Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Letting Go


"There are times when we simply don't want to let go of old behaviors, even when they are detrimental. Truth be known, you really don't have to...but, by choosing not to change, you are choosing to further harden the cement that is keeping you stuck."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

I wish I had a dollar for every person I know who has chosen to remain "stuck." Of course, most "stuck" people would cry out that they are powerless to change. For one reason or another, either someone or something or some unknown power is keeping them "against their will" in the behaviors or patterns that are taking them down the road to destruction, even to death.

I know....I was personally "stuck" for decades & fell into the "unknown power running my life" group. As I explained it, "It's rather like being possessed & while I don't believe in demons, this felt extremely close!" Because it went on for so long, I had plenty of time to contemplate on my dilemma, not quite understanding why I was chosen by the "unknowns". Then, I came to realize that there was a whole world of people who were also under "their" possession, so I was not so special after all.


Oh....how convenient. Now, if I could just believe that, I could solve everything right now. Just think, here I've been stuck in this cement for decades & now I'm being told that "I'm powerful & I can change IF I CHOOSE." Talk about guilt! So, if I don't choose to change, then I'm to blame? Is that what you are saying?


It's difficult for me see, acknowledge & to be with my argumentative child-Self. I'm already aware of how it's blocked me in the past & now here it is again. Inner arguing is how I spend a good part of my time & my "director" has been waking me up each & every time I do this. I've come to understand that it doesn't serve me well to "inner argue." In fact, it wastes alot of energy & time. The more I argue with myself, the more difficult it becomes to move into the behavior that I need.

What will it take for me to form a new behavioral pattern? Is it possible to truly become "unstuck"?

Sometimes I get answers to my questions right away. Other times it's like I'm talking to myself & besides my secret eating issues, I worry about my sanity.

But, this time the answer comes in the form of a suggestion.

Relax deeply & go to the theater of your mind. The behavior is waiting for you in the form of a puzzle. It has different parts. You can take it apart & then put it back together again. Notice that some of the puzzle parts actually work well, but some do not. These need to be replaced. Take those & put them to the side. They are no longer useful. Now notice that you have other choices to replace these parts. Ask the parts to demonstrate themselves. There is no need to rush. You've been stuck for a long time, so do take your time as you make the very best choice for you. Once you have chosen the parts that will work best, place them on the table. Your creative mind will now complete the new behavior & the puzzle is solved.

My behavioral puzzle has to do with night eating. I'm stuck in a very old behavior of wanting to eat when I'm completely finished with my work & sit down to watch a bit of TV. It has nothing to do with hunger & in order to be effective, it must be done privately or in secret. In the past, I've squirreled food & taken it to just about every room in the house in order to enjoy my fix. Once it's done, my body releases. It's quite interesting to watch, but it doesn't work for my any longer & I want to exit it.

As I work with my puzzle in the theater of my mind, I come to understand that it is just fine for me to eat something at that time. In other words, I give myself permission. To a bystander, this may seem inconsequential, but to a secret eater, it is not. Way back, when I was a young child, this kind of eating would have brought all sorts of consequences, from teasing, to my brothers grabbing my food, to my mother's disapproval of crumbs, dishes to be cleaned, followed by loudly criticizing my need to eat so much. "If you continue eating like this, you'll be as big as a cow." Obviously, it was much easier to hide & eat & to avoid all of the emotional hassle which would have obliterated my original reason for eating in the first place....stress release!

But, I'm not a child any longer & if I would like to eat something, it is just fine. If someone comments, I can handle that by being pleasantly assertive. I can also go to that special place of enjoyment in my mind's eye & truly enjoy whatever I've chosen to eat. In other words, I can truly release & it is OK to release on food in this particular moment.

This doesn't mean that I can or should release on food in other moments & that is quite understood. That wouldn't make for balanced living, but this puzzle is not about that. It's very important to keep the puzzles separate & to work with them independently in the theater of the mind.

As I worked with the evening eating puzzle, I was able to effect a good change just with that major piece. Other puzzles can involve more pieces that need change. As I entered the newly chosen behavior in the theater of my mind, I felt the peace enter & so I knew intuitively that the work was well done. I also noticed that it would be fine IF I didn't choose to eat.....that was something I didn't expect & once again, I came to understand the power of being free to choose.

Yes, I am a mature adult & I can make good decisions for myself.