Thursday, May 17, 2012
The Holy Grail Part One......Emotional Balance
Regaining a sense of emotional balance is one of the 4 principles that I discovered on my journey and that I like to call the Holy Grail, the key that I found to finally succeed in my weight loss goals. When, not IF I fail in these goals, I return to these core principles and start over. I am not perfect or invincible, I am just committed to the cause. I struggle with emotional weaknesses. Failure has been a part of my journey, just as potholes are part of any road. These principles have carried me through the fire of a 150+ pound weight loss over the last 4.5 years. They are what will see me to the end and victory. These core principles have given me the fortitude to do things that I would never ever have even considered attempting in the past. Swimming laps for 60 minutes straight, run/walking for 3.5 miles, ZUMBA class for 60 minutes 4 times a week. Not bragging here, just want to share what got the spark inside of me burning that makes me keep going and incorporating these things into my daily life. With the ability to regulate your core environment comes the self confidence needed to accomplish the impossible.
To recap, the four core principals are:
1) Emotional Stability
2) Drying out - recovering from food addiction
3) Reprogramming the reward center
4) Mastery of the response-ability, the ability to choose your response in the face of stimulus.
One of the reasons that I feel I have made it as far as I have is because I began a process toward emotional balance. Much of this was unplanned and but it seems it was a part of my hearts natural emotional cleansing process. When this was happening I did not see it. It was not until I began to look back that a pattern emerged. This is the path to my emotional healing. This is not an inclusive list, this is just the path that I seemed to follow. The key principle is to pursue the things that bring emotional balance however that is defined for you.
My journey to emotional stability:
1) Journey to the root of the problem
2) My relationship with the scale and the binge
3) Self talk
4) Realistic goal setting
Journey to the root of the problem ~~~~~
This journey is far more than simply losing some unwanted pounds. I was emotionally battered, and I did not even realize it since I had developed so many unhealthy coping mechanisms. I would eat to suppress and then simply laugh it off. My reaction to leaving the buffet table with another piled high plate of food was simply to smile and say " I will start my diet tomorrow" I had lost touch with myself in a really big way.
So many times, when I was working out, I would have emotions that would erupt from out of nowhere. I would feel like I was going to cry a river of tears. Not because I had over exerted myself but because of a repressed hurt from long ago. I found myself taking laps in anger. This was a form of resentment that was trying to get out.
It took a long time, but I am certain that self introspection and dealing with the issues are the reason that I am being successful. What I thought was going to be another attempt at losing weight, became and transforming, inward journey. This is where I believe most fast track ways to lose weight fail. Aside, from goofing up your metabolism, people who strip off a lot of weight fast rarely get to the root of the problem. It take time to work through the issues. For me, the weight was an outward sign of an inward issue.
Sometimes it hurts, and when food has been used to soothe inner pain, the process can be threatening. After living a life of avoidance, it was difficult for me to face issues. Like a boil, it would come to the surface until one day it was lanced with confrontation. The resulting tears was cleansing to the soul.
Releasing myself emotionally has been a big part of putting out the fire that was driving my binges. Unresolved anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and anxiety can take on many forms and can be difficult to recognize. I had to go through the uncomfortable process of confronting past hurts and those who inflicted them. In doing so it has brought about the healing that is necessary to the sense of emotional stability.
I am convinced that attempts at losing weight when emotional eating issues are at work will be doomed to failure if this is not part of the process. Layer after painful layer must be dealt with.
Next - My relationship to the scale and the binge.