to end with a little humor after so much gravity.) emoticon

*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
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TIME4CARRI's Photo TIME4CARRI Posts: 322
9/7/09 3:01 A

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Thank you so much again. I have decided to start writing again and that helps some. Another elemet that seems challenging is, I can think of a few things I'd like to do but I have infants, kids, and teens so my time to my self IRONICALLY, is so limited. My focus is going to be on trying to change my perception and instead of getting frustrated that sometimes I can't lose myself in cleaning or meditation or exercise, just accept it and be present to them like I always want from my DH. I will drop the dish towel and roll around, tickle and shut out the feelings of falling behind. I learned it is really too easy to binge with a little one on the hip! But you are right, I CAN B-R-E-A-T-H-E though and that will be something I get better at.

BTW I am still so proud of you for this PE class. And I'm glad you utilized all the support you needed. That is huge growth as we so often tend to on one hand realize we're vulnerable and then shut out those that can help us. As it is sung, "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy!" Ah well, I am definitely reaching out more here on SP now because I know how much I need to. I don't want to just complain but start working on solutions because I'm learning from you all that there really are some. I feel hopeful. I feel good like I'm finally on the same page with everyone instead of just spinning.

You're awesome.......
Carrilu

Carrilu


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LADYIRIS313's Photo LADYIRIS313 Posts: 926
9/7/09 2:33 A

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*Enormous Hug*

Hello there, sweet friend! I'm so glad to see you posting. What an incredible and brave step to take - to begin to look inward.

You absolutely will find lots of support and ideas as you move along in your work in this program. But, I do have some understanding of what you are talking about. Feeling 'alone' often has nothing to do with whether or not there is someone in the room. You will do this as you progress - but you can begin now by asking yourself some questions:

- what sorts of things do you enjoy, but no longer do (for any of a variety of reasons)?

- what sorts of new things do you want to do, or new skills do you want to acquire that you haven't yet found a way to bring into your life?

- if you could do anything at all - something new, or some dream you've had - what would it be?

I know ... this just sounds like more writing and work. But, there is a key here. All of us have 'holes' in our lives, brought on by insecurity, or feelings of powerlessness that are long-held beliefs which may have little real basis in our lives today. But, once we identify what those unfulfilled dreams or frustrated aspirations are, we can take a step - just a teeny step at a time - dipping our toe into those areas. As you do that, your self-esteem will rise, and with it - the anxiety will begin to fall.

Practically - I would suggest yoga or meditation. Why? Mindfulness - learning to "Be Here Now" and just observe. I know - it sounds painful, because what you are afraid of is being here, now. But, just pausing to breathe - talking to yourself, and learning to be still and sit and observe will be life changing. A meditation that was shared with me by Julie Zipper goes goes something like this - when I'm feeling overwhelmed by an emotion (like, I can't STAND being here alone ... ) is to sit comfortably, breathe deeply, relax .. and then ask:

- What am I afraid of?
- What is under that .. what emotion?
- repeat the last step until you feel you have come to the bottom of it.
- Is this fear realistic?
- What is the worst that could actually, truly happen?
- What can I do in the event the worst happens?

B-R-E-A-T-H-E

You now have a plan - there is no need to panic because no matter what happens, you have the resources to handle it.

You are incredibly powerful and already you are so competent in so many areas of your life. But, like all of us, you have unresolved pain, hurts and fears, and you are working through them and learning how to trust yourself, trust your surroundings, trust your situation, and trust your ability to navigate in the world.

And, I would say you've taken a huge first step in caring for yourself in this issue - you're not hiding it any longer. You have great support here. I bet you have great support around you at home and with your friends and family. As you begin to trust the process, share with them .. and us .. lean on us.

I will tell you something - when I decided to go to that PE class - I was scared .. really scared. My heart was pounding, I was sick to my stomach every time I thought about it. I blogged here, I talked to my acupuncturist (a very gentle man and super supportive - a great healer who has done his own inner work), I did that meditation above and created a plan, and I talked to my pal Elizabeth on the phone ... honest to heavens .. she talked with me the whole way until I walked in the door (lmao). She went through 3 years of therapy for an entirely different issue, but it was the same process - walking through the terror of letting go of a life she was tired of, and embracing new habits - stepping off the cliff. Rely on those people who have done that. You know who they are - the people who always leave you energized and feeling good about yourself, and limit the time with people who drain you, who discourage you or make you feel unsafe. Those friends who have walked the road can give you tips, and remind you of how strong you are, and encourage you when you become discouraged or afraid. Deepening those relationships and expanding your circle of supportive people will give you even more outlets for activities, communication, and dream following!

I don't know if that helped ... *s* But I know you are far stronger than you have yet let yourself believe. I promise, you will discover this more and more with every passing day.
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Edited by: LADYIRIS313 at: 9/7/2009 (02:42)
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us
are looking at the stars"

Oscar Wilde


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TIME4CARRI's Photo TIME4CARRI Posts: 322
9/7/09 1:53 A

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So, Thanks to LadyIris, I began the online program and for those of you still thinking about it, it is lot's of work but worth it. I am only wrapping up week one and trying to "pause" before a binge or emotional eating episode. Here's where I need some help. I have found that among a few things, I my hunger switch gets turned on the minute feel like I will be left alone. It's severe ladies. I won't go into childhood stuff because it doesn't matter anymore. I recognize it and I want to deal with it better. I haven't found tips besides distraction tactics but those don't work when you feel alone because.....you're so aware of your solitude, you don't tend to want to dance, read, work in the garden etc..Sometimes it's only perceived abandonment like when DH takes too long in the bathroom or goes to bed early! I hide it well so I don't come off as the clingy person I am .....by eating. My DH is awesome but I need to learn how to be okay with just being by myself. I've googled this and I can't find any really good ideas for learning to grow in this area of my life so I wondered if anyone here carries this around as a trigger and what may have worked for you? Like I said, ....severe. Here's something I've never shared, I am momma to eight kids (yes, all ours) and yet, loneliness is a HUGE issue for me, even though I'm someone is always in the room, physically with me. I fear it. It seems to be concentrated on DH I think because he's so good to me and he gives me plenty of attention but I'm like a bottomless well.I feel so immature. Sometimes I can't even focus on the kids and they're right there! Again, I am grateful for the program because I recognize it now. I always wondered why I ate "for no reason" until I paid really close attention and yikes, how am I going to fix this??


Just to save some time,
* have spiritual adviser
* take antidepressants
* cannot afford therapy
Boy, I'm really baring all tonight but I want develop this childish part of myself and I love you guys so thank you in advance for anything you can offer:)

Carrilu

Edited by: TIME4CARRI at: 9/7/2009 (02:01)
Carrilu


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