Weighty Matters

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Quieting Mind Chatter

on June 26, 2014

I touched on this the other day but thought I’d expand on it a bit, mostly because it does me a lot of good to explore the realizations. I think it helps me integrate them more into my recovery. It also speaks to the clarity of mind that I’m experiencing that I recognize the things I’m realizing.

It’s Thursday night and I’ve been clean with my food for four days straight. I’m not white-knuckling it which means that I’m not constantly struggling against the compulsion. I’m not locked into a battle where I constantly want food and have to just as constantly tell myself, “No!” When those battles erupt, my mind is damned noisy with the conflict between recovery and relapse as I use my head to fight the behavior of compulsive overeating. Those fights are mentally and emotionally exhausting and very wearing on my spirit. The push-pull creates an almost constant tension.

Getting clean of the compulsion quiets the mind chatter, releases the tension and reduces stress. Picture a tug-of-war when everybody lets go. Instead of the rope being stretched between the two teams, it just drops and lies limply on the ground — no tension.

So, in addition to feeling better physically because I’m not messing up my stomach by eating the wrong things or eating more than my stomach can comfortably handle, I’m able to relax mentally. My emotions even out, too, because I’m not beating up on myself or fretting about the relapse behavior.

Relaxation lets me recharge and create more energy. Emotional respite engenders happiness. Happiness motivates me to do positive action. When I’m down in a relapse, I don’t want to exercise. I find it easy to talk myself into hitting the snooze button instead of getting out of bed at 6 a.m. to do some sort of fitness activity. That’s a whole different sort of mind chatter, sort of like: “Time to get up!” “Ugh. Don’t wanna.” “You should get moving, go ride the bike.” “I’m tooo tired.” “You’re being a lazy slug.” “Yep. Zzzzzz.”

In addition to the clean eating, I’ve also exercised every one of the last four mornings. I stopped arguing with myself and got out of bed when the alarm went off. On Monday and Wednesday, I road my bike for 40 minutes before work and then walked the dogs. On Tuesday and and this morning, I walked the dogs for 40 minutes. I also did Tai Chi class last night and have done at least some Tai Chi foundation moves each day.

There is a strong correlation between the physical relapse of overeating, the noise in my mind, and the messiness of my emotions. It stands to reason then that the connection between clean eating, a quiet mind, and uncluttered emotions would be equally strong. Tonight, I relish the peaceful, easy feeling and embrace it as a way to set myself up for more success tomorrow.

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2 responses to “Quieting Mind Chatter

  1. hoperoth says:

    Mary, you really inspire me! I ate like crap this weekend and now I feel awful (physically and emotionally). I should have done a yoga video tonight, like I planned to, but I ate junk food and watched TV instead. Tomorrow, I am going to get up early, do a quick kettle bell workout, and then relax and eat cleanly. I am going to be like you, free my mind, and just do what I have to do to feel healthy. 😀

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