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Fighting the Urge

There is nothing like 15 hours in a car to help you ponder.

We had a great time in Buffalo celebrating the New Year. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you may have seen that I finally completed Reiki I & II through Buffalo Reiki. It was only two years in the making!! One of the reasons we headed up to the very cold temps was for me to receive my final attunement and certification. It was a beautiful ceremony with my teacher, and I feel so blessed for the opportunity to learn the gift of energy healing. It took me a lot longer than expected to accomplish this goal, bringing to light the importance of doing things in my own time. That might mean some goals take a little longer to achieve, and that’s okay. I regularly need to remind myself that I’m not in a race, I’m not competing, and there is no gold star for finishing first.

Weight loss is another goal that has certainly taken some time for me to achieve. Not just weight loss, but permanent weight loss. The kind where I don’t gain it back again, or end up on some sort of dreadful diet hamster wheel counting calories and points for the rest of my life. That’s not something to look forward to. I was always looking for something new, a magical solution that would finally work. Regardless of what I tried I would always gain some amount of the weight back. Only every single time. I have talked about my success over the years, the hiccups, and the failures. What I finally realize now is that I needed to go through all of it to get where I am today. I needed to fall to help me slow down, because there was so much more I needed to learn. Much like my Reiki experience, my personal weight loss journey has been exactly what I needed it to be.

Just like all the weight loss programs on the market, I was on the right track but something was missing. I was focused on a number, fixated on a size. I believed I wasn’t good enough in the skin I’m in. I thought I needed to lose weight to be happy, and to live the life I desire. That’s the problem. There is an underlying belief that life will be so much better when we don’t have excess fat to worry about, that we need to drop the pounds in order to have the life we want. People sign up for the programs, lose weight initially, but then it comes creeping back. For many of us the weight comes back when life happens, and then shame sets in. This was my cycle, and I used to think that there was something wrong with me. I never knew there was a big piece of the puzzle missing. I didn’t know that I didn’t have to keep fighting the urge.

I noticed it this week, on the first day of the year when I officially kicked off my impossible goal for 2018. I have a specific food protocol that I’m following, one which I created for myself. Sugar and flour are not included in my daily plan, because I never feel good when I eat either of them. On New Year’s Day I was surrounded by cookies, chocolate, and other holiday treats. I found myself wanting to grab some and gobble them up. I didn’t, but the urge was there and I felt like I was fighting it the whole day.

The next day, on the long ride home, I noticed the urge again. I kept thinking about food. My brain wanted all the things that you find on a long trip. Things like cheeseburgers, french fries, donuts, and cookies. My body’s reaction to the thoughts was a very clear "hell no". I know how I feel after eating this stuff, and it’s not pleasant. I was fascinated because my mind didn’t care. It wanted to stop at every single drive through. I watched the argument between my body and brain, and decided to examine the back and forth.

When the food popped in my head my immediate response was “no, I can't”. I started to fight the thought. I tried hard to resist it by pretending to think of something else. I tried to push it away and ignore it. That made me feel tense. Food was the only thing on my mind. I wanted snacks. I wanted to binge, and fighting the urge was only making it stronger. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. I wanted it even more. I felt miserable. I started to worry that I can't do this!! It's too hard.

Then I remembered to allow the urge. I don’t have to fight it.

I allowed the food to pop in my brain.

I let it come in without pushing it away.

I let the brownies dance and the French fries float around in my mind. I stopped trying to ignore the thoughts. I stopped trying to resist them.

My brain has used food as a distraction for a really long time. When I allow the urge to be I can feel my shoulders fall. My forehead softens. The grip loosens. I don't need to fight it. Allowing the urge doesn't mean I'm giving in to it. It just means I'm not pushing it away. I'm not resisting it. We can share the same space.

In the moment I let the urge wash over me. I let it stay and I allow it to exist without judgement or shame. I can feel it move through my body. It passes. I'm good. I no longer want the food. I can see the desire for food is part of a very old habit, one that is finally starting to crack. This needed to happen in its own time.

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