Wow what a mixed bag this week has been in terms of emotions. There have been some great personal achievements and some difficult moments. The roller-coaster of emotions has been difficult and downright exhausting at times. This lead to huge urges to binge and revert back to that safe coping mechanism which has served me so well in the past.
I found this weeks mindfulness group really triggering. Others in the group disclosed personal difficulties which I couldn't help but get overly emotional about. It's like I suck up the ambient emotions around me and add them to my already overflowing sensitivity. As if I'm a magnet for others pain. I also didn't complete the homework which triggered guilt, a very difficult emotion for me.
While I was paying attention to the other peoples problems in the group I really wasn't being mindful to my own escalating emotional state. We did a gratitude exercise where each of us listed the things we were most grateful for in the present moment. Some mentioned their houses and family, and rather than being happy about what I do have, all I could do was focus on how jealous I was that I don't have those things. I kept homing in on the things others had that I wanted too.
I see now, in retrospect that I really wasn't using the DBT skill PARTICIPATE, which is vital when practising mindfulness. It is a 'WHAT' skill which allows you to benefit wholly from the experience and enter into your experiences whole-heartedly. When you participate you let yourself get involved in the moment, letting go of ruminating and self-consciousness.
Participating is entering wholly into an activity, becoming one with the activity. It is throwing yourself into something completely. It is spontaneous behaviour to a certain extent, although you can also do it mindfully. (dbtselfhelp.com)
This lack of mindfulnesses led to me clinging on to my emotions and carrying them around for the rest of the day. It tainted everything I did that day. I was short and gruff with people who did not deserve that and I was mean and harsh towards myself in my thoughts and behaviours.
I cooked a chicken and broccoli bake that night with the intention of cooking enough for leftovers for the following day, but I let my emotions take control and ended up eating twice as much as I needed. I gorged myself, making myself feel ill as if I was punishing myself. I didn't even enjoy it at all and on top of that didn't have any left overs.
At weigh in today I was expecting a gain. I even cheated by taking my jumper off and wearing really light shoes in the hopes I would at least stay the same. So I was really pleasantly surprised when the scales showed a two pound loss.
In reflection, it hadn't been that bad a week (except for Tuesday). I had cooked really well all week, had upped my protein intake, had stayed clear of alcohol, only had one takeaway and began walking more in an attempt to prepare myself for an increase in activity. Those are all huge achievements for me. A mere three weeks ago I wasn't doing any of that, eating numerous takeaways a week and not at all aware of my daily food intake.
I'm in my third week now and am 3.5lbs down, but its not just the number on the scale I am happy about. My energy levels are up and I'm sleeping better. My binges are less and hence I don't feel so bloated. My digestive health has improved drastically too! No more tummy cramps and bunged up sensations (Sorry for the TMI!) I haven't noticed a major difference in my clothes yet, but the reduction in bloating is helping my day to day comfort.
This week in my Weight Watchers meeting the talk topic was 'Exercise and how it affects mood'. I totally agree with this but rarely find the motivation to go get active, yet I KNOW that when I do I ALWAYS feel good after. This is part of the EMOTION REGULATION module in DBT. PLEASE is so important for keeping my emotions in check and exercise is the one particular part I have been neglecting. We talked about finding an activity that we find enjoyable and fun. Those of you who have been here a while know that I used to be an avid dancer, so my mind went straight back to the fun I had in a dance class. Ballet isn't really an option for me right now, but I have tried Zumba before and therefore I made a commitment to my WW leader to go back to it.
The Gods must be looking after me, money is really really tight and the €10 cost of weekly Weight Watcher meetings is about all I can afford right now on top of the expensive healthy food I'm buying and my rent each week. I can't afford a gym membership or expensive exercise classes. Luckily, I found an online coupon for 6 Zumba classes for €17! And its in the city centre and on my bus route. It's perfect, and I couldn't be happier with such a great deal! I'm starting next Monday evening. Can't wait to tell you how it goes.
Here's this weeks chart, hopefully the green line will keep inching towards my goal weight!
Stay Mindful. xxx