Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's heavier than weight?

What's heavier than weight is the inner critic and judge that rules my brain and scrutinizes my every move. That constant judge's gavel feels heavier than my actual body poundage. Over and over again I've felt the lightness that comes with the loss of five or ten physical pounds (before it comes back), but these days I'm experimenting with the lightness that comes from sliding out from underneath that critical, hyper-judgmental nitpick that usually sits on my back.

Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Bach flower remedies, I've been zeroing in on silencing the negative voice that tells me things like:

What am I wearing? That doesn't look right.
Oh, no - someone brought donuts. I can't be trusted with them.
I really shouldn't have eaten that. I should be ashamed.
I've failed again.

At the age of 46 I believe I'm finally ready to let go of this part of me, or at least take it out of the driver's seat. A week and a half ago, I tapped and tapped as I focused on the awful voice that never stops telling me what to do. On and on my EFT practicing went, but I just couldn't stop the self-loathing that drives that voice. Finally I came up with the idea of taking the morning off:

Even though I'm totally judgmental and critical of myself, I think I'll take the morning off from doing that.

It turned out to be a brilliant idea. I couldn't imagine getting rid of that inner critic for good, but I could imagine it going quiet for a few hours. The critic was able to agree to it, also. Later that morning, when I came across a box of donut holes in the break room, I looked at it differently than usual. Without the critical voice yelling at me to back away from them, I considered eating some. The critic had taken the morning off so I had permission. I could do whatever I wanted!

I imagined the freedom of grabbing one and chomping it down. Then I remembered that lunch time was 20 minutes away. If I ate a donut hole now, I'd spoil my appetite, and I like enjoying my lunch. As I anticipated a good solid meal, I felt the initial appeal of the goodies fade away. And then the craving was gone.

I walked out of the break room in amazement. That was my big chance: free donut holes and no nagging to stop me or shame me later! Complete freedom to eat sweets, but I hadn't done it. Without the critic, my knee-jerk desire for sweets had no force to push against. Without a battle, I was able to feel what I truly wanted: a healthy lunch, not wheat and sugar.

Since then I've managed to let my inner critic go dormant for at least part of each day. As a result I feel more relaxed, more accepting of myself and my body, more free and light. I haven't lost any physical weight, but I think I'm letting go of a much more insidious heaviness of mind. I couldn't win a weight loss challenge right now, but I could go toe to toe with anyone who's trying to get rid of self-sabotage and negative thinking. On that far more important project, I'm succeeding.

In fact, I'm starting to suspect that without that constant monitoring, I won't consume the entire planet and outgrow all my clothes. I won't destroy myself with terrible decisions. But I'm not sure yet. The new battle is between the part of me that's happy without the critic and the part that's afraid I'll hurt myself if I keep going this way. I feel the absence of that constant nagging and it makes me nervous. Can I trust myself to make good decisions without that vigilant voice telling me what to do? Am I safe without my old protection from my own desires? Without the weight of that judge on my back, will I become too light and just blow away? I don't know, but I'm trying to find out.

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