You Are, You Are Not
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This happens every time I begin to look for help and guidance. I start to get frustrated with all the contradictory advice. I'll start to read a book or blog and the stuff sounds great, then I'll hit an UH OH.
This week's uh oh is:
viewpoint A: Your compulsive eating, secret eating, binge eating, crazy-arse eating, stems from your separation of your body from your mind. You need to meet back up so that your mind can hear what your body is saying and your body needs to learn to talk to your mind so that you can distinguish between crazy panic stuff and the real deal (true hunger).
viewpoint B: Your [insert many adjectives here as above] eating stems from your need to separate yourself from your body. You are not your body. You are a spiritual being who has a body, but you are not your body.
And now for the weird part (bear with me while I state the obvious). I am overfat. My body fat percentage is around 35% (probably, I haven't checked it in about 2 months, and I've been eating like a pride of lions) and yet my weight is only about 5-10 lb off from top of the healthy range for my height. BUT (and it's a big one) I don't hate my body. I really don't. I am not one of those body-self-haters at all. Can't say I love it, but I don't hate it.
Rather, I'm confused. I'm confused as to why, when I'm a smart girl, really quite smart, do I keep eating like the food is all being loaded on a ship and sailing away from me? Why is it ok all day long, and then after about 8pm does some sort of switch flip and I'm nuts? Why do I cease to make the connection (after 8pm) that what I eat WILL result in more body fat, more weight, tighter clothes, feeling sluggish, and all the other things I know will happen during the day? I mean I KNOW it, I just somehow choose to ignore that these things aren't good.
I don't indulge in alcohol (maybe a drink a month), or drugs (Rx or otherwise) so it's not like I'm in an altered state for that reason. Lately, during the binges, I ask myself why, and I'm met with a shrug and more eating. I don't stuff my mouth full, so it's not that feeling I seek. I don't like how heavy my stomach feels, so it's not that feeling I'm seeking. I like the taste of food, I like the crunch of crispy things, and the sweet softness of dark chocolate melting in my mouth. I like the experience of food.
But why can't I stop? Is it because I need to reconnect my mind with my body so that my body can tell my mind strongly enough that it really can't take another bite? Or is it because I need to leave my body behind and let my higher self take over - the higher self who doesn't have hunger for food?
In the end, this is my journey, and I hope I will find my own answers. I know that nobody really has all the answers or we'd be a nation of very healthy people. But I know that if I keep seeking answers, some things will speak to me and some won't. The tricky part is...and this is what this whole blog is leading to...some things I want to dismiss right away as not being for me, not being applicable, being to contrary to what I believe in my core.
Like [revisiting viewpoint A] attaching sentience to my body - it's a body, not a mind, it doesn't _know_ anything! It's just a really cool machine, but it doesn't think. It reacts to forces that are inflicted upon it, but it's not trying to tell me something...or is it? It does send signals to my brain, so maybe it IS trying to communicate with me. Maybe viewpoint A has validity...
OR like [viewpoint B] saying that my body is unimportant and it's all about my spiritual being. I need to forget what my body is saying, ignore the cries for food, and find the part of me that is really seeking nourishment. My spirit. Ok, well, it's not my body that wants the food in the first place, except that the brain IS part of my body, and that's where the signals to eat are coming from. But say we ignore that whole apparatus - body and mind, and go with the spirit. Is my spirit starving? Maybe. Maybe it's what is really behind all this crazy eating at night. Maybe when my day is done, my spirit is screeching "what about me?! You didn't feed me ALL DAY! Gimme gimme gimme my share NOW!" So maybe viewpoint B has validity...
These ideas both sound a little weird on their face, but when I really think about them, I can worm my way to a logical conclusion where they are plausible. So, are these the very things I should be letting in, in order to change? The things that sound so hokey, maybe I should stop and ruminate on those things while my body is ruminating the binge from the night before (I know, ewwwww). Maybe I need to pick apart the things I have NOT ever considered before in order to find my own way - my own recipe for success. This healthy lifestyle, sustainable weight loss and overall fitness, for me is a mind...I don't want to say game, because it's not a game. MindSET. Yes, a mindset. That's what I need to find, a mindset that is set enough that when I am "done" for the night, I'm not done-for.
I mean we can't try EVERYTHING, we can't try every strategy. We need to be true to ourselves, at least I do. So maybe in my effort to be so true to myself, I'm ignoring some gem of wisdom because it feels too counter to my being, and that very gem is the key to unlocking my true potential? Probably more like many small gems that I can collect and realize it's all part of the same treasure.