Some of you will see this title and think, “Why would you want to do that?” Others may find it pretty easy to understand. When you struggle with a food addiction, it’s never easy. Who knew that a croissant could bring awareness and freedom, thanks to the tools I received at The Journey Training and a friend who I met there?
My friends and I were having a magical breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My meal came with a croissant. I can normally say no to croissants, as there are breads that are much more satisfying and calorie-worthy to me. I told myself I didn’t need it. I offered it to my friends at the table who were not gluten-free. They both politely declined. I even offered it again, and then I just left it on my plate.
I finished breakfast first, and a little voice whispered in my ear: “They’re still eating and you’re done. Just eat it.” I gave in and regretted it.
A little later I was talking to my friend. We are so transparent with each other. The Journey Training enabled us to do that – to go deep and feel safe. She said, “I know you offered it. I was surprised when you ate it, but didn’t want to say anything and hurt your feelings.”
A huge light bulb came on. I struggle with food addiction and I have shed a lot of tears over the years when people have made comments about what I’m eating. I have an inner monologue that says, “They think I’m fat. They think I’m eating way too much. I’m a pig.” I’ve learned to recognize these negative lies. We call them tapes, the stories we make up in our heads. My friend knows this about me and didn’t want me to make up any stories.
I thought about it and had a huge revelation! It wasn’t about WHAT she says, but WHEN to say it. I could see the difference now! I shared with her that if we are eating and I’m clearly trying not to eat something, she can suggest I not eat it or help me get rid of it. That way, she’s helping me do what I’ve already decided beforehand that I want to do. However, if I’m enjoying my food or already eating it, she can just let me eat it. That was a huge awareness for me because I can now communicate this need for support to others.
Two powerful tools from the training were at play here.
I distinguished between the truth and self-limiting beliefs. It was true I didn’t need to eat the croissant. It was true that my friend could see that. It isn’t true when I make up stories that people think I’m a fat or that they are controlling my food because they suggest I don’t eat something or that I don’t want it from their perspective. They are simply trying to help me.
I communicated what I needed from my friend. In The Journey Training, we learn to ask the question, “How can I love and support you?” This allows the person to share how they need love so that it will be received as love and not misunderstood or received as something else. You can also tell others what you need from them instead of waiting for them to ask you the question.
What’s your croissant? What do you want sometimes, but need to avoid most of the time?
Do you have beliefs you tell yourself that aren’t true? Do you wish you had someone to hold you accountable when and where you need accountability?
Do you feel like you need better skills in communicating love?
Plenty of people have compared the weights we can lift to the weights we carry in life, whether we call them weights, trials, or maybe even chains. This blog will look at how I lift weights a little differently, in the gym and in life.
I’m taking a Strength and Tone class on Monday nights. This usually involves a step bench, weights (“light” and “heavy” as designated by each individual), and sometimes a bar, resistance band, or ball. I always have extra weights handy, because my left side is weaker than my right from a stroke. Needless to say, I work out to the best of my abilities. I can do everything I’m asked to do (try telling me I can’t – I dare you!), but it usually looks different or takes my muscles a minute to coordinate themselves.
Recently, I was doing overhead lifts and I could feel my left-hand over-flexing, bending back too far. I didn’t have to drop the weight. I just had to change my grip!
The beauty of taking a class like this is that there’s always freedom to do what works for me.
Let’s look at some of the choices I can always make:
Do the exercise as it is prescribed – Sometimes, I can do exactly what I’m given to do. That’s great!
Change the way I do it – One of the best ways I’ve learned to do push-ups is with a hand on a weight – it takes pressure off of my wrist. Maybe you can’t do something the same way as another person – so do it your way!
Do more – I can lift more on my right side, so I always have a heavier weight for that side or I do more repetitions with that side. Sometimes we can do more in one way than another! I can listen and give advice way better than I can cook.
Alternate – Sometimes I can’t do both arms at the same time, but I can focus on one at a time. How true in life is this one? If there’s more paperwork to be done, my house can stay messy until I can finish the paperwork and then pick up the cleaning – unless there’s something more fun!
Drop the weight – Oh, I do not like this option! Well, maybe I should. Maybe I need to rest for a few seconds. Maybe, I need to reclaim my balance. I’ve come to realize that if I’m going to be any good later, sometimes I need to take a break.
We all have trials in life that aren’t as simple as managing hand weights during a workout. Sometimes we don’t have all of the choices available to us in every situation. For example, if you’re a single mom, there may be weights you cannot drop, but you can move them around. You can lift them differently. We always have choices that we can make, if we will learn to slow down and consider them.
The Journey Training is like weight training for your life. It can train you to identify your weights, equip you with exercises, and help you lift more effectively, all while strengthening you in your life! Are you ready? Enroll in the next class and get pumped up!
Life can be overwhelming and exhausting. There, I said it. I’m sure anyone reading this has thought the same at least once or twice. If you are like me, you might even think it hourly. The list of things to do and focus on in my brain is so long I need lists to remember the lists: categorized, bulleted, sub-categorized, color coded, and in order of importance – thorough lists. Those lists will make it better, right? Those lists will make me feel safe and secure, won’t they? Those super lists will make all of this exhaustion go away and make my universe super productive. I just know it.
Every night before I go to bed I look at my lists. Every day I wake up and look at my lists.
I add to the lists.
Re-arrange the lists.
I make lists for others and then another list to keep track of the lists I delegated.
Chore lists with corresponding days and rotations.
Shared calendar lists.
Lists for the present.
Lists for the future.
Lists for each family member broken down by health, finance, fun and relaxation.
Lists for employees.
Lists for both businesses.
Lists of what color “ewws” were in my children’s diapers.
You’d think my world was the picture of efficiency. Yet in the past week we’ve missed 3 doctor appointments, 2 jobs, run out of diapers and my house looks like 7 tornadoes hit it.
On my fridge is this beautiful grocery list. I designed it to be aesthetically pleasing to encourage my family members to use it. It’s there for anyone in the family to write down what we need. When anyone uses the last of anything in the kitchen, all they have to do is walk right over to the fridge grab the attached velcro’d pencil (in case they need to erase) and write the item on the list. Those items are then transferred to my master grocery list on my iPad. I take the iPad list shopping with me once a week and gleefully cross off each item.
Yesterday morning I woke up and we were out of coffee. I panicked; full-fledged perspiring panic. I ran straight to the list on the fridge to see how I could make such an error. Coffee was not on the list on the fridge. Therefore coffee did not make it to the list on the iPad. Thus coffee did not get purchased at the store. This was an epic fail in my list system. I must re-calibrate.
Immediately, I called everyone into the kitchen for a review on how to use the “fridge list system.” “Whew”! Crisis averted. I felt better. I can now move on to my day. “Where did I put the fire engine red to-do list?” “Wait, it’s 2pm and I haven’t made any of my 9-11am phone calls or sent any of the emails I was supposed to send. I haven’t eaten breakfast. Wow, nor have I eaten lunch. Where are my children? How is this possible?” Consulting the lists. Combing the lists. – It’s all ON THE LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time to kick it into high gear. “Stop being a slacker, Joanne. I need a cup of coffee. Oh wait. It wasn’t on the list.”
DING DING DING DING!!!!! “Stop, Joanne. Just stop.”
In the narrative above I have all of these important things on the lists. I also have something I “need” that never made it to any of the lists. I don’t understand. How did I fail at so much when I had such amazing lists? I wasted an entire day being unproductive. I felt defeated and overwhelmed and exhausted. Aren’t the lists designed to make me more efficient and productive? Life is exhausting. There, I said it again.
In my efforts to achieve productivity, keep up, do the right thing, better myself, be giving, loving, supportive, a good employee, a good spouse, a good parent, good pet owner, good driver, good cook, good example, good friend, good aunt, good steward, good citizen, healthy, intelligent, educated, funny, creative, inspiring, well-rounded, joyful spirited, I’ve become unbalanced and miserable. ***I*** did this. Me. Great, no coffee, no productivity AND an “aha” moment. This is spectacular.
I’m way out of balance. DING DING DING DING!!!!! “Stop, Joanne. Just stop.”
Drawing from the knowledge I received in The Journey Training I am able to identify the lack of balance. How do I get back into balance? Back to basics: I have the tools. I have the knowledge. I need to put it to use.
It’s probably obvious that my default personality loves details – lots of details and information. For the next week though, I will focus on one item from each of the “other” personalities.
Take Action – Making lists does not produce forward momentum.
Have fun – This rejuvenates my spirit and gets me out of my head.
Be thankful – It’s perspective. An attitude of gratitude can work wonders.
Back to basics. I’m a free and fierce woman. I’m hopeful I will be able to write another piece on the progress I’ve made. Wish me luck!
As a child, Ryan’s Steakhouse was a regular weekend dinner. That was buffet heaven! I could eat anything and as much as I wanted. Unlike when I ordered, I didn’t have to answer for my choices until it was already on the table. The best part – The dessert bar! Frozen yogurt with all the toppings! It just didn’t get any better than that!
As a recovering food addict, there came a point when buffets stopped being my friend. In fact, in bondage to guilt and shame, my dining experiences were often ruined. I would walk up to the buffet and the foods in front of me looked so good, but there was a voice that said, “I’m beckoning you. Don’t you want me?” That voice competed with one that said, “You shouldn’t eat ANY of this.” Buffet foods CALL MY NAME by the sight of them and often my choice becomes either overindulge or deprive myself.
When I order my food, on the other hand, I have more control over the decision. I can see what it is I really want without being distracted by the sight of all the other food. For instance, my favorite meal right now is asparagus fries and a salmon salad from Marlow’s Tavern. Delish! I crave this meal. Something INSIDE of me desires it!
In her book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, tells stories of women and then gives an analysis of the symbolism in those stories. In one of them, she compares the spectrum of our cravings to a smorgasbord (a buffet). Sometimes, we can look and see what we are hungry for. Other times, we have to look deeper at our cravings. It’s a metaphor for intuition and instinct.
Intuition is defined as “knowing something by a feeling rather than by facts.”
Instinct is defined as “something deep inside of you that feels so familiar you have to listen to it.”
I don’t have great eyesight, but I have a lot of intuition and instinct. There are things that I just know. They don’t come from my eyes. They come from inside of me.
Problems come into my life when I allow myself to get so distracted by what is going on around me or the number of choices I could make that I forget the truth that is inside of me. I allow myself to be overwhelmed by the buffet of the moment, just like I used to at Ryan’s Steakhouse, and I make choices that aren’t the best for me and others.
At The Journey Training, I learned tools to sort through the distractions – the buffets of the moment. I was reminded that everything I need to get what I want in life and to be who I was created to be is inside of me! I learned how to slow down my mind, to pause, to quiet the voices, to focus on the truth.
“Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”
The buffets of life are always going to be calling your name. If you’re overwhelmed by all the voices calling your name, how do you choose what is best? Go with your intuition and instinct. Enroll in the next Threshold class!
Each morning when I come to work I check my email for any overnight issues and then I head out to walk the floor in the data center and then move across to the main building to make sure everything looks okay. This morning while I was in the data center I noticed a young man pushing a small box along the conveyor. The box was not quite heavy enough to take advantage of the moving wheels that could have taken it all the way to the truck for shipment. The box had a destination or purpose if you will.
Watching the box struggle and the young man pushing it periodically reminded me of our own lives at times. We may know our destination or purpose but sometimes we struggle to get there. I have a great wife and some great friends and when they see me struggling they come along side me and become my Barnabas – my encourager.
Do you know someone that could use a Barnabas? Do you need a Barnabas? Last night I spoke to a friend, someone that I admire very much for his wisdom and insight. I was sharing with him my purpose, passion, and desire to become a Life Coach. I shared the steps I had already taken and what I planned to do next. Everything he spoke to me just became more and more of an encouragement.
We often get stuck in ruts and are afraid to ask for help or encouragement. We start thinking to ourselves, “If I am struggling, it must not be for me.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, that kind of statement could be exactly what your enemy wants you to believe so you will not even try, let alone succeed. How many times do we give up because we can’t seem to figure something out on our own?
As an aspiring life coach, I’ve learned that it’s important to reach out and ask for help, especially if I believe in my heart this is my purpose and passion. Just like that box that was on the road to its destination, we all need encouragement at many times alone our own path. I used to just wait for opportunity to come to me… Not anymore! If I need a Barnabas, I will reach out. How about you?