Pondering DIScouragement and The Well-Worn Path

Hiking trail under bright blue skies on a sunny day
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Sometimes the well-worn path can be a good thing.

Do you ever take words for granted?

After listening to last week’s episode, it struck me how the meaning of the word ‘discourage’ is really all about whether or not we have courage. So I looked up the entry of its prefix DIS on Dictionary.com

Dis-

a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force

So if dis reverses its main word then DISinterest is the same as not having interest, DISbelief is the same as not having belief, and DIScourage is then not having courage.

Why Laurie is this English lesson helpful?

Because I think for many of us, bumps in the road cause us to embrace discouragement without examining its true meaning and we give up on ourselves, our dreams and our goals. Being discouraged can turn into an automatic avoidance of risk. If we assume we will fail, and we assume it won’t matter, then it is hard to take action. We don’t like how it feels to fail, who would? And it is true we cannot control the results of our actions, but we can 100% control our courage to take action.

What do you mean I can control my courage?

You don’t have to be perfect, great, talented, wonderful or any of that to be brave. All it takes is the decision to be true to you and do something about it.

Do you have an example?

It’s about self-perception. Let’s say I need to get weighed and I discover my weight is up. I might feel discouraged, as that is what feels normal. And if I allow discouragement to take hold, losing my courage gives me reason to give up on my plan – be it intuitive eating, or a personal goal of eating more veggies or some other method. And honestly, for those first few moments of giving up, it feels great. It’s a relief. It’s a mental vacation. It reinforces the reward of walking the well-worn path. Change can be difficult and mentally challenging. So why continue?

For most of my life I would only go back to my diet plan because of fear. The fear that I would never fit in, never be loved, never be part of the normal crowd as a fat person. I was reacting to an external idea.

I would then go back on my diet with hope. I would go back with determination. This time I would do it. I would be filled with courage, like the knights of old charging off to slay the wicked dragon.

Then old habits, emotions, or justifications would come around, as they always do for me, and I would step off whatever path I was on. My armor would be dented. I would be feeble and it would be plain to all, including me, that I was no champion. And that feeling of well-worn failure would trigger me to fall back into the arms of robot aliens.

Hmmmm. Putting on armor was like a costume. I rode out with my good intentions knowing that these intentions were not from me. I rode out on paths I THOUGHT I should take in order to slay my dragon. And when I did not, I lost my courage.

So what can we do to keep our courage?

This tussle between giving in to discouragement and keeping my courage rings true with things in my life other than food too. From learning to be a teacher, to acting, to keeping my house in order.

I find myself not trusting myself and looking for tips, tricks, methods or teachers to show me the way.

Now, there is nothing wrong with getting feedback and learning from others, it’s often a very valuable way to progress.

But when we allow the opinions of others to dictate our hearts, it is very hard to have true courage. I believe courage comes from within and fostering ways to listen to our own hearts is how we become more brave.

I think part of why we with eating issues are so prone to people pleasing comes from not believing our own hearts are worthy as is. We don’t trust ourselves and if we need something, we see it as selfish. But our hearts are part of that still small voice that speaks to us.

Learning to Recognize True Inner Bravery

Bravery isn’t loud. It isn’t showy. It is certain. When we feel what’s right with certainty, then taking that action fills us with self-pride and love, even if the action seems to fail and our usual course is to let that DIScourage us. Even if in another situation our certainty changes course.

As an eating example: Do you really want cake? Or do you want to celebrate and be part of the crowd? Do you really want chips? Or do you want distraction? Do you truly enjoy popcorn at the movies or is it a habit? The brave thing is to allow yourself to know and then make a choice. Either way. If you are certain that choosing popcorn will give you joy in that moment, then enjoy the choice. If it is a habit, and you are certain that regret will follow, enjoy the choice to abstain this time.

But what if I’m NOT certain?

That’s where we fall on the well-worn path. Many times in all of my diet/binge career, I have eaten mindlessly or in response to social cues. Also in response to negative emotions. This is my well worn path.

Can we make a new path?

Yes! Every time we make a choice we are building a new well-worn path to fall back on. The tricky part for me making a new path with intuitive eating is that there can be times when I really do want the food as food, and times when I am falling into habits and discouragement. I have gone on vacation and eaten some items that normally I would not, yet felt fine about it. I have also had amounts of the same thing after an emotional disappointment and felt like the biggest failure on the planet.

It is all about how I interpret the choice – and NOT choosing is a choice.

That’s why I think it is important to not be DIScouraged. We do not have to let any event, eating or otherwise, take our inner courage from us. For example, If I don’t like the result of my action, if I bravely allow myself to really understand why, then I can adjust. If it is too painful, and chips feel like a better answer than self-awareness, than I remain stuck until which time I can see my behavior for what it is.

And to make it even tricker, sometimes Discouragement can feel like a blessing

Sometimes it IS too painful. My grieving for the loss of my mom was that way. I couldn’t handle all of the emotions, so distracting with food and worry about weight gain was an awesome well-worn path. Did it make my mom come back to life? No. Did it change any interaction I had ever had with her? No. Did it help me push thinking or feeling too much away? Yes.

Right or wrong, I needed time and space away. Looking back, I wish maybe I had chosen another method – like a grief support group, or journaling or something, but at that time, what happened, happened.

I can’t change that past, but I won’t let it rob me of my courage. And I’m glad I’m back now on my well-worn path up the mountain to spend time processing my thoughts with all of you.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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Ep 0133 – I Won’t Let That Discourage Me

Laurie in shades with the sunny hillside behind
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Feeling proud, brave and stoked that I made it up the mountain.

Podcast Recap

Defeating negative self-talk where we spiral down the hopeless rabbit hole by wishing things away. I come clean about conflicted feelings about day 130. Gratitude to BC Karen for her encouraging note and to BC Susie for her kind phone call. Reading recommendations from Rabbit, Mary S. and me. Hello to new BC Lucie. Dawny makes me laugh with her reaction to my cooking story from the last show. Mary S. surprises me by restarting up the Coffee Klatch! How to send me cards, letters or other physical items. A walk down memory lane about the cool items I’ve received from BCs in the past. A deep and heartfelt comment conversation between Mary S. and me that triggers my bravery and I share the truth about my eating behavior of late and my feelings about it.
Double Delight two-toned pink roses in the garden

Greeted by Mark’s beautiful roses when I returned home from recording day 133. He has such a green thumb!

Mentioned

Last show and comments
My Big Fat Update Show – where I speak about my Mom and my VO career
New BC Lucie’s comment

Reading Recommendations

The Chronicles of Prydain (5 Volumes)
Eating Less: Say Goodbye to Overeating

Contact page where you can get my PO BOX
Blog post and photos about the quilt from Amy in WI
Blog post and photo of the Brave Tiara from BC Suz
Show notes where you can view Fionna’s album
Ways to send audio to the show for Foolish Fun, Laurie’s Stories etc.

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1 Used by permission of Josh Woodward under a Creative Commons License

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Ep 0132 – Learning to Be Grateful to Ourselves

Laurie smiling in her straw hat with the sun shining down on the hiking trail.
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On podcast pages click the arrow to play the episode.
Smiling and feeling fine on the trail to the next to top Zen Space.

Podcast Recap

It’s a happy hike back up to the next to upper Zen Space where I let go of ingratitude to my own self! An exercise to increase gratitude. I play my Pig Whistle to wish BC Sandy a very happy birthday. Dawny does a whole set of awesome Springtime Foolish Fun. Comments by Dawny, Sandy, and Rabbit (love that name) about the last show. A comment of Rabbit’s sparks an idea. Should we have a BC reading list? BC Mary S. saves the day by letting me know about a comments glitch, which I was able to fix. Mary S also wants to know if we BCs are more prone to having a creative side. What do you think? I have a surprising reaction to a couple of compliments. Are we internalizing ageism and sizeism?
Laurie playing a ceramic whistle that is shaped like a pig

Here I am playing Happy Birthday to Sandy on the pig in my studio-guest room. My mic is in front of me right now and I’m recording the song for day 132.

Mentioned

Last show and comments

Dawny’s Last Joke

Day 83 – The Show BC Mary S. was trying to post on about creativity. What do YOU think? Are people with eating issues prone to creativity? What’s your creativity?

Ways to send audio to the show for Foolish Fun, Laurie’s Stories etc.

Laurie’s Weight Story and Photo Page

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver
Pig Player: Laurie Weaver
Foolish Fun Announcer: Mark Weaver
Foolish Funner: Dawny

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1 Used by permission of Josh Woodward under a Creative Commons License

Sounds used in Laurie’s Foolish Fun Intro

  • Slide Whistle sounds
    http://www.freesound.org/people/plingativator/sounds/188873/
  • Background Tune/Beat
    http://www.freesound.org/people/siakitty/sounds/38478/
  • Girl’s Laughter
    http://www.freesound.org/people/choplin/sounds/109759/
  • Phone Ring
    http://www.freesound.org/people/winsx87/sounds/152028/
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Ep 0131 – How to Remove Power from Negative Thinking and How IS Voice Acting Like Dieting?

Laurie holds up her Roland Recorder and smiles into the camera while hiking
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Back on the Mountain with my Trusty Roland05 – What will I let go of today?

Podcast Recap

Back on the mountain I ponder the amount of power I give to negative thinking and brainstorm ways to let that go. I read a recent blog post asking if you, the BCs, would like COD to continue on as a weekly show, and if you would participate. Some comments about that from Sue from the U.K., BC Petra, Dawny, New BC Rabbit (Love that name!), BC Sharlene, BC Jackie and Stéfanie from Quebec. My pursuit of voice acting triggers some familiar feelings and I give a shout out to the special people in Richard Horvitz’ voice acting B class.
Laurie's hiking poles and pack sitting on the shady bench under a tree

I am SO happy to have a shady bench at the next to upper Zen spot today.

Photo on the music stand by the mic

Here’s a peek into my studio. I often speak to photos when I read copy at home to help me feel connected. This one is of my Mom when she first got engaged to my dad.

Mentioned

Blog post where I ask if you want participate and hear more from Compulsive Overeating Diary – also comments

FB post where I ask the same, and those comments

About Richard Horvitz

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1 Used by permission of Josh Woodward under a Creative Commons License

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Thoughts? More COD again?

Laurie smelling wild rosemary on a hike
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I’m stopping to smell the rosemary on my last hike – a few days after my last birthday.

Hey BCs – let me know what you think. Want to start up our conversation again? If so, please comment below or call the bravery hotline. I think I have some new thoughts (and things to let go of) on my eating/body/bravery journey lately, but I HATE just talking to myself. Thinking about new weekly episodes, 30 minutes or less. Want to hear more? Want to add your thoughts too or are you just into listening? One reason I ask is I want to get hiking back in my week. Also, I’m in a new stage of my intuitive eating….slooooooowwwwwly, weight is moving down. Also grief hits me from time to time over loss of my mom (among other changes at this stage of life) And I would sooooo appreciate support and input. New challenges to ponder… anyway, before I put COD back into my schedule, I wanted your input. And if I don’t hear much, then I guess that’s my answer! 😉 xoxoxoxo

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