Breaking the Rules

breaking the rules with a plate of pastaToday I broke the rules.  Some people might not think that this is too serious.  I didn’t break any laws.  I didn’t cheat at any games.  I ate pasta for dinner.  I’m sure it doesn’t seem like much to you, but to me it is quite disappointing.  When it comes to my food, I don’t like breaking the rules.

Rule #1.  Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.  I had a snack earlier.  I drove toward town and stopped at my favorite Italian restaurant and ordered gluten free pasta.  Its a great place where they really understand my allergies and cook off-menu for me.  My motivation…I was tired of eating salad, felt frazzled from work, and just wanted some relief.

Rule #2. Don’t eat any starchy carbs after 5 pm.  I know that eating late in the evening is bad for me, so I load most of my calories before 5, and try to eat raw fruit and veggies in the evening if I’m hungry.  This was definitely a plate of starchy carbs, and there were very few vegetables involved.

glass of water to keep you from breaking the rulesRule #3. Drink a full glass of water before eating meals.  I didn’t drink any water at all, and none before the meal.  I already know that thirst wasn’t what was driving my behavior, but it might have helped me to slow down.  If there had been a video camera on me I bet I would have seen myself actually shoveling the food in.

Rule #4. Use tapping before eating anything that isn’t on my meal plan.  I want to know that I’ve dealt with my emotional baggage BEFORE reaching for food.  No tapping before this meal.

These aren’t rules given to me by anyone else.  These were my own rules and I couldn’t – or wouldn’t – follow them.  Luckily I get a redo tomorrow.  I’m not going to spend a lot of time beating myself up for it.  One meal of pasta isn’t a disaster but I do know that it is sometimes hard for me to get back on track after starchy carbs.

Here are the tapping topics I see in my very near future:

  1. stress eating
  2. resistance to following my plan
  3. using food for emotions instead of eating for fuel
  4. forgiveness for being an imperfect human

How about you?  Did you have challenges with food today?  Did you stumble or overcome them?  Did you tap?

Deeply Ashamed

This is a tapping exercise that I first used in 2011.  It pains me to tell you, but it was true again this week.  I am once again deeply ashamed of how out of control I am about food. In my own defense, it isn’t always true, but some things have obviously changed in my life and another aspect has clearly shown up, so I’m bringing this one back — for me.  Hopefully it will be beneficial for you too.

I have gained a little clarity about why the problem has returned.  I’ve noticed that the time right after work is the most perilous for me and I don’t have the same problem on the weekends usually.  There seems to be something about my lack of control with my job and my lack of control with food.  (We will likely address that in a tapping video very soon.

illustration for karate chop pointThe Setup (tapping on the karate chop point). I am so ashamed of my inability to control my eating. Even when I am eating, my brain and inner self often tell me to stop.  But I am out of control.  Something takes over and I just keep eating and eating and eating.  In spite of being like an out of control animal about food, I want to let go of the shame and guilt about this situation. Even though I have shame and guilt about my eating habits at times, I am trying to learn new skills and new ways of relating to food.  I get out of control around food and I am ashamed of my lack of control.  Even with this “character flaw” of mine, I choose to take baby steps to regain a healthier way of eating and living with food (although I’d definitely be ok with giant steps too.)

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am ashamed of my eating

Side of Eye…I am often out of control

Under the Eye…I should be able to control my eating better

Under the Nose…I should be able to control myself better

Chin…Its not like I don’t know any better

Collarbone…I blame myself for this

Under the Arm…I am supposed to be a smart person

Top of Head…Obviously Not!!!

Eyebrow…Other people would be appalled if they really knew how I am with food

Side of Eye…I am so ashamed of myself

Under the Eye…I’m not really out of control all of the time

Under the Nose…Just some of the time

Chin…But I am ashamed all of the time

Collarbone…That doesn’t make sense

Under the Arm…I don’t want to be out of control

Top of Head…I don’t want to feel so much guilt and shame either

Eyebrow…I wonder if there might be something about this that I could change

Side of Eye…I wonder if there is a way I could be more mindful about my eating

Under the Eye…I wonder if there is a way to be more gentle with myself

Under the Nose…Feeling out of control is scary

Chin…Guilt and shame are awful

Collarbone…I would like to feel a little bit better about myself

Under the Arm…I could probably let go of these feelings, at least sometimes

Top of Head…I can control myself when I eat salad

Eyebrow…I can control myself when I eat vegetables

Under the Eye…There’s no reason to feel guilt and shame there

Under the Nose…I can control myself when I eat apples

Chin…Another reason to reject guilt and shame

Collarbone…I may have a bad habit of guilt and shame

Under the Arm…I choose to stop beating myself up when it isn’t appropriate

Top of Head…I choose to love myself into better health

Nothing Calms Me Down Better Than Food

picture of burger and fries to illustrate unhealthy eatingHow true is this statement for you?

NOTHING CALMS ME DOWN BETTER THAN FOOD!

Most days it is a 10 for me.  Try this tapping exercise and see if it helps.

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup: Nothing calms me down better than food. Whenever I get upset I turn to food. It always works for me. Even though nothing calms me down better than food, I don’t like what it does to my body. I am open to learning new ways of feeling calm. I’m also open to learning more about the things that upset me so that I don’t even need to use food to calm myself.

 

Eyebrow…when I get upset, nothing calms me down better than fooddiagram of the tapping points

Side of Eye…when I get upset, nothing calms me down faster than food

Under the Eye…when I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Nose…when I get upset, nothing calms me down faster than food

Chin…when I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Collarbone…when I get upset, nothing calms me down faster than food

Under the Arm…when I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Top of Head…when I get upset, nothing calms me down faster than food

Eyebrow…Food calms me down

Side of Eye…but it also makes me fat

Under the Eye…when I get upset, nothing calms me down better than food

Nose…And I often need to calm down

Chin…I get upset pretty often

Collarbone…And I use food to calm down

Under the Arm…It is quick, easy, and painless

Top of Head…Well, maybe not painless

Eyebrow…Being overweight is definitely painful

Side of Eye…It is painful both physically and emotionally

Under the Eye…I probably need to learn new ways to deal with my emotions

Nose…Food is quick, but the side effects are long

Chin…I choose to learn to manage my stress in other ways

Collarbone…I can learn to calm myself another way

Under the Arm…Even though I have used food to calm myself in the past

Top of Head…I am excited that there is a possibility of learning a new way.

Heart Break

An article, reported in the BBC hit a little too close to home a few years ago.  Spoiler Alert – the answer is yes! The question was Can you die of a broken heart? The problem they were talking about is a physiological change in the heart as the result of psychological or emotional stress. In the 1990s Japanese researchers began calling this Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.  This name resulted from the left ventricle of the heart ballooning out to resemble a takotsubo, a fishing pot used to trap octopuses.

The article went on to talk about the different kinds of stress that can cause this, including bombs, war, and other life-threatening events. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t take anything that bad to induce takotsubo cardiomyopathy.  How do I know? It happened to me a few years ago.  I was sitting at my desk at the end of a very stressful, but not catastrophic day and BAM!, crushing chest pain. After a trip to the local hospital (another horror story) and many tests, takotsubo cardiomyopathy  was diagnosed.

Very little is really known about this disorder, and even less is known about treatment. It does occur more frequently in women, particularly post-menopausal women, than it does in men. For most people, all the signs point to a heart attack. Initial symptoms, EKG, and lab tests all look like an MI.  In fact, going into my cardiac catheterization the cardiologist told me to expect that I would be coming out of there with at least one stint.  Imagine my relief when he told me there was no clot or muscle damage and that my coronary arteries looked good. It wasn’t until later when I started reading about this that I found out it can still be lethal.

So ladies….and gentlemen, if you have chest pain go to the hospital.  Don’t dismiss your symptoms (or the symptoms of others) simply as stress.  As I’ve said before — Stress Kills.