Emotional Weight

When the student is ready, the teacher appears…

I’ve really been trying to uncover my next set of lessons on the connection between emotions and weight. As most of you know, I have been sidelined athletically with a foot injury for the past month. (It’s not getting any better – next step, MRI). What’s been interesting to me is the emotions it’s been stirring up. As I feel out of control with my foot, I find myself wanting to exert massive control over everything else (money, food, work, chores, etc). This has led me back into some of my old ‘all or nothing’ mentality. If training for races is ‘nothing’, then I will do everything else at ‘all’. Not healthy for me. Perfection is temporary, at best.

After 4 weeks of this behavior, I just finally recognized it while reading the intro to a new book. Here is the quote that really changed things for me…

“When we do not allow ourselves to experience painful emotions, we limit our capacity for happiness. All feelings flow along the same pipeline, so when we block painful emotions, we are also indirectly blocking happy ones.” – taken from the intro of The Pursuit of Perfect.

When I read this last night, I realized two things:

1. I’ve been trying to be tough about my injury. I’ve brushed it off emotionally. I’ve tried to downplay how much it’s affecting me mentally because many people have it so much worse. I’ve just tried to block off the emotions (i.e – close down my emotional pipe). I realized that my capacity for happiness has been altered too. I realized that my old habit was to close the pipe via food (i.e emotional eating). I realized that the only thing saving me this time is my polar watch and my calorie in/out spreadsheet. And then I finally cried. I cried because my foot hurts, because MRI’s are expensive, because I don’t know what they will say, because I’m not sure I can do the Turkey Tri in Nov, and because I am afraid that I am going to undo all the great work I’ve done physically. I think we all under estimate the release we get from both emoting and exercise. For the first night in a month, I slept like a baby.

2. I realized how important it is workout your emotional body to keep your physical body healthy. “As the mind goes, so does the body” and I have to constantly remind myself that weight is just a result – not a problem. The problem lies in unhealthy behaviors in fitness, nutrition and/or emotional management. If you make positive adjustments in those areas, the result (or weight) will change too. I absolutley loved how they featured the emotional breakthrough of the contestant who had the most weight loss this week on The Biggest Loser. Again, “As the mind goes, so does the body”.

Sometimes, you have to go deep into the dark to find a light.

Best of luck,