in which Kitteh shrinks away oodles of fluff

Well, a brief update. First day of no school for my No. 1, so no car pool duty for me! Slept until kids woke up, lazed about a bit, wound up eating first packet at 10:30 rather than 7:30. This is a rather bad idea, if you are wondering. Living life on 100 calories every 3 hours does not lend itself to sleeping “in” (even if that’s just for an extra thirty minutes. I should have brought a bar upstairs with me (or at least gone down and gotten one before starting the showering/playing with kiddos/etc stuff! Now I feel rather bleh and am only on my second packet, and way behind on my water, but not enjoying it since I am feeling bleh. Planning to really sleep in tomorrow (for the first time in about 6 weeks we don’t have an early Saturday thing to do!) and let Daddy handle kiddos until 9:30 or so, so this is a good lesson – bar will come up with me tonight!

In other news – 280 today! I weighed in about half an hour late, and my water weight and hormones are still doing weirdness, so who knows what tomorrow will say, but I will take it while it lasts. That’s 45 lbs!!

Now, back to the review:

Dr. Phil’s second key is to “heal your feelings” – basically, stop emotional eating. His suggestion on how to do this seems a teensy bit superficial, in light of the fact that it can take years of therapy to accomplish this, but I like his example of “filters” – how we view things makes all the difference – he says that (in the Bible) the rest of the Israelites looked at Goliath and said, he’s so big we can’t defeat him. David looked and said, he’s so big, I can’t miss him. 🙂 I like that. My goal is to keep looking  at this 200 lbs I want to lose (well, only 155 now!) as being “so much I am bound to  post big numbers for at least a while!” rather than “so much I can never do it.” 🙂

Here are Dr. Phil’s suggested steps to “healing feelings”:

  1. Take ownership of your reactions to events. This means basically realizinng, admitting, and continually reminding yourself that it is all about how you look at it, not what happens.
  2. Resolve, rather than react to, life’s problems.
  3. Decelerate your thinking (slow down your thinking so you can see what your response is, in slow motion) This one could have a book on its own – he basically says “slow down your thinking enough to figure out what thoughts are going through your head” so you can address them (that’s the next step). His example is a woman who keeps self sabotaging because she was molested as a kid, and when she gets thinner, she starts getting male attention, and when she starts getting male attention, she feels dirty and at fault and all kinds of yucky stuff. But she had to slow down her thinking to “hear” the message her subconscious was sending her that was leading to the self sabotage. More on this below.
  4. Challenge and restructure your automatic thoughts. (Replace “I am dirty and at fault” with “it’s their issue not mine, I am beautiful, I am SAFE, etc.”)
  5. Gain emotional closure. He suggests using the “Minimal Effective Response” to do so – MER meaning whatever the LEAST thing is you have to do to have closure. For some who are dealing with a tape left over from abuse by someone else, that may mean confronting the abuser, even suing the abuser. For others, it may just mean making peace with yourself about it, or telling another person for validation. But whatever you have to do to “move on” from the experience that is giving you the negative tape in your head.

I think of this as another layer of “right thinking.” Figuring out what tape is playing and how to replace it with a healthier (yet believable) version. Since I personally spent YEARS finding and replacing those tapes to get to where I am now (losing), I feel like it takes more than just reading this chapter – it may take actual therapy. But it sure is good advice to get you started. Slow it down, figure it out, and change it.

One of my old tapes that I have replaced is, it’s not safe to be skinny. I was not abused like the woman in the book, for which I am thankful. The downside was, this was much harder to figure out because it didn’t stem from a big “event” in my case. In my case, it was just the natural result of coming from a religious “good girl” upbringing and being a fully developed, very curvy C cup at age 11. Boys at school, who knew me, didn’t even ask me out. (And yeah, I HAVE talked to some of them about it, and uniformly they say “we were looking for something we didn’t expect from you, you were more the “marrying kind” of girl.) The guys who did NOT know me, especially older ones (who thought I was their own age) would hit on me on weekends – in ways I totally wasn’ t ready for. So somewhere in all that, my tape said that I was giving off a slutty vibe (to those who didn’t know me) but those who did know me were not interested (because something was wrong with me). And since being fully developed at 11 came with physical reactions to guys, too (and NO WHERE to go to talk about that!) I thought that I really WAS slutty and could not be trusted not to fall into bed with the first willing man. (As I found out in college, this was not a realistic fear – the idea of making out with someone was a lot more appealing than the reality with most guys! Ha! But that’s another story.)  So on the one hand, my tape said I was a bad person for “looking that way” (curvy) and inviting male attention, and on the other, it said I could not be trusted to be attractive, lest I become some sort of Super Slut. So as I gained weight, I felt safer. And add to that the fact that I have always been very outgoing, and you can imagine that an outgoing curvy skinny girl got “taken wrong” by older boys, but an outgoing, still cute but not skinny girl, not so much… and by the time I was really heavy, I could feel 100% sure that guys were NOT looking at me and thinking bedroom thoughts. And part of me REALLLLY liked that.

So my new tape is, it’s safe to look good. It’s even safe to look sexy.  Sorry to get all TMI on you, but there you have it! I’m sure that as I actually GET sexier, this will get challenged a bit. But I do feel good that me at 40 can handle any “advances” that aren’t criminal – and that I am smart enough to stay safe! And I also know that I have built it up in my mind (subconsciously) to be way worse than it will be. Let’s be frank, I’m a 40 year old mom of 2. I’m not going to be chased by every man in the county. 🙂

But by the way: this isn’t about thinking you are “all that.” I don’t think that every man in 100 miles “wants me” when I am thin. But you ladies all know that there are some guys who will hit on you no matter the wedding ring, the kids, the whatever. Not because of who YOU are, but who THEY are. And those are the ones that freak the old me out.

So what are your old tapes? Have you fixed them?

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