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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.
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  • no profile photo CD8667808
    Hmmmm. That may be the most intelligent of my comments here, but I'll try for more, because you've got my wheels turning. When I think about it, a combination of gems has worked best for me pretty much no matter what the issue is. But then I think I normalize them in my quest for certainty and order, and later, I crave something that alters my mindset but don't know where to find it. Is there an IT? Maybe just more small gems that wiggle their way into the crowd, but then we have to tell the other ones to play nice and let them in?
    I love that you're dedicated to staying true to yourself and your own journey. A lot of people don't give themselves that, and we all deserve it.
    3427 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10364891
    Great blog. I have to say that for me the late night eating is definitely a way to relax and "take care" of myself at the end of a stressful day. I think late night is also when I think about the most stressful things in my life (maybe because I have more time?) and eating is a way to numb any negative emotions. I don't think there is any easy solution (except to take action to resolve any problems in life over which I have control). I think if there are issues over which I have no control then I need to let them go. I need to decide and commit to the fact that I will *not* eat if I'm stressed, happy, sad or feeling any sort of emotion that is in any way overwhelming. It's definitely not easy! emoticon

    p.s. We each have our own reasons for using food for more than just nutrition. You know yourself best and know what works for you so trust your own gut. emoticon
    3428 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/24/2012 9:11:03 PM
    D*mn that was good!!!
    How did your blog just work wonders on my mini gems too?!? I dunno, but it certainly gave them a thumping. : )

    I find myself craving words from our little 4 Day book, and want to be tethered to it a times. other times I want to be tethered to an anvil for reading, internalizing and knowing what the author is trying to show me, yet I over-eat anyway!!! Like yesterday...

    We didn't always behave this way, and there had to be some point in our lives where our brain went, 'nope, we're gonna do this MY WAY', right? And I REALLY want to know what that last straw was, since I want to get back to the split second before tha switch was flipped, and proceed as normal, not straying from what was working until.....?
    And it ticks me off at times (a lot), but I too cannot figure out why I am smooth sailing all day (even through dinner), and then SHAZAM, loone tunes Bren kicks in. I'd like to lock her in my mini cooper trunk to keep her away (See, the trunk of a mini is almost comically small, so it would hurt, hence stuffing her in there).

    I wish I could help. I really do.
    But this is my battle that I have listed above, and i know you have your own battle, but hopefully we can gear up and fight this thing together???

    3428 days ago
  • H-DOG-8
    Hey Aaack. Maybe my thoughts fit in with either option A or B, but what I think is that food IS our drug. It is my mind altering state....we don't need drugs or alchohol to help us out. For me, food doesn't separate me from my body and I'm not sure I need to link the two back up to solve the problems. What I personally need is to FEEL what I'm stuffing down with food.

    While I do like the feeling of a handful of candy and the crunching in my teeth, it's the numbing aspect of overeating that draws me in every time.

    Maybe you are similar. Maybe there's something you're trying to avoid feeling or thinking and you turn to food to help you out. ??

    Just some thoughts!
    3428 days ago
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