I mentioned to you in this blog post that I was working with a fellow Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapist on a mindfulness programme.
I figured that now is as good a time as any to start living in the moment. To let go of the past and my story and focus on right now.
Well it was a bit of a challenge. Actually it was a huge challenge. I found it boring. Then I started feeling a prickle of emotion and I stopped wanting to do it. I started trying to do some movement but that didn’t work either.
You see, mindfulness is actually the wrong name. It should be body-fulness. The goal is to focus on nothing other than your breathing. When thoughts enter you head allow them to flow out again and keep your focus on the breathing. I have a bit of a problem with breathing anyway. Some bad associations. But aside from that I didn’t want to just focus on my body. I am a doing person and wanted to engage with my thoughts. Focussing on my thoughts was safer than focussing on my body.
I often say to my clients that you can’t really fail at anything. What you can do is learn valuable lessons from what happens when things don’t work as you expect.
I spoke to Ronn about it and he said to give it a break and focus on mindful activities like mindful toothbrushing or mindful coffee drinking. To be honest I reached the point where I couldn’t even do that.
Then I went to the NCH Extravaganza and was able to hear Dr David Hamilton speak for the first time. I have read his books and they act as some of the underlying beliefs I have about the power of the mind body connection. One of the things he talked about was how mentally visualising yourself exercising a muscle can be just as effective as actually physically exercising it.
And I had an idea…what if during my mindfulness I visualised myself getting slimmer? Nothing has changed on my size for a long time even though I know after sessions with Trevor I can see dramatic changes in my relationship with food and technically I should be slim by now!
So on my return home I put my plan into action and suddenly the mindfulness worked for me. On each breath in I visualised the fat melting away, and on each breath out I focussed only on the breath. I found it easy to cast any thoughts that didn’t belong to one side.
But something else started happening.
I started eating. Really eating. At a level that I have not done since before I started listening to a Slimpod.
For 3 days I stuck at it. Visualising myself slimmer and then scoffing ridiculously through the day.
And I had a bit of a meltdown. Because it became really clear that for some reason my subconscious had no intention of allowing me to become slimmer. Yes the visualisation was working. But now it needed countering because I was in danger of getting slimmer. The minute I decided to stop visualising my eating returned to normal.
It is so frustrating for me.
When I work with clients I am equally happy if they decide they are ok with the size they are as I am if they lose loads of weight. This is about the freedom to choose to be who you want to be.
I want to be a size 10/12. My subconscious disagrees.
As I’m a therapist I have to ask what is that about? And the answer came to me quite clearly. If I lose weight, or even if I dress in less baggy scruffy clothes, then I will look more feminine. If I look more feminine I am at risk.
Of course I don’t consciously think I am going to suddenly be fighting men off me but if I attract more attention – that is the risk.
Because I don’t believe I know how to respond if someone makes a pass at me. No matter how innocuous or well meaning they are in their approaches, I believe deep down that I would just freeze. I would do whatever they wanted me to do. A big part of me believes I could easily get in a situation where I ended up in bed with someone simply because I didn’t know how to say no! It’s crazy but it makes a lot of sense.
It is not a physical issue. I have done karate and believe I can defend myself. I just believe I would not choose to or even be able to decide when it was appropriate to.
So of course I am not going to lose more weight. It is not safe for me to do so. The way I look and the way I dress is my f**k off shield to stop anyone getting close or even looking. Then I don’t get into the situation where I have deal with it.
So now I know.
What I don’t know is what to do about it. But I’m almost positive when I clear this out of the way I will be free to be the size I want to be and dress in whatever clothes I want to wear.