My impossible goal this year is to lose 100 pounds. I am going to write a recap at the end of each month to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m calling this April Showers & The Shame Spiral. This is month #4.
As I sit here staring at a blank screen, I don't know what to type. I don't know what to say. April has been a doozy, and I don't know where to begin. In some ways I thought this journey would get easier as each month passed. That has not been the case, certainly not in April.
I thought about quitting. I thought about stopping my 100-pound journey. I considered going quietly into the night where nobody would remember. I didn't want to face the recap for this month, because it has been a shit show, and because I am embarrassed. That, my friends, is exactly why I need to share it.
I'm reminded that this process is not linear. That's something I tell my clients all the time. I'm living it. This journey is not a straight line. It twists and turns, it goes backward and forward. In some ways it can feel like a big mess. That’s okay. I have learned that sometimes taking a small step back can lead to a larger leap forward. All that said, I’m still focusing on the number. I’m still freaking out a little bit when it’s time to recap the month. I’m still making this about weight loss as opposed to the journey. I’m still beating myself up.
The month started out with a bang. It was Easter. It ended up being an emotional holiday for me in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. More awareness came as a result of staying with my parents in my old childhood home. It was the first time (that I remember) being in that room when I can honestly say I love my body. It was pretty wild. There were more bombs that dropped, like the realization that I'm always trying to be good enough for someone or something outside of myself, and at the same time trying to rebel against that very same thing. You can read more about that struggle here.
When we got back to Georgia things continued to unravel. I had my annual mammogram. For a breast cancer survivor that can be a very emotional time. It was for me. I continued to stretch past my comfort zone in my business, and in my personal life. I met new friends. I drank way too much wine, opened up, and shared stories about me that I typically reserve for my very best coaching buddies. I realize that I am very good at purposely avoiding situations where I can potentially be hurt. This is all part of the masterful protection mechanism I have carefully designed for myself. It's fascinating. In this case I allowed myself to be vulnerable. I gave myself permission to let down my guard. I came out of my shell. Then, I kicked myself in the ass. Enter, the shame spiral.
I notice when my brain is trying to enter the shame spiral. It’s the old voices saying I should stay in my shell, I made a fool of myself, and nobody likes me anyway. This is also part of the protection. I see it. I know what’s happening. I know exactly what my brain is doing. I’m trying to stop it. I’m trying to ignore it and keep shame at the door. I don’t want to let it in. However, since all of this I have been eating tortilla chips and chocolate like they're both going out of style. I feel it. My body is off. I'm exhausted, and I feel like crap.
What's happening? This is a distraction. It's part of my MO. Then it hits me. I notice that I've been trying so hard not to let myself feel the shame that I've been trying to distract myself with food. I'm using the snacks so I don't have to feel. I'm keeping myself busy by stuffing food in my face. Oh Amy, you are so brilliant!!!!
Friends, I will never promise to have all my shit together. Even with all the work I've done, I still have moments when I use food. The difference now is that these moments are few and far between. When it does happen, it's a much shorter duration. I catch myself quicker, and I'm able to show myself compassion as opposed to beating myself up and continuing the cycle. That's the difference. That's where it counts. I’m on to myself, and still love all of me.
Here's the takeaway: It’s okay to feel shame. I can tell myself I shouldn’t, or I don’t have to, but the fact remains that I do. When I tell myself I shouldn’t I’m not acknowledging the part of me that feels it. I’m not trusting myself or my feelings. It’s okay to feel our emotions, all of them. When we try to mask or hide our feelings with anything (food, alcohol, shopping, etc.) the feelings don't go away. They stay. They sink in. There's nowhere else for them to go! There's the illusion that they have left, because of the distraction (insert chips and chocolate). All we’re really doing is keeping them locked inside where they can continue to grow. When we allow the feelings, whatever they are, we allow them to process and pass through. That’s what our emotions are meant to do.
To recap, I had a bad month. I feel like I was slipping, sliding, and spinning in circles. I didn’t lose any weight. In fact, I gained 2 pounds. Yes, I did. My secret is out. But, here’s the deal….it doesn’t need to be a secret. It’s really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things and everything I’m learning on this trip. I’m reminded of what I have said from the beginning of this journey; it is so much more than weight loss. I’m rediscovering me at my core. I’m peeling back all the layers that have held me back and kept me stuck. This month I learned that I've been trying to avoid shame. I don’t have to do that anymore. It’s just a feeling. I can allow it to pass. I can have compassion for myself, knowing my brain has the best of intentions. I'm okay and all is well. I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off, and carry on. It's a new month.
Are you tired of stuffing your emotions? If any of this sounds interesting, and you're ready to learn more, I would love to help.
Imagine having a coach in your corner for 6 full months as you change your relationship with food, make peace with your body, learn to step into your power, stop hiding, and lose weight for the last time. Please know that I am taking new clients for FAT2FIERCE!! You can click here to answer some questions ans schedule your FREE transformation session. Let's see if this program is what you're looking for.