This is the Beginning of the “Living a Serene Life” journey start-line. I’m starting with the Life Compass and Life Navigation Wheel first because it is where I need to begin.
The “Living a Serene Life” Training-enhanced Coaching Program Invitation
The “Living a Serene Life” coaching invitation is an Opportunity to having dialogue and to openly discuss the things that prevent us from experiencing this serene lifestyle we desire. So its a meme, an opportunity to explore what might be required in order for us to experience a sense of serenity in our life. Its a step by step process of rewiring the brain. Our only real goal is to create awareness that despite the chaos in our world and our life, it is possible to experience our greater sense of serenity.(This meme is created to help people become aware and focused on that there’s an opportunity for more than what they are currently experiencing.)
I decided last Friday that I was going to go on this journey myself so I can develop my shortfalls into strengths with an eye to experiencing the outcome of my North Focus on my Life compass. Greg and I worked on the Life Compass on Friday and it was a long process (about 2 hours) that was worth it. I wrote about it in the blog called “Introduction to Amee’s Serene 2019 Quest or Adventure”. So next I am going to move through the process to examine my inner equilibrium so that I can make movement forward to reaching my True North on my life compass.
The Life Navigation Wheel (sometimes referred to as the wheel of equilibrium)
The purpose of the equilibrium assessment exercise is to embark on developing ones shortfalls into strengths with an eye to experiencing the outcome of your North focus.
And I’m doing it step by step and not going to try to jump over, swing around, or crawl under the Learning curve because I want to make sustainable, simple progress to change and growth.
Eating and Nutrition
So, when I think of my self-care, I immediately think of my eating patterns, what I eat, and my attitude towards putting any attention on my intentions. But the problem is I haven’t gotten clear about what my intentions are. It seems what I fixate on, when it comes to self-care, is my diet. I focus on goals rather than what I want to experience. So I obsess about my body image, how overweight I am, how I look in clothes, and how others perceive me (beautiful vs. Hideous). Also I look at diet from the aspect of reducing inflammation by what I eat, so I can be more active.
Goals Goals Goals, Goals to what?
I make goals but don’t know exactly what I want. Mainly when I tackle my mountain of goals, my actual attention is placed on my inner dialogue and resistance to getting it done. If my intentions are to experience xyz, then wouldn’t it seem logical to put my attention on that? Instead, I take myself out of the game by listening to my inner critic and the stories, lies and myths I tell myself. I jump into resistance mode before I even can make any progress to meeting my self-care needs. I have this list of the things I think I need to do and have even tried this ideal eating menu and weight loss projected spreadsheet, from hell, and most times I ignore it and say I’ll start on it again tomorrow. That’s because its crap! Goal setting isn’t the way to go here. So I’m now going to work through this.
8 phases of the Life Navigation Wheel
So there are 8 phases to the equilibrium assessment tool to use to identify shortfalls and strengths that I can turn into opportunities to get where I want to go.
So I began to confront and examine first my Inner Life beginning with Self Care
Equilibrium Assessment Tool
A. Inner Life (Self care and mindset)
- Self Care
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Spiritual Health
- Self Care
Journal Entries – (Self-care & Nutrition)
Nov 10, 2018 – Life Compass
We talked about Doing a Life Compass at the hospital on Friday (Nov 9) but I think it needs to be explored further. And once I’m more clear about what I need to do, I can begin to explore the types of ways I can support my decisions. But its hard to know where to start. I think mindset is the number one way to begin to untangle my stories going on in my head.
Nov 11, 2018 – Confronting Starvation
Greg and my conversation was about confronting and examining what’s behind this topic of Nutrition. Over the 16 months we have been together, I seem to have had a change in my circumstances regarding Nutrition. Here is the breakdown: I have more access to food now. My Budgets have changed and the quality food has also – due to farmers markets and being able to afford healthy food. I can now afford the food that doesn’t contain MSG, soy, lactose, gluten, pesticides, steroids, herbicides, antibiotics and preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, artificial sweeteners and Round Up. It wasn’t until I eliminated those things that I got better. Before I suffered from numerous problems and was very limited with my health. So Access to Food, budget and quality improved. I had been starved before, numerous times in my childhood and adult life. There has been pain about being starved by parents, and my story was painful.
Eating is a symptom, not the problem
Greg says “Eating is a symptom. Not the problem. Eating is an observable behaviour.” The Question is “what’s driving it – and what do I need to know in order to change it?”
Behaviour to change
Eating issues are the behaviour I want to change, what’s behind the behaviour. What’s driving my eating behaviours? What do I want to change? Then I will identify that, and then feel into what my thought patterns were the last time I ate something in a way I didn’t want to. (Ie candy). What is my thought process? Question then, where did that behaviour begin?
Starvation throughout life beginning at childhood
It all began as a kid that I was starved at times by my mother. Issues related to not having enough to eat, the wrong things to eat, not eating at all, being withheld food a specific times in the day- all indicated that body image was more important than health and wellness. I felt neglected, ignored, unsafe, ill, emotionally drained, anxious, sad, scared and many other things. I was in the hospital often and I went to bed hungry. I was hungry between meals which consisted of watered down soup or bread to fill the gaps. My mental and physical health wasn’t a priority and it was more important that I not be fat. Body image was more important than health. For instance, I had to sneak peanut butter sandwiches under my pillow so I wouldn’t go to sleep hungry. I hid them by the side of the bed by the wall and most of the time they were dry or moldy. The only time I got fed before bed was if I went to my grandma’s house and my mom would fight with her that I was going to get fat.
Body Image Obsession
And this whole issue of weight followed me throughout my teen years because mom obsessed about my body. I became very active and was always doing yoga, gymnastics, swimming, baseball, football, climbing trees, etc… Plus it was a great excuse to get away from the house. I continued to be this way as an adult until I became a baby factory. I had issues with weight and my body image because of varying weight gain and loss – in large amounts each time. I’d gain 50 lbs, lose 20 lbs, gain 30, lose 40, gain 120, lose 100, gain 20, lose 10 etc… Yo Yo Dieting and my body took a toll. And so did my mental health. I was not feeding my brain.
Starvation as an adult
I have been homeless many times when I was married or had to sneak to eat. Sometimes there was food for others but none left for me. And times the food available to me made me sick but didn’t know why because I didn’t know I had some intolerances and allergies. I used food to comfort myself when emotional. There’s this dynamic going on behind the scenes where I starve myself, followed by binging when upset or bored. So I undo all the hard work I did to starve myself. Trying to do things from a balanced perspective doesn’t work either. Only when I got really sick was when I was successful at losing weight so sadly sometimes I encouraged that too.
November 12, 2018 Monday
And its more complex than this.
I have always hoarded food and hid it for myself. I am ashamed to eat junk food, snacks, desserts around anyone and often do it when I’m alone. I’m like an alcoholic when it comes to desserts, I can’t have just a little without eventually eating the whole batch. Then there’s a bunch of inner critic to deal with afterwards. Usually before and during as well, now that I come to think about it.
Mostly I feel comfortable to eat things when with Greg because there is no shame or judgments, but its still going on in my brain.
Specialists and health care hasn’t been of much use
I saw dieticians and doctors and went to weight loss clinics and classes to learn about nutrition and health. But none of it was the same information and I just got worse. The advice was very strict and nobody human could do some of it. I’d try it for awhile and see the benefits but I’d cave. I wasn’t listening to my body and seeing what it needs instead of someone else’s theory. When I did what people recommended, I got sicker and gained weight too.
The truth is
– I obsess about the fact that I don’t have the great body that I did when I was younger and very active. And I don’t want to run into anyone I know who would see I’m not voluptuous. Which is what I think I should be. Why?
New Doctor, New Approach, limited short term fix
So this year in May I went to see a doctor who specializes in weight issues. He was great at first and very through and gave me a plan to lose weight. But it was strict. I kept to it for a few months and saw a little change in weight but it didn’t seem to work. I went back to him and told him the results but the only thing that had improved was my mental clarity and the inflammation went down, as well as the IBS. He gave me a lecture for not following the plan perfectly, even though I was. He said I may as well quit, why torture myself if I wan’t going to do what he said. But I had been. So I decided not to quit cold turkey like he said because there were other benefits that had showed up in my health besides weight loss. I noticed what worked for me and what made me sick again. What made me gain weight and what made me gain. Then I noticed that I seemed to get sicker when eating nuts and cheese. So I cut that down and tweaked the diet to what seemed to make me feel better. He said not to have dairy but I have lactose free cottage cheese and occasionally cheddar cheese. I do eat lactose-free plain yogurt too. Otherwise I keep lactose down. And all the stuff mentioned above I cut out. So my inflammation went down and I could walk and move my arms. But I couldn’t keep the diet.
The crazy diet that works but nobody can follow
It was all vegetables, and meat and animal fat (butter), and a little fruit (only if I took a walk), cheese, nuts, beans and lentils, no flour, no red vegetables, no tomatoes or carrots or eggplant, no yams, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, flour of anytype including almond flour and those types, and no bananas. No processed foods what so ever. The list is extensive. Its not a ketogenic diet, paleo, or any other name that’s out there to label a type of diet. This is the doctors own concoction of what he learned in Africa. Everyone who goes on it strictly loses weight. But it is a minimalist type of diet. Its not sustainable long term as a lifestyle change. The question is what can I eat? How much and when?
Obviously I can’t do all this but what can I do?
My gut feeling is I have to learn how my body responds and also try to curb the eating habits that aren’t healthy for me. But that’s a big thing and I’m confused. So this is something I intend to unravel over the next year. I will begin to do this in my next blog – “Are My eating habits hurting or helping me?” And as Greg says – this eating problem is the symptom, not the problem. That’s what I’m going to dig into next. See the next Blog on…