I am reading a book “The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual” by Julie Simon and am learning some new things about myself and my steady climb to the 300 pound level.  I am learning about the tools I need to get my train back on the tracks and running properly.  There are 5 self-care skills and I have just made a connection with the first car in my train – so to speak.

Skill #1, according to Julie is to Establish the Habit of Self-connection.   As a person with a penis, I don’t “feel” my emotions as women apparently do.  Or at least some women do, I suspect.  So, I decided to get in touch with my feminine side…  This meant going inside myself to “check in’ with my inner world of emotions, needs and thoughts”.  I was a little apprehensive about this as it was a new experience for me.  But, as Simon says on page 14, “The primary cause of your emotional eating is your disconnection from yourself.  You’re cut off from your most basic signals, your emotions.”

So, come hell or high water, I was determined to “cop a feel” of my emotions and to express them however I could.  I recognized that overeating was a distraction like sex and that I was trying to soothe and comfort myself.  So, I thought it was something like masturbation – it was an attempt to gain pleasure (feeling?) and fill up (orgasm?) on something outside myself.

“Getting clear on what you feel is the first step in determining what you need.”  With some trepidation, I journeyed on toward the Emerald City, hoping that the great and wonderful Oz would help me to FEEL“.  Along the Yellow Brick Road, I began an inner conversation with myself.  It bothered me that Dorothy could do it easier because as a woman she was wired differently.  Like most men, I got distracted by a naked Dorothy playing in a field of poppys.  Then, a voice, my mother’s voice, sweet and nurturing helped me to realize that I had reached my thinking self.  That is, the part of my “…personality that includes experience, knowledge, intellect, wisdom, rationality, morality, and logic.”

The voice was my mother’s that I remember from childhood when she would hold me.  She said that playing naked with Dorothy looked like fun and since I was having fun, she invited me to let myself “feel” and to recognize the childlike part of my personality that was “intuitive, sensing, vulnerable, feelings-centered, spontaneous, pleasure-seeking, wonder-filled, imaginative, and authentic.”   She said, this is the part of you that does not age or change with time and to embrace the comfort of my nakedness and accept who I am.  And to get to know myself better through an inner conversation.

On page 17, Julie Simon lists 3 steps.  This is where I start to feel, I thought.  And it would require some effort on my part to learn a process.

Step 1:   “How am I feeling in this moment?”

Step 2:  “What do I need?”

Step 3:  Use your “inner nurturer” voice (my mother’s) to reassure and comfort your feeling self and address your needs.

 

DO this whenever you want to use distractions, if you experience unpleasant emotions, when you feel numb, when your thoughts are obsessive or when you encounter stressful situations.

I have identified over 25 needs that are not being met.  In my next post, I will share how I did this and start to explore how I can meet these needs.

 

 

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