Thursday, October 22, 2009

Willingness To Change

Excerpt of Teaching on "Willingness To Change" from by Nadine Ann

My responses to the exercises/questions below in RED

When we’re faced with changing our ways we often put up the proverbial wall. We don’t want to think that the way we were doing something before was wrong. We want everything around us to change so we don’t have to! Those are the external changes we talked about earlier. And as you can tell, that hasn’t been working very well, has it.

In truth, the first part of change needs to happen within us. We must forget about the outside or external influences and concentrate on what we feel inside that isn't working. Our thought patterns need to change because we have gotten into a negative thought pattern of binging and of our feelings about food. To be honest, food is a miracle. Without it, we are nothing.

Let’s do an exercise. Use a hand held mirror or simply use your bathroom mirror and ask yourself this question while looking into your own eyes.

“Am I willing to change?” -
yes, i am. i joined this online program, i do the work, i do the homework, i practice the exercises. i am willing to change. what i've been doing has not been working for me.

"What would it mean to me if I made some changes to myself?" if i made some changes to myself, i would feel better about me, be more in control and be happier.

“What am I willing to change?” I am willing to change the way i go about eating. When i feel an uncomfortable feeling, my first instinct is to think of food and eat. Now, i can allow myself to feel my feelings, even if it makes me feel bad. It doesn't compare to the bad feelings of weight gain and binge eating. I'm willing to observe myself more and become more in tune with my automatic food thoughts and with automatic negative thoughts. I'm wiling to listen to my body more, eat when i'm hungry and stop when i've had enough. I'm willing to stop trying to 'diet' to lose weight and just focus on enjoying the pleasure of food. I'm willing to slow down and not eat when i'm not hungry.

"When will I be willing to make these changes?" i've already started, so i am willing to make these changes, now!

"If you said you were willing to change, how did you feel when you told yourself you were willing to change?" It feels good to be willing to change. it feels good to realize the way i was trying to help myself may have only been self defeating.

Now say to yourself while looking in your mirror, “I am willing to change.” I am willing to change!!!

If you answered that you weren't willing to change, examine your reasons and ask questions if you feel you are not ready to change. Or if you said you were willing, play devil's advocate and answer the questions anyway:

"Why wouldn't I want to change if it will bring me happiness?" Am I afraid?
You know, actually FEAR is a poignant point. I did this exercise when everything was going great with the food - I've been eating as a response to hunger, as best as i can, making choices that please me.

But i had 2 eating experiences yesterday that were less than ideal, and i think they had to do with fear. I had to do a singing performance last night, so for lunch, it would have been best had i chosen to not eat anything too oily, as it does give me reflux laryngitis symptoms, for me, a groggy throat, not great when one has to sing soaring high notes. Why i had such a greasy salad i'll never know. It wasn't a binge, so i wasn't being rebellious, pouring on the oil and feeling horrible about it. It was supposed to be a healthy pleasant joy-filled lunch, but as i munched on the salad, i realized it was too greasy for me, i have overdone it on the dressing and honestly, i really wasn't enjoying it. I had put BOTH avocado AND dressing on the salad. It was too much. Not just from a health standpoint, but from a taste standpoint, it was just too greasy.

Later, singing, i 'felt' a bit refluxy and the salad even repeated on me a few times. I sung through it. The new technique is helping me to sing 'over' problems and to use air and sing on the breath. for the belching, i took some betaine hcl, but it taught me that 1) if i'm not enjoying something, throw it out. 2) before singing, don't eat anything too fatty. 3) fear may have been a motivating factor in why i made such a bad choice.

Was i self sabotaging? Am i afraid of SUCCESS??? I actually think i am.

Last night, i received an email from a friend who performs regularly in japan. He is a pianist and is looking for a soprano for a 3 month gig in japan. I talked this over with Cliff, who was initially open to the idea, as i would make roughly 8,500$ for the 3 month gig. But as he thought about it, he became more and more opposed to the idea and i became more and more for it. As we discussed it, i CLEARLY noted in my body that i was not hungry. i was clearly disturbed over the conversation, but didn't realize, recognize, that this would have been a time to just FEEL and not EAT. I wasn't hungry. i had just eaten a few bananas and some tangerines. Good healthy oil free before bed foods.

Yet, as Cliff and I debated the idea, i began to grab at flax crackers to munch and then flax crackers and almond butter and a chocolate ball. I was CLEARLY out of touch with my body, and snacking away, why?

Firstly, why do i want to give myself reflux? Eating fatty foods before bed is disasterous to my singing voice.

Secondly, why don't i want to FEEL? Why if i THINK of a food, do i have to eat it? There is a serious disconnect. I need to MUCH more aware of my thoughts and how they lead me to dishonor my body.

Thirdly, am i afraid of success????? I think i am.

Why was i eating, anyway? stress? opportunity? fear? Fear at the implications of a possible singing job abroad...., of success?

This really caught me off guard last night. I had food thoughts and responded to them. I knew i wasn't hungry, yet i chose to eat anyway.

Later, while watching a movie, the impulse to continue to to eat arose. I felt the feeling, or watched the thought, and then it passed without me responding.

So, i am getting better.

Just as with my new singing technique which seems to be working really well, i do still fall back into old habits and struggle to find the right way. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

The more positive eating experiences i have, the better and better i'll get at listening to my body...and not my HEAD!!!

Keep digging to find the truth of resistance.

Make a list in your JOURNAL of reasons why you think you are not ready to change. Then write down next to those answers why you feel you are not ready. Then you can begin to challenge your own answers until you find your hidden feelings. You can challenge them by asking WHY.

"Why do I want to keep binging when it makes me unhappy?"
I realize there are times when my guard is down and i'm not in touch with what is bothering me and i feel like a person on automatic pilot with thoughts of eating and the desperate need to go eat... i can pull back now and try to get into touch with what's truly bothering me. I'm unhappy either way. Either i'm unhappy about something, or i'm unhappy about eating. At least if i feel my feelings, i have a chance of doing something about it. if i eat, i just get fatter. if i decide i want to binge, it's because i'm distoredly thinking it will make me feel better. Yes, it will, but only temporarily. Afterwards, i'll feel worse than i did before, nothing's changed and the binge response has only gotten stronger.

"Why do I think food is making me happy?" Well, it's not making me happy in a lasting way. temporarily, maybe. But ultimately, i have never had a binge and afterwards thought to myself, "i'm so happy i did that, i feel better." There is always huge remorse. Because while it might have provided me momentary pleasure, the pain it causes afterwards, weight gain, hopelessness at being out of control isn't worth it.

If you are not willing to change, it probably means that this is the one area you need to change the most! What we resist persists.

xoxoxo michelle joy

1 comment:

Ordinary Mystic said...

This isn't in response to your blog but to your dream. Before it escapes me, I wanted to share my thoughts with you for you to pursue later. The empty rooms may mean: the recesses of your mind, should you sit still enough to clear away the clutter of emotions and thoughts in your mind. The small furry animals all represent the type of animal who gnaw at their food and other things. So the question you need to ask yourself, is what is gnawing at the heart of the "matter" whatever that is for you? What fears, anxieties, etc. are making it difficult for you to have "peace" about the circumstance or matter that is at hand? Love and hugs, Sheryl