I have a few small groups of women that get together for various things – book clubs, runs, projects etc. And while the thing that brought us together (the book, the run, the project) might not be a priority in my life, the women are because the time together always energizes me. This one group that met last week, we discussed an interesting idea. The concept of asking yourself, “What do I truly need in this moment?”
This is not a cure-all, “If you just ask yourself this your life will be perfect!” because there are a lot of mixed feelings going on in our hearts and minds at any moment. But – it is something that truly forces you to examine the deeper feelings you’re having if you’re dealing with compulsive behavior, and I’m so glad I’m incorporating it into my routine.
This morning I woke up and looked at my watch and it said 2am. I thought about getting up so I could get a jump-start on my day and do all the things I needed to do before running this morning. But then I really asked myself what I needed in that moment. And it was tough because I really enjoy a LOT of to-myself time in the mornings. I like starting my day with a bunch of stuff done. But y’all? I was also tired. And I also didn’t feel like running. And I needed sleep.
So I slept. Until 3:30am when I asked myself again. “What do you need in this moment?” And in that moment? I needed to get up. Even if I was to skip my run I had stuff I needed to do before work. So, I got up.
I’m working on this with food too. You know what it turns out sometimes I need instead of food? A break. A phone call to my brother. A funny YouTube video. A nap. Sometimes I just need a reset more than food, but food is the go-to for everything. I’m trying to really check-in with my gut. It’s hard because there’s a lot of crap between me and my gut, those deep down feelings that are buried under the desire to eat or to clean or to surf Facebook. There’s even stuff hidden down there I sometimes can’t see. Sometimes it’s simple grief and I need a good cry over missing my Dad. Sometimes it’s helplessness. I have friends and family who suffer and I can’t fix it for them and I find myself stuffing my face or zoning out on the internet instead of doing anything that will make them or me feel better.
It’s not completely programmed in me yet, I got overwhelmed yesterday building a 3D model on my house (hopefully it will be on the market this week!) and just stuffed my face without even checking in with the depths of my soul. Truthfully? If I had checked in I might have seen, “Kim…you REALLY need a cookie.” But I’m certain I would not have seen, “Kim…you need 4 cookies, a donut, a diet coke, some ice cream, and a shit-ton of french fries.”
But it’s a new routine. A new challenge. A new way to see what that compulsive eating is hiding. So, I thought I’d share it with you guys. Check in with yourself periodically, especially if you feel like you might be making an less-than-ideal life choice. Are you maybe overwhelmed at work and need to walk outside and sit in the sun instead of punching your cube-mate who’s cutting his nails at his desk? Are you really tired and need to spend your lunch break napping in your car instead of snarfing down cheese dip at the Mexican place next door? Do you miss your Mom and just to call her instead of impulse buying a dress you’ll only wear once?
It’s interesting, for sure. I didn’t realize how much shit I had buried deep under those feelings of anxiety. I also didn’t realize how TIRED I was. Every other time I check in it seems what I really need is a nap.