A Message to the Ladies of Team Serenity
This is a journal of my thoughts to Debbie C; our co-host on the December 8, 2014 team call. We come together every Monday, @ 7 p.m EST Dial 530 881 1400 Access code 591 178#. We are a holistic wellness program. Sometimes deep, often silly and fun. Sometimes the team call just provides marching orders for the next 14 days of your cleanse. However, because we are holistic, we also address stressful life issues for men and women. If you missed the call, that's OK. I promise this post will make more sense each time it is read.
The Monday "Biggest Losers" team call was fantastic.
Apparently Debbie of White Plains, NY and my co-host did an awesome job. We received may texts and emails following the call. The call began with her personal testimony of 50 lbs THIS time around. Yes….we said this time, because the 1st time she released 100 lbs; the 2nd time, well....let's just say there was a 2nd time and the 3rd time, Debbie has reached 50 lbs thus far. Additionally, she is releasing much emotional weight.
There is no such thing as "emotional" overeating. Why do we say that? All of you know that you eat at weddings, during vacation, parties, lunch meetings, then at other times at funerals and following a divorce. However, then there are the times when you don't eat anything at all. It was referred to by a very wise team member as "Rebellion Day". She was accurate. On these days you don't eat, don't drink enough water, don't take fiber, don't take nutritional supplements. Now what did a B12 smoothie do to you? LOL. Then, miraculously on weigh-in day, you manage to report a weight gain. Go figure!
After the call:
Debbie shared her deep hurt in a transparent, sensitive email about the fact that she has been estranged from her son; now a grown man, with children, who has not spoken to her in many years. This deep hurt makes the holiday's challenging for her, when she often feels depressed. We had touched on the subject several weeks ago on the Monday team call. I advised the team that "depression" is anger, inverted on self. Women do not like to claim anger, so we tend to cry and feel depression more readily. Anger is expressed more easily by men, and while it is often more dangerous, as it converts to rage, it is also more honest. Repeat: Anger per se, is not the problem, rage is the harmful emotion. However, Debbie wanted clarification on the statement that depression, is anger turned inward, because she felt or thought she had released both her son and her ex-husband (who was physically abusive)
Understanding the "SILENT TREATMENT”: It happens in all relationships, not just family. It is a form of emotional abuse and a weapon used by people from physically or emotionally abusive family systems. While they abhor the behavior and feel damaged by it themselves, they miss that they too, dish it out. This is especially insidious, if you are someone that has been physically abused or who witnessed physical abuse in the family. Thus, one might initially miss that they too are an emotionally abusive person, or have emotionally abusive tendencies. Ironically, this missed self-reflection may be camouflaged by a vow to never be “like father”, who of course was physically abusive. The “silent treatment” is merely a different form of abuse. The following excerpt is from a colleague who has a practice and writes on this subject:
"The silent treatment (also known as stonewalling) entails a partner's (the silencer) passive-aggressively refusing to communicate with the other (the silenced). Unlike avoidance (a conflict-aversion defense), the silencer deploys the silent treatment with toxic purposes in mind. The silencer's aim is, above all, to silence communication. More specifically, it is to render the other invisible and, in so doing, induce in the "other" feelings of powerlessness and shame. (Note that the experience of powerlessness often evokes shame.) The silent treatment is a statement of contempt, relating, "You aren't worth the energy it would take me to acknowledge your existence, let alone your feelings or needs." For the complete article, click here http://www.powercommunicating.com/
Read that last sentence in bold type, again. The silent treatment says more about the person dishing it out, then it does about the recipient. However, the recipient may have been in other abusive relationships, and while they are no longer in a physically abusive one, they are ATTRACTING the same "crap”.
When someone is currently abusing you, you are NOT over it. Why? Because YOU are STILL ATTRACTING it. We attract those things which we give our attention. So the anger, unacknowledged or not, keeps attracting that same old crappy behavior. This does not exonerate the abuser.
SOME FOUNDATION TRUTHS for MOVING FORWARD:
- The term "emotional over-eater implies victim. It implies that those who overeat due to stress, do absolutely nothing to make other people feel bad and stressed too. People who are overweight are the recipients of much emotional hurt and anger, however, the truth be told, many overweight people also dish it out. You give what you get, then you get what you give. Does that make sense?
- I know what you are thinking. No, not all slender people are happy and healthy. It is just that today, we are achieving a better understanding about what YOU do and how YOU process your anger. Skinny people's issues another day!
- WEIGHT (Fat) represents emotional baggage. It is like you have made your body a storage container. ...It is the WEIGHT of Anger. The trick is that most of you do not identify it as anger. That's what gives it so much power.
- WEIGHT (Fat) represents Fear..Usually fear of intimacy. The trick is that you will often find yourself feeling unsupported. In fact, it is you who backs off from support, because it means getting close to other people.
- Realize that the EATING or NOT EATING, better phrased as food management issues, (because remember, sometimes you don’t eat at all) is a way of expressing anger
- Remember that another way to express anger is through depression, most often, but certainly not always, used by women. Many men suffer depression.
1. Commit to YOURSELF that you will not accept this behavior. Courteously and persistently invite communication, whenever possible. Remain open to it and remain candid about your feelings. Always release the other person, remembering that hurting people, hurt people. If you do not, the anger smolders, but remember, anger NOT expressed, turns inward..., or when expressed inappropriately, manifests as rage.
2. Resist focusing on what others need to say and do differently to you. Ask yourself some hard questions:
· Am I emotionally abusive in any way to others? Yes, sweet lil' ole adorable you! Are you manipulative? Are you giving anyone the silent treatment or doing so intermittently, whenever you decide it is earned? Are you exhibiting any passive-aggressive behavior yourself? Do you get that finger in the air, more than you are comfortable admitting?
· Are you afraid of intimacy? Is your weight protecting you from being too close to people, especially men, whom you secretly believe are really no good ? Notice, that the heavier you are, the further away a person must stand from you, literally
3. Break The Cycle, by realizing that this is a cycle, then launch an intense, at home personal development program. Focus only on YOU and YOUR feelings. Start by watching: THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne. It is based on The Law of Attraction.
4. Find some mood shifters. I like Spotify and I love movies. I also love bowling and will play a couple of games, all by myself. As a prior vegetarian Café owner, I still enjoy cooking and trying new recipes to share .
Please express your gratitude to Debbie, for her bravery in opening that emotional storage container, allowing ALL of us a peak inside of our own.
To Debbie: Congratulations! Now you will see a another shift in your weight. You are riding on the most wonderful, honest road I have ever seen you travel. I am proud of you Debbie.
Michelle Edmonds, M.A., M.Ed
Author|Sr. Nutritionist| Life Coach
THE SERENITY CHALLENGE
Serenity Weight Loss and Detoxification Program