August 6th, 2018 Feelings
Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained refined sugar-free, I met my daily water goal, I enjoyed a good workout at the YMCA, and I stayed well connected with exceptional support.
Let's talk feelings. I've been thinking about emotions, acting instead of reacting--and discussing these critically important things with people in support communications. One thing I must always remember is what Life Coach Gerri taught me a very long time ago: "Feelings have a beginning and an end." They pass. In other words, everything doesn't need to be taken to the extreme, but if you're like me, often--feelings are either all or nothing--it's a catastrophe or not a big deal at all...there's rarely a middle ground. And it's better now. But that tendency to take circumstances, wrap 'em in feelings--then take 'em all the way to eleven, is still there. Learning how to manage those--and feel those feelings in a positive/constructive way, is an ongoing practice. It's an important practice, because...
The emotions still come. And those feelings are normal to experience. The issue with me was/is how my brain is wired to react with avoidance and automatically goes to "more food" as a diversion or reprieve, if you will, from the emotions at hand. I did that so long, that I eventually realized, my emotional development was actually stunted. Stunted because the dependency on food to "take me away" or "calm," did take me away from learning how to process emotions in healthier ways.
No emotion was left untouched, the solution was always the same. All of them- happy, sad, angry, confused, disappointed- you name it, my automatic response was more food "will make this better." And on the surface, it did take me away- and that created an illusion of "things are better." But the illusion, as you know, quickly fades, and the triggering circumstance and resulting emotions still exist--just laying in wait until next time. So- what I've had to do is pause...
Pause. Just enough to act instead of reacting. It's one of the hardest things to do. The old pattern is hard-wired and for me, is supported and complicated by the powerful responses from the addictive center of my brain- So, breaking that pattern has required strong support and intentional effort. It's never perfect--it's simply a practice.
It's about shifting the perspective to: How can I act instead of reacting? This, in my opinion, is paramount for our continued positive progress. My hardwired reactions kept me at 500 pounds for nearly two decades.
With this practice comes new opportunities for me to learn how to feel and process emotions in a way that, maybe not always perfect or completely centered, but certainly improved from the patterns of the past.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,