Ep 0136 – Many Shades of Unsexy Grey!

Laurie in her straw hat and sunglasses grins along the trail
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Following a day of rain, it’s all smiles and sunshine on the mountain for Day 136.

Podcast Recap

The unexpected rain causes me to change the day of my hike. I ponder the effects of rigidity and over-flexibility in my life. Dawny greets our new BCs from last show and updates us on her health. Kevin replies to Sue from the U.K. and Dawny who both supported him on the Bravery Report. The importance of BCs supporting each other and 6 tips to help do that. Welcome to new BC Mar. Dawny has special Foolish Fun for bird watchers! Special guest Mark and I reminisce about the many different shades we’ve experienced in our 23 years of marriage.

Purple wildflowers bloom amongst sage brush

Wild flowers blooming along the trail. Always reminds me to ‘Bloom where you are planted!’

Smiling - Laurie and Mark under the twinkle lights of the ballroom

Mark and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary in style by ballroom dancing under the twinkle lights in Pasadena.

Mentioned

Last show and comments

BC Kevin’s Story on the Bravery Report

New BC Mar’s comment on Day 5

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

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver
Foolish Fun Announcer: Mark Weaver
Foolish Funner: Dawny
Special Guest Interview: Mark 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

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 0135 – Deer Time!

Laurie in profile on the hiking trail gazing uphill at something.
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I spy an unexpected fellow traveler on the trail.

Podcast Recap

I tell my heart-pounding deer tale. I let go of time pressure and discover how time can be a guidepost instead. I share a few paragraphs from my latest blog post about overcoming fear and Dawny’s courageous response. We say hello to new BCs Taylor and Amanda who posted on the Compulsive Overeating Diary page on FB. Comments from last week’s show from BCs Dawny and Rabbit. A touching and brave call from new BC Kevin who last called the bravery hotline on day 130. I ponder grief, connection and how we grow into new identities.

A deer in the trail.

The unexpected deer shares its gaze before bounding up the hill.


Laurie holds a Roland recorder under a tree

Just me and my trusty Roland05 setting in to record Day 135

Mentioned

My blog post about fear and Dawny’s comment.

Last show and comments from Dawny and Rabbit

FB Page and Comments by new BCs Taylor and Amanda

The episode featuring the first call from BC Kevin from NY

Bravery Report with Kevin from NY’s story and comments by Dawny and Sue from the UK

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver
Guest Caller: BC Kevin from NY

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

Sunny day on the hiking trail through the foothills.

Another beautiful day on the trail down the mountain. No deer shared this part of the journey.

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Blown Into Chaos by Devil Winds

Fire pit area in complete disarray with cushions tossed, leaves everywhere, branches leaning on everything
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The Santa Anas wreaked absolute havoc in our yard.

Do you ever get tossed by “Devil Winds” in your life?

Here in Southern California, our Santa Ana Devil Winds lately tossed everything pell-mell and pummeled our back yard with leaves, branches and chaos. I felt the same inside. I am absolutely terrified by the sound, the shaking glass of the windows and the looming threat of our neighbor’s untrimmed swaying giant of a tree that moans, snaps and bends over us like Godzilla stalking Tokyo.

Huge towering tree seen from below looking up to the sky

The gigantic tree behind our house is terrifying in the wind. It belongs to our neighbor and so we have no control over getting it trimmed.

This is an actual physical threat that disrupts my sleep as our room is located on the second floor, with only a flimsy roof between us and it. Our sturdy house that has withstood earthquakes with ease, feels like a folded paper boat among the swells of a tidal wave. Our cats go crazy, I go crazy, and only Mark remains calm, having lived his entire life with Santa Anas.

Physical Vs. Emotional Fear

Since the terror comes from a physical source, I can take what steps I can. I move into our quest room, which doubles as my sound studio. This feels safer as it is an interior room on the first floor, cocooned by the rest of the house and has the added benefit of sound blankets shielding me from the racket.

Disaster may very well still strike, but taking action has helped my compulsive mind deal with the fear.

Later on I pondered my reaction and realized that emotionally, I also have phantom Santa Anas that pummel my emotions and self-esteem. And I try to do the same as I did with the physical threat. I hole up, safe from the scary world by isolating, distracting with food, diet thoughts or endless hours watching reruns of Survivor.

When is Safe not Safe?

In our fight or flight world, I used to be self-programmed for flight. Avoid people who might make me feel badly, avoid situations where I might fail. Cover up feelings. Don’t admit the wind is out there. Stay safe under the emotional sound blanket provided by Robot Aliens. Cocoon like a swaddled baby using ice-cream as a thumb to suck.

Trouble is, by holing up and denying my emotional fear, I didn’t go out and experience the world or my possible part in it. I always assumed I was no good. I always felt that good things came by luck or via the auspices of others and that bad things were what came from me.

How could I ever learn differently if I never tried?

Fear is real

These days we can experience fear in real life, like I do from the looming tree, we can experience it in movies and VR, we can also experience it in the prison of our mind and habits. Like well done VR, the prison of our mind feels real. Our heart pounds just as hard. Our palms sweat. Our warning bell voices caution or berate us.

How do we overcome and break out?

First, by admitting we feel it. Whoa, there Laurie, that is SCARY. Yep, it is. But which is scarier? Never being you in the world, never getting to experience life? Or letting a feeling flow through you?

Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s permanent.

Second, take one small step toward your goal or wish or dream. Search for an online writing group. Find a singing teacher. Research charities that could use your help. Find a recipe that you would enjoy eating.

Thirdly, imagine the step after that. Signing up for the writing group, contacting the singing teacher, picking the charity that most speaks to you, writing down a shopping list for the recipe. Sit with this for awhile. Is it overwhelming? Is the tree still looming? Imagine the next step every day until it feel familiar. It might take weeks or minutes.

Then take that next step and repeat.

It also works for hard conversations, for inner work, for allowing yourself to feel what’s real for you.

Devil Winds are not easy, inside or out, but you are worth the risk to discover how to fly despite them.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Comfy chairs around a black iron fire pit on a stone patio

With some work, thanks to Mark, peace and Zen is restored to our backyard

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Ep 0134 – No More Status Quo

Laurie in her big straw hat at the base of the hiking trail
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Starting up the mountain earlier than usual to take advantage of the early morning temperature and quiet.

Podcast Recap

Throw the Status Quo out the window and embrace change. Good-bye Erin Moran, an iconic actress from my middle and high school years. Extra love for BC Rabbit and Dawny. BC comments about Day 133 from Dawny, Mary S and Susie. Sue from the U.K lets us know how she’s coping with a difficult loss. I read snippets from my latest blog post about DIScouragement. BC Mary S. goes on the bravery report for her voice mail message about bravery and the challenges she’s been having since a foot injury. We ponder tracking food. Does it always lead to diet mentality?
Blue skies, golden waving grass, winding hiking path down the foothills

I enjoy the stunning blue skies and golden light during the trek down the mountain.

Mentioned

Last show and comments

My DIScouragement Blog

My Rant Blog

Happy Days news and episodes on TV Guide

Ways to support the show financially

Credits

Host: Laurie Weaver
Guest Caller: BC Mary S.

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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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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