Day 4: #ISHINEYOUSHINE: What’s in my heart that I need to let go?

At first, I thought I had an easy answer: the diet mentality.  And then I thought I had an easier answer: thinking I need to lose weight to be good enough (not that getting rid of that thinking wouldn’t be a good thing).  But no – this question isn’t about easy.  As the answer came to me in a flash.  An uncomfortable flash.  I need to let go of a behavior that harms me as much as it does others: being judgmental.

I do it all day long – usually without realizing it.  I see someone I think is not dressed appropriately and make snarky remarks in my mind.  Or someone who’s grocery cart is full of processed foods and think to myself “no wonder that person is a slob.”  I could go on – but I think you get the drift.

What does this thinking do?  First, it puts a wall up between me and  everyone. Who wants to be open to someone who’s going to snipe behind your back, even if it’s only in her mind?    It prevents me from seeing beauty wherever I can.  And it prevents me from loving myself. Because the reality is that when I’m mentally passing judgement on someone, I’m also passing it on myself.  The object of the judgement may never know what I was thinking – but I do I realize it’s almost like taking a beating by proxy.

I’m not sure how to go about letting go of this behavior.  I think being aware of it is a good first step.

I have to say – I’m really digging the topics on the #ISHINEYOUSHINE challenge.  I’m thinking in ways I’ve not thought before.

And one of the thoughts I’ve had is that I must abandon the lifelong goal of losing weight.  That goal is weighing me down and beating me up and I’m not willing to make the changes needed to accomplish it.  It’s keeping me from shining.

Another thought is that I’ve really been hiding my femininity.   I’ve never embraced it – except for one period in my life – when I described how I felt as being like an overblown rose: full of life, round, sexy, strong.  And more than anything – that’s want I want to feel: round, sexy and strong.  Round = balanced. Sexy = attracted, attractive, turned on – and not just sexually.  Strong = physically, mentally, emotionally.

And I’ve come up new mantras:

I eat to feel feminine
I move to feel feminine
I think to feel feminine

Eat, Move, Think, Be Feminine.

Doesn’t that sound better than lose weight?  It sure feels better.

And aren’t the almost overblown roses in my banner lovely?

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Day 2: #ishineyoushine: The way I want to feel in my body is….

I’ve signed up for 2 challenges – one Liz Dialto’s #IShineYouShine challenge. It’s designed to change that stinky thinking that makes us feel badly about ourselves.

And I’m repeating the Live More Weigh Less 30 Day Challenge.

Both challenges are all about using social media, which I suck at so won’t even worry about trying. Instead, I’ll post periodic updates here.

I didn’t do Day 1 of the I Shine You Shine Challenge and I’m invoking Pemo Chodron’s “Start Where You Are” by jumping into Day 2.

Day 2’s challenge is complete this sentence, being sure to add the why’s: The way I want to feel in my body is…

… I want to feel peace in my body, along with grace,ease, strength and flexibility.

I want to feel peace because I know all the inner turmoils I set up for myself around eating and moving are probably more harmful than not eating as well as I should and not moving as much as I should.

I want to feel grace in my body because well – the word just resonated with me last night and today. Feel grace, move with grace, be with grace. Not sure how to get there, but I want it!

I want to feel ease in my body. Perhaps that’s an echo of peace and grace. With ease, I mean moving with ease but also nurturing myself with ease.

I want to feel strength in my body because when my body is strong I feel strong mentally and emotionally. I feel like I can rock the world. And I miss that feeling.

And lastly I want to feel flexibility in my body because I’m not the least little bit flexible and stretching hurts. I know that as I get older, the more flexible I am, the better I’ll be able to move with ease and grace.

There that’s it. No resolutions. Just declarations of how I want to feel in my body and why.

Interested in participating in the challenge?

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Eating to the Pleasure Scale: Days 3 and 4

Overall, I think I can call both days a success.

At meals, I stayed focused and left bites on the table when I noticed pleasure slipping. BTW – the less hungry you are, the faster the pleasure scale slips. I’m eating to unhungry instead of stuffed. I love it.

I had a huge success today – I went to one of my favorite lunch spots – by myself – and had a nice lunch. I was really looking forward to it – a yummy salad with a yummy breadstick. I left parts of the salad and took half the bread stick with me to have for a snack. Which I did. But actually taking a break and not trying to work while I ate made a huge difference.

And I worked out today. I made it fun – Leslie Sansone – but with my music.

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The Pleasure Scale

At the suggestion of a friend on My Food Diary, bought and read The Donut Whisperer: I’ve tried it all now what.  It was worth the $15.  The premise is simple: to lose weight you must eat less. To consistently eat less, you need to not feel deprived. So eat what you love and never eat it all. And remind yourself another yummy meal is just a few hours away. 

Instead of eating to a hunger scale, it was recommended to eat to the pleasure scale.  I don’t have the book with me so I’m going to wing it here:

10 – close your eyes and swoon 

9 – everything is smiling good

8- yummy in my tummy

7 – mm mm good

6 – good

5 – ok

4 – meh

3 – blah

2- why am I eating this

1 – ugh

The goal is to start at 9 or 10 and choose to stop between 6 & 7. 

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A 30 Day Pleasure Scale Challenge: Day 2

I came so close to telling my husband that I wanted to go back on Optifast this week. I want to do something about my weight and I want the instant gratification of weighing 30 lbs less NOW.

Then my brain re-engaged and I realized the impermanence of that solution. The permanent solution is for me to learn to love my body and really believe I can eat for pleasure with some guidelines. My guidelines, no on else’s.

What are my guidelines?

1. Enjoy food based on the pleasure scale
2. Respect the pleasure scale and choose to not eat beyond it

That’s it. 2 simple guidelines.

I know there are lots of other things I can do: keep a food diary, keep a mood diary, work out all the time, etc. And maybe overt time, I’ll add to my base guidelines.

For now, I’m challenging myself to respect the pleasure scale when it comes to food. For the next 30 days, I’m committing to enjoying my food until I feel the pleasure scale slipping below a 7. Then I must stop, breathe and assess and if continued eating will not produce pleasure, then I must choose to stop eating it. Leaving food on the plate is desired.

This supports all three of my core desired feelings:

LIGHT: eating less will naturally help me feel light and by avoiding over eating, I’ll avoid the heaviness of guilt and angst about food and my self worth.

CONTENT: Eating to the pleasure scale will naturally help me feel content with food choices without feeling deprived.

CONNECTION: Really homing in on what gives me pleasure will help me become more connected with myself.

So, that’s it. I started my challenge yesterday. I did not enjoy my lunch and left some behind, though my natural inclination is to clean the plate unless what is on it is inedible. Last night we had fried chicken. I realized I like 2 things about fried chicken: the decadent breaded skin and the meat closest to the bone. I pulled the meat away from the bone and ate that closest to the bone first. I left several bites that would not have been as pleasurable.

Today is Day 2. I’m feeling strong and confident that I’ll be able to choose foods I love and enjoy them until the pleasure scale slips.

More on the pleasure scale later.

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