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These last couple of weeks I've been very conscious about things I do not feel safe about, and I've realised that there are different levels in it;

Some things I utterly disgust me such as the sound of blue bottles, picking up spiders, when I find a a banana fly infestation - so I try to avoid doing that. Now, the things I am afraid of/reallyreally don't like to do, so I try to NOT put myself in situations where I am to do it, such as climb ladders, going on rollercoasters, or have confrontations. Then there are the things that I fear, the totally inexplicable things where it's just an underlying unrest that is difficult to pin down, or to explain. It is so deep and dark that I can't even catch a sight of it because my body just reacts automatically whenever there could be a risk of going into it.

The difference is that I CAN actually DO the things that disgust me, I KNOW what I am afraid of .... but finding the source itself of fear is very difficult.

When I was a child I was afraid of the darkness; so, I went out on my push bike through a forest a dark fall night where I couldn't see a hand in front of me. No light, no way back - I HAD to get through the forest to get to my friends house, I was SOOOO scared and really just wanted the trip to end; but I had no way to go but forward. I found out why I was afraid, I had a look at it, at myself and my reactions, and I got to know what I do when put in such situations! And slowly, over the years, I have learned to like the dark nights! I now feel as if I'm wrapped in security and disguise. I have become a night person!

A good friend told me about an experience he had as a child; his parents were sent out to Africa to work and he was told to UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE!! to sail out behind the reefs because of the sharks!

"The first thing I did was sail out behind the reef and jump in the water! I needed to know what it was like to be there, to face it!"

I understand that. When you run from things that you THINK are scary, how do you have the time to observe? You have ALWAYS run from it. If you are asked you can't really answer as to WHAT or WHY you're running! It's auto pilot!

I do firmly believe that you need to FACE your fear! Stop, give it space and validation! Maybe give it a name (after all, it is an old friend!) When you can do that there's a good chance that you actually find out that the tiger you were running from is nothing more than a kitten!

I talked to a new, but very good, friend lately about my weight issues and relationship with food. She asked me some very valid and insightful questions. I have always fought body issues, being almost 6 feet tall, loud and strong, at my heaviest almost 300 lbs! The weird thing is I never felt as if I was good enough! Either I was "too much" or "not good enough".... so clearly I needed to change to fit in. I think that all women at some point fight these self esteem issues even if they are perfectly normal, beautiful, curvy or not-women, we have all been manipulated into thinking we NEED to be thinner - or just something else - to be happy! (BTW, you don't!)

Kara Galvin is a very wise woman who encourages women to breathe, get ready for battle and stare it in the eye. See what it carries, this thing that you are afraid of - and see what it brings with it! She wrote a very good and enlightening blog on the issue - and it's WELL worth a read!:

My overeating is ignited by these 4 things

1) when I am tired

2) when I am bored and don't have anything to do

3) cravings

4) when I'm sad

The one that's the most difficult to catch is the first one, when I'm tired; my body NEEDS the sugar and I just eat ANYTHING that can give me a fast relieve! When I am bored I have found myself doing a yoga pose or two and go really into the nittygritty of that and it'll take my mind of it. Relatively easy! The craving one I have found out how works so I can cheat it; a craving for me is about 20 minutes - so I just need to get myself away from the temptations for that amount of time. When I am sad is far the most difficult for me. When my body can think of nothing else but stuffing food in my mouth.

Germans have a word for it "Kümmern-Essen" - "Kümmer" is worries, so it's "worry eating", you eat because you worry about something! And THAT is where I have been using the meditation and the space created by it!

Sometimes I don't quite get there before I'm elbows deep in a bag of crisps, or have a chocolate bar in my mouth..... it's a work in progress! BUT I have caught it once or twice, and I am so proud and at ease when I can do that!

When I find myself in front of the shelf with chocolate, or the sugar, or just excess food I have found a peace on the inside. A space where time ends and I stop and recognise my urge and the action I am about to do. I look at it and say "Yes, there you are again, my old companion! I see you! I understand it, you want to fill a void so I can't feel anything of it! And I thank you...... but I do remember what I feel like when that void is filled with food, chocolate, sugar... I KNOW how heavy and bad I feel, even worse than with the worry I also carry! So - I see you and validate you want to help, but we both know the void I need to fill cannot be filled with food!!"

I know because I have been doing that my entire life! I know because I always feel a thousand times worse after. When I sit there and indulge in ice cream, chocolate, newly baked bread with butter I feel as if I am sitting in a control tower in my mind - my body is a big robot that I have lost control over. Some wires have gotten crossed and now I can only watch when my robot is taking control and running crazy. I can only wait for the frenzy to pass!...... and when it's over I am left with a 6 foot body filled with self hatred and sadness and the work becomes even more unmanageable because I'm also hitting myself over the head with my own weakness!

I have learned that I am very sensitive! During this summer I have lost about 17 lbs, and I haven't done more fitness or running or something like that! No - I have been doing yoga and meditating everyday - at least once - and I have discovered that the meditation has created a SPACE inside me where I can actually have a look, objectively, on my eating disorder. I see it - I recognise it - I validate it - I talk to it! I have finally understood that my eating disorder is my life companion. It will never pass. I can only make space for it to make it validated and at ease!

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