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Closing Two Days: We Share Our Discoveries

My Encouragements

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Food Month Index

Day 29: November 29

Yesterday, I mentioned the importance of giving yourself self love on the journey. The following is yet another example of a person who has been finding this love in herself this month:

I was definitely more gentle with myself today. I was experiencing that P.M.S. intense hunger that I get every month. It is this insatiable appetite that makes me crave all kinds of things. Well, I decided to let myself have what I craved, and not beat myself up about it. And you know what? I didn't overeat. It seemed like once I gave myself the permission to eat, I didn't really need it anymore. I also noticed the permission I gave myself allowed me to enjoy the food more. I was able to taste and savor everything.

Now, if you were in my seat and had read all the things this person had sent, you would see quite clearly that she has made a terrific amount of progress this month. Add to this the fact that she and I have never really spent any time together and the power of what we have been doing here this month begins to be visible.

Next, here is something I received from a woman who began this journey only just a few days ago:

My first day was strange. It reminded me of the way I eat when I have just broken up with a boyfriend. I also remembered the reason I loathed eating breakfast during the week days was because I hated school because the kids would always make fun of me for being fat. My second day of eating slower I noticed I start to hurry when I'm almost finished with my plate. There seems to be an importance tied to finishing everything. My mother loved to start eating off our plates while we were still eating and hungry.

Here again, you see a great example of what a powerful instrument for change this month's journey can be, in this case, after only two days. More important, you see the inherent compassion many of us have had emerge in ourselves for the suffering we have each experienced in and around eating.

As for the kind of courage I have seen in all of you this month, the following is a great example:

Yesterday I began to cram Girl Scout cookies into myself with "reckless abandon" thinking thoughts like: I don't care, etc. I found that the combination of my being very tired and ****'s being so unhealthy and also really cranky has sent me into major shock.

Then, when I went on an errand by myself and got away for a bit, I realized how in shock I'd become. I also felt extremely sad, vulnerable and frightened. The realization of ****'s being so ill and my recognizing his not thinking he can do anything about it didn't evoke anger this time (major miracle), rather I "knew" that my own anger is a "needed" cover for the fear of losing him. Feelings of compassion emerged. The scene of my mother's going to the hospital emerged. I feel very sad today and don't want to be conscious right now. I "see" that cramming in the cookies didn't bring me out of shock; rather it sent me back into it. I'm using the cycle of three. It wasn't my mother's fault; it wasn't my fault. and it isn't ****'s fault. Even so, I am really struggling to stay present and find that just being in his presence keys me into intense anger.

For today, it is just too painful to stay in the sadness and fear. So for today, the day of the 27th, I am taking a break and am just going back to noticing when I am in and out of shock.

Self love comes in many flavors. The courage to move forward is but one. The courage to say, "enough for now" is another. Both are equally important for all of us.

As for the next installment of my thoughts on "weight change," we left off yesterday with having completed a rough personal "weight map." Today, then, I will offer you the next step, which is basically to test for yourself your current weight range.

By this, I mean, (and do this ONLY if and when you are up to it) spend approximately a two next period testing for yourself your current weight range. How can you do this? First, by committing to weighing yourself first thing every morning for a two week period, after which you commit not to weight yourself any more than about once every three or four days, certainly not sooner than three days.

What will you need to do during this initial two weeks? For one thing, you will need to watch, in a gentle way, what and how you eat, using the tools you have acquired this month to keep a two week diary for yourself.

This time, though, include a general description of what and when and how consciously you eat and by general, I mean very general, meaning, please do not write down every stinking thing you eat weighed and measured. This is not gentle attention.

What you are looking for is first, to see, consciously, that your weight does not follow what you eat linearly. This is to say, your weight will probably vary within your weight range or hold at the high line of your weight range even when you vary your eating significantly.

Pay particular attention to how conscious you are and how this does or does not affect your weight. Also, if, in this two week period, you over eat significantly, watch how, if you then eat normally for three days or so, how your weight will again come back into your current weight range.

You could also choose this time to do a short diet. Short? Yes, short. Two weeks, no more. And if you do choose this path, remember, conscious eating does not include beating the crap out of yourselves if your weight goes up. In fact, this kind of punishment actually causes weight gain, in that it causes people to go further into shock in and around eating, thus, causing more potential weight gain.

How about if you'd like to gain weight? Here again, the process is the same, and your goal here too is to become more conscious of how your weight varies or does not vary in direct proportion to how and what you eat.

The main goal here, then, is for each person to find out for themselves, how stuck or flexible they are in their current weight range. Then, depending on how this comes out, you will be able to plan some sort of healthy course of action to effect the weight change you desire.

Do you have to believe in any of this for it to work? Of course not. I, myself hardly believe any of what I've seen so far. This is a main reason why I want to do another food month. I want to see how widely these discoveries can be generalized to.

As for when you might choose to do this two weeks, the month of December with all the stress of the holidays might be a very good time to be giving yourself this gentle attention. Or not, if you are not yet up to it. Just know that the best time to heal an injury is when you are right in the midst of it, and this time of year certainly puts many people right in the midst of it.

What then? What do you do after you have accomplished both the personal weight map and the two week personal survey? REST. DO NOTHING. SCREW OFF. HAVE FUN. AND FOR GOD's SAKE, don't work on yourselves for a few weeks at least.

What about the next step though? January. You'll just have to wait until January and the next Food Month.

For today, God Bless,


Day 30: November 30

The last day of Food Month. Yea! I'm tired <grin>.

I'm also overwhelmed with all I have personally learned and discovered, and with all the things you all have taught me as well.

I am also very grateful for the help and honest responses I have received from so many of you. Thank you very, very much.

As for my encouragement to you for today, I simply want to say this once more: "thank you."

Someone wrote:

What happens when food month is over? What about people like me that seem to be struggling so much? I sort of feel like a kid, "but what happens to us when the month is over and your bit of research has concluded, who will be there for us?"

The answer: I will be there for you, again, in the month of January, 2001, this time, with help from my fellow Emergence Practitioners. Hopefully, they will be able to help me with the reading, and with the responding to, the many wonderful responses I am sure you all will send.

Of course, I will again be sending out daily assignments and daily encouragements, and to be honest, I have come to love doing this, and you all, a lot. And after I finish January's Food Month, I plan to edit everything we have written and shared with each other into a book manuscript, with the idea that perhaps our journey will inspire others. Who knows. Maybe the thing you write will be the very thing someone else needs to hear in order to find the courage to change their life for the better. Why would I say this? Because many of you have done just this with my life over the past month.

With this in mind, what I would like to ask for from all of you is that you encourage as many people as can to join us in January, anyone whom you think would like to reclaim some of their ability to eat consciously. And ask them to ask others as well. All they need do is e-mail me asking to join; nothing more.

Why would I want to take on such a big undertaking after admittedly being so overwhelmed by all we together did this month? Because I believe in what we have begun. And with help, I believe, we can together do what we as individuals can not: we can help the world to become a little more loving with regard to how we all feel about eating and food. God, I would love to be a part of this. Wouldn't you?

As for summarizing what we have collectively discovered this month, I'd kind of like to wait a week or so to give more of you a chance to send me in your responses. Perhaps you can each, in your own time, find just a few minutes to simply write a paragraph or two describing whatever you have or have not discovered. Then, over the holidays at the end of December, I will send out one last Food Month I e-mail, sharing with all of you a summary of our first journey together.

Finally, I look forward to hearing from you all and hope we can again share the road to reclaiming consciousness for a few weeks together this coming January.

And until we meet again, please remember, your eating and food issues are not your fault. Period. Further, you deserve enough gentle attention to reclaim your love of eating and then some. I pray you all will find this gentleness inside yourselves and in your daily lives.

With love,


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