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Starting with the Mind

When deciding to stop fighting with ourselves and start fighting for ourselves by confronting emotional eating or any addictive behavior, it’s critical to start with the mind. Our minds are where our problems start and where the solutions lie.

In my experience food is 5% of the problem. Just 5%! And I believe that 95% of the problem is the mental weight between our ears i.e. our minds. I don’t care if it’s weight loss, drug addiction, gambling–whatever. Our food behavior is just a “reaction” to how we’re living in our heads. So the problem isn’t what’s on our plate. That’s a reaction. It’s what’s in our minds. And the way to obtain and maintain a healthy body weight for life is to address the “creation” of the reaction. It’s not what’s on the plate; it’s the plate in our head. And if we don’t deal with the problem, where it was created, if we just take care of the reaction, then we’re kidding ourselves. It’s just going to come back. We lose the weight and then we gain it back plus more. The cycle continues.

So the work needs to come from the inside out. 95% of the problem is in our minds, then 95% of the work is on the inside, in our minds, and 5% is on the outside, what’s on the plate.

Think of it this way. We have two warring forces inside of us. We all have different ways of describing it. But let’s talk about it in a way that everyone can relate to and understand.

We’re human beings.

It’s that simple.

The first force is human-ness. It’s the critical self. It’s the voice that says, “I’m not good enough. I can’t do anything right. I don’t wear the right clothes. I don’t drive the right car.” And so on. It’s all the things we say when we become disconnected from our being-ness.

Being-ness has a long list of names…the Light within, Energy, Source, Breath, Holy Breath, God, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Christ, this list is long. Whatever team we want to be on is the one we choose to be on. It doesn’t matter what we call it. What’s important to know is that when we become disconnected from that “Being-ness” then we start living from the outside in, from our human-ness. The “Human-ness” critical self, ego, addiction, our little terrified self’s steps in and we are disconnected from our powerful selves.

I believe we’re trained from an early age to disconnect from ourselves. It’s very easy to teach a child not to trust what they’re feeling, to not trust themselves. So as adults we naturally don’t trust that what we’re feeling is true and real. We trust what others tell us. That’s what we’ve learned. And when we’re tethered to others (or a cute acronym I like to say — She, He, It, Them — S.H.I.T.) then they have all the power. But when we connect to our being-ness, to the energy source within, then we have the power of choice back. We have the power to feel. And the power of choice gives us the power to make the changes we need to make. We don’t stay trapped in the outer world, the human-ness. We dwell in the inner being-ness. And when we live in that place then we can connect with the God in others. Again, it doesn’t matter what we call it. It matters that we reconnect from within.

Intense training negates instinct. We begin to live from the outside in. We don’t trust ourselves. Learning to live from our being-ness, from the inside out, requires retraining or better yet, un-training.

If we want to be healed from emotional eating then we must embrace that emotional part of us and not be afraid to go there. It is out emotional guidance out and through to freedom. Don’t judge the emotions; embrace them. They’re nothing more than blinking lights on the highway of life. When we’re uncomfortable, we need to turn back towards that being-ness.

I know that every time I’ve lived from my human-ness, I have failed. I turned myself into a 260-pound woman busting out of size 24, wondering why I wasn’t living the life I wanted? I mean, I did everything they told me to do, everything I was trained to do. But when I started to look inward and ask, “But where am I? What’s my truth? Who’s having this conversation?” it became easier to make the choices I needed to make.

And it’s been my experience that’s it’s the same for all of us who seek to be free from the weight. Well, the wait’s over. Let’s re-choose and take our power back and live out our heart’s desire!

The Power to Re-Choose…Making Friends with Fear

We can re-choose and make friends with fear to take our power back so we don’t have to eat over our emotions. Fear is nothing more than a blinking light on the highway of life that says this makes me comfortable and this makes me uncomfortable. It’s a directional sign that says turn back towards the being-ness to get tethered back inside to where your true power is.

I have this acronym about fear: Friendly Emotions Acknowledging Right Action. It is a human-ness reaction to keep us safe from the danger that the ego has hijacked to keep us stuck and our power tethered to other humans. If we give power to our fear, we’ll stay stuck. If we deny fear the power and puff up our heart’s desire then the fear will dissipate and disappear. Our heart’s desire will come through. It’s a matter of re-choosing. Re-train and re-choose our reaction to FEAR. Friendly EmotionsAcknowledging Right Action. See fear as a guide to make a different choice.

Another way to look at it is that fear is a sure sign that we’re listening to She, He, It, Them. It’s a warning light that we’ve chosen wrongly. We can always re-choose anytime, anyplace. We can’t control She, He, It, Them. The only control we have is self-control.

Don’t not confuse fear with fact. When we get scared and terrified, turn the volume down and ask is it fact or fear? Is it “old stuff” coming forward? Am I to be guided to something?  Do I have a conflict? Confusion? Fact or fear?  What can we do to change our perception? Connect with the being-ness inside. To be set free, we say to ourselves I release She, He, It, Them. I release these feelings; I release the fear and set myself free. The moment we choose the journey from fear to freedom, we choose the thoughts that will give us the power to grow, to develop, to become. Our thoughts are the dream or the nightmare we choose to live in. Most dreams die on fear.  We have the power to choose either one.

If we choose fear versus freedom, and we turn to the food, we won’t find the solution to our problem. The solution was never found in the problem.  Here’s a quote that I like: “Evil does not spring from the soil and trouble does not sprout from the earth. People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire.” We’re going to experience problems as sure as sparks fly upward from a fire.  And if we’ve been taught to not trust ourselves, our feelings, our human-ness is going to fight to be louder and more invasive than our being-ness. The vibration will rise to a level that we then label confusion. We have to re-choose to come from being-ness and trust that all the answers are there and the solution will be found. The solution is always found in something that will work, i.e. not why but how.

But it’s important to understand that choice can create confusion and set off fear. How?  When we choose to give birth to our heart’s desire, when we choose to create the desired weight loss relationship, its helpful guiding chaperone – fear – always shows up and so seeks to frustrate us. Confusion then joins in. Confusion is nothing more than a conflict between human-ness and being-ness. It’s akin to a child throwing a tantrum.  The confusion and frustration grows louder and louder in our minds. That’s when we want to run to the refrigerator and eat our way into quieting the clamor inside.  But the eight minutes of reprieve is the living nightmare of what we’re trying to get away from. The next 23 hours and 52 minutes we have to live with the choice that we’ve made. The cycle begins again. We can choose to continue the cycle or we can choose to change. We can choose to have faith.

We’ve all heard people say, “Have faith.” What does that mean? Some good little fairy is going to take care of everything? No. In my experience, I believe faith is nothing more than a choice.  When we choose faith in our being-ness we trust ourselves and Beingness to choose to make the choice that is right for us.  Then we get the grace we were seeking all the time.  Faith is trust in being-ness where all our trust and power reside.  Remember that the only control we really have is control over our thoughts. We can make a choice to be controlled by negative thoughts or we can let go and reconnect with our being-ness and trust in the choices we make.

Choose trust, have faith and get the grace.

The Power to Re-choose…Put the Fork Down and Pick Yourself Up!

Please Please Please don’t do it again! No more New Year’s resolutions!! Stop doing that to yourself! You don’t deserve it! So don’t do it!  Re-Choose YOU!!!!

It is a proven statistical fact (Per David Kessler former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration) that foods high in fat, salt and sugar alter the brain’s chemistry in ways that compel people to overeat.  These foods stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center. In time, the brain gets wired so that the dopamine pathways light up at the mere suggestion of these foods, such as driving past a fast-food restaurant, and the urge to eat grows insistent. Once the food is eaten, the brain releases opioids, which bring emotional relief. Together, dopamine and opioids create a pathway that can activate every time a person is reminded about the particular food. This happens regardless of whether or not the person is hungry. Lay’s Potato Chips — “Betcha can’t eat just one” — is scientifically accurate.

In the past, much of the scientific research around overeating has been physiology, i.e., “what’s going on in our body.” Science is now beginning to place their focus on what’s going on in our brain and its reaction to food.  I am here to say it is our EMOTIONS and THOUGHTS that get us to make the choice that will affect our physiology and brain chemistry! This new approach in science is so very important and serves as a wonderful answer to why, why why am I fat!? Asking why is important but “why?” can only take you so far. For me, why never helped with how!  How do I not throw myself away today? How do I not disconnect from me and put the fork down? When I was 260lbs busting out of a size 24, why, why, why was never a solution! I knew 2 pizzas and 6-8 candy bars were making me fat but I just could not stop eating!  When I embraced how, how, how do I live my life without the food and excess weight I really started to move down the scale and have loved living in my size 6 body for over 20 years (in spite of all life’s trials and tribulations!)

In conclusion let me restate my theme—my mantra. You will hear it again and again because it shed my 100+ pounds 20 years ago and has kept it off since.  What is it?  95% of why you’re fat is created in your mind! You heard me right.  The other 5% is solely the type of food you choose to put into your mouth! Thoughts+emotions=Action. 2+2=4.  Simple math.  Without the plus sign you won’t get an equation.

In other words, change your thoughts and your body will follow!

The Power to Re-choose…Re-choosing YOU!

Choosing you. It seems simple doesn’t it? It seems it should be as simple as breathing. But it can be one of the most difficult things we can do in our lives. As I’ve mentioned before, as children we’re taught not to trust our feelings, our intuitions, and ourselves. We say, it looks right but feels wrong. And those feelings are stuffed down and ignored. We cancel ourselves out. So we eat to ease the pain, to unwind, to feel normal.

So what stops people from making the decision to re-choose themselves and stop the cycle of overeating? When I was 260lbs busting out of a size 24 there was a disconnect between me and me, i.e. my being-ness. I was canceling myself out. The pain of not eating made me so miserable. But, what if, when we’re anxious and overwhelmed and we feel the need to eat, we stop and ask, “What do I really need at this moment.” “Will this take me towards my intention, my heart’s desire?” When I take the time to ask myself what I really need, the answer is always there. It’s quiet but nevertheless, it’s there. When we focus on the end result, we can get through anything. By focusing on this and consciously re-choosing ourselves, we can create a better life for ourselves and everyone around us. When we put down the fork and pick ourselves up and connect to our being-ness the “gap” is fulfilled in a way that food could never fill.

Reconnecting with our being-ness enables us to make the choices that are necessary to lose the weight and keep it off. But how do we physically re-choose ourselves in the moments we feel compelled to eat those two pizzas and six to eight candy bars? Stop. Just stop. Re-choose the moment. Take time to think, to breathe. Do I need to take a walk? Listen to music? Dance? Pray? Meditate? Do I need to rest? Take tiny steps towards the goal of re-choosing you. Maybe this time, it’s two pizzas and one candy bar. As we keep re-choosing ourselves and making those little changes, we gain more confidence to make more changes.

I lost my first 20 pounds by just eating three meals a day—three gigantic meals a day—with life in between that was tough enough at 260 pounds. But by re-choosing and taking small steps I was able to make big changes

Choosing you is a choice you have to make every day. Re-connect to your being-ness and re-choose you to live the life you’ve always envisioned!

When You Feel Like You Need a Break…Stop and Take Stock

Last week I said that I’d delve next into “Food-Styles“. But as I was writing, this struck me like a ton of bricks. So I wanted to share.

I feel like a rest…but I can’t. I’m too busy so I keep going and going and going and all I can think about is eating!! I say no and I keep working. BUT I keep thinking about eating.  

I’m conflicted. What I really need is a break! And I know if I don’t take a break I will break down and eat.  So, I don’t take a break—I keep going.

I really don’t trust myself.  I know that if I stop I will re-start my work or what ever I approach compulsively.  

I stop.

I breathe.

I choose to re-connect to me, to my being-ness.

I will stop now and come back in 15 minutes just to prove to you and me that I can give myself what I need and that this is a break—a little rest that will bring the emotional relief that the food used to give to me. My brain will now automatically release those lovelyopioids and dopamine that my body, mind and spirit need RIGHT NOW!

See, I am now back and refreshed ready to have my proper lunch and not a binge! Yippee!

When you feel like you need a break, stop and take stock.

Step One

Repeat after me: 95% of why we eat/drink/take drugs/gamble is in our mind. The other 5% is in that pizza, doughnut, burrito…you get the point.

Step Two

Now step back. Re-choose a different path right this minute and take stock.

I know I did. Can YOU relate?

Looks Right and Feels Wrong versus Looks Wrong and Feels Right

I want to go back to a concept that I wrote about earlier. For those of us who are waging war with emotional overeating or other addiction, it’s usually because we’ve spent a lifetime living from our human-ness rather than our being-ness. Why is that? 

As I mentioned, it’s very easy to teach a child not to trust their feelings, to trust that what they’re feeling is real and true. Children hear from their parents, their teachers, even their peers that they’re not good enough, or not as pretty as the other little girl, not as smart as your brother. We’re taught that the feelings and fears we’re having, whether they’re coming from a specific source or not, is false and not real. So as adults, we naturally won’t trust that what we’re feeling is real and in need. Our inner voice pops up and repeats all those hurtful things we heard as a child. We trust what other people say and we seek validation from them. We learn to please She, He, It, Them. I know when I’m tethered to She, He, It and Them, then they have all the power. And they have the power to make me feel good about myself–and feel bad about myself. And when I give them the power, I turn to stuffing myself with three pizzas and 6-8 candy bars. 

When I work with people, I ask them: “Do you do what feels wrong and looks right or what looks right and feels wrong?” As children, we’re reinforced to do what looks right and feels wrong. Play the part everyone else wants you to play. But deep inside you know it just doesn’t feel right. 

When those feelings arise ask yourself, should I go with what looks right and feels wrong? Or should I live from that gut feeling where my power emanates—from my being-ness. It may look right but you know inside it feels wrong. And you know sure as the sun shines that society will tell you, “go with what looks right.”

But what about when it “looks wrong and feels right?” “Do I trust my feelings or what others say?” I say trust what your heart and soul says. Stop the chatter and re-connect to your being-ness. Ask yourself who’s having this conversation here? Who has to live with the decisions I make? 

Intense training negates instinct and because of the intense training we received as children, we negate our inner, true feelings. Learning to live from our being-ness requires re-training.

So rather than turning to the food, take the risk and go inside and feel what you’re feeling. And know that if you feel one little uncomfortable feeling and you don’t die, you can experience another painful feeling and know that you’re not going to die. Starting with baby steps you can begin to build a healthy foundation from which to live.

The battle is won or lost in our minds, not on the plate. Lose the mental weight to lose the physical weight. Go with what feels right.

Flipping Your Thoughts

 

I want___________ equals the first thought.

They/Them (Thought, Having, Emotional, Madness) say ___________. This equals the second thought.

Let me explain. I tell myself I want love in my life. That’s the first thought. But T.H.E.M. comes along and says no; you don’t deserve love.  That’s the second thought. A thought that is having/experiencing emotional madness.

If we stay focused on the second thought, then we go into “Circular Thought Thinking.” You know that voice that chatters on and on—spinning—inside of our brain.  Sometimes it gets so loud, I’m sure everyone can hear it. So in order to stop those thoughts, the feelings, the fear, we have to eat. We eat to stop the cycle of feelings those thoughts have stirred up inside of us.

We wouldn’t emotionally overeat if we weren’t afraid of our thoughts. Just writing this makes me want to get up from my desk and do something to stop thinking. I’m so afraid of my thoughts the very question makes me want to bolt.

But if I’m afraid of my own thoughts, does that mean I’m afraid of me? You? God? Life?

I know I must deny this urge in me. I tell myself to settle down. Just sit and be with me. Sometimes just sitting and allowing myself to “feel” my thoughts is the most difficult thing I will do today.  If I can commit to not run for just this moment, I can feel my way out to a better feeling, to a thought that holds peace. I tell myself to stop. Just sit and be with me. Go towards that thought that holds peace. Re-connect to my being-ness.

When we’re in this space, we have to learn to flip the thought. Pry it loose with a spatula and get up under it carefully. Need help? Grab a spoon and scoop it out. Treat it gently so it doesn’t break apart. Get yourself into a position where you can hold on to your intention. Focus on the end result.

I know that when I betray myself, my thoughts, I have to eat. And eat. And eat. My message to you is to guard your thoughts and their results. Guard your thoughts like your money. Like your life. Like your loved ones. It’s that important.

The most fundamental law is that of cause and effect. As emotional overeater’s we’re told that it’s the food we put in our mouths that causes the weight gain. It’s our body that creates the problem. But the body can’t create anything without the mind. The cause is the 95% that is on the plate in our mind; the other 5% is the plate of food sitting on the table.  It’s T.H.E.M. that leads us to seek out the nearest fast food restaurant or convenience store to quiet the pot of boiling thoughts inside.

Tell T.H.E.M. that you want your power back; you refuse to let your emotions be hijacked anymore.

If It’s Okay With You, It’s Okay With Everybody!

I want you to take a moment and think about the above statement. What does that mean to you? For me, it means, that I must take care of myself first.  For example, say we have a disagreement. If I’m in a bad place emotionally, I can’t relate to you honestly. Feelings on both sides spiral out of control. But if I stop and process what’s happening with my emotions, then regardless of what the issue is, I am able to discuss it clearly and succinctly. If I’m coming from a calm place, chances are, you will as well. So, it’s important to take care of you and your emotions first.

How can you do that on a daily basis? What kind of activity can you do every day that will set the tone for the day and help you choose you?

Every morning I practice what I call, “8 minutes to a mindful day.” And it involves Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

Reading: Read books that help to open the lines of communication. Whatever it is that helps guide you on a path to open and honest dialogue with yourself and the people around you, read it—whether it be a paragraph, a page or a chapter.

Writing: Writing or journaling helps to link your head to your heart. It purges your mind of yesterday and of tomorrow to allow you to be in the moment. Writing helps to keep us from beginning our day stomping all over the newness and freshness of the now “new you”—the you of today and today only. Writing helps us begin everyday anew.

Arithmetic: Do the math.

            2:00            Read

            2:00            Write

            2:00            Plan your food style to match your life style

            2:00            Walk

These 8 minutes can equal 8 pounds up or down. These 8 minutes dedicated to you can set you on a path of manifesting your heart’s desire.

You must come first. Your first choice of the day must be you. Your second choice of the day must be you.  Ask yourself “what am I thinking?” “What is my emotional status?” If your day doesn’t start out well, it certainly won’t end well. You must go back and re-choose you and your intent. You cannot cancel yourself out and expect to win. Because when we cancel ourselves out, we take ourselves out of the race. We’ve chosen to believe the lie that we will really win! Win their love, win their acceptance, their acknowledgements, their criticisms.

If we choose to open and widen the gap during the day, we will choose to close the gap the only way we know how.  The hole left there by the choices we’ve made to cancel ourselves out will be filled with food. Food has become the only true comfort and release we have chosen to give ourselves. But if you start the day with 8 minutes, just 8 minutes, and own that you have the power of choice, you can choose the day you want today and every day.

Keep re-choosing you!

Starting with the Mind

When deciding to stop fighting with ourselves and start fighting for ourselves by confronting emotional eating or any addictive behavior, it’s critical to start with the mind. Our minds are where our problems start and where the solutions lie.

In my experience food is 5% of the problem. Just 5%! And I believe that 95% of the problem is the mental weight between our ears i.e. our minds. I don’t care if it’s weight loss, drug addiction, gambling–whatever. Our food behavior is just a “reaction” to how we’re living in our heads. So the problem isn’t what’s on our plate. That’s a reaction. It’s what’s in our minds. And the way to obtain and maintain a healthy body weight for life is to address the “creation” of the reaction. It’s not what’s on the plate; it’s the plate in our head. And if we don’t deal with the problem, where it was created, if we just take care of the reaction, then we’re kidding ourselves. It’s just going to come back. We lose the weight and then we gain it back plus more. The cycle continues.

So the work needs to come from the inside out. 95% of the problem is in our minds, then 95% of the work is on the inside, in our minds, and 5% is on the outside, what’s on the plate.

Think of it this way. We have two warring forces inside of us. We all have different ways of describing it. But let’s talk about it in a way that everyone can relate to and understand.

We’re human beings.

It’s that simple.

The first force is human-ness. It’s the critical self. It’s the voice that says, “I’m not good enough. I can’t do anything right. I don’t wear the right clothes. I don’t drive the right car.” And so on. It’s all the things we say when we become disconnected from our being-ness.

Being-ness has a long list of names…the Light within, Energy, Source, Breath, Holy Breath, God, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, Christ, this list is long. Whatever team we want to be on is the one we choose to be on. It doesn’t matter what we call it. What’s important to know is that when we become disconnected from that “Being-ness” then we start living from the outside in, from our human-ness. The “Human-ness” critical self, ego, addiction, our little terrified self’s steps in and we are disconnected from our powerful selves.

I believe we’re trained from an early age to disconnect from ourselves. It’s very easy to teach a child not to trust what they’re feeling, to not trust them selves. So as adults we naturally don’t trust that what we’re feeling is true and real. We trust what others tell us. That’s what we’ve learned. And when we’re tethered to others (or a cute acronym I like to say — She, He, It, Them — S.H.I.T.) then they have all the power. But when we connect to our being-ness, to the energy source within, then we have the power of choice back. We have the power to feel. And the power of choice gives us the power to make the changes we need to make. We don’t stay trapped in the outer world, the human-ness. We dwell in the inner being-ness. And when we live in that place then we can connect with the God in others. Again, it doesn’t matter what we call it. It matters that we reconnect from within.

Intense training negates instinct. We begin to live from the outside in. We don’t trust ourselves. Learning to live from our being-ness, from the inside out, requires retraining or better yet, un-training.

If we want to be healed from emotional eating then we must embrace that emotional part of us and not be afraid to go there. It is out emotional guidance out and through to freedom. Don’t judge the emotions; embrace them. They’re nothing more than blinking lights on the highway of life. When we’re uncomfortable, we need to turn back towards that being-ness.

I know that every time I’ve lived from my human-ness, I have failed. I turned myself into a 260-pound woman busting out of size 24, wondering why I wasn’t living the life I wanted? I mean, I did everything they told me to do, every thing I was trained to do. But when I started to look inward and ask, “But where am I? What’s my truth? Who’s having this conversation?” it became easier to make the choices I needed to make.

And it’s been my experience that’s it’s the same for all of us who seek to be free from the weight. Well, the wait’s over. Let’s re-choose and take our power back and live out our heart’s desire!

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