Free for All

Emotional Archaelogists and Dealing with Sabotage

Free for All

Posted by Closed Account on 5 years ago

Being an emotional eater I have noticed that with each pound/kilo coming off a mood will come on. When I go over old diaries there's a correlation between the times where I was at that weight and some emotional event that happened triggering weight gain. Instead of dealing with the issues I ate something, drank something and became super-busy. Obviously this was all avoidant behavior and I didn't actually deal with anything properly.

Being on a fast means that all of the previous coping mechanisms are unavailable. I guess it's the same as when smokers give up smoking. Suddenly I notice that I am emotionally uncomfortable (stressed, bored, lonely, sad etc) and instead of going to make a cup of tea and grab some biscuits too, or grab a snack, well I have to sit with it. I have to take a few minutes and tune in to what is going on inside my heart.

This isn't always obvious or easy, I must have a PhD in DENIAL, for all the excuses I give myself and all the smoke screens I put up to hide my feelings even to myself.

So this discussion will be about ways we are dealing with our stuff. I will draw from the things I am currently using, including alternative therapies, books and motivational stuff and you are welcome to share what you are doing too.

This topic contains 72 replies, has 1 voices, and was last updated by Closed Account 4 years ago.

Replies To Emotional Archaelogists and Dealing with Sabotage

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    JOURNALLING: this is a great way to share with yourself what is going on in your heart at any given time. It's also a great way to see what has been happening as you look back over your notes. Having done this for a while I can see that there's a definite hormonal element to some things, but that doesn't mean that my feelings are invalid. Sure, I might be more likely to be assertive during the high tide when I store water like a bucket, but my needs are real - but also my ability to handle things without comfort eating is at a low. This is great news in one way, I can predict my weaker days and plan a new strategy. Turning it all onto the page (event the virtual page like this one) is just one way. No one gets hurt! LOL. Also by identifying the trigger/sensitive days we can all be more gentle on ourselves, even laugh at ourselves about it, instead of being defensive and just blowing up at an unsuspecting loved one. Adding notes about weight, food intake and events is useful because you might discover a food intolerance has triggered your mood, or that certain people trigger a need for sugar (A good friend has discovered that eating fast food makes her a narcisstic drama queen - so now she doesn't and is a lovely human being) Remember, with knowledge comes power but also responsibility. Once you identify the triggers you are responsible for how you deal with them in future. Getting your feelings down where you can see them is a great way to start!

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    If you are anxious about the computer you use, or that your diary is not secure, then one option is to journal via email (being extra careful to only send the email to yourself of course!). When my tweens used the family computer and I didn't want them to see how close to cracking under the pressure I was I used to email myself and store the emails in a folder called "Insurance". It's amazing how even when I accidently left my email open no-one ever checked the insurance folder. (I also recommend deleting the emails in the "sent" folder, for added privacy). Calling the folder "Personal" or "My Diary" would have invited them in, but "Insurance" ....never!

  • Peyton

    5 years ago

    I think I need to make space on my kitchen table to actually journal and get away from the laptop

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    That's a great idea and more intimate and personal than typing away! It doesn't matter how you do, just taking the time to ponder and record your thoughts is a great step to reconnecting with yourself. YOUR experience of things is going to be different from everyone else. We might share similarities but even then, your experience is truly unique. Keep juicing, pondering and most importantly, keep smiling!

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Spreadsheets: are you a spreadsheet kind of person? Journaling might seem too airy fairy, New Age hippy to your macho side and okay, that's fine. Another way to keep track is to just keep a table or a spreadsheet. Months and days down the side, moods at various times of day, whether you have a 3pm drop in mood (dietary related, very important), any notes or comments you want to track. I have used this and suggest you put a phase of the moon column in too - even for you menfolk! Be a scientist and see if your moods or weight is affected by the moon cycles. If there's a huge event in your life, positive or negative, make sure you add that to your notes so you can see what impact it has had on your future entries.

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Massage: Do you reward yourself?

    I used to reward myself with food all the time. Clean house? Tea and cake. Made a nice dinner? Dessert. Gone for a lovely drive in the countryside? Let's stop at the café! Seriously, every moment of my day was punctuated with a need to be rewarded for something. Now I am rewarding myself with juice and taking time to acknowledge where this neediness is coming from. The actual rewards I give myself for weight lost and sticking to my goals is NON-FOOD related. A massage, a pedicure, some hair products, a scarf from EBay, a walk around somewhere nice, extra savings into my savings account - it's a reward that improves my life in a small way. And before you take this as an excuse to shop up big - take time to investigate where the inner neediness is coming from. Perhaps you are feeling unappreciated? Or angry? Or unloved? These feelings have to be addressed or you will only replace emotional eating with a huge credit card debt and hoarding. Not the answer.

  • Gma leftcoast

    5 years ago

    that's very interesting. I always hear the term "reward yourself", but reading your post really made it sink in. I just realized that I am not a "self rewarder" I am a self-depriver.

    Mostly due to income, I never indulge, but for some reason I really seem to enjoy depriving myself of things.

    Damn woman! Ever thought about becoming a shrink?

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Thankyou Gma leftcoast! Glad to have helped in your "aha! moment. It's such a voyage of discovery, isn't it? I am studying kinesiology because I am interested in the roots of things (eg emotional issues) in our body, rather than going via the consciousness. Frankly our brains are very clever and give us reasons for everything. Is the answer we thought of the root cause? Maybe, maybe not. Some scientists believe our body is our subconscious (have a look at "Molecules of Emotion" by Candace Pert Ph.D) and kinesiologists have discovered that our bodies don't lie. Our body is a silent witness to what we are doing and experiencing and if asked will reveal what is going on, why and happily clear it so it doesn't have to continue. Pulling the issue out by the roots is what I am all about.

    If you are depriving yourself that is just plain sad. If you don't be nice to you, why should anyone else? I know what having no money to spend feels like, but there's always a way to put aside some loose change into a jar to do something nice. Being nice to ourselves used to be food related: we need to reframe what being nice and kind to ourselves looks like. If it used to be going out for food (or smoking, drinking etc) then perhaps it could be going to the market and trying an unusual fruit, buying some flowers for the dining table, getting some seedlings for the garden, taking a walk through the local art gallery/historical society/museum, joining a craft class/belly dancing troupe/volunteer group - there are endless possibilities, so why did we always choose food? Lack of imagination? :)

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Hi there GMA leftcoast, I have a tip for you to make you feel a little bit spoiled (and who doesn't like that feeling?) I bought a small thermos and have left it on my bedside table so as to have a hot lemon water first thing in the morning, while snuggled up and enjoying the morning. Because I also like fine china I keep my favourite cup there, with the lemon juice in it ready for the hot water in the morning. WHY didn't I think of this before? Do you have any tips or tricks to make the Juicing Lifestyle a bit more luxurious?

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    SABOTEURS: If you love me you will eat what I give you

    How many times have you said to yourself that today is the day you will take control of your eating habits only to have a well-meaning loved one pile food on your plate? When I have asked for support during my past diets it seemed that some people thought this meant I didn't love them anymore. WHERE is that coming from? Giving me diabetes and mobility problems is not loving me! What is more, disrespecting my request for support is also not loving behavior. In September, when I realized I was at my heaviest, I asked my partner to stop serving me rice at lunch and kept saying things like "I really appreciate the way you are supporting me at the moment". I had a doctor's letter and advice to change my eating habits to show to him. The response? Double helpings of rice with a pouty expression if I complained, a "What does a doctor know anyway!" response to the letter, gifts of chocolates and biscuits with every cup of tea. What did I do? I placated instead of standing up for myself. This is sabotage at it's finest. My methods of asserting myself didn't work, I was too soft. Giving chocolates to my children wasn't the answer either, I was only giving them health issues. Instead I had to truly reassess where my partner's need to sabotage me was coming from, why he felt more secure the fatter I got. This is a difficult conversation to have with a partner, let alone relatives or friends. It needed to be done and now I have all the support I need from them, but more importantly: I STOOD UP FOR MYSELF. If you have saboteurs in your life you also need to be strong and defend yourself. There is only you living in your body, if you won't defend it, who will?

  • Carolyn

    4 years ago

    Good for you! It's hard for me to stand up for myself too.. in my dieting days, my ex used to bring home chocolate and chips for the "weekend treat"... which I ate... but did realize it was a way of sabotaging myself by him and then by me...

  • Mind over Platter

    5 years ago

    Yessirree Julieanne...I've traded going out for dinner for getting my nails done once a month. Now my nails always look terrific it makes me happy to admire them every day! Reasonable non food rewards are nice because I don't feel guilty indulging.

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Hey Beetsme, how are you going with your rewards? Are your nails looking gorgeous? Any new tips you can share?

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    MOODS: Has something come up?

    The other night I had a truly vivid dream, one of those when you wake up you don't want to breathe too loud or move in case "IT" sees you and whatever is going to happen when "IT" does is BAD. 10 years ago I left a domestically violent relationship and there were many, many times when that level of fear was real, the consequences BAD. I haven't thought about this part of my life in so long, in fact it surprised me that I was having a reenactment in my dream state. But when I looked through my diaries and tracked back to where my current weight and past weight were the same I found that it all made sense. How did I deal with this relationship when I left? I got busy, I became a gym obsessed, career climber in a stressful vocation and started drinking to cope. At no stage did I take time to really heal from the relationship, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I put weight back on to cover the emotional wound. It's not just been this event, I dreamed of my grandmother, thinking when I woke up that I would just go walk with the kids in the pram and have a cup of tea with her. But of course 12 years ago she passed and my kids are adults and wouldn't fit in the pram LOL. GRIEF! Wow, I did not expect that! (After all, it's been 12 years, right?). There's stressful jobs, unsuccessful relationships, broken dreams, frustrations and more and they are all here under my flab, waiting for recognition. So how to deal with it? Well just start by acknowledging that something (even if you can't identify what it was) has come up. Are you a gardener? Pull weeds. Like meditation? Sit in the stillness. Arty? Make something and express the feelings. Firewood need chopping? Do that (be careful!). Like to dance? Time to move! Journal, write a poem, write your story, sing. Crying in a deep bath is good too. Anything that helps you express what the mood is, try that. But remember it's not necessarily time to share with everyone else. If you are angry, own it, but don't act on it just yet. These emotions are tricky beasts to handle and our minds can give us a current and reasonable excuse as to why we feel righteous. Take time to acknowledge and sit with it. If you need help to move through something, get a counselor. If you need new skills to handle something, get a therapist who can teach you the skills. Or self-help books. Don't dump on your family and friends, they love you and may well be one part of the reason you are stuck, but you wont get new skills there. Unlocking and healing past events will keep our weight off and stop our yo-yoing weight for good, but don't forget we will need new skills for the future.

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Self-Sabotage: Expecting ourselves to be perfect

    Isn't Life hard enough without expecting ourselves to be 100% perfect? Plenty of motivational speakers and successful people tell us that to get to the top or to achieve goals we have to be willing to fail AND get back up and try again. Sports people say it takes thousands of hours to get that perfect shot or make things look effortless. So why do we hold ourselves to a standard that makes us feel bad when we make mistakes or hiccups when we are trying our best to change. Joe Cross talks about not losing hope or getting down on ourselves but to give ourselves credit for what we have already achieved when we happen to trip over. This is great advice and something we MUST be willing to apply not just to everyone else, but to ourselves. We are worth forgiving and we are worth the getting back up and trying again.

    When I torture myself over a mistake am I really focusing on the small mistake or am I judging myself as the perfect example of "a failure"? What does that kind of torture actually achieve? Do I talk to my grandkids like this? NO WAY! So why should I expect perfection when I try something new?

    A friend who is a psychologist suggested that sometimes we point the accusatory finger at ourselves because in our past someone put us down and in our hearts we want to please them, want to agree with their judgment. Rather than think that this person was wrong, a jerk or just plain mean-hearted, we nod and say, Yes, I am a failure.

    Recently I experienced something of this. I reconnected with an old friend whose relative was very mean to me as a child. Being from a large and poor family, this relative had nothing nice to say to myself or my brothers and sisters and for some reason I took it on that there was something shameful about us. Already having low self-esteem this woman validated all the insecurity of my 7year old self. Meeting this friend and hearing how his relative is still a mean-spirited, nasty and unhappy woman made a huge impact upon me. I realized that 37years later I am an adult and this relative hasn't grown at all. I feel sorry for both the child I was but also for her. It must be tough having such a negative life view.

    Having compassion for her shows I can afford some compassion for myself. So I tripped up and had some birthday cake at my grandson's party? Not the end of the world. Back to the juicer and trying again!

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Gratitude: What are you grateful for?

    There are plenty of great articles that point out a link between gratitude and curing depression. Having had depression I can't say that it was my gratitude book that cured me, I think it was something that had to pass through my system in it's own sweet time. But in saying that, having a gratitude book is something I recommend. My gratitude books look like scrapbooks and I keep all sorts of things in them. Ticket stubs, receipts, brochures, photos and assorted memorabilia of events I have been to, places enjoyed, things achieved. There's a crate of them and from time to time I look through and recall the day, the people and where I was at when these things happened. Being a tactile person it's nice to hold the ticket stub or the brochure. I can count my blessings for each thing in there, so many things I never thought possible or were a nice surprise.

    I know keeping a receipt for the entry to an exhibition of "The Treasures of Afghanistan" might not seem important this week, but when I look through my gratitude box I can recall the day itself: my friends who packed the nicest picnic, the bad jokes shared with their kids, the fact the littlest one forgot to bring shoes, the weather was lovely and the exhibition was amazing. Sure it's a receipt but it's more than that, it's a glimpse into a happy day.

    Wayne Dyer has a movie "The Shift" and he starts with all but catapulting himself out of bed with "thank you"'s on his lips to God. Regardless of what faith we believe in, or don't believe in, we don't know when our last day will be so why not be grateful for just having a new day? Again, having had depression I wasn't always so thrilled to have another day, in fact I felt as though I was in purgatory. If you currently have depression, I can see how being pleased with another tunnel of a day is last on the list. So maybe skip that part. But seeing as you are here what is going okay? Or what happened before you had depression that was at least average? Or if you have people around, what are you grateful for in their lives? It's not all about us, is it?

    Being grateful can start with ridiculous things: I am grateful that I'm not a teenager anymore, I wasn't eaten by a tiger in my sleep, that my bathtub isn't filled with piranhas, that I haven't been stolen by aliens and that my best friend isn't a total freak (at least they hide it from me if they are, and I am grateful for that.)

    Who says we have to be serious? All we have to do is start. By being silly to start with we break the ice, get a smile happening. Suddenly we are at the stage where we are grateful to have a new day to start afresh. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, after all.

    So what are you grateful for?

  • Mind over Platter

    5 years ago

    Love your take on gratitude Julieanne! It's something I really need to work on, and the silly ideas resonated with my appreciative sense of the ridiculous. I never thought about using that to get started but I'm gonna give it a whirl. Humor is the one thing that always gets me through, even when I'm crying on the inside.

  • Carolyn

    4 years ago

    You're funny!! I totally connect with your writing!

  • Closed Account

    5 years ago

    Values: What are the values you live by?

    Values are important to everyone, even if we don't go about proclaiming what they are. You can see by the way people live what their values are and if you share them. Whole suburbs are built around values - what does your street say about the values of your suburb? Do you agree with the crowd?

    I am not talking about just the "haves" and "have-not"'s I was from a poor family and we didn't graffiti, vandalize or be disrespectful. Just because a person is poor doesn't mean they can't afford values like integrity, kindness, cleanliness and being charitable towards others. These are just a couple of values, they may not be near the top of everyone's list, but let's look at it.

    My son was 21 yesterday and his values were reflected in the way he wanted to celebrate his birthday. Despite peer pressure to go out and get "trashed" he wanted to spend the day eating nachos and spending time with his family. His partner is pregnant so he doesn't drink alcohol, he spent much of the afternoon on the floor with his 1 year old son, watching "The Lion King". His friends came over (drinking) and when they saw the low-key affair, they left pretty much after the cake was cut. Their values are different and they wanted to party.

    I watched this scene and was pretty darned amazed. Why? A couple of years ago my son and I clashed over values. He was a teen, he was angry, he wanted to "stick it to the system", and off he went in a cloud of alcohol fuelled testosterone. It broke my heart to watch him making so many poor choices and have life dish up some pretty nasty consequences. Yet here we were, all sober, watching "The Lion King" and eating nachos, while looking over his baby photos. It was awesome!

    If you take a moment to really look into what your values are and whether or not you are living by them, you will understand where some of your conflict comes from. If you value peace and quiet and live on the main street, above a restaurant and below a nightclub your values are in conflict and you wont be happy. If you value country living and are living and working in the city, values are in conflict. If you value cleanliness and your family love to shake everything out of the cupboards, it's a source of conflict. Do you value family time? or Honesty? and find yourself unable to live up to your own values? Do you value Privacy and yet find you have none? Respect? yet you are treated like a second class citizen? These are all worthy of taking time to look at.

    So what to do about the conflicts? Well, first things first - did you form those values earlier in your life? Do they apply now? Do they serve you? Is it possible that some of the values are actually bad for you? For example, if you value living in the city and having a pressure filled career, yet are truly unhealthy and about to have a stroke, perhaps this is a value you could revise? Is the career climbing sociopath you wanted to be a good thing or have times changed? Does your definition of "freedom" look too much like "hedonistic and selfish"?

    Is your definition of that value out of date with where you are at in life? If I ask a teen what "respect" means and then ask someone who is in the twilight of their lives, the definition of "respect" will be different. It's time to fine tune it.

    So you fine tune your values and look around at the emotional scenery and think "Holy crap! My life is PERFECT"? Hmmmm, wouldn't that be easy? It's probably not going to be that way, though. More than likely you are going to look around and review some of your choices: people you hang out with, opinions you accept into your life, ways of doing things and this will probably make people think "What is up with you?". There's going to be resistance, perhaps mocking, some friends might drop out of your life, some might challenge you and say you think you are better than them, or being weird or crazy. But this is your Life and your values, and by all means if they have their life in a state of perfection then congratulate them and ask for advice.

    Don't scare yourself. Don't automatically think "Well that's it, I am quitting my job and moving to -". If it's not practical you will find yourself hating your new life. Transition is a marvelous thing if it's done right.

    So invest the time, look properly at your values, see what the disparity is, work out what would have to change for you to be living in line with your values and then see what compromise might have to happen if it's going to affect more than just you. Don't forget, we take many years to get to where we are, making a small change here and there will take us back to the right course, just keep the goal in sight.

  • Gma leftcoast

    5 years ago

    Agreed, very important to me to live by my values.

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