End of the world as I know it

I’ve had several work-in-progress explanations for my recent Abstinence and its significance to me, but in early July on the day of ending my Abstinence I hit the jackpot whilst rambling on as usual to the boyfriend.

I said this is the end of managing my life with food. So simple.

And this finally helped him understand all the ways in which this is not about food, and never was. It also helped me feel like I had managed to sum up all the gazillion little things that were going on for me around this before and during Abstinence. All that complexity that goes into the word ‘simple’…

I feel happy now with the thought “I used to manage my life with food“. It’s the truth, and as truth is pain & beauty in equal parts, this summer has quite fittingly been a celebration and a mourning in equal parts. A celebration for moving forward with a very different outlook on eating and nutrition and nourishment and my body and my wellbeing and everything!! And a mourning because it really is very very sad that for a long time I have managed my life with food. It feels appropriate to acknowledge that because it’s a very significant fact about me.

I am also properly moving on to a different type of life. I have finished my coaching training, set up a company and headed for a new career in helping people take full responsibility for their lives in order to be all they can be. It’s the most rewarding work I’ve ever done in my life :)

Freak out!

(LighterLife Management – ongoing)

And here it is, the day I referred to in my last post: the day when I’m not feeling so awesome.

I am in fact just 2 days away from ending my last LighterLife Abstinence. I am not down to the exact weight I was wanting to hit, but I am pretty much now arriving at the size I wanted to be. I just tried on my might-never-fit-into-these-but-lets-see pile of clothes, the last frontier if you like, the last pile I’ve kept IN CASE. In case one day I will fit into them again. And today I do. And that’s why I’m freaking out.

Here’s how it’s always worked before: Every time I’ve been this size, I’ve no longer been this size.

Was that too fast for you? Yes, well, that’s exactly the point: I have NEVER managed to STAY this size before. I swear to you some of the clothes I was trying on have never been worn. I have bought them one day, and then the day I was going to wear them I didn’t fit into them anymore. Because I had immediately proceeded to eat my way out of that size. The story of my recent life.

So I’m at a point in time that holds a lot of weight (the irony!!) for me. It has NEVER meant that good things will start to happen. And I’m finding it very hard to stick with my NEW meaning for this size which is: this is my size. Because it’s new. And new things are, well, new!! They aren’t settled in yet. They aren’t familiar. They aren’t subconscious. They aren’t reliable straight away. They need watching. They need cherishing. They need protecting!!!!!!

On one level I am very pleased and looking forward to the next days, weeks and months that will see me no longer in Abstinence but living MY REAL LIFE in a way I want to live it, in the size I have chosen. It’s just that I am also exhausted and scared, and very much waiting to get out of this place. Not size-wise, but transition-wise. I need to get to the other side, not just here where the line is drawn.

How to remember this

(LighterLife Management – ongoing)

Yesterday was an awesome day, and I wish there was a way to remember it next time I’m not feeling as awesome.

First and foremost, I had had enough sleep. I woke up refreshed and curious about the day ahead. Even though it was going to be an office day :) Even though it was going to rain all day!! I always sleep better on Abstinence anyway because I won’t have been drinking any alcohol the night before, but I’ve been sleeping a lot and well lately. Anyway, I simply woke up and felt READY. That’s the magic of enough sleep. I know it works exactly like this, but it’s amazing to experience it every now & again!

Secondly, I felt comfortable and confident in the clothes I was wearing. Seriously!! I had gone through my wardrobe the day before, including the boxes of ‘one day’ and ‘just in case’ clothes tucked away in various corners, and re-discovered some old favourites that now fit!!!!! So effectively I was wearing clothes I last wore (anywhere near as comfortably) in the summer of 2009, and not only feeling pleased about fitting into them but even more importantly, nothing was restricting my movements, nothing was too exposed, my loose bits were tucked somewhere or supported, and I just felt GOOD.

When you lose a lot of weight, your shape shifts at a very different pace than your weight comes off. I feel that the near-if-not-final shape shift has just happened to me, largely aided by the two hot yoga classes I went to earlier this week (those were also the only hot yoga classes I’ve been to in nearly 4 months…), and I am now actually AWARE of my body shape as it is at the moment. I’m also very aware that my upper thighs have stopped chafing painfully, which only those of you who have actually experience it will be able to truly appreciate!!

Additionally to just feeling well-rested and comfortable, I got a couple of thoroughly lovely comments about the shift in my size & shape, which helped in turn for me to stay aware of how good I was feeling, and appreciate how it must be projecting off me when I went about the day. One came from a guy who simply said “You’re looking WELL” and another was from a girl who told me I was looking fantastic. And then she didn’t say anything else, which was the best part of her comment :D None of that crap of ‘shouldn’t you stop that now’ or ‘haven’t you lost enough’.

I know some of this is external but my feelings weren’t based on the external comments, just amplified by them. The best way I can sum it up is that yesterday I felt more myself than since I can remember.

And that’s what I’d like to remember :)

Back in Abstinence – after swearing off all diets

(Lighterlife Management – ongoing)

Only a month ago I SWORE to everyone that would lend an ear that I was done with dieting. DONE!! I would NEVER EVER EVER go on a diet again in my entire life.

A week later I was back seeing my LighterLife councellor, being weighed at over 91kg, buying packs and setting out on Abstinence. And now, a good 3 weeks later I’m down 8 kg and quickly on my way to say goodbuy to the 80s, so to speak.

What was all that about? Well, a combination of a few things that occurred to me whilst I was shouting out my resolution to never diet again:

I realised the real pattern of my yo-yo dieting

For quite a while now, thanks to all the work I’ve done with LighterLife, I’ve known that I used to use food to numb down any emotions, positive and negative. But that doesn’t seem to have been all there was to it… Between a couple of life coaching sessions I suddenly saw a very clear pattern in my past behaviour.

When I was on top of the weight yo-yo I used to think “I’ll sort my life out as soon as I’ve lost all this weight”, happy in the knowledge that I had a plan: All was fine, there was a plan!! Then I lost the weight (whichever way – WeightWatchers, LighterLife, etc) and so arrived at this place where I had said I would ‘sort it all out’. And promptly proceeded to freak out over the thought of needing to actually look at my life and ‘sort’ it. And so I very quickly ate my way back to fat-dom. Back to that place where I couldn’t possibly sort anything out because there was all the weight to sort out first. And THAT has been at the bottom (ha ha) of my yo-yo cycle all these past 12 years.

 I realised I don’t use weight in that way anymore!

It hit me like a ton of bricks: I’ve just spent over 5 months working with a life coach SORTING MY LIFE OUT WHILST HOLDING ON TO MY WEIGHT. Whilst being nearly the heaviest I’ve EVER been!!

For the first time ever, I have not waited to lose the weight first. I have just gotten on sorting ‘it’ all out. SUCCESSFULLY!!!!! And more important than that, without consciously realising that in the past I would have never EVER even considered doing so whilst so fat.

But I have now done it. The evidence is overwhelming. The life coaching I’ve received has shifted so many of the issues I have been unable to shift for myself (I will write a post about all that!), I cannot dispute it no matter what.

Needless to say, when I realised this I was flabbergasted and excited in equal amounts :D

I realised I don’t need the extra weight anymore

After realising that I’ve done so much of the ‘sorting out’ work WITH all the weight on, there was an instant switch in my head. Suddenly I wanted nothing more than to leave the weight behind. I don’t need it any more! I can live my life, warts and all, sorting out whatever needs to be sorted, whatever the size I am. I don’t need the weight as an excuse anymore.

In fact, I DON’T NEED THE WEIGHT AT ALL ANYMORE.

I realised there’s nothing wrong in changing my mind

This is a biggie for me, something I’ve worked on during the life coaching sessions at several different points. I used to have this tendency of holding on to my own decisions: believing firmly that I can’t possibly change my mind once I’ve told people I was going to do or not do something. I agree, it sounds completely ridiculous, but hey ho, that’s how I’ve lived a lot of my life, and it has brought me grief and problems to no end. Going against my gut and my wants.

No more of that. I now know it is my life, no-one else’s, and therefore the consequences of my decisions all fall on me alone. No-one else really cares whether I change my mind on things because that’s what people do, and if it sometimes seems a bit odd to someone else then what do I care!?! It’s MY LIFE.

So there you have it: I’m back on Abstinence

Essentially, now that I don’t need the weight, I can’t BEAR the thought of hanging on to it. Because there’s no reason anymore: I just don’t need it!! I did consider trying to shake the weight by healthy food diet, but shaking 25kg by eating food is a mean feat for anyone and takes a long time and a lot of patience which I just don’t have. LighterLife Abstinence has always worked for me and it is the quickest safest way to leave the weight behind. And I’m so excited because I KNOW that I don’t need the weight anymore in the way I have needed and used it.

This time it isn’t about needing to become thin. It’s about leaving the weight behind me for good. Semantics, you may shrug, but for me there’s a world of difference :D

What’s happening with this blog?

(LighterLife Management – ongoing)

So.

What on earth happened after September 2010? Well, needless to say I didn’t lose 15 kg. I didn’t lose any kg. I didn’t sign up for coach training and I continued to feel that my life was in need of urgent FIXING.

Until.

Until I found a coach for myself. Since late November I’ve been working with a wonderful life coach who is helping to transform the way I think and behave towards myself and the world.

In terms of food and eating and all that, this doesn’t mean I’ve given up on LighterLife. What’s happening is I’m finding ways to sort through the issues which still occasionally lead me to binge eat, and which keep me from managing my weight at a level that I’m comfortable with.

Where & how life coaching is pushing me towards would not be possible without the work that I’ve done on myself with LighterLife, with NLP and with the Geneen Roth workshop that I attended to a couple of years ago. None of those have been for nothing. I would not be here taking the next steps without all that work. In short, I’m now pouncing forward from the great foundation that LighterLife has given me: the beginnings of self-awareness, knowing the importance of taking care of myself first, tools to help me understand what’s going on.

I’m still looking to train as a coach as well, but the decision to begin with getting some coaching for myself was the best I have yet made. The most loving thing I have ever done for myself.

What’s happening with this blog.

I may come back to this blog from time to time, because it’s important to me to keep acknowledging where I am with eating, no matter what other progress I’m making. Also that’s what I wanted to do when I started – keep records of how things are going at least for 5 years from starting LighterLife. This is a safe place for me to talk honestly about my relationship with food, without being judged.

But things must change. Change is good! :D

Coach is the word

(LighterLife management – ongoing)

So this ‘new direction’ that I mentioned in the last post, is that I want to become a coach. Not a football coach, a life coach and an executive coach. A business coach. All those things. For the first time in my adult life I feel I have a real alternative to my current career. It feels amazing.

Of course, it requires a lot of planning to get there. Firstly, I need training. Instant obstacle: I have no savings and I certainly cannot quit my job. So this step 1 is what I’ve been trying to tackle for the past couple of months. I have even managed to work out how much money I can put aside every month. Give or take the occasional slip up of not quite managing through the whole month – struggling right now to complete September without dipping into the savings I put aside only 3 weeks ago…

But here we go. It’s a start. If all goes well, I can start training on the side of my full-time job in January 2011.

In the meantime, I’ve announced that I am going to lose 15kg of weight by xmas. During week 1, I managed 200g, and it’s not looking terribly rosy this week, either. I’m struggling to PLAN. I know how to do it, I’m just struggling to do it. And once I do it, I’m struggling to remember I had a plan to begin with. So it’s not going smoothly yet ;)

I have returned to my LighterLife group, and once again wondered how come I don’t go more often. I bought quite a lot of foodpacks as well, though due to the lack of planning have been using them in more or less random manner. Time will tell. Once again, I have to trust time.

Commitment issues

(LighterLife Management – ongoing)

When people ask me “what do you think” about things they love or adore but I find odd or repulsive – I will say something like “It’s really great, although I wouldn’t want it”. I mean, I can’t just say “Great!” and be supportive to someone else’s choice. I have to actually undermine it with a selfish statement. How rubbish is that?!?

Let me explain myself. This past week I realised I have such difficulty defining ‘who I am‘ and what I prefer, that whenever I am asked to commit an opinion about anything at all, I panic and think if I say I like it they’ll think that’s what I’m like. I guess the logic that my subconsciousness is applying here is that if I say I think a flowery sofa is Great! then next Christmas or whatever someone will buy me one. DUH.

This is – needless to say – creating further difficulties for me by annoying the hell out of people I say these things to, and making me focus even more on things I don’t identify with. *SIGH*

But wait. I have found a new direction to my shambles of a life. I shall tell you about it soon :D

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