Losing what? might you ask.
Losing your ability to not think about food any more.
Losing your ability to not think about your body and its shape and size any more.
Losing your ability to have happy days where everything is easy.
I would so absolutely love to tell you that once you are sorted, you are sorted.
I really believed it a few months ago.
I really believed that apart from death and grief and divorce and moving and other major upsets in your life, nothing would steer you away from your beautiful path of Freedom from Food.
However, I can see that it is just not realistic.
I have had no major upset lately thankfully and yet the last couple of weeks have been hard.
My visualisation is not working.
I feel that everything is only ever half-hearted. I’m doing it – the visualisation, the writing of my goals (business and life), my affirmations, my gratitude – but it all feels like it’s for nothing and it’s NOT WORKING.
It all coincided with the end of my business coaching and the half-term holidays and the realisation that working so hard was perhaps not quite as worth it as I thought it would be, when all the money I had made could disappear in just a few days out with our daughters and also by ourselves, child-free for that length of time for the first time in 10 months…
And so I find myself in the situation of telling you what I have heard on quite a few separate occasions: your lifelong ‘thing’ is food and weight. And yes, it is LIFELONG. It means it will keep coming back, in times of stress or upset or inner turmoil.
For some it’s drinking, for some it’s depression, for others it’s anxiety, for yet others it’s stress. For me, and for you, it’s food and weight (and appearance/size/body confidence).
Let me reassure you before I go on: it CAN be mostly sorted, maybe 90% of it. It’s just that there is a remaining 10% that will keep coming back and pestering you.
However, that ‘thing’ is not your enemy. It is your friend, your alarm bell, which lets you know that something is out of kilter in your life and needs your attention.
I think right now, for me, that alarm bell is ringing to let me know I have lost sight of Mother Ship. I feel alone, lonely, isolated, lost. I have lost my mojo and now I’m about to tackle a mammoth task (writing an e-course) and have no solid guidance, the way I did during my Mastermind (coaching). Support if I need it, yes, but not solid guidance, no constant hand-holding.
But it’s not just that. I think I would have coped well with just that.
Other things have piled up on top of that – an argument with a family member (now sorted, thankfully), being on holiday and out of sync with our normal routine, feeling the pressure of finding not just an idea but THE idea for my e-course, reading a book that brings back all sorts of memories from early motherhood for me, not feeling understood, not feeling supported, by anybody, and feeling so far from my friends (France, Canada, other side of London), from the people who know me, understand me and know how to support me.
And then the coup de grâce: my mother having a health scare.
It was all TOO MUCH.
And the key word was LONELINESS.
So today, I would like you to join me and follow me on my journey to ‘recovery after losing it’.
I used the same steps that I use every time I ‘lose it’ – and the good news is that they work faster and faster every time. So maybe there’s still 10% of your ‘crap’ coming back at you every now and again, but that same 10% goes away on its own merry way faster and faster, because you become quicker and quicker and more and more amazing at analysing the whys and hows andat using the tools that you have in your toolbox.
For me, it all started with:
- Being away from home, with not much control over food (what are we going to eat, when are we going to eat, what will my girls be able and willing to eat?) I used to have massive anxiety about food when away from home. It’s a whole lot better, but I realised last week I wasn’t completely out of the woods yet.
- The guilt around the family argument, but also the power I felt within me when it happened – my mama’s instinct was at its strongest, it was a little scary. I felt like a wild animal, a wild lioness watching from the sidelines and then running and pouncing to protect her young and enveloping her in her paws and taking her away from the situation. It was definitely a fight-or-flight response.
- The excitement of eating out a few times and eating quite a lot (a lot more than normal) for 2 days, away from our daughters and the rest of the family.
- Feeling bloated – too much bread, too much pizza.
- Worrying about being bloated – ‘Maybe I’m not bloated, maybe I’ve put on some weight!’
- Feeling more and more out of control, because the best way I have found to ‘make the pain go away’ (even physical, even the one that is precisely related to what I have been eating!) is… eating even more!
- Worrying that because I wasn’t going to do as much walking as I normally do, I would not feel so good about my body (and so of course it happened just as predicted!)
- The massive reluctance to use my go-to tool: EFT/tapping.
- Not trusting myself or my body that we would cope with all these changes.
- Not trusting my body full stop.
- Not trusting myself full stop.
What I did about it
So on Monday night, I tapped (i.e. did EFT) on the massive discomfort I was feeling because I couldn’t consciously understand why, where it was coming from and, more importantly, what to do about it.
That opened the floodgates.
And yesterday morning, my discomfort – turned loneliness, not fitting in, feeling like I don’t matter and no one cares, horrible, all-pervasive SHAME and wanting to give up, to delete everything (my website, my blog posts, my vlogs, my life) – was still there.
More tapping was in order. Reaching out was too. In my Mastermind group as well as in an ‘offloading’ group I belong to, which was created at just the right time a few days ago – just as I had been thinking about creating a (live, face-to-face) postnatal support group for my past clients to offload too, about motherhood, about babyhood, about anything they need – I bared it all. Again. And while I felt raw and miserable and vulnerable, I got wonderful support back. Not belonging, sharing this feeling with others, made me feel like I was belonging somewhere at least.
And after some journalling, I was completely better. And an odd sense of clarity was showing itself, finally, after days of wallowing in dark, murky waters.
And this morning, WOW! So much clarity! So much enthusiasm! If yesterday afternoon I felt like I was coming back to the surface, today I know that I am jumping out of the water and reaching new heights.
So next time you feel down in the dumps, and next time you feel like bingeing and you feel like you don’t care any more, and feel like deleting your life and feel the shame and the disappointment and the misery of it all and just keep reaching for more and more food as you tell yourself more and more horrible things about yourself… STOP.
Stop and recognise that it is only your friend, your alarm bell going off and telling you that you need to look at your life and see what needs changing.
Use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) / tapping to get out of the murky waters, write your thoughts down in your journal, do some ‘free writing’ – just write write write and see what comes up. Your unconscious is then free to express itself, and that is where your insights reside. Your intuition. Your soul. Your wisdom. So just sit down and write and let it free.
And at some point, reach out to other people. Don’t stay on your own with those horrible feelings. Share. No matter how painful it is to bare it all. Have courage to express what is happening in your inner world. Join my Facebook group here and tell us about your struggles. You will only find support in there.
Six things you can do
Next time you just want to binge binge binge, follow these steps:
1) Stop the spiral.
2) Recognise that this is your alarm bell ringing and wanting your attention to the REAL problem (not food, not weight, not appearance).
3) Reach out and express your deepest thoughts and fears, get some kind of support, be brave and tell at least one person what is really going on in your life.
4) Use EFT.
6) Rest and sleep. Tomorrow is another day, and clarity will come. Be patient.
If you would like to find out more about my Freedom from Food for Mums programme and how it could help you, do book a free 30-minute call. I will be more than happy to answer all your questions. You can also have a look here.