Being given a pre-diabetic blood sugar reading over a year ago, and also wanting to be healthy and attractive to women, has caused me to be concerned with my weight. I’ve struggled with it all my life, and last year I lost 50 pounds (310 to 260) only to gain 30 back (at 290 now).
I went on a diet and exercise routing informed and fairly similar to that of the Primal Blueprint. After getting down to 275 pounds, I felt it was time to allow myself some of the things I had wanted but denied myself. I wanted to have some bread again, or ice cream. This led to me falling back into my old eating habits. It was as if some force inside of me had felt deprived, and now it was binging, trying to satisfy itself. This force, which I could suspect is related to the “soul child”, is something I can’t ignore. I have to become aware of it, and inquire what it’s root is, as it, and the marketing forces around me, will continue to entice me into falling into this same slump.
Muscle Tension and Pain
I also have experienced back pain issues since February of this year. The pain which usually is dull and not paralyzing, just a little uncomfortable when I lay down to sleep at times, thus requiring a little stretching to relieve. I woke up recently with such strong pain that I couldn’t sit up in certain positions, and certainly couldn’t bend over to tie my own shoe. I hadn’t done anything to hurt myself, and in fact this happened only two days after I had a professional massage.
I could only suspect that it was related to unconsciously repressed emotional content that was manifesting as muscle tension, thus causing the pain. This is not a common suspicion amongst people. Typically people think they’ve hurt themselves, and simply go to a doctor for pain medication. The pain persists for more than it should, so they go back for more powerful, addicting, pain killers. If you’re at your wits end, or trying to get out of the cycle of addiction, I strongly recommend that you check out Healing Back Pain by John E. Sarno, or the type of emotional work I describe below.
I ended up going to a self acceptance training facilitator, Cherie McCoy, whom I refer to as my ‘therapist’ even though she’s not licensed as a therapist. I previously performed this type of work on myself in the effort of allowing repressed emotional content to come up for me, once a week with Cherie for about a year. During my first session with her recently, to explore the possible link between the tension and pain, the pain was strong, at times increasing to the point where the pain was “shooting”. During the 2nd session, a week later, I really tapped into the root of the issue deeper and released an amount of anger and grief. Afterwards the left side of my back, where the pain was felt most, had no tension…and in fact I only felt it a bit in the right side.
Out of this came a realization, that the pain had started in mid February, which was when I started my new job. Recently my boss had gone over a review of my work with me, and pointed out some mistakes I had made. Even though he hadn’t reprimanded me in a judgmental manner, I still felt very anxious and depressed as a result of the review. I was aware that I was feeling the fear of not being adequate for my job. Now that I think about this, underneath that fear of inadequacy is a fear of not being supported (survival, a deeply rooted concern of personality type 6). Unfortunately my reaction to such fear is paralysis, which can hinder my performance…and further exacerbate the fear of not being adequate. This causes me to act in a way that reinforces the fear, self doubting, distracted by anxiety.
The sessions with Cherie helped me to see that this is rooted in experiences as a child, with my step father, where I felt inadequate, powerless. One example I could remember was how my step father would send me to retrieve something he needed, like a tool for a project he was working on. I’d go to find it, look everywhere, and come back reporting that I was unable to find it. He would then tell me more details, send me back to check again, and I’d come back still unable to find it. He would go to look for it, and having a more adept memory of how it looked, where he placed it, where the other objects were around it, how it might have been behind something else (subconsciously known), he would find it. Out of frustration he would then be very critical, even using name calling such as ‘numb skull’. Although I’m not 100% sure, I surely suspect that this communicated to me “You’re not adequate”, and this, along with a deep fear of security, became embedded and synergized in my subconscious. If I’m not adequate, then I will get fired, and if I get fired, my security is threatened, thus causing anxiety and depression.
Avoidance of Physical Activity
I was temporarily disabled by this back pain, and given content to make me wonder what other results of childhood experience have shaped my behavior subconsciously. Something else I discovered during the back pain episode, during which I would try anything to alleviate the pain, was that eating what I wanted made the tension lighten. This is scary, but very important it seems. What if, my whole life, without being conscious of it, I’ve formed the deeply held belief (which I’m conscious of) that I must eat rich foods in the quantities I eat them…overeating…all due to the intuition that if I don’t I will be uncomfortable, and will not be able to support myself?
I’m aware that I avoid strenuous physical activity because in the past it has very often left me feeling exhausted, and sore afterwards. A recent period of seeing a physical trainer with a background in physical therapy, Sheena Nadeau, helped me see this more clearly. She was willing to understand my avoidance of associating fitness with such states of being. I had hoped that working with her would help me to dissolve this association, which it did, however I think that this wasn’t necessarily due only to a common occurrence of overbaring physical trainers…but also due to other unknown subconscious issues…and perhaps even sensitivities to certain foods. These two issues, I am still exploring.
I know that working on a construction site with my step father when I was young influenced me to stay away from careers in manual labor. The heat and humidity of central Florida, combined with other factors, made me view that lifestyle as a type of hell I wanted to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, sedentary lifestyles spent in a chair all day have their downsides as well. Sheena pointed out that I had bad posture due to conditioned muscle states from sitting in a chair all day. She pointed out various stretches and exercises I could do to correct this. She truly is a personal “trainer”…training my muscles that have atrophied to become strong, and stretching out the ones that have become too tense.
Something that has been going through my mind over and over again is the question, am I possibly allergic to certain foods? Are they the reason why I gain weight, or can’t lose it, or am tired and without energy? When I was on my Paleo style diet (see Primal Blueprint mentioned above), I stayed away from foods with high carb content. No grains, no sugar. I noticed that within days of starting this diet, after the detox period which required lots of water to avoid getting a headache from dehydration, that I would look skinnier. The flesh below my jaw, around my neck, would become less “fatty” looking. It became apparent that I must carry water weight due to inflammation. I notice that when I drink a lot (beer?), or eat fast food, that this is usually the case… I look fatter.
Someone I know who has a gluten allergy told me that what I’ve described sounds like wheat allergy (slightly different than what he has). I asked my doctor about an allergy last time I saw him. He said that’s not the case if I’m not having diarrhea, or other extremely prohibitive symptoms. Today I decided to search about this and found that there is a distinction between wheat allergy and wheat sensitivity. Wheat allergy has sudden onset symptoms: vomiting, asthma, nausea, coughing, hives etc. Wheat sensitivity has frequent delayed reactions, hours later, or even 2-3 days later which include:
- Bloated stomach, Flatulence, Diarrhea, constipation etc
- Constant infections like colds, ‘flu, mouth ulcers, thrush
- Asthma, coughing, bronchitis
- Headaches, sinus pain and migraines
- Arthritis, back ache, “Restless legs syndrome”
- Skin rashes, Eczema, Psoriasis, itching flaky skin
- Chronic fatigue, lethargy
- Mood swings, cravings or Depression
I do often suffer from flatulence, sometimes constipation. I always get flus when they are going around. I had bronchitis last year, and this year again. Chronic fatigue, lethargy, cravings, and depression…ding ding ding ding!! This is something I should explore.
This article that I’m ripping this information from reports that Wheat Sensitivity is due to Gluten, with up to 15% of people, or one in seven, affected in the population Those who fit the criteria for Celiac testing are said to have Celiac Disease. However most Gluten sensitive people are Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS) - and do not test positive with either blood tests or the biopsy.
I’ve also noticed that certain dairy products cause me issues. Yogurt recently caused me to have a headache twice. Frozen yogurt caused me to be gassy. I wonder if I’ve just ignored these symptoms the whole time, thought it just was normal or something wrong with me (fart), but really I just wasn’t aware of the wider implication of these issues.
I’m not concluding anything yet, but I’m definitely keeping my eyes open, and observing more. These issues might possibly be the root of so many other peoples issues with weight. Personal trainers use the typical “no pain, no gain” philosophy, not understanding the psychological/emotional background of their clients, bullshit fad diets are rampant and discouraging when they fail, the individual variables of a persons genetics also are likely involved (blood type perhaps?), and ignored and unknown allergies, might all make for a cocktail of issues that must be resolved all at once.
On another note, there are other factors that one must realize. Sleep. When I don’t get enough sleep, I crave food more, especially rich fatty food. One must have sleep, nutrition that works for them, a nonjudgemental exercise environment, and social support. We’re social creatures, and lack of social support around physical activity, like sports or other physical activities (hiking partners, biking partners), might be part of why we’re emotionally held down. I’m exploring all these possibilities. I’m going to figure it out, and then make it into a system, and make millions!