๐‘ฎ๐’๐’๐’… ๐‘ด๐’๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, ๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’›๐’‚๐’“๐’… ๐‘ฉ๐’“๐’‚๐’Š๐’

That little gal gets blamed for so much. Sheโ€™s just doing her life, stopping for a few pushups in the sun.

Lately, I have been resenting that lizard brain of mine. Her main job is to keep me alive and, yes, survival is importantโ€ฆ..I guess. Of course, Iโ€™ll scoot out of the way of that oncoming car. And, of course Iโ€™ll pull my hand off that hot stove (thatโ€™s another story). But does she have to thwart all my efforts to change?

Yes.

Damn.

My little lizard is ancient. Sheโ€™s my guardian angel of sorts, guiding me away from fatal errors. Exceptโ€ฆ.she thinks all change equals death. Iโ€™ve got some other grey matter that knows the difference. I just need to employ it.

Exactly. Make ME the boss and my lizard brain the employee. With that arrangement, she can stay alive, and I can grow.

I can honor her efforts. I can be curious and patient and kind with her. And redirect her impulse to skitter away. Redirect that desire to something that I really want, like mental health, weight loss, peace of mind.

She doesnโ€™t like big, scary things moving fast. She thinks just about everything is life-threatening. Good to know.

Iโ€™ve got a fist full of reassurances to help her when she wants to dash off. Let her know Iโ€™ve got this. I can keep us safe. When she settles back down, then I can look at what makes ME happy! See where we are at odds and get on with creating this amazing life. ๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ซ๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’”๐’• ๐‘ช๐’‰๐’‚๐’Š๐’“

I LOVE my dentists. They have creamy soft tangerine chairs that feel fabulous. They point out what is right with my teeth. I fly two states away to see them twice a year.

Then I sit in the chair tense as an over-tuned guitar. All of me is on alert for pain.

Sheesh. Sheโ€™s just scraping my teeth. Itโ€™s fine. It wonโ€™t hurt. Itโ€™ll be over soon. All this negotiating trying to make myself feel better.

I spent the better part of an hour doing this and wishing for it to be over.

Then……I remembered that I have the ability to coach myself. Who knew?

This is not about pain. This is about the possibility of pain. I instinctively tense up to move away from it, arm myself, desire to be anywhere but this present moment, creating a miserable experience.

What if I allow the possibility of pain? even encourage it? Iโ€™ve been through pain of all kinds and survived. I can handle a poke into my gums.

Iโ€™ve got this. Iโ€™ve got my own back here.

As a matter of fact, I look forward to pain. Where is it? I believe in my resilience.

๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.

๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ซ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐‘น๐’๐’๐’Ž

Itโ€™s a scary place.

All those mirrors.

I donโ€™t like what I see.

No.

No.

Look for what you DO like, not all the stuff you donโ€™t like.

I canโ€™t help it. If I just hate it enough, Iโ€™ll stop creating it.

You say I am creating the hate? Really? Why would I do something that feels so awful?

Because I think thatโ€™s the avenue to change. Iโ€™m just not doing it well enough yet. I need to keep doubling down until I get it right.

Doubling down just gets me double of what I already have……feeling awful.

Letโ€™s get curious about those thoughts, the plants Iโ€™m choosing to water, the dogs Iโ€™m choosing to feed.

Maybe I donโ€™t need to be scared and hateful and feel awful. Maybe thereโ€™s another choice? ๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.

๐‘พ๐’Š๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’๐’†๐’”๐’”

Do you feel willing?

Can you allow feeling like crap?

Can you accept even feeling a twinge of discomfort?

My coach asked me those questions. My honest assessment was a decided reluctance. Iโ€™ve studied this work long enough to know that allowing life to be 50% awesome and 50% terrible is the perfect balance of being a human; allowing the full human experience. Yet, practically, my primitive brain is getting way too much airtime about this. She is so gifted at convincing me that feeling even the slightest bit negative is wholly unnecessary.

If something doesnโ€™t feel quite right, there are so many easy fixesโ€ฆ.

Eatโ€ฆ..anything

Binge Netflix

Binge FaceBook

Call that friend who always loves to hear from me (or anyone, for that matter)

Get busy negotiating any part of life that doesnโ€™t address my shortcomings

And then?? That empty space that follows.

Is this the life I really want? No.

But, I am so damn excited about that life just beyond that unpleasant ache. Fasten your seatbelts. Here I come. ๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.

๐‘ฐ ๐’‚๐’Ž ๐’”๐’ ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’‚๐’„๐’•๐’†๐’….

And my brain likes it.

She likes that she can obsess ……

over my body, how it looks, what I eat, what I weigh, what other people think.

It occupies all kinds of time. It seems so important. And sheโ€™s so good at thinking all that.

Practice makes perfect.

And, that leaves me conveniently blind to what I am NOT doing.

I am NOT paying attention to my dreams, unless itโ€™s about being thin.

I am NOT paying attention to those pretty wildflowers outside my window.

I am NOT paying attention to how I feel.

I am NOT paying attention to my future.

So far, Iโ€™ve noticed that when I ignore something, it tends to go away. Do I want my dreams to go away?

Iโ€™m decidingโ€ฆ.no, thank you. ๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.

๐‘ฐ ๐’‚๐’Ž ๐‘ญ.๐‘ฐ.๐‘ต.๐‘ฌ.

โ€œYou donโ€™t want to be fat, like your mom, do you?โ€ My earliest memory in my weight loss journey. I think I was probably 9. When I look back at pictures, I see I was starting to look wider than my peers, but I had no ideaโ€ฆ.until my dad said that.

I now know he had spent many long years watching my mom struggle with her weight and dash down so many different weight loss journeys, all of which ended in some form of misery. I suspect he was really saying, โ€œI donโ€™t want to see you be unhappy, like your mom.โ€ But, thatโ€™s not how my 9-year-old brain saw it. It saw, โ€œThereโ€™s something wrong with me. I better fix it.โ€

So, I went about fixing things the way a 9-year-old wouldโ€ฆ.I did things that gave me instant gratification to try and feel better, because feeling broken was kinda awful. I ate sweet stuff, I took things that I wanted but didnโ€™t belong to me. Surely if I had what โ€œsheโ€ had, I would be more likable, more worthyโ€ฆ.and maybe thin. I shoplifted candy, because it wasnโ€™t allowed in our house. (Only Ding Dongs for my dadโ€™s lunches, and those were โ€œhiddenโ€ in the garage freezer. We knew my mom snuck them all the time, but we werenโ€™t allowed. Didnโ€™t stop me.). I generally started a cascade of behaviors that felt naughty, shameful, and somehow necessary. If I just bucked what I was โ€œsupposedโ€ to do, I would feel better, be a better version of me.

I remember when I was about 12 and a friend and I, who were bonded at the hip, decided to get really brazen about our misbehaving. We walked in to the local Thriftyโ€™s drug store, picked up 2 large bags each Doritos, because who doesnโ€™t need 2 large bags of Doritos? The chip display was right next to the door, soโ€ฆ.why not? Just walk out with them! We were caught, of course, which I suspect was the point somewhere in my pre-pubescent psyche. They called our parents, who came and got us.

What does any of this have to do with Weight Loss? Or Life Coaching? Itโ€™s my early start down the road of building a life of lies and shame and overeating. And pretending I was fine. I didnโ€™t know how to fix me because initially I didnโ€™t know what was wrong. As time went on, I began to act out a life story full of evidence of all the things wrong with me, I could barely shoulder the load. It took a wide base, which my hips and thighs now provided; my ticket to the Weight Loss Carousel Ride.

(Thank you, Italian Job movie)

๐‘†๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž ๐‘ƒโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘›๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘–๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ฟ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘‘ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘–๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ป๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘‘๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’: ๐‘‡๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘™๐‘  ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐ด๐‘› ๐ด๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ง๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’, ๐‘Ž ๐ถ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘“๐‘–๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘–๐‘”โ„Ž๐‘ก ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž. ๐‘†โ„Ž๐‘’โ€™๐‘  ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘’ 50 ๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘ โ€ฆ.๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก๐‘™๐‘ฆ. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š๐‘Ž. ๐‘๐‘œ ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ÿ๐‘ข๐‘”๐‘”๐‘™๐‘’.