Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeling your feelings

Lyn from Escape from obesity talks a lot about feeling your feelings. This has always been a struggle for me. When things got rough, I always put my feelings aside, ignored them and tried to live my life as if the bad stuff never happened. I am sure that's part of the reason why I am overweight - I've stuffed myself with junk food and candy to avoid taking a good hard look at all those feelings looming beneath the surface.

Dark feelings looming beneath the surface
Image by nuttakit /

Lately, I have tried to do something about not just my weight, but my old-but-not-forgotten feelings as well. I have started going to Rosen therapy, which is a form of massage therapy that helps you get in touch with your feelings. I am also starting psychoterapy to work through some of the dysthymia (low grade depression) and anxiety that I've been batteling for far too long. My first day is tomorrow, and I'm scared to death - don't know quite what I'm scared about, though!

Anyways, when the twin terrors (as I've been told they are called in the rest of the world, in Norway, of course, we only call it the terror) hit, I woved to not let this experience add to the already overflowing collection of suppressed feelings. Instead of my initial reaction, which was to just stuff it all away, I decided to feel it all and work through it right there and then.

Image by m_bartosch / 

Consequently, I spent most of last weekend couped up in my living room, glued to the TV. I watched and listened to every single of the horrors that were told. I bawled my eyes out thinking of what those poor kids and their families had gone through. I even blogged about it. It feels like I was able to process at least most of the sorrow, and I'm hoping some of the shed tears were from old sorrows as well.

But there was more to this event than just sorrow. A lot of shock and fear, too, and those are not so easily dispelled by tears. Come Sunday, I was ready to let go of these feelings, too. I thought the best way to do that was through exercise. So I ran. First, I did the Cooper test at my old gym, to see how much I'd improved (I'll talk about that in another post). Later, I did a session of C25K.

It felt so GOOD! It was really what I needed to free some of the shock that had frozen my body and mind. Running, and I'm sure most kinds of exercise, can be the best form of healing. Often, we think of exercise as a means to reach our goal weight. But lately, I've started to value exercise for its own sake, for the good feeling it creates in me. I LOVE how strong I feel after a workout, how much more I appreciate my body, how it reduced my stress levels.

Even though I officially quit the challenge half way through, I DID succeed in losing 1 kg in 1 week. Half of that (the part prior to July 22) was due to hard work on my part. The other half - well, you just don't have the stomach to eat much when you're bombarded with heart gripping, real life horror stories like that.

Well, actually I'm sure it could have gone the other way, too. I could just as easily have turned to food for comfort. So it was just pure luck that my reaction led me away from food. Or was it? Could it have been that I didn't NEED comfort food because I was actually feeling my feelings instead of suppressing them? I hope it's the latter, because that would give me a new kind of power over binges. I'll never know for sure, but nonetheless I will continue to work through my feelings instead of hiding from them. I believe that will make me more equipped to reach my goal weight and stay there. Not to mention that I'll have a better life alltogether. Now, that is something worth fighting for! :)

1 comment:

  1. You have been through a horrible trauma. I'm proud of you for working through the feelings. But don't be surprised if they resurface at unexpected times. Traumas do that. It is normal. You'll likely have to work through some of the feelings again. You'll be fine though, in time.