To read part one click- My Sugar Addiction, Part Two Sugar Addiction & Self-Punishment, Part Three Could This be part of the Answer, Part Four A Seed of Transformation
Habits Are Hard To Change
During my early years as a full time Personal Trainer and Aerobics Instructor, I still hadn’t made the complete connection between a healthy body and mind vs. being skinny. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t learn everything all at once, but you can listen. But I still thought I could do it all on my own and didn’t need anyone’s “eating advice”.
“Yeah, whatever”. This used to be what I would think when people would tell me about nutrition and its effect on the body. I wanted to believe that as long as I worked out hard enough I could stay slim and look the “PT” part. I remember once eating 4 Snickers bars and then working out hard for 2 hours to wear them off. It was a constant cycle of eating too many calories, unhealthy at that, and then working them off. I guess my belief was calories in /calories out, with little regard to what type of calories. Although I did for the most part have a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, I was not eating for optimal health. I wasn’t ready to let go of my beliefs about food. Or, I may have even disputed them because I wasn’t ready to hear it or to change what I was doing. Until you have an open mind or you are ready to change, it’s hard to hear new information.
One day, I was just sick and tired from feeling sluggish, playing the calorie in/calorie out game that I began to realize that what I was doing was not the healthiest of choices. And I decided to listen to those that were healthier than I was. I found that my beliefs were starting to shift and I was ready to play a new game. Instead of being high and mighty with my way and basically shut myself off to advice, I started to say, “That’s interesting, I will have to look into that,” or “That sounds interesting, can you tell me more.” Armed with my new attitude of openness, I became more aware of eating consciously. And this started my new adventure of healthy eating, but with many bumps in the road.
I’m not really sure how the bumps crept back into my life again. Wait. Let me be completely honest. I was in my mid-20’s working like a fiend and in a bad relationship. I felt out of control with my emotions and instead of learning what to do with them I resorted back to what was easiest – numbing myself with food.
My suitcase hadn’t been opened in a while and I was still refusing to open it and put away the clothes. The exterior was looking a little rough.
I remember during my 20’s Oprah saying, on one of her shows on weight loss, that when she had lost a lot of weight and then put it back on, “Whatever stage of health/fatness you choose to be in, enjoy it until you are ready for the next stage.”
And so I did.
I enjoyed the extra 10lbs I had put on (which felt like 40lbs of mental fat). I don’t think I really enjoyed it, but I wasn’t ready to move forward because I didn’t know where I was going. So I think this was, perhaps, my first lesson in this long journey of getting control over my eating. Accept where I am and enjoy it – well at least try to enjoy it. It’s a toughie. Sometimes you need to be still, to remove the noise and feel the moment. Be present. It’s in those times that what we are wanting appears.
To this day, I detest it when someone says to me or my children that they must find this (whatever it may be) boring. Boring is a state of mind and very different from being still or quiet. Out of boredom comes creativity. Just because we are sitting still doesn’t mean we are bored! It is a skill to sit quietly and have moments of reflection and to dream.
After years of reflection, I was eating to repress feelings of loneliness and abandonment. I couldn’t find the balance or the answers that I needed in my life. I was constantly beating myself up for not being “perfect” and it was wearing me out. I also didn’t have the support I needed or the know how to get me out of my head. And I was scared.
When I moved to New York in 1998 instead of visiting museums, I would visit bakeries and eat to excess. Why? Looking back, I can say it was comfort and that I was obviously having a hard time with change. I can’t imagine how unhealthy I would be if I had not exercised throughout this journey of excessive eating. And the problem with eating, unlike alcohol and smoking, is that you can’t stop completely, you still have to eat. You have to think about food and it tempts you at every meal. I would also justify the fact that since I am exercising I can eat all this junk. Today however, I realize it’s not just about being skinny, it’s my health that matters. Depriving myself of health is worse than depriving myself of “what is considered normal eating.”
In my late 30’s I found this quote by Stanton Peele, PhD, in 7 Tools to Beat Addiction that reads, “Addiction is a search for immature gratification – it is self-seeking behavior resembling that of a dependent child.” It was a seed that I planted into my awareness and I keep this posted above my desk to remind me that I am a mature adult, that I am safe. It helps to keep me present.
I realized that I needed to release my inner child – the hurts, the pain, the emotional baggage- and grow up. I wasn’t a child anymore but I didn’t have the skills for transformation without addiction being my automatic response.
Perhaps I was ready to open my suitcase now.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday – Addiction Uncovered
Tanya Morrison has been in the Health/Wellness and Fitness Field for over two decades and has coached and trained many clients during this time. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, Pilates/Aerobics/Yoga Instructor and more. She is the creator of the Busy Mama Reboot 28 day program, 10 Day Body Reset Detox, 30 Days to a New You, Holistic Weight Management System and many more on-line programs. To find out more about these life changing programs check out the testimonials and information at www.moveyourbody.ca
Tanya has created FREE Healthy Living Challenges that you can sign up for HERE, because even though we know all this “healthy stuff” it’s good to be reminded to keep it in our awareness. Tanya created the Busy Mama Healthy Mama Facebook page so that like-minded mama’s could get great healthy information and recipes in a fun and light-hearted way.
Tanya also teaches many different classes at Move Your Body Studio in Bobcaygeon, www.moveyourbody.ca and has written Healthy Snacks for Kids, Get the Skinny on Skinny Jeans & Living Vibrantly with Raw Goodness – Your Guide to Juicing & Blending, the 21 Laws of Irrefutable Fat Loss, How to Get Rid of Cellulite and more. Her blog, www.tanyamorrison.ca has lots of great articles to help you navigate your way to the healthy life you want, tons of recipes and great tips!
Tanya presents High Performance Nutrition for Kids and Teens, How to Become an Efficient Fat Burner, hosts Raw Smoothie Parties and many more presentations. Please contact her to set up your presentation.
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 Stanton Peele, 7 Tools to Beat Addiction