Learning to Identify and Sit with Uncomfortable Feelings

Yesterday's coaching session had my crying, which was very unexpected. I was sharing with Teri (my wonderful coach and colleague) about what I've been gaining by listening to Amy Porterfield's new podcast, Talking Body. 

Not sure if I mentioned it before, but girl, if you haven't tuned in yet to her podcast, I suggest you do. It is amazing. I may be biased though since I am a student of hers and now belong to her membership, Momentum. But...I would like to say even if I didn't know the host, I would still be affected as I am by what she shares on her podcast

Anyways, Amy dives into her own relationship with her body and interviews women around the globe, experts and just normal people about how they view their body and the steps they've taken to accept what they look like, even when their bodies may not be what society deems as beautiful.

Her big question is very similar to mine...can I love my body and still want to change it? Are the two contradictory or is it indeed possible?

It's a question I ask myself. I waver between wanting to change my body and wanting to make it "healthier." The idea of wanting to alter it to make it more of what society calls healthy seems to be in direct contradiction to me loving my body for what it is. But then there's the idea that if I love my body, I want to honor it and take care of it. It's complicated to say the least.

The thing is, I feel that I do take care of my body. No, it's when I'm "on a diet" or consciously trying to lose weight that I attempt to really take care of my body. I exercise more, choose healthier foods, restrict high calorie foods, write down and track what I'm eating, and do all the things.

But is this really considered taking care of my body? The more I learn about intuitive eating and the concept of tuning into what your body needs, my idea of taking care of my body seems less and less healthy.

Yesterday on Talking Body, Amy interviewed weight inclusive nutritionist Anna Sweeney and what she said blew my mind. You see, when I lost weight, I was tracking every bite and exercising like a crazy woman. It was a game to me and I discovered that when I kept my daily calorie intake to between 1400-1700 calories, I was golden come weigh-in day.

Well, Anna said that no adult should be limiting their calorie intake to 1200 calories. That this is what a child should be consuming, not an adult. I wasn't far off with 1400 calories. And I've looked into it. There seems to be no way that my body is getting what it needs with only 1200 calories or even 1400 calories.

I'm a work in progress, this I've shared before. I am still learning but I am also a believer that God created us as amazing humans. It's been a long time since I trusted my body and given it what it needs. I don't even know what it needs because I've tried to guess and control what I gave it for so many years, my relationship to it sucks.

Which brings me to the other guest that was on Amy's show yesterday and that was chef, Julia Turshen. She shared taht when she started changing her relationship to food, she started with buying one of those school posters that listed all the different emotions that one can have because she had realized that she had only felt two emotions her whole life- happy and fat! 

Hearing her say this was insane. Because last week during my coaching session with Teri, we had talked about this. My action step for last week (aside from continuing to learn about IE) was to print out the list of feelings words that I keep on my computer, usually reserved for my counseling clients) and I was to use it to help me identify what I'm feeling.

The goal is to not reach for food to comfort those feelings but rather to recognize and sit with those uncomfortable emotions. During my session yesterday, I shared with Teri that I struggle with expressing my emotions. Ask my husband and he'd be quick to agree. I think that was the first time I had ever put words to my struggle and it brought me to tears.

Growing up, people always commented about my smile. Even now, I hear people comment that I'm always smiling. And it's true. I cry at night in my pillow because I was raised to be happy and if I was to cry, it was in my pillow at night. Nowadays, I cry when I'm doing the dishes and sometimes when I'm on long car rides but that's a story for a different day.

But my mom us a complete optimistic, always seeing the silver lining. Which is great for her, but it meant that for me, I couldn't express my negative feelings because they were quickly dismissed by "it'll get better," "you have so much to live for," and other such meant to feel good sentiments. I don't blame my mom. It's just how she is.

However, now as an adult, I can see how this affected me, not being validated when I wasn't feeling happy. It was easier for me to just slap on a smile and turn to food (and other vices) whenever I felt less than. It became a cycle and a dangerous one at that. I stopped listening to what my body needed and instead gave it what I thought it needed.

I never did print out that list, but I will this week. I'm writing it down for you the readers to hold me to it. I'll even get one of those lists together for you so that if what I shared with you today resonates with you and you want to come along for the journey, you can start with me. Although, I'm not really starting as this has been an on-going journey for the past 44 years! 

#Feelings #MyCoachingExperience #TalkingBody #IntuitiveEating #Journey #LearningtoFeel #ReflectionsonLife #OfftheScale


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