You might recall me posting about an Empower Your Eating class that I was looking forward to taking. Well, I’m happy to say that I finished it, and learned something in the process.
At first I was disappointed that it focused so much on how we feel about eating,and food, and ourselves, and not so much on the how to of dieting. Ironically, at the same time, I was reading the book Beyond Sugar Shock: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter, which also emphasized self esteem and attitudes before getting to the actual sugar habit kicking.
But then, it started to sink in. I was surprised at how well coach Laura understood what I was feeling. It was like she could read my mind. What shocked me even more was discovering that previous clients of hers, and even others in the class, were feeling the same way about their bodies and food AND THEY WEREN’T EVEN FAT! Good grief, I thought, I’d better get my attitude adjusted now, no sense in waiting until I’m at some imaginary goal weight since it sounds like even if I were at that goal weight I’d need to adjust my attitude.
I found myself having arguments with myself in front of DH. We were out for breakfast one time, and I ordered eggs and a pancake. The eggs weren’t all that tasty and although the pancake was good, I found myself full about halfway through. I knew I was full because I was actually paying attention, something we learned in class.
“Should I finish this pancake or not?” I asked DH. “If I finish it, I will feel like crap. But I feel bad letting food go to waste, and it tastes good.” I focused on pleasure, something that Laura wants us to remember. Short term and long term pleasure. I realized that eating any more of this pancake would not be pleasurable in the very near term, so I left it there.
Another concept that really hit home for me was the idea of princess vs. queen.
The Princess & The Queen
The Princess: Self-referring, it’s about me, am I okay, do you love me, my value is in my looks, am I safe, how do I win your approval, my fantasy is my reality, my inner world is as yet undiscovered, what can you give me…
The Queen: Dignified, womanly, author of her experience, poised, self-secure, royal, giving, bestowing, enjoys her beauty, aware, serves and is served, generous with her energy…
Why is this important?
All women go through the princess stage, and eventually life calls them to Queendom. On average, most women begin moving into Queendom around the age of 30 and by 35-40 or so, life is asking us to become Queens. If you are a Queen who is still clinging to Princess, it is time to graduate. It is time to claim your throne!
I’ve been on my way to Queendom, I think, since my divorce in my late 20s. But hearing it described in such concrete terms has helped me internalize my new reality. If the princess mentality ruled my life, I wouldn’t have posted the above photo on my blog. I look huge, and I’m wearing a skort to cover my bike shorts. I meant it to hide my fat legs, but I had several women on the bike trip tell me they really liked my skort, and asked where I bought it. I realized that I should embrace the skort for being fun, rather than self-consciously using it as a way to hide.
Speaking of hiding, I also realized that I have been subconsciously sabotaging my own weight loss. Once I stopped counting calories, and paying attention to the pleasure principle, suddenly I lost 10 pounds. I was ecstatic. But then I found myself suggesting to DH that we get pizza one night. As I bit into the first piece I thought to myself, “Why are you doing this? You were so excited about losing 10 pounds, now you are eating this greasy stuff that doesn’t even taste that good?” I decided to finish the piece, have one more, and get a piece of fruit. I don’t know why I was about to sabotage myself. I’m considering a few sessions with coach Laura to figure it out.
In the meantime, I will try to be brave and continue in this whole no calorie counting, just paying attention and being a Queen thing. From time to time I’ll share how DH and I are doing on our weight loss goals. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend taking a class with someone trained by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. You just might be surprised to discover that weight loss is not just about calories in and calories out.
Disclosure: I received complimentary participation in this class in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.