Monday, March 31, 2008

Tapa, Tapa, Squeeze

That darn tapping thing really works. I am overwhelmed today and want to inhale the house and the dog. So I have been tapping. I sit down (the first key I've decided) and begin my finger tap dance. I have still eaten more than my fair share, but not as much as usual.

Episode three of "I Can Make You Thin" was about craving control. This technique was aimed mostly at how to control the intake of specific trigger foods. Enter Karmel Sutra. I think Ben and Jerry should have a ring of their very own in Hell. Maybe Mrs. Field and those cookies could join them. And Colonel Sanders. So okay, I have been thinking about that awful ice cream since the dog and my ice cream and pizza party last week. I wanted more. I was prepped for this episode.

Paul, I'm now on a first name basis with him, said to visualize some thing that would make you gag if you ate it. I am an ex-nurse. I had a plethora of choices. Okay substance was visualized, then using your fork or spoon take a bite of the vile substance he said, I gagged and was not alone if audience reaction was to be believed. Next cover or mix your trigger food with the vile substance and take a take a bite of it, more gagging, then press the thumb and middle finger of your left hand together while still imagining the trigger food and vile substance mixture. The next time the trigger food sings its siren song, you are to press your fingers together and visualize eating the mess. He says you will never again feel quite the same way about the trigger food. It will lose its inflated pleasure quotient. (He says if you have done the exercise correctly you may even have to mourn the loss of the beloved trigger food.) What an awful thing to do to a perfectly nice ice cream.

Second step of the exercise was to visualize a most happy event in your life. Imagine the event in detail. See the colors, feel the breezes, smell the aromas, experience the joy. Then press your thumb and middle finger of your right hand together. This exercise is to follow the one described above. He says each time we eat the trigger food and experience pleasure we reinforce its power to make us happy. Many of our trigger foods have pleasure accretions years thick. The vile substance squeeze strips the accretions and takes the trigger food back to its's just ice cream. The special event squeeze reinforces the idea in our minds that true pleasure can be found outside of a bowl. All very Pavlovian. If it ever quits snowing(currently four inches and counting) I am going to go to town and get some of that ice cream. I will see if I can eat it. Should be quite a test.

Tap on McKenna. Love Bea

P.S. I am trying to unpack the remaining boxes upstairs. It's stuff I don't know what to do with. I am so frustrated. What do you do with old modems, answering machines, family photos and memorabilia , lamps, art work, and blankets you currently are not using but might someday? I do not seem to have the heart to give away perfectly good wool blankets, and art work I love but no longer have space for. So, I stand in the midst of the mess and tap my face. help

Friday, March 28, 2008

Tapa, tapa, tapa

I did not get back here as soon as I had hoped. Mark went out of town for work again this week. I hate it. It's the snow. Scares the crap out of me every time he drives out of here in another darn blizzard. More of the white stuff predicted again today. sigh

Okay down to cases. Thanks everyone for the comments. Lori even tackled the subject on AFGZ. Episode two of "I Can Make You Thin" was about emotional eating. That would be me. I eat to zone out. As I have said before I fear strong feelings. Even happy ones. If I eat I don't have to feel. I always thought I ate mainly because after a sugar binge I could pass out and did not have to feel anything. Nay not so much. I eat because I stop feeling while I am eating. The minute food hits my palate I go unconscious. It is bliss. I get to go away from my body and my life for awhile. I sure hate to come back. I often cry when I return and find the food gone. Poor child.

This is mostly not about food. I know what happened to me as a kid was bad, but the enormity of the destruction has become apparent since I lost the weight. Children who are sexually abused learn to leave their bodies. I so learned this useful skill. Trouble is, I have used/am using this skill to escape life. I was overwhelmed by horror as a small girl. The legacy of the abuse is a fear of all feeling. If I feel at all it overwhelms me. I like being sort of emotionally even keel numb.

Enter Paul McKenna and his tapping. He says emotional eaters are easily overwhelmed and learn to manage their stress by overeating. No shit Sherlock. He says he has a way to alleviate the overwhelmedness (my favorite non-word.) Here is the process:

1. Using index and second finger tap your cheekbone under your eye ten times.
2. Using same fingers tap your collar bone ten times.
3. Using same fingers tap under your eye again ten times.
4. Using same fingers tap the side of your hand ten times.
5. Close your eyes and tap the back of you hand ten times.
6. Open your eyes, keep tapping, and look down to the right and then to the left.
7. Keep tapping and rotate eyes in a circle clockwise.
8. Keep tapping and rotate eyes in a circle counter clockwise.
9. Still tapping the back of your hand hum the first verse of a song. (I am using Jingle Bells.)
10. Still tapping count out loud to five.
11. Still tapping hum verse of another song. (Amazing Grace.)
Stop, you are done.

The first time I did this the only thing I noticed was Mark staring at me, hard.... Then after a few seconds I noticed I felt like I was standing in a very faint cool breeze. Refreshing. Then I noticed I did not feel overwhelmed anymore. In fact I was having trouble worrying at all. My surface thoughts were running along at their normal pace, but the underlying anxiety that never leaves me was silent. I had not realized the nature of my worry. It's verbal. A never ending litany of worry words. But, my internal nervous nellie was silenced by the tapping.

Intermezzo: A horse drawn black hearse just went by the house. Very odd to see the old black wagon followed by a line of cars. Someone being buried in our little cemetery I guess.

According to the show the tapping interrupts synapses in the neurons in the brain thereby creating a physiological change rather than just creating a psychological distraction. Or something like that. I'm a believer. It worked for me. This is another key to good mental health for me. What with this technique and saying my UFLS mantra I may just get well.

Happy tapping. Love Bea

P.S. This is the second time I have written this darn thing. I keep losing stuff as our wireless signal dies again. Wireless phone and Internet are for the birds. Mentor Mary says talking to me on the phone reminds her of talking to people on the phone in the early thirties. I love progress.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Resurgence of Hope

Seems like forever since I have blogged. We have been out of town. Went to a conference with Mark. A long way to sit in a motel room and/or walk the dog.

I have been watching "I Can Make You Thin" on TLC. It is Intuitive Eating taken to the next level. I am hooked. If you have been reading for a while you know I tried Intuitive Eating months ago with small success. I am a rebellious believer in the addiction/compulsion model of eating. I rage against being controlled by sugar (who doesn't), and, if I start eating sugar I do not seem to be able to stop. I hate being a sugar addict. It is like being in prison with no hope of parole.

Enter a man offering early release. If Paul McKenna is to be believed food can become a non issue in my life. I can eat like a person without a compulsion. Yeah right, pull the other one.

I have now watched two episodes. The first episode focused on his four cardinal rules for weight loss, "Don't starve, eat when hungry, eat what you like, eat consciously." Nothing I haven't heard before. This time however the rules hit home. "Don't starve," okayyyyy, I believe I have conquered that one. "Eat when hungry," see above. "Eat what you like," I am not eating what I like. But woman will die on a diet of cheesecake and M&M's. "Eat consciously." Took me awhile to even figure out what this meant. Yes I see the irony.

I think about (long for, dream about, obsess over) food much of the time when I am not eating. After I eat I perceverate on my gastronomic sins. The only time I don't think about food, is when I am eating. In terms of emotional eating this explains a lot...but I digress. According to Paul if you eat consciously you can tell when you are full (see above pulling statement) and will eat less. How to eat consciously? First, no distractions when eating. No t.v., book, phone, computer or loud environments, and sit down. Second, put down knife and fork between each bite. Third, chew each bite ten-twenty times. Fourth, taste and enjoy the food you so desperately wanted. I have been doing this. It is really frustrating and boring. Mark decided to try it with me. He says we will now have to get up an hour earlier to be able to finish breakfast. We also have had to come up with much more meal time conversation. And it is working. I eat less at each meal because I feel full. It is a miracle. I guess I did hear from God.

I will write about my reaction to episode two "Emotional Eating" tomorrow.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Empty Space

I am about ready to fly out of my skin. Just exactly like drug of choice withdrawal. Only I am not coming down off anything. If I eat I feel temporarily anchored. I want to take a nap and can't sleep because of the internal pressure. Pressure from what you enquire? Who knows. I am jittery and jumpy and can't light on anything. So I am typing. After I get done here I am going to go and face "the flights." I will sit down and just feel the free floating anxiety. I will drain it to its dregs. No food, no reading, no t.v., no blogging, no cleaning, no entertaining the dog...nothing but me, the chair and the anxiety. I will tell you how it all works out.

Take care, Bea.

P.S. Poor old Nana dog turns out to be deaf and have rotten teeth. The neighbor girl is mashing her food and shouting endearments at her. Nana also bays like a hound dog. Good thing we have all sort of adopted her too....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Thank you all for your comments. I laughed and cried over them. Who knew there were so many ungrateful fat lazy slobs out there? I feel honored to be in such august company.

I have been repeating my new UFLS mantra many times per day. Each time I begin to almost unconsciously beat myself up, I switch to the conscious UFLS version. I stop, let the self loathing wash over me and then say out loud, "Yes indeed you didn't get the taxes done today because you watched too much t.v. and you are an UFLS who does not deserve to live." It makes me laugh each and every time. It is so absurd.

I had not realized how often I castigate my self. With almost every action my reaction is to criticize myself. Ain't that awful? No wonder I feel like crap most of the time. This morning I was getting ready to take Dog-dog for a walk when my tummy caught my attention. The familiar felling of self hatred started at the sight of my bulging belly. I stopped, looked at my stomach and said, "You eat like a pig and you are an UFLS and I am just going to stand here and hate you." Mark asked what I was doing so I told him. He said, "Well just so long as you still have time to walk the dog I guess it's okay." I am still laughing.

I used to have panic attacks. I did everything to stop them with no success. One late night I finally decided, "OK, I can't fight the fear anymore, I am just going to stand here and let it kill me. " I then stood still and waited to die. After fifteen minutes I wasn't dead so I went back to bed and went to sleep. It was the beginning of the end for the panic attacks. UFLS must be part of that same whole.

It must be the conscious intent. In consciously looking at my self hatred I am defanging (is this a word?) it. I see it as irrational and...absurd. I feel like I may have been given the key to my prison. What would it be like to be in the world without self hatred? What sweet relief for starters. I can't yet even begin to understand the enormity of what this might mean.

As for the empty space. I can't sit with it. Drives me bats. I will have to go at this in small bursts. I tried to sit unoccupied for ten minutes last eve. I was ravenous before the time was up. I need to learn to meditate. I would love to have a quiet soul...without a cheesecake first.

I am reading,"Change Your Mind, Change Your Body" by Ann Kearney-Cooke. I found it at a second hand book store. Was published in 2004. A nifty little book.

Ethel's this is a big darn deal for me. I hope it also helps some of you. Love Bea

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Me Again Ethels

I am feeling empty. I am reading a book that tells me I should learn to live with this feeling. I should in fact seek out this feeling and "be" with it. Not run from it with activity or fill it up with food. Apparently learning to tolerate the empty space is the road to wisdom. No I am not Buddhist.

I fear the empty space because of the self loathing that rushes in on its coattails. I am instructed to learn to tolerate that feeling also. Tolerate self loathing? Very foreign thinking. I am usually instructed to chase self love. I am further instructed to verbalize the emptiness and self loathing. Whoa Nellie, this is a long way from affirmations. Mayn't I just dig the groove of self hate deeper?

Okay here goes, "I am an ungrateful fat lazy slob who is intermittently depressed and leads a pointless existence and is a drag on all those around me. I am selfish and take but do not give." I am instructed to repeat this as many times as needed?!!! As needed for what? Suicide?

I am going to give this a whirl. If I don't blog again for awhile break out the black dresses.

Love, from the ungrateful fat lazy slob who is intermittently depressed and leads a pointless existence and is a drag on all those around me. I will print it up on cards.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A New Lease

I screwed my courage to the sticking point and complained about our hotel room. They gave us a discount! Must remember to stick up for myself. Dog had a great time on our trip. We came home beat. Spent time with a friend who had surgery. I'd forgotten what it was like to be in a hospital. I am glad I gave up being a nurse, and yet....

Had a mini meltdown upon arrival back at home. Both of my credit cards had been cancelled from lack of use. This is a good thing in that I am no longer buying stuff I can't afford. It is a bad thing in that those cards were in my name alone. I now only have a joint card with Mark. I can't get another card because I have no income of my own.

I came through the women's movement alive, but not unscathed. The living part of me knows I have the life I always dreamed of. I am loved, I do not have to go to a job that sucks me dry, I have a house, I have a dog and I have t-i-m-e. The scathed part of me is terrified of becoming a bag lady. A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle was our mantra. Didn't good old Gloria get married in the end? I have lost track of her. No credit in my own name and no nursing license to get one kind of a job and no master's degree to get another. I have let myself become financially dependant on Mark. And it terrifies me.

This is where the trust part comes in. I have a hard time trusting anyone but me, and I am not all that reliable. I can't even control my eating. I have to work at it to trust God. So...God in His mercy gave me Mark to practise on. Took me years to get to the point of trusting him, but I no longer worry about him leaving me high and dry. Now I worry about him dying. I wake up at night and listen for his breathing. He is a quiet breather. I wake him up to see if he is still alive. He is getting kind of tired (no pun intended) of this. Sigh.

I want to be unflappable. I used to be. I am now getting flappier and flappier with each passing year. I hate it. I want to be strong and sensible and stoic. Instead I have become fearful, impulsive and moody. I need to make peace with who I am and not who I wish to be.

2 hrs. later. I think I just rescued another dog. Neighbor girl and I have become friends. Her mother ( very pregnant) won't let her have a dog so she comes over a couple times per week to walk Mollie. Mollie loves her. Today she showed up in tears with an old starving hound dog someone had dumped off in the canyon. She wanted me to do something. Her Mom had told her to leave the dog alone. I fed and watered the dog. I gave her Mollie's old collar and a chunk of rope. I called and left a message at the humane society ranchette about the dog. I offered to keep the dog until I heard something. The neighbor girl is already half in love with this old dog. I can't blame her. A sweeter face I have never seen. Anyway she wanted to take the dog home and have her dad see the dog when he gets back from work. I think the dog has found a new home. I'll bet her Mom hates me at this minute. I would.

Flappily yours, Bea.

Friday: Old dog has new home. The dad came home last eve and said absolutely not for the dog, then named her Nana. Neighbor girl was just here. She is divinely happy with her new old dog. She is making plans for it. A new leash, collar, dog house (with heat and a light no less), brush and dog bowls are in the offing. Nana just sits and smiles and lets herself be fussed over. A night indoors with food and water have made a difference already. Mollie figured out she was old and quit jumping all over her. The neighbor girl and I took our dogs on a walk. Mollie was in seventh Heaven and Nana was serene. All's well here.