Everyone has feelings and everyone has different ways of dealing with those feelings. I’ve realized that I am someone who doesn’t always take a deep look into what I’m feeling and just puts it on the back burner to avoid any type of conflict. The problem with this can be that if you ignore or pretend your feelings are something else for a long enough time, you can actually numb out your ability to feel at all. Hence, eating issues/exercise addictions or any kind of addictions. It’s an escape. If I’m so focused on changing my body and tiring myself out, I won’t have to focus on anything else. I remember when I started digging into all of this one of my main complaints was that “I feel like I can’t feel things or make connections anymore”. This becomes more apparent to me everyday now. It’s not like I had some huge travesty or life altering event that caused it either, you don’t always need that, it was just simply ignoring anything that might be negative so that I didn’t have to spend time dealing with it. And by doing that, I actually brought out the “feelings” in other, masked forms.

I know that so many people feel like this and don’t even realize why- I was one of them about 6 months ago. For as long as I can remember, I’ve mastered this art of not owning my shit. And that’s going to get you no where. So today I’m focusing on owning it, no matter how good how bad or how guilty I feel about anything from my past. Avoiding conflict is like a skill that could have been on my resume, I’ve seriously gone to all measures to not have to deal with any kind of confrontation. Instead, I focused my energy on an external value, and that (thankfully) didn’t work forever. 

I listened to a podcast about “external worth” with Dr. Berrett (amazing guy that works in the ED/addiction recovery field!) and everything he said was so true. We look for external validation everyday (our appearance, our bodies, our “personalities”) that we forget about internal worth. External things change, but you will always have your internal self. If you don’t have your own internal validation, you won’t find it from someone else. It gets so confusing because mainstream society puts so much pressure on everyone for how they appear externally. Not even just the way you look, but how you act in public, how you treat other people even if you aren’t treating them genuinely. It’s so crazy to think about all of it, and even scarier to take a leap of faith and let yourself let go of any type of coping mechanism. It’s almost become our culture to ignore what our bodies need and try to convince with our minds that we know better.

 I mean for example- when I have a craving for pizza or cheese or whatever it may be and I tell myself “No Shelbye, you don’t actually like that. You really only want carrots right now”. What actually ends up happening? I eat the carrots and then feel out of control later because I didn’t listen to what my body was asking for. So maybe now I eat 3 pieces of pizza rather than the one piece if I would have just listened the first time. (Next post I’m writing about my journey with intuitive eating, which will explain this more!)  You could use this analogy with really any area of your life, not just with food. It (literally) took me ten years to realize this but- you can’t run from your feelings. You can’t run from your internal needs or wants. I mean you can, but it will ALWAYS backfire. Maybe not right away, but eventually. So next time your mind is trying to convince you to feel a certain way, step back and think about how you actually feel. Is it easy? No. Am I magically a feeling wizard now that knows everything and never messes up? No. But I’m trying to bring my mind and body together, and I hope that you will too. You will be completely surprised at the difference.

Shelbye Schlange