After a couple of years of eating, gaining weight, feeling horrible, feeling like my obsession with eating was growing bigger….
….I decided I just had to control myself, no matter what.
I went on a major diet. Hard core. No starvation, no overeating. Very clear, clear boundaries. Very rigid. Weighing, measuring, counting. timing the way I would eat.
My belief about myself was I could not be trusted to eat in a normal peaceful way, so I threw myself in prison with a serious food plan.
I was miserable.
I felt afraid all the time. I felt angry. I was withdrawn from connection with other people. I was thinking about food constantly, just the same way I had been thinking about food all the time when I binge-ate.
Did eating really have to mean my only two choices were being Totally In Control or Totally Out of Control?
There had to be another way.
The Rebel can sometimes be the one who helps you find that other way.
The rebel by definition is the one who rises, with arms (violence) against the ruler who is in control. Often in the story of humanity, the rebels are then overruled by the current regime. It’s all about war and who has the most power.
But we can learn from rebellion stories, and from our own inner rebels….if we listen to them.
Who would we be if we stopped attacking or running away from either one of these extremes; Dictator or Rebel?
What does the rebel have to say? Why do you feel angry?
If anger existed in this situation around food, eating, taking in fuel in the world, expressing your feelings, trusting yourself, trusting you’ll get what you need….
….what do you think anger wants to say?
The brilliant Karla McLaren (whose work I refer to in the Eating Peace Process–the immersion program I offer live once a year) writes and speaks of anger as the one in you who stands up with passion for freedom, choice, health (when it’s a clear, holy sort of anger).
Anger goes sideways a lot, I know.
How do we work with it, so it becomes our ally and friend?
First….write down what it has to say. No matter how “wrong” or immature, non-politically correct, rude, ridiculous, shameful, mean.
Write down what the voice of the Rebel has to say. Listen to it for once instead of attacking it, or going with it.
When you write down what that feeling and voice has to say, especially when it’s been so powerful in your life, you give it the respect of listening.
And then….what next?
Have I got four questions (plus finding turnarounds) for you! The Work of Byron Katie. A most amazing contemplation for your inner world that brings awareness, and awareness that comes directly from that rebellious angry childish part of you.
No need to find anything different, no need to lock yourself up or lock up your feelings or force yourself to change.
I used to be on a diet, because I actually approached the world the very same way: treat the world like a diet. Avoid certain things, weigh some things, measure some things, count some things.
That wasn’t freedom, though. Freedom to be an imperfect human without a plan. Freedom to be real, clear, and have strong feelings–without having to eat over it.