Friday, February 22, 2013

Seven Pounds and a Palpable Shift

Monday morning I went to my primary care doctor for a regular wellness check.  I was weighed and I looked.  Some experts in intuitive eating advise not to look at the number, not to weigh every day.  I knew I had gained some weight because I could feel it in my clothes, but I found out in a hard number.  I went home, I was tired from our wonderful trip to New Orleans over the weekend.  I picked Annie up at the vet where she was boarded and took her for a walk.  I rested.  By late afternoon, the feelings of devastation gripped me.  I had gained seven pounds since my last doctors visit at the end of 2011.   This put me into a massive tailspin.

It's all I could think about for the next hours.   And the next day,  all I could think was, I don't know how to overcome this.  It is the opposite outcome of what I have been diligently trying to do.  I have been doing very hard internal work.  I have learned to feel my feelings which has not been easy whatsoever.  I have learned to have boundaries with people.  I am learning to accept myself for who I am.  I am learning to accept other people for who they are.  And this goes on and on.  The ahas have been coming for several years now in so many profound ways.

I went to therapy.  I sat down and told her we had fertile ground to work with.  And then as the hour progressed, questions were asked, tears flowed and the message was received, my self worth does not depend on my weight.

Self worth does not depend on my weight.

I cried and let out the disappointment of the situation.  I cried about the shame.  I cried about the sadness.

After the so called "negative" feelings flowed through.  (And that is another topic - all feelings are okay, we determine them to be negative.)

As the tears dried...

A palpable shift occurred.

(Palpable: so intense so as to be almost touched or felt.)

Devastation magically turned into relief and tiredness.  Fighting the feelings takes more energy than allowing them to flow through.  I went about the rest of the day lightened.  My mood, my outlook and then energy returned to my body.  It was a freaking miracle.

All of the inner work I have done over the last four + years culminated in me believing that my feelings were acceptable but the facts in my head were not true.  I had to have some massive groundwork done to be able to walk away and have that much of a shift in perception and for it to stick.

My self worth as a person does not depend on how thin I am. This is not the message that I receive over and over again on a daily basis in our Western Culture but I can choose to change my thoughts and know that I am more than my dress size, house, car, jewelry, or any other external fact about me.

The feelings of inadequacy will come again, when my clothes feel tight, when I can't find something to wear or I just have a bad day.  I will again remind myself to let the feelings flow and redirect my thoughts.   I have been in therapy for a while, and I think there is something wrong with me because it's taking so long.  I have begun to let up on those thoughts because that is my ego talking.  I do know how incredibly beneficial it has been for me to be in therapy and this particular experience is the ultimate proof.

I believe that this weight gain will have positive ramifications.  This feels like a turning point.

(Thank you to one of my friends for using the words palpable shift when I described what happened!!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Formal Gown, Spanx, Tanning Cream and LOVE

Few people see the body as it really is but imagine what they would like it to be.  The fantasy of an ideal body comes with the false premise of eternal happiness and unconditional acceptance by others ~ from Institute for the Psychology of Eating

This one as it appeared in my Facebook feed really made me think.   George and I have been invited to a formal event.  I hesitated and then began to get excited.  Good food, great music and the ability to dance!

And then there is the attire...a long gown.  {grimace}

2010: Mardi Gras Ball and we didn't know a soul except for the Krewe King.
With time to kill at the mall, Riley and I went into a store that had long dresses and I tried a few on.  I have gained a few pounds and my mind has been beating myself up for this.  I've been working on this issue of weight for so long.  I've been in therapy... for so long.  Why haven't I achieved my goal of losing weight?   

Well, a little thing called self-love has gotten in the way.  

In the past, the times I lost weight and got to what would be my goal weight now, it was great, fantastic, and wonderful.  Every pound lost was so exciting and seemed to chipped away at a sad feeling inside.  I bought new smaller sized clothing.  But yet something inside felt like I was an imposter.  And of course, I gained the weight back.

I was still the same person inside, who felt small.  Who had no voice.  And who feared most everything from moment to moment.  Who felt fear instead of LOVE.

My first thought about finding a dress for the gala, was "Oh no."  And then knowing everything flows from my thoughts, I changed them.  I really want to go.  I want to have an evening out with my husband.  I want to get dressed up, have my hair done, accessorize and have some fun!

I know at this juncture in my long slow journey, that I can change my thoughts about the feelings that pop in my head.  The feelings are not bad, they just are.  I have come to understand on this long slow journey that it will continue to be long and slow.  I will lose some weight, but it will come as I continue to accept myself and love my authentic self and do the inner work.  It is all about the inner work.

I hesitate to write what I want to next because it sounds "cray cray" as I overcome my fundamentalist baggage.  God made me this way and his love is huge.  As I began to grasp this notion and let it sink in, I am more accepting of myself (and those around me.)  It has been said that God (or higher power) loves us more than what I feel for more children.  And that love is overwhelming.

I am beginning to feel that love from God.  And it really is all about unconditional love.

But that doesn't mean I won't wear Spanx or get a spray tan.

This is my back up dress.  I tried it on yesterday.
Knight is a family name. I'm not that inebriated.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letting Go and Holding On

Two weeks ago, Mallory was home sick with a fever and a sore throat.  She loves to languish in our new tub and watch the Disney Channel for as long as she can.  While she was in there, we went through her "tub toys" to declutter.  Sometimes there are items that I am secretly relieved that she doesn't want to get rid of but this time she was ready for these Disney Princess figurines to go.

I'm not ready to let them go.

GaGa bought these for her on our first family trip to Disney in 2009.  Mallory was feeling sick the first day and she played with these for hours at the hotel room.

I am not especially fond of the message of the Disney princess story lines with the exception of the last two movies.

So why I am attached to this plastic figurines?  For the moment, they represent what GaGa did with us and for us.  She was an active part of our family, and knew how to entertain a three year old.  She got on the floor and played.  She was up for most anything.

I miss her.  I had a really good cry last week because it was the first Grandparent's chapel at the girls' school without her being alive.  It hit me after I dropped them off that day and there was so much excitement and bustling going on.  I wept and then it passed.

I use to believe that the passing of someone was insurmountable.  I am beginning to understand they are still with you and show up to make their presence known and I believe if you pay attention you can be comforted by that.  My sister in law is pregnant and due soon with their first and most long awaited for child.

I feel GaGa all over that.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just Having A Bad Day

I have had some good emotional turmoil going on.  The kind that freaks me out completely.   The kind that feels like it will never go away.

And then it does go away and I am completely and utterly amazed.

I watched it happen, I allowed it to flow through.  I didn't question the feelings (for very long at least) or try to rationalize them.  I told myself, it was a bad day.

I just had a bad day.

I received input from sources I should have walked away from because it was negative and my intuition was telling me to walk away.   I even joked about it to the people but didn't follow through.   After I moved away I realized I took what they were saying to heart, and it was too much.  I am sensitive that is who I am and that is what you call boundaries.

I eventually did move away when there was a clear and more polite out but I needed to have spoken up sooner.   Speaking up for myself is something that I am working on.  A few other things went down across the day and the day was shot.

I stopped myself from asking "why?" repeatedly and moved to what I have come to understand that I need to do:  Be Kind To Myself.  Extreme Self Care is what some people call it.   I stop questioning the feelings, and let them go.  And mystically, magically, they do.  The feelings come up and it's my thoughts ABOUT the feelings as Mary O'Malley says in the video which make me suffer.  And boy, have I suffered from these feelings in the past.   I have heard this message from a few of my most beloved gurus and I am beginning to see how it works in real life.

Ms. O'Malley whom I don't know from Adam is a FB friend, therapist and author.  She wrote a book called "The Gift of Our Compulsions" which I hear is very good.  I have only looked at parts of the book.  She posted this video and I listened to it while I walked the dog after my bad day had occurred.  The title drew me in.  When so many ahas come together, so many truths that I know intimately now, it is thrilling.  When I am able to move from complete emotional turmoil to "it's just a bad day"   I know something is working.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Learning to Say No

I went to a women's spiritual retreat last weekend.  It had been several years since I had been to one and it was wonderful to have downtime by myself which is rare.  Even if it doesn't involve a television.

Before I even made it home from said retreat, I ended up with my family at a dog adoption event and they had already picked out their choice:  a "mostly" house-trained dog of unknown age but still chewing like a puppy.

What was I doing there?

I had three faces looking at me, begging me to take this not full grown dog home.  My gut told me, no.  I will be the one to take care of it most of the time and have to direct the others to care for it as well.  I hesitated for a few minutes while I learned the facts.  If we signed on the dotted line, which was our only choice at that moment, that dog was ours, forever.  I really wanted an out if it didn't fit in with the other four legged friends already at our house.

I said no.

This was a huge moment.  I went with my gut.   I had to handle being the "heavy" and the subsequent fallout.  Mallory cried and rode home with George.   Riley got in my car but wouldn't talk to me and she is not even that crazy about our current animals.

But that was okay.  It was hard to say no, and I have really only learned to say yes recently to new opportunities so I'm practicing boundaries in this area and won't always get it right.  But for now, I got it right.  I am relieved not to have another being in the house to take care of right now.  I have my hands full.