Can’t VS. Don’t

Dinner at my mothers.  Need I say more?  That’s surely a way to kick up 48 years of conversation about food and this one didn’t fail to deliver.  About a month ago, I’d shared with my mother that I had not been eating dairy, gluten, sugar blah blah blah.   As we were waiting for the rest of the family to join us she said “so you can’t have wine then because it has sugar.”.  It was the second or third thing that she’d mentioned that I “couldn’t” have.  My response was that I could have wine and that it wasn’t that I couldn’t have any of the things I wasn’t eating it was that I was choosing not to eat them.  “That’s right. I have to be careful what I say to you.”   Ting… I felt the energy zip through my body on that one!  I took a deep breath.  “No, it’s not what you say. It’s what I say. If I tell my body it can’t have something, my body says “EF YOU!” and I run off into my restriction conversation.”   The conversation was left there because there was so much more to say but for the moment that was all I needed to say.

It’s had me thinking lately, though.  Can’t vs. don’t.  No choice vs. choice.  That word differentiation is so powerful!  I do have a choice each day,  each and every meal, each bite and in each moment.  I get to choose what I eat.

I have family members who don’t eat meat by choice.  I don’t remember the conversation about Thanksgiving dinner being “you can’t eat the turkey”.   What’s said is “you don’t eat the turkey”. Maybe can’t is used and I just don’t pay it mind because it’s not about my choice but I really don’t think so.  This 10 second conversation has created a hyper vigilance in my listening lately.  I find myself listening to see when people use the words “can’t” and “don’t”.  When do I use them?  When do I exert my power in choice vs. my submission to no choice.  Will I find myself more empowered as I gain facility around my word choices?  Is it just the word choices or the emotions attached to the words or the baggage attached to the speaker of  the words or is it D- all of the above?

What are you buzz words?  What words bring  you down the rabbit hole?  I’m not necessarily looking for an answer but giving you something to think about.

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My quiet mind

I’m 48 and reaching the 49 year mark.  I have no memories of my mind being quiet about food.  In fact, I don’t know if it ever has been.  My life and relationship to food has always been about what to eat, when to eat, when my next meal would be, if I should eat it, if I would be judged for eating it, if it was on my “plan”, if it was too much, the right thing- you get the picture.

If you’ve read my other entries, you know I’ve done a lot of healing in the past year and most of it has been in the realm of energy healing.  Six weeks ago, I went to see a Health Kinesiologist/ Energy healer to check my body for food sensitivity and allergies.  I heard what I surely didn’t want to hear.  I was sensitive to gluten, gluten free flours, sugar, chocolate, soy, corn, almonds, cashews, peanuts and dairy.  Yeah, I know what you are thinking. “What’s left?”.  That’s what I’ve been hearing from others for the last 6 weeks as I’ve taken this journey.

I left Sue’s office saying to her “I’ll see what I can do.”  Little did I know what I’d do is go cold turkey for the most part.  I had two days of grieving- and I mean crying and during that time obsession over what I could eat and couldn’t eat.  (That’s the old paradigm for me with a food plan. It’s the way I always operated with a “diet” or “food plan”.)  Then peace settled in at an amazing pace.  Sue had not only shared with me what to eliminate but she’d also done some energy balancing to support the new food choices.

I have never and I mean NEVER had such peace around food.  I actually spend time thinking about other things in my life rather than thinking about food.  I’m still in shock with the silence I have in my brain.  For those who have never experienced addiction or compulsion, you have NO idea what it’s like to have a constant stream of conversation about the substance of choice.  (especially if it’s one you need to live)  I never understood what it meant to have a silent mind about food.  I couldn’t understand people who said “well, just don’t eat it.”  Now, I understand. Now I’ve been in  that silence. Boy, does that silence sound amazing.  I sit here with tears welling up as I revel in this peace.  I always felt I was in a battle and now I know how much I was steeped in it.  It’s no wonder I can breathe deeper than I’ve ever been able to breathe before.

I’m sure you are wondering how can I reach this energy healer?  She does distance work as well as personal visits in her office in Lake Katrine.  No, I don’t get kick backs for referring her. I just feel as though I have to share her with you because to keep it to myself would be selfish and I have more peace in my life with food than I ever have- and that says a lot for 48 years.  I hope  you gain even a portion of the peace I’ve experienced.

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Birthing a new life

It’s been a little over nine months since I posted last.  That’s actually enough time to conceive and bear a child and I feel like I’ve birthed a new life in that time.  This blog started out about my journey with compulsive over eating and it still is about that.  However, I’ve come to realize that the journey with my compulsive behavior is actually a spiritual journey.

In the year thus far, I’ve done so many things on this path and the few that come to mind are meditation, Reiki, grand healings, cranial sacral massage, past life work, yoga, Monay-Ki, acupuncture, aura analysis, crystal bowl healing, ohm meditation and I’ve worked with a medium, health kinesiologist, soul astrologist and my growth partner.  It’s no wonder I feel as though I’ve birthed a new life.  (PS- let me just say I have always had an amazing life and for ME, it’s always been about the next level or layer.)

About two months ago, I shared with my growth partner that I’d become aware that I had a lot on this earth to do and it was important that I have the health to do it.  I believe my words were heard by the universe because major shifts started happening at that point.  Because there are so many things that have occurred, I can’t give them due justice in one post.  I’m writing this one to bridge the gap from “Journey of a Compulsive over eater” to the “Spiritual path of a compulsive over eater”  I haven’t yet decided if I’ll rename my blog.  I’m playing with it all.  I just know that I’ve been missing my writing and I know it’s also part of the journey.  I have moments of clarity when I put my words out in the world.  In fact, I hadn’t even thought of renaming my blog until I was writing this.  Let this newest life begin!

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I Stopped Breathing

As I was working in my office yesterday, I got a second notification for the day that someone was following my blog. (I’ve been getting them somewhat regularly now.)  Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and there was a picture of a man I didn’t know.  “Who is this?”  “How did he find me?”  “How are these people finding me?”  I noticed I had stopped breathing.  I was holding my breath so I exhaled.

“Well” I thought to myself, “This is quite interesting” and I went on to ponder.  I wondered what had me stop breathing?  What had my chest feel tight?  Why was I reacting in such a way to seeing the picture of a man who was following my blog.  I felt the need to get away so I got up, got bundled up and went outside for a walk to figure this out.

I realized that when I started writing three years ago, it was to work through my experience before my lap band surgery. After I had the surgery it was to process what I’d chosen to do.  When I chose to take the liquid out of my band and face what I needed to face, I realized the words I was sharing were making a difference to the friends who were reading them.  Yes, I said friends.  At first, it was just friends who were reading the blog.  At times they passed it along to their friends but they were friends by association. And now we get to the crux of it.  There was safety in what I’d created.  If my friends didn’t agree with me, or didn’t like what I had to say they’d probably choose not to share it with me and so it was safe.

When I saw the picture of the unknown man, he represented all who have chosen to follow my blog that I don’t know.  He represented the possibility of critical words.  He represented uncertainty and thus vulnerability.  It was clear that’s what had me stop breathing.  Then I thought some more.

These folks have chosen to read my words and chosen to be notified when I post so obviously they want to hear what I have to say.  Crap. Crap. Crap.  The deeper level of concern surfaced.  I don’t want to be “the one”.  This is pressure to have to produce and make a difference.  “You are so funny!” I said to myself.  “Of course, you want to be the one!  You just wrote about how your work is people growth not personal growth.”  I took a deep breath then and I just took one as I wrote.  Yes, I will continue to share. Yes, I will have strangers choose to follow what I write.  Yes, I will make a difference.  And, yes, there will probably be times when people choose to disagree with what I write.  However, I must be building up to this because I’ve been writing for three years. It’s just now that I’m having this influx of followers.  It’s time.

Now- on to the biggest win of this writing.  Did you notice in the beginning, that I said I got up, bundled up and took a walk to think this over?  Did you notice that I didn’t go to the kitchen for comfort food?  When I realized I chose something different yesterday I had a little pep in my step as I walked the block.  It’s the little steps of celebration that bring the walls down and build me up.  And there’s another deep breath.

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People Growth vs. Personal Growth

I’m not really sure what I want to write about today but I feel compelled to put words to the screen.  Ah yes, relegated to memory are the days of pen to paper.  This journey I’ve been on has taken a twist here and a turn there.  I find myself enmeshed in a spiritual journey right now.  I guess my journey with compulsive over eating is a spiritual one as well.  I just find that the weight conversation has been pushed aside.  By no means do I feel comfortable in my physical body but I feel as though I’m on a different road that might, just might bring me to some peace with it all.

I’ve been receiving acupuncture and Reiki for about two years now and both have opened the energy in me and brought me to elevated states of spirituality and physicality.  I find that I’m much more in touch with both of them.  As I opened up, so did my opportunities. I’ve done yoga, I meditate- sometimes, I dream frequently and journal about it, I’ve done a Shamanic healing, a technique called disappearing discomfort and most recently I trained and became a Reiki master myself so that I can deliver Reiki.  With each step, I find myself digging and rooting around and putting pieces of this puzzle together. 

At times I wonder if I THINK about it all way too much!  Then there are times that I realize that’s why I’m here.  Just this past week I realized that one of the gifts I give this world is my willingness to dig and my willingness to share when I dig in the shit to find the treasures.  That’s what I’ve found for myself.  Yes, there are times when I find the treasures just walking along the proverbial beach but most times they are covered in dirt and need to be cleaned up to shine through.  I’ve been gifted with a willingness to do this and to pass along what I learn.

I guess that is what I wanted to affirm for myself tonight. I wanted to put it in writing that I became fully aware last week that all I do is not just for me.  I call it personal growth however it’s really people growth because I pass it along to others. Whether it’s in conversations, in writing of this blog or with my newly founded Reiki practice, my growth is your growth.  Hey. That’s cool!

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I choose to win!

It seems as though clarity comes to me at the most unusual times.  Perhaps it’s because my mind is on other things and I’m not perseverating on the whys and hows of my weight or compulsion or addiction.  This last week I’ve found myself on a pretty intense carb binge. For me, pretty intense is a package of cookies and a loaf of Italian bread- all in the span of a couple of days.  (Yeah- my body is reacting to all of this and less than happy.)

I’ve been wondering WTF is this all about?  I was clear it was about something because I haven’t been on this kind of binge in quite some time.  I just couldn’t pin point it and then it became clear today as I was driving.  As I figured it out, I started laughing because it’s so wondrous to me that this stuff is in such a blind spot- until it’s not.  THEN it’s obvious and I wonder how I was blind to it.  I just shake my head in wonder each time it happens.

These past few weeks I’ve been putting myself in situations to be with people, related and even sharing with some people close to me about some relationship stuff with them that’s made me sad.  Yes.. in other words I’ve been getting pretty vulnerable.  Can you see how the food, my protection, was there? It makes sense now, right?  It sure does to me.  You know it would be so easy at this point to condemn my actions of binging, berate my inability to make connections and beat myself up for doing it again.  Instead, I choose to chuckle at how awesome I am at protecting myself but thankful that I’m now seeing that this form of protection was created when I was so young. Each time I see something like this, it’s an opportunity to grow that conversation up a bit.  It’s an opportunity to heal and an opportunity to choose something different. It’s my prayer that I will see this cycle closer and closer to the start of it.  Each time I make that cycle shorter I win and I heal.  I choose to win over and over again.

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One step closer

Vulnerability.  It’s a word that makes me feel a little naked and exposed.  When I think of getting vulnerable, my chest tightens and I want to hide because being vulnerable is.. well.. it’s vulnerable and uncomfortable.  I never used to allow a lot of vulnerability in my life. I’ve spent my life covering up with weight and walls so that being vulnerable wasn’t an option.  The walls have come down a LOT and I’m so much more open than I was in my past years.  Those who have known me are shaking their heads yes at this very moment.  However, I still don’t open myself up fully very often or to very many.

The irony is that this blog is seen as vulnerable for many and it is on some levels. However, there are things that won’t make it to this blog yet because they are just tooooo raw or naked for me at this point.  I do, however, want to share something additional to the bully and betrayal post I did last because I had so many who messaged me publicly and privately about it.

You see, there was another player in the mix.  The creator of the calls that I participated in was the man who made being vulnerable OK for me.  When I called him to talk about leaving the calls, he said “I’ll protect you.”  He literally said those words.  They took my breath away because I think there may be three men in my life that I’m aware of that I truly felt would protect me; my ex husband, another man I dated and one of my best friends.  So, when this man said he had my back it felt as though my lungs filled with air.  I felt as though I could breathe. Id’ spent all this time taking care of myself and I had someone who said he’d protect me. I didn’t realize how much I missed feeling as though someone else  would protect me. I’d done a fine job of it but knowing someone else was there was a revelation.

Yes, there is  my higher power, my angels, my guardians but I’m talking about the human flesh and faith in humanity.  I felt as though I had a partner in flesh to help me with the challenge I was about to face.  I share this because I’ve often felt that I needed to face things alone and that I was a burden if I asked for or got support.  What I’m coming to realize and what I’m coming to accept is that there are people who will help me with the safety I crave.  In addition, I’m believing I’ll protect myself without the use of food.  As I type this I’m breathing deep breaths and filling my lungs to capacity with air and energy.  This feeling is not one that needs to be fed and it’s pretty darn cool.  Each time I partner with something or someone besides food I am one step closer to healing my addiction.

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