Once again, I’m dipping back into old posts to compare with my present situation. Since this is the 3rd day since my commitment, I re-read Day 3. And I found this.
I’m still trying to figure out how to solidify this commitment. It feels strong right now, but I don’t know that it’s become a part of my identity, quite yet. I think I want it to. But maybe that’s the problem right there – I think it. I don’t know it. There’s a little room for doubt. And if I get hungry enough, my devious and addicted brain will exploit that doubt for all it’s worth. My success against its trickery is far from assured.Day 3: So It Begins
At the time I wrote this, I wasn’t sure that I wanted BLE to be a part of my identity. It wasn’t just that I hadn’t made a formal commitment – that was secondary. The real issue was that I didn’t know if I wanted to commit; and I wasn’t willing to say the words, if I didn’t mean them.
It seems absurd. Considering how desperately I wanted to be thin, how sure I was that I had a problem that required drastic steps to resolve, and how convincing the evidence presented in the Bright Line Eating book was, how could I have doubted? What was I doubting, anyway?
I doubted my own mind.
Being of Two Minds
I was conflicted. On a certain level, I didn’t know who I was. Sometimes, I wanted nothing more than to get my eating under control. At other times, more immediate desires took over. I couldn’t make sense of all the voices warring inside my head. I couldn’t be certain which of them was me. Which one really represented my best interests. Yes, it felt good to be in control, to fit into my ‘skinny’ clothes, and to feel less conspicuous. But it also felt really good to eat. And as SPT expressed in this week’s vlog, there was a voice telling me I could manage both: absolute peace and control in a right-sized body, with occasional, delicious indulgences. All the freedom, without the restraints.
Resolving that dilemma took two things, I think. One practical, the other… weird.
Seeing is Believing
First of all, there was the repetitiveness of my on-again, off-again relationship with BLE. Every time I thought I could handle a small deviation from the plan, I was proven wrong. Maybe I should have learned my lesson the 1st time. Maybe I should have taken SPT’s word for it, without having to see for myself at all. However, I did not.
I am a skeptical person, and I require convincing. Though in this case, pigheaded is probably a more accurate description. Still, in my defense, human nature is more apt to trust first-hand knowledge than theory and hearsay. From medicine to woodworking, students require internships to solidify what they’ve read in books and heard in classrooms. It just doesn’t compute, otherwise. Statistics are all fine and well, but one personal experience can have a far greater impact on our beliefs, and more tangibly, on our decisions. The 12 disciples may have claimed to believe Jesus was the messiah, but it took witnessing him alive and well after his indisputable death to turn them into firebrands who would spend their lives spreading his message, and die horrific deaths without renouncing him.
It is who we are: we need to see things for ourselves.
After 9 months, I was finally convinced that I needed the bright lines. And also, that life within those lines was, in fact, tolerable. Not easy, or magical, but bearable. It was something I could do.
The second step toward resolution, I think, was dealing directly with all the voices in my head.
That was a big job. It was a little bit scary. At times, I felt more befuddled than anything, and wondered what good could possibly come of it. Those conversations were some of the strangest I’ve ever had, with anyone. For reference, see Day 19: Making Friends, Day 21: Who I Am Not, Day 24: The Beginning of a Craving, Day 46: Oblivion, Day 49: Rationalizing, Day 50: Rebellion, and Day 51: Putting Down Rebellion.
I started by talking to the voices, indiscriminately – I wasn’t yet able to tell them apart. Then I made a distinction between myself and my Food Controller. I explored the origins of my Wounded Child. And I had direct conversations with my 3 Food Indulgers: the oblivionator, the seductive rationalizer, and the rebel.
All that digging around in my brain came at a price. I felt a little bit like I was being taken to pieces. I learned things I didn’t necessarily want to. It took a degree of concentration that left me exhausted. And sometimes I doubted if it was really worthwhile. Some of these conversations were taking place while I was wandering outside my lines, and all this talking was not helping me get back on the straight & narrow.
Until, one day, it did.
I didn’t get through all my personalities; but with each one I focused on, the distinctions became clearer. I saw which ones could be reasoned with. Which ones needed care and compassion. And which ones really were malicious. By learning who they are, I learned more about who I really am. I could see which voice was mine; and thus, what I really wanted.
That’s what it took to make up my mind. As I made clear yesterday, I’m not wasting any regrets on the amount of time it took. I’m just glad I’m here.
There is no more doubt. The various parts of me – the ones who still get to vote – are in agreement. I know who I am. I know what I want. And I know I can do it.