Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Journey -- Breaking the Cycle Part 1

Look, Mom, I’m a yoyo!  My weight goes up, my string gets wound up, and I toss, and the weight goes down.  That’s the struggle I have with food.  I am obese.  I have dieted, lost weight, and within a short period, put it all back on, time and again.

 I have an addictive personality.  It is easy for me to get attached to things and use them to my detriment.  Many years ago I was a smoker.  I smoked four packs per day.  I tried hundreds of times to stop.  I couldn’t…until my life changed very drastically.  Long story short, I decided to end my miserable life.  I quit my engineering job, sold everything I could except my tent and my motorcycle, gave all my guitars and PA system to friends, and set out for the great Southwest on my motorcycle.  I quit smoking.  I no longer had the money to buy cigarettes; I no longer had all of those triggers that kept dragging me back to “just one more cigarette.” (By the way, I didn’t commit suicide.)  Can I do the same thing with food? 

Well, I can’t stop eating. But…I can change things so I don’t have all those triggers that send me off to raid the fridge.  But eating disorders are much deeper than that.  There are triggers deep down in my psyche driving me.  While I might be able to control some triggers, I can’t control them all.  I have to get to the root of it all.  I need help.

My wife, Ruth, and I started on the South Beach Diet over a year ago.  It was reasonably easy to do, being so overly obese that I had to do something…I was desperate.  Over the next year, we both lost eighty pounds.  We felt great!  For several months, we’d catch our weight slowly going up, and we’d counter it by going back to one of the early diet phases until we could get the weight down, again.  But, dieting gets old.  While Ruth was able to manage her weight to a reasonable degree, I exploded into a subdued feeding frenzy.  I put on eighteen pounds.  I feel it when I tie my shoes.  I feel it when I fasten my pants.  I feel it when I walk the dog.  I refused to weigh myself, knowing that it would confirm what I already knew.  I weighed yesterday afternoon—197 pounds with clothing on.  Fortunately, Ruth had already started us back on Phase One of the South Beach Diet.

I want this time to be different, though.  I’m tired of the cycle.  I’m tired of dieting.  I want change.  But I know that the change has to come from within, way deep down…perhaps in places I don’t even know how to get to, or honestly, maybe I don’t even want to get to them.  But I’m going to do it, none-the-less.

I have mentors and teachers that will help me.  I have Thich Nhat Hahn,  Dalai Lama, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Arthur Agatston  (South Beach Diet)  available in book form, and last, but by no means least, my wife, Ruth.  They have given me much in the way of guidance over the years as I deal with another character flaw.  I’m a recovering jerk.

I have tools.  I will mention my wife as the first tool.  She knows food, and she knows how to prepare it.  She can make armadillo taste like chocolate ice cream, I think.  She studies and works hard to prepare the healthy foods in great variety, and limited portions.  I could not begin to eat healthy without her dedication and help.

My second tool is meditation.   Meditation helps me order things in my mind.  It helps in ways too numerous to mention here.  I meditate at least 3 times a week, but more than that usually.   I will talk about my meditations more in future posts.

My third tool is my spiritual cadre, my spirit guides, my spirit teachers, and my spirit masters (masters as in masters of the trade).  I consult with them more often than I meditate.

My fourth tool is my dogs.  They exercise me, and they exorcise my bad moods.

Just a caveat.  I don’t pretend to have any answers.  What works for me may or may not work for someone else.  What doesn’t work for me may work for someone else.  More important than methods is the change I hope that comes out of this.  If anyone can take courage from these journals I will believe I have fulfilled the goal.  Obesity is an illness with its roots entangled deep down in the psyche.  This promises to be a revealing journey for me.

By the way, all work and no play makes me cranky.  I'm going to do a little more reading for fun.  I'm starting with the second book in a series written by Billie Jo Williams, Destiny of Dragons.  I have enjoyed her first in that series, and started the second one of the nine novels.  I might also pick up where I left of on the Dresden Files.  Looking forward to this.

Be Peace.

Be Love.

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