anxiety

Because I am one of the bare all – no holds barred bloggers who believes that sharing my life honestly is the right thing to do for both me and my readers, I feel it is very important to applaud others who do the same.

Not only is Tasha a brave and amazing blogger, she speaks to a topic that is close to my heart and a message that I think it is important for you, my readers, to hear as well. She learned to listen to her body and do what was best for her, even when it bumped up against everything she believed in and thought was right and true in the world.

Read Her Story

Life is not black and white and you can not and should not believe everything you read and hear. I am always amazed how we can suspend the use of our perfectly healthy and functioning brains to feed our belief systems. One thing I have learned over the last couple of years of struggling with my own battle with depression, anxiety and a bunch of familial bullshit is that no matter how much you believe something to be true that is not always the case.

It is so important that we learn to trust ourselves. Our minds and bodies yearn to speak to us, to tell us what is right and true for us, but so often we ignore them. We ignore that we are tired or sad or not feeling well and all the little ailments that we attribute to our lives or getting older or whatever our excuses might be.  We push aside our uneasy feelings and that little nagging tug that something here is hinky.  In reality all these little things are our bodies ways of speaking to us, of telling us that something isn’t right and that we should take a good look at how we are living and what changes our hearts know we need to make.

Instead of listening to these warnings, more times than not we ignore them until they turn into monsters that come back and bite us, sometimes with devastating consequences.  My mind and body were screaming and I just blatently ignored it, shoved it down until my whole world exploded.  Not necessarly the best way to go about it.

Read how Tasha learned this very same lesson

Learning this important lesson comes to each of us in it’s own way.  For Tasha it was her Vegan-ism, as much a doctrine as a lifestyle choice in her mind.  For each of us it will always be something personal and most likely painful.  Facing our personal truth is certainly not an easy task, but one that faced with bravery and an open heart will forever make us and everyone we touch better for it.

There are many things that I could say about being vegan or how I feel about the importance of quality natural animal protein sources, but I think the bigger lesson here is that if you listen, your mind and body will tell you what you need.  And if you refuse to listen, it will just yell louder, believe me.

And just one more little rant.  Be very careful how you judge others and what you believe from so-called experts.  We each have our own beliefs and our own reasons for them.  Do your own research, and I mean real research – not just asking your friend or your favorite talk show host, and listen to your gut.  If someone seems all over the top about stuff, there is probably a reason for it that has absolutely nothing to do with you.   And if you disagree about something with someone, no matter how vehemently, remember to have some respect.  Being an asshole only hurts you in the long run.

With all the research and methodologies I have tried over the last year I have become quite the nutrition aficionado and although my style of eating has changed dramatically, I still have not made the true lifestyle changes that will support real and lasting weight loss.  I do find it frustrating though that even when I am really strict about what I eat and exercise regularly I have trouble losing more than a few pounds and the minute I let up in the least it pops right back up again, like overnight.

Something is amiss, but I also accept that finding out what that is may be nearly impossible and that my only option is to buckle down and do what it takes, but that all seems so overwhelming.  So,   I am currently taking a break from trying to solve the weight loss problem and am just concentrating on one thing at a time.  See, I have a tendency to look too far into the future or see the picture as too big.  Then I get overwhelmed and end up saying “fuck it” and giving up on the whole thing.

So, for now I am concentrating on the triathlon that I am running on September 25th.  One step at a time.  I started with the swimming by taking swim lessons two nights a week.  When I was pretty sure that I could swim the half mile I needed to and had built some swimming confidence I added the running piece and last night I ran a full 5k without stopping.  I’m not setting any records but I didn’t stop or feel that I needed to.

Now, onto the bike.  This weekend I will be purchasing my first bike and adding that into the mix.  One small step at a time.

I am trying to take this approach with more things in my life as this state of ineffectiveness infects almost everything I do.

Set small attainable goals and accomplish the task.

Today I am writing this blog post.   I am not transferring this into expectations that I will write a post every day or any time in the future.  Right now I am writing this and that is good enough for now.

Never in my life did I think that I would become so paralyzed in my own skin, but I am working on it (and working on it and working on it).  I was expressing my frustration at my continuing struggles at therapy the other day.  I have licked the depression and anxiety, poof… gone.   I have battled old demons, healed old wounds and gained unforeseen perspective.  I have finally grown up and faced the real world.  So why is everything still so hard?

She had a couple of words of wisdom.  First, I need to acknowledge how far I have come and accept that change is hard and doesn’t take place over night.  She also explained that not being depressed is different from being happy and not being anxious is different than being calm and centered.  These things take work too and small steps is the only way to get there.  There is always more work to do.

So, I take small steps and am thankful each day for those that love me and allow me to love them back.

Now if only I could get Ian to stop shitting his pants.  ;)

I know that I have mentioned this maybe even several times in the past, but I just can’t get over how powerful it is when the same information comes at me from several unrelated sources.  This always confirms for me that I am on the right track.  Lately this phenomena is happening everywhere I look and so gives me confidence that although I sometimes feel like I am dangling from a hook, struggling to find solid ground as life zooms past me, everything is happening as it should and it helps me to trust myself and allow myself to be present to the changes happening in my life.

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.

Buy the Gabriel Method Book Now!

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Wow, I am a bundle of nerves right now. I have signed up to take the Landmark Forum seminar this weekend and I am really anxious right now.

What’s funny is that it isn’t about having to confront emotions or dig deep into myself. That I am pretty comfortable with.

It is more like the first day of a new quarter at college when you worry if you are going to find your classroom or get lost and walk in ten minutes late and worrying if the professor is going to think your an idiot.

I guess that being a little nervous is normal and just as I wrote that, being afraid people are going to think I’m an idiot is one of the reasons I am doing this in the first place.

I am excited. This is going to be good.

I will not be online for the next couple of days, but I will have my phone and you might find me atwitter about something or other.

Have a great weekend everyone!