Funny, that word changes. In the forum they teach us to differentiate between changes and transformations. Change is something gradual that you must apply will power and constant attention to to make it happen. Transformation is instant, more like an immediate shift that sends you in a new direction. These are the more powerful mechanisms for making significant differences in our lives and I have seen this in several areas of my life and now finally with my health.
I first saw this in action when I quit smoking. We had heard of this book (The Easy Way to Stop Smoking) that supposedly could help you quit smoking with little effort or withdrawals. Now, I had been a smoker for over 15 years and had quit and started countless times. My problem was that I liked smoking, no I loved smoking. But, I hated being a smoker. There is a very distinct difference there that I think most smokers can relate to.
So, we had heard stories of several people who had read this book and then simply stopped smoking forever. At this point what did I have to lose, so I gave it a try. Basically the book tells it like it is, separating you from your addiction and helping you to see how it is standing in the way and certainly not serving in any way at all. But the funny thing is that it is really more about the act of reading the book than even what the book says. At the end they have this list of questions and if you can answer yes to any of them you need to start the book over. It took reading the book twice to get through the list, but then I put down the cigarettes and haven’t had another since and it wasn’t even hard, like at all. My best friend even looked at me the other night and said she can no longer even imagine me as a smoker. Amazing.
Do you need to quit? Get the Book!
The point is that it was my first introduction to the instant transformation I am talking about. It wasn’t hard to quit like it had been the many other times I had tried. It was like something shifted and I just didn’t need it any more. Quite the transformation.
Back when I was depressed and having regular debilitating panic attacks my therapist would tell me to differentiate and identify the depression and anxiety as separate from myself. “That’s the depression talking”. It was amazing how quickly I started to feel better once I started doing this. I kept telling myself that it was just anxiety and depression and that what it was saying was not true and that I could keep going even though I thought my heart would explode out of my chest and it eventually just disappeared. In the moment that I realized that I wasn’t the awful person my depression told me I was, it just dissipated and I started feeling better and soon I was better.
At The Forum I learned to separate my stories from my actual experiences and found forgiveness and peace with my past.
Do you see a pattern here?
Well now it has reached my battle with my weight. I was noticing last week that my whole outlook was starting to change. But this didn’t happen slowly over time with a lot of will power. Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and have made some changes to my diet and have obviously been working on the emotional aspects, but I was feeling really frustrated that it didn’t seem how much I worked at it, I still wanted to the sweets and junk food and couldn’t keep myself from eating it. And I still had no desire to work out at all.
I hit my peak of frustration as I scarfed down a brownie on the way to therapy last Monday. Two bites and I was feeling nauseous, yet I still ate the whole damn thing. What is going on?
So I was talking to my therapist about it and she taught me how to differentiate this as well. There is was again. She recommended stopping when I felt these cravings and looking at them from another angle, identifying the intensity of the craving by giving it a number 1-10. Then if you decide the number is high enough and eat the craved food, then identify how much satisfaction you got from eating it by giving it a number 1-10.
During this therapy session, something just clicked and since then I have been following her advice, which has unfortunately taken the joy out of several sweat treats I was really looking forward to, and yet again transformation has happened. Not perfection or magical weight loss, but a totally different outlook that seemed like it came out of nowhere.
I have been almost jonesing for exercise and food has lost its power over me. I am even down to just one Diet Coke a day, a miracle in and of itself.
It is just a craving and separate from myself. That craving has nothing to do with my body’s need for sustenance or nutrition or even something yummy to eat — it is emotional and completely separate.
I think this is part of the message the Jon Gabriel is trying to convey to us. Just give your body what it needs and realize that you are emotionally separate from your need to eat and your body will start asking for what it needs and giving back what you want from it.
The real test will be how this plays out over the next couple of months. Please let the weight loss finally come. I create this possibility for myself and for all of you too.