This pandemic has many lessons and challenges. I’ve been avoiding writing here these last few months because it seems focusing on weight loss when we are focused on more pressing issues at hand wasn’t making much sense.
I am grateful to be living in a place where there is open space, beautiful greenery everywhere and my family is staying safe. I hold onto that, and I hold those who are not as fortunate in my heart. I wish for all to find peace where they can right now.
On the weight loss front, I’ve not made much effort. I am Luminous for breakfast and lunch, but failing at dinner, not making it important. I’ve done a lot of journaling about why this continues to be something I’m not willing to do consistently. I know what to do, I know how great I feel in body and mind when I do it, and yet, I’ve stubbornly avoided the steps. I’m embarrassed, and angry.
One day I was journaling and kept just writing “why, why, why, why…” And then the next thought was
“I want relief.”
Often with addiction we are seeking to self-medicate, but it never occurred to me that the desire to self-medicate boils down to that one phrase…
“I want relief.”
When I successfully released weight in the past, I was making a concerted effort to replace the long held belief that food would make it better, with other activities that would help alleviate the triggers sending me to the refrigerator late at night. When feelings of anxiety or loss or depression set in, I had some tools like walking, mediating, going to bed earlier, calling a friend, and so on. As an empath, I’ve always had to find ways to let go of the energy of others. Right now, there is a LOT of energy to shed. I watch too much news, and I get angry and frightened. When will this end? How will I get back to my work? And in those moments, I will do anything to feel any morsel of relief.
When that word entered my mind, it felt a bit like an “Aha.” The distinction that I wasn’t some self-sabotaging human, but rather doing what we as humans tend to do. When we are stressed, we want safety. When we are angry, we want justice. When we are hit with the unknown, we want certainty.
Relief. Such a simple word that carries with it such power.
I want relief.
When I wrote that in my journal, a calm came over me. I had forgotten that relief is available to me at any moment. To sit quietly, focusing on my breath, focusing on letting whatever thoughts and emotions were triggered to wash over and through.
And so I begin again. I choose again. This shift can happen instantly, but I have to surrender to making that choice. I have to surrender to shifting my behavior and find relief in ways that do not undermine the vision I have for myself.
My stubbornness and resistance is a roadblock to relief. My unwillingness to use the tools I know work is really just my fear that I will lose something in the process. My perception around what really delivers relief and what is just a story I’ve long told myself is just that: A story.
There is also another component at work here which is the feeling of lack. Right now it is all too easy to come from that place of not enough, to be afraid of letting go of anything, including those old thought patterns and beliefs.
Finding relief means embracing a willingness to let go, to surrender. To feel relief requires vulnerability and stillness. When fear is running the show, we are not at ease. We are not able to be in this moment. Fear wants us in a state of anxiety and readiness for battle. Fear wants us to believe that we won’t win if we surrender. When fear is running the show, we lose sight of our dreams and goals. We are in a state of recoiling from the world. We lose faith. We feel hopeless.
Finding true relief requires me taking the steps and having faith. I reclaim my faith in the tools. I work the steps. I work the program, and I reclaim my faith in knowing that discomfort is temporary. I remember that what is on the other side is worth shifting the behavior.
So I begin.
- A two-minute meditation before my evening meal. And another in the evening if necessary.
- Drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day.
- Walking more to release some of the pent up anxiety.
- Resuming a morning mediation practice.
- Quiet time before bed when electronics are off and I can embrace the silence and safety of my room.
May we all find relief in peaceful moments. And may we all recognize this too shall pass.
I have a choice as to how I use this time. I must not waste it.