Baby steps

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    • #10405
      Jane
      Participant

      Just sharing experience here:

      Before Thanksgiving I had success with the stoping picking (I was still overeating at meals, after meals and between meals). But that little success gave me a lot of hope. Then I backslid after Thanksgiving, sought Gillian’s help and started choosing “for this meal” only. I started aiming just not to pick 90% of the time and things got better. Then the course ended and the next thing I know was that I lost focus (lots of work, conference, remote school etc) and I was back to the mindset of three meals and a snack, nothing in between and no picking. Well I didn’t even get started, let alone succeed at it.

      So the last few days I am back on the “working with the picking” and I am back thinking there may be a baby step way out of this. Working with picking at food is the baby version of working with the addictive desire: The drive isn’t so intense but I practice the skills. It is like working with the addictive desire with training wheels on. Hopefully I can work my way up to working with the desire but I now recognize the need to use baby steps.

      I set aside a bunch of time each week when the course was in full swing, but then work and worries took over immediately after it finished. I need to both do something that I can manage in my current lifestyle, and find a way to connect with the course, and the people, even when it isn’t in course mode. I’m thinking on this.

      Jane

    • #10407
      Louise
      Participant

      Hi Jane, I so agree that baby steps are the way forward. I’m still making little changes, 18 months in, even though I am pretty much where I wanted to be with my eating. So my latest change is stepping up the variety of vegetables I eat – a positive change!

      Just a suggestion that may help, what I did was to watch or listen to the course webinars at every possible opportunity- my favourite was having Gillian on my tablet while doing the ironing, but I also played the webinars through headphones while walking my dogs, washing up, and in bed at night when I couldn’t sleep. One thing that’s handy is that you can slightly speed up the audio using the little cog on the bottom right of the screen. Just the other day I listened to one of the q&a webinars instead of watching the TV in the evening. For a long time, I also did the written exercises most days. Just the other day, I used the mp3 player when I got a really strong desire after eating a particularly yummy (and healthy!) evening meal.

      There’s something about hearing Gillian explain things over and over again that changed my brain and deepened my understanding. Every time I listen, I pick up a different nuance. The q&a are great too, because you hear things explained in a different way again because of people’s questions. I really recommend using the materials at every opportunity.

      It might even be that ‘Oh, I’ve finished the course now’ could be your sneaky addictive mindset justifying holding back on the changes you want to make. And whenever I feel that maybe I am being a bit over the top in listening to the webinars again, I remind myself that it has worked.

      Best wishes and good luck – you have already come a long way in just noticing your triggers, and that’s massive!

    • #10411
      Jane
      Participant

      Wow. Louise. This is SO helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

      My time for watching videos in the house is really limited so I think I am going to create mp3s of the webinars and listen to them out walking and driving like you suggest.

      I used to be a member of 12 step groups and I know that the daily meetings really helped me stay connected and I learned a lot that way – it just wasn’t an approach that I learned.

      I just this morning finished reading Ellen Langer’s Counterclockwise which is a brilliant book about health, our interactions with medical professionals and literature and aging. She cautions against the healthy or disease dichotomy mindset but encourages a continual journey toward maximizing our health through mindful baby steps. Except she put it better. But it so ties in with how you describe your approach above.

      Thanks you so much!

      Jane

    • #10425
      Judith
      Participant

      Hi Jane,

      I’m afraid I haven’t got anything nearly as constructive to say as Louise, but I am rooting for you and hope you can find some space in your life to focus on yourself and the changes you want to make.

      I probably have the opposite lifestyle to you as I am retired and through choice I don’t have any children, so other than my very bossy cat I have few demands on my time. My friends in the village though, who do work, run a home and look after a family sound more like you. My observation of them is that they seem to take on all sorts of responsibilities that they don’t need to or at the very least could choose not to but feel pressured to do so by a variety of factors. This leaves them very little time for their own self care. I know from my own experience that this is not sustainable.

      In my 30s I worked for a New Zealand company installing Pathology IT systems into hospital laboratories all over the world. I seemed to spend half my life on the road, living in hotels, eating and drinking too much, not getting any exercise and basically just working, sometimes from 6am until late, 6 or 7 days a week. I didn’t even have time to get my haircut or go for regular health check ups. I gained over 100lbs, could hardly walk more than a few hundred yards and was drinking like a fish. Eventually, I had a breakdown and had 3 months off work.

      The sobering thing I learned by that experience is that the world didn’t fall apart just because I did. It kept going just fine without me.

      So try if can to you prioritise yourself and your needs Jane they are every bit as important as everyone else’s.

      Cheers
      Judith

    • #10434
      Jane
      Participant

      Thanks, Judith,

      Yep, I am working through the lifestyle issues as much as I can, ironically, using some of the choice principles that Gillian has taught us. I don’t want to rationalize my eating with “I don’t have time to tackle this problem” but I do need to carve out a bit of time to learn the basic concepts and be awake enough to care. So some time is needed but then, after that, how much time does it take to practice working through one urge a day – my current practice goal.

      So I am trying to find balance in work as best as I can, or at least plan for it. And trying to find the balance in family obligations as best as I can too by recognizing that I have choices and there are consequences to those choices. So recognizing that my daughter is having a hard time, and she is only going to be living at home for a year and a half, I might choose to put some of my needs on the back burner for now. But recognizing that is a choice that I make and one that has consequences. Same with work: I work for myself and generally enjoy it but one major project is too little, two is doable, three and I have no time for anything else. So how can I put myself in the position to control my work flow (that is usually in someone else’s hands but there are ways and means to nudge things a bit). All choices that are in my control.

      Except regarding my cat, who rules our house. Life is miserable if I don’t feed her exactly when she wants. She believes every meal is her last and she is just about to starve – so much for the concepts of intuitive eating, which have never worked in any way, shape or form for me.

      Thanks for sharing – it is good to have reminders that I can’t do it all, or I can, but there will be consequences,

      Jane

      • #10436
        Judith
        Participant

        Hi Jane,

        Your schedule sounds truly challenging but as you say it doesn’t take long to work through one urge a day (in fact it doesn’t take much longer than feeding it) and I know from my own experience on the course that this can pay huge dividends particularly if you try to focus on your most damaging behaviour.

        Love the story about your cat, sounds just like mine, she is generally pretty vocal but if she wants something, food, fuss or to be let out she has a very strident miaow which conveys very clearly that she wants it NOW!

        Cheers

    • #10481
      Peggy
      Participant

      Hi, what exactly do yo mean by picking? Thank you.

    • #10482
      Jane
      Participant

      Hi Peggy,
      I guess technically it is not much different from overeating but it has a continual conscious element to it. I’d best describe it as the following:

      Snacking on food when I am preparing food
      Seeing food and picking bits of it when it is in the kitchen
      Eating bits of leftovers

      Its less of a sitting down at a table and eating and more of a tasting, licking, kind of thing than eating the entire thing.

      If felt like a totally compulsive and overwhelming habit. Using Gillian’s habits I stopped entirely for 10 days, then relapsed a bit, but now I am making my choices by the occasion and pick about 30% of the time. I’d like it to be less but I’m still pleased and often I find myself preparing food or chucking leftovers now without even thinking of picking.

      Hope that helps!
      Jane

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