Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting Over My Aversion to Counting Weight Watchers Points . . . Again

I confess, ever since proclaiming on Saturday that I was going to get right back in to planning and tracking my food, things have not gone smoothly or well. I thought I would be able to jump right back in where I left off with my planning and tracking of what I ate every day, but that hasn't been the case. A combination of simply not remembering the points values for most foods and the sheer volume of eating that I do that is not done in my controlled home environment (restaurant eating and being a guest in other people's homes) has made it a struggle. How many points is a tablespoon of raisins? Heck if I can remember! Uuuugh, I've realized that I have to start all over.

And it's difficult to start all over.  My mind is playing tricks on me, making me question whether or not I want to put in the effort it takes to lose these 10 pounds again. I'm wondering if I'm okay with myself at my current weight. Scared that if I don't do something about these 10 pounds that the other 40 will creep back on before I even know it's happening. Not my shining hour, but not the worst place I have ever been either.

So this morning as I was deleting old e-mails, I came upon one from PeerTrainer's Tip of the Day program. And as I read it, it spoke to me in a new way, and I thought that I would share it with you in the hopes that it will inspire you too. It was written by Joshua Wayne who is a trained psychotherapist and the co-creator of the PEERtrainer Point Of No Return Program.

"Good Morning-

There was a great mythologist named Joseph Campbell who studied literally thousands and thousands of myths and great stories from all over the world. Campbell said that all of these stories were always about a heroic character who was fighting for truth or justice, or to find her passion and true purpose in life.

Campbell's greatest contribution, though, was the realization that the tales of all of these great heroes were ultimately just metaphors-metaphors for your life and mine. He said that each of us is the hero on our own journey- a journey (and granted, often a struggle) each of us is on to find our truth, our passion and to create what we really, really want in life.

Here's the catch though: in order for the hero- meaning you or I- to have the life we deeply desire, we inevitably come upon a threshold. Campbell calls this "The Threshold of Adventure" and in order to really claim the life we want, we have to get across it. This can be tricky, though, because in order to get across it we have to change. To at least some extent, we have to leave behind what is comfortable and familiar. Think about this a bit. What is comfortable and familiar is exactly what has gotten us to exactly where we are today. It's not what is going to get us the new result we want.

Campbell says that when every hero gets to his or her threshold of adventure it's always scary, because what lies on the other side is the unknown. The hero almost always experiences the desire to retreat, quit and seek comfort in what is more familiar.

Think about this in terms of your struggle with food. How many times have you tried to make changes, but you keep bumping into that same threshold over and over again? Maybe you do great for 3 or 4 weeks, but
then you have a stressful week at work, your focus slips through your fingers like a 7 year old spends $20 at Toys R Us, and you go right back to your uncontrollable night snacking. Maybe you do great for a few months, lose 15 or 20 pounds, but then for some inexplicable reason you just start sabotaging your success and find yourself back at square one.

We often like to think of the battle with emotional eating and night snacking as a classic Hero's Journey scenario. Why do we say this? Because there is something you deeply, deeply want. We know this, because you wouldn't be reading this if it wasn't true. Maybe you want your health back, or a sexy body and to start dating again; maybe you just want to feel 'normal' again and not constantly plagued by the fear that you'll binge and eat all night. Maybe you want to go home for the holidays and not be anxious about what your parents and sister are thinking.

Whatever it is, you wouldn't be reading this if there wasn't some major change you really wanted to make in terms of your body and health. And yet, you keep bumping into that threshold.

So how does the hero finally get across this threshold? By having the courage of a warrior. Many people think being a warrior means being aggressive or exploitative of others. However, if you look at the image of a warrior as it shows up in classical stories, the opposite is actually true. A warrior stands for truth and justice. A warrior fights for what he or she wants and deserves.

So, as a warrior, you have to decide what you are going to fight for. You have to decide what you will allow to define your life: your fears or your dreams. You deserve the health and the happiness you want- but you have to claim it. That's the warrior's work.

As a warrior, your job is to claim your power by being at your best,pursuing your happiness and being as healthy as you can be. This requires the courage to change. It requires the courage to fully commit to ourselves and our highest good; to commit to breaking out of this little jail cell we created. It requires the courage to face our fears, "slay our dragons" and fight for what we want!

Your issues with food are the "battle" you must fight as the hero on your own journey. You CAN shed the limitations and challenges that have kept you stuck in the same rut with your emotional eating for perhaps several years. You have the ability to become a new person in many respects.

Please understand this: the only thing that can hold you back is your unwillingness to grow and learn. The only thing holding you back from stepping onto your Hero's Journey is your own fear, limitation and procrastination.

The truth is, you don't even have to know every step involved in getting there- you just have to be willing to commit to that first step across the threshold. It's really something worth doing, because on the other side is that life you've been wanting for years-maybe even decades.

Voltaire wrote: "Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew."

So, will you come meet us at the edge? Life is short and time is precious, so please don't delay.

Have A Great Weekend,

My particular life battle is this: I can lose a decent amount of weight but I have never been able to keep it off for very long. I can actually see this pattern repeating itself.  Yes, a little differently this time as some of my healthy eating habits do appear to be permanent, but it is happening right before my eyes.

Reading Joshua's words was a great reminder this morning that I can do this, I can keep this weight off and probably even lose what I have gained, but I have to be a warrior. And "life is short and time is precious" so I cannot delay. I will do this. Will you join me?
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