Episode 36: Guided Journey to Self Acceptance
Last episode we learned how to accelerate your progress (just when you were appreciating that plateau!), and today we take it even further, and learn how to thrive while slimming. Learn what binge eating is really all about (hint – it’s not the food), and how to stop it in it’s tracks. And we will take a very special guided journey to Self Acceptance.
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Renée Stephens: Welcome to “Inside Out Weight Loss.” I’m your host Renée Stephens and together we’re accessing the control panel of you mind, body, system; bringing ease and joy to your weight loss journey and fullness to the rest of your life.
On today’s show: How to stop the binge cycle in its tracks, plus a guided journey to self-acceptance.
A whole bunch of people that I have worked with have a desperate fear of being hungry, as if being hungry were a sign of failure. And even the diet industry -- you’ll see written in so many books, “Oh, yes, well, you’ll never feel hungry on this diet.”
Well, you know what? Hunger is a good thing. And the “Inside Out Weight Loss” way is to feel hunger and to appreciate it. Feel it a couple of times a day and say, “Oh, that means I’m on track. I like being hungry.”
The moment that we begin to be harsh on ourselves, to speak to ourselves like we wouldn’t even speak to our worst enemy -- when we begin to do that, that saps the life-force out of us. That saps our ability, our energy for change and transformation.
Now, I know that a lot of us -- and you may do this yourself-- a lot of us think, “Well, gosh, you know my behavior is just unacceptable. And the only way that I’m going to change it is if I’m tough on myself. I’m going to get tough. I’m going to have the boot camp, you know get-tough, no excuses mentality.”
When we love those children unconditionally, they thrive and grow and change at extraordinary rates. So, what makes you think it’s not the same for you? When we love and accept ourselves, we grow and change and thrive at extraordinary rates.
Let’s take a moment now to arrive and become present; present with this show, present with ourselves. Notice how you're feeling in this moment. Notice your breath. Relax, relax your shoulders and notice your inner experience. Become present and aware of your inner experience.
It’s time to drop inside, open up and set your intent to serve the highest and the best for you on today’s episode. Open up, check inside and reconnect. Reconnect to your higher self, to spirit, to guidance; to whatever it is that renews and refreshes you, that inspires you to move forward creating the kind of life that you love to live. All is possible from this moment forward.
Join me on today’s ride with “Inside Out Weight Loss.” And go ahead and set your intention for today’s show. I’m setting mine right now to help you achieve yours. And also to help you end the weight struggle and replace it with -- hmm, what do you want to replace it with?
We’ve been having fun with this lately. Loads of people have posted their comments on the blog about what they want to replace the weight struggle with. Notice what it is for you and we’ll just say for today freedom, fun, fulfillment, light, joy or all of the above.
Who says you have to choose; just go for it all. And while we’re in this place, let’s also take a moment to connect with all of the other listeners of this show across space and time. Send them your support and feel it coming back to you hundreds of thousands of times magnified over.
And remember, you’ll get 2, 3, 500 times out of this journey what you put in, but you must put in to get out; just as you must send your support to others to feel it coming back to you magnified so many, many times over. I invite you to do that now.
Also, I wanted to mention for those of you who might be newer to this show, who might not have listened to some of the earlier episodes, I recommend that you go back and start with the prologue. You’ll get to hear my personal story of how I got here and why I’m so passionate about ending the weight struggle and replacing it with a life that you love to live.
You'll hear how to get the most out of this journey. And you’ll go through some important steps early in the program that are providing a necessary foundation from which your journey can become easier and more joyful.
So, if you haven’t done so already, I suggest that you go back and start from the beginning. Many of the veteran listeners to this show listen many times to the episodes and repeat them over and over again. Use these episodes however works best for you. And I invite you to start from the beginning.
I wanted to share with you today a comment submitted by a listener named Pamela. She writes, “I found you the beginning of March. I was so excited the first time I listened to you. I was hooked. I listened to podcast after podcast having ah-ha moments over and over again. Then the moment came that unlocked the gate: when you said that sexually victimized people often feel more comfortable overweight than trim, lean and sexy and healthy.”
She goes on to write, “I’m happy to tell you today I hit my original goal. In January the expected date to reach my goal was not until mid-June. I’m so excited for my journey. Since I’ve found you it’s been mostly very easy and very quick and fun -- my intention. I love my own body the way it looks and feels. I have muscles that I’ve never had before and it’s amazing.
Is it my perfect body that I stepped into? Not quite, but it’s getting there and I am grateful for the journey and getting to this point that I hadn’t gotten to in 13 years. You help me do it in two months what I tried for 13 years to do. Amazing; thank you so very much.”
And thank you, Pamela for sharing your journey with us. This is why I do what I do. I get so emotional and so touched whenever I get an email like that. It is truly a joy to me and it is why I’m here doing this show. So, thank you. And to all of those of you out there who are on this journey and who have expressed your appreciation, it is just wonderful.
My reward for what this work is knowing that I’m helping you. OK, enough of those sentimental moments. Let’s move on to the content to the good stuff today. Well, the also good stuff because that was great stuff.
On the last episode we talked about the Japanese concept of Hari Hachi Bu, or belly eight parts, gives us some insight to why the Japanese as a culture, as a country, are so much slimmer than Americans. If they are thinking culturally that eating belly eight parts, Hari Hachi Bu, is a good idea, than you can really understand that.
And an interesting angle on that that occurred to me as I was preparing for today’s show is that it also changes the way they must think about hunger. Now, I’m guessing here and I’m extrapolating. But it makes me curious, it makes me wonder if the Japanese -- and maybe some of you have better insight into this than I do can tell me -- but if the Japanese are not afraid of hunger? If in fact perhaps they welcome some hunger, not extreme hunger, but some hunger.
Because of course as I think we’ve talked about on this show, hunger really is a sign that we’re on track. Hunger is our friend. And in fact I plan to do a future episode on hunger-phobia. Because a whole bunch of people that I have worked with have a desperate fear of being hungry. As if being hungry were a sign of failure. And even the diet industry, you’ll see written in so many books -- “Oh, yes, well you'll never feel hungry on this diet.”
Well, you know what? Hunger is a good thing. And the “Inside Out Weight Loss” way is to feel hunger and to appreciate it. Feel it a couple of times and day and say, “Ah, that means I’m on track. I like being hungry. Hunger -- I like to get hungry before lunch and before dinner. I even like to be hungry for breakfast.
Two or three times a day I like to be visited by my reliable friend Hunger because it tells me one, I’m on track. I’ve eaten about the right amount. And two, it tells me I’m really going to enjoy my meal. And I love to enjoy my meal. Remember this is about pleasure and hunger is a prelude to pleasure.
Anyway, enough of that now; we have important topics to talk about today. And in fact as you may know, I’m going to take you on a guided journey of self-acceptance. But before we do, let’s take a break now to support our sponsors.
This is Renée Stephens and you are listening to “Inside Out Weight Loss” on Personal Life Media.
We’re back now. Before the break we were talking about hunger as a friend. And how the Japanese perhaps -- a thought -- may not have a fear of hunger as many Americans do or many people who struggle with their weight do. But may in fact think of it as a good thing to have some space in their stomach; food for thought.
So, we’re talking about self-acceptance today. We started to discuss this last episode, in episode 35. And today I wanted to talk to you more about self-acceptance because self-acceptance really is what “Inside Out Weight Loss” is all about.
It is absolutely critical to your progress and your success. We talked last time about how to put on the brakes and how to accelerate your progress on your journey. If you want to put on the brakes and if you even want to throw it into reverse, a great way to do that is to dive into self-criticism. The moment that we begin to be harsh on ourselves, to speak to ourselves like we wouldn’t even speak to our worst enemy, when we begin to do that, that saps the life-force out of us. That saps our ability, our energy for change and transformation.
Now, I know that a lot of us -- and you may do this yourself -- a lot of us think, “Well, gosh you know my behavior is just unacceptable. And the only way that I’m going to change it is if I’m tough on myself. I’m going to get tough. I’m going to have the boot camp, you know get tough, no excuses mentality. Forget the no more -- you know no more Mr. Nice Guy or Ms. Nice Guy. I’m going to be tough. This behavior of mine is completely unacceptable.”
And so we criticize ourselves. We criticize and we criticize again and again and again, hoping that if we are just tough enough that we’ll change.
Well, if you're listening to this show, my guess is that you have tried that and it did not work. My guess is that you’ve tried that and it did not work for the long term. Sure, it may have worked beautifully in the short term. And that’s the hook, isn’t it? We think, “Ah, well I got tough with myself before and it worked. I’ll just do it again.” And so we try again. But each time inevitably, we come back to the place we started from or we gain extra weight on top of that because it’s not a long term strategy.
Have I talked to you yet about the way children grow? I can’t remember, but it’s worth talking about again. Because you know if any of you are parents out there and know anything about child development, you'll know that there’s a condition -- or you may know that there’s a condition -- called failure to thrive.
Failure to thrive is a condition that a child has when a child fails to grow and thrive. And one of the causes for failure to thrive -- which indeed is a medical term, a medical condition -- is that the child does not get enough love. Many of us have heard about children in the ICU -- babies in the ICU -- that if all of their needs are met, if they have, if they’re adequately warm, if they’re fed appropriately, if they have sufficient nutrition. If all of their physiological needs are met and yet they do not get any caring, any human caring and love, they will die. They will absolutely die.
And the lesser experience of that would be failure to thrive. They will not grow. So I think that’s kind of interesting, isn’t it? That we think if we don’t accept ourselves then that will cause us to change. But in reality, with children at least, it is in fact our loving of them that causes them to change and grow at extraordinary rates.
It is a miracle watching a child grow and develop; understanding how much is going on in their brains, in their bodies, the neurological connections. They are born into this world unable to even control their limbs. If you've seen a newborn the limbs move in this sort of a jerky way because they can’t control them yet. And they go from that to being able to walk in about a year to a year-and-a-half. That is amazing.
There are so many lessons we can learn there. And one of them is that when we love those children unconditionally, they thrive and grow and change at extraordinary rates. So, what makes you think it’s not the same for you?
When we love and accept ourselves we grow and change and thrive at extraordinary rates. You know it’s kind of interesting to think about binging for example. You see this self-acceptance stuff goes further than you might think. If you are a binge eater or have ever been a binge eater there’s one thing that can stop binge guilt or the binge/purge cycle in its tracks. And you probably can guess it, giving what I’m going on about right now.
You see, I’ve got news for you. I think I’ve got news for you. It was news to me, I’ll say that much. And the news is that binging is not about the food. It’s not about the food. We think it’s about the food. But it’s not about the food, is it?
I had one client and she would tell me that she would binge and she would eat kind of crazy combinations of food, always wanting to have some moisture so that she could get the food in her body so quickly -- as fast as she could. So she would make sure there was moisture. And it wasn’t -- it didn’t even matter what the food was, as long as it was some kind of high-calorie food -- that would work.
This is not -- binging and overeating are not about being a connoisseur. It’s the opposite. So, binging is not about the food, which bags the question that I hope you're asking. What the heck is it about? Well, you may not be asking that question because you probably know. And the answer is binging is about a lack -- a desperate lack of self-acceptance and self-love.
Binging is about wanting -- about punishing ourselves. And purging is about trying to get the bad out of us -- be it through exercise or vomiting, whatever it is; that’s what it’s about. It’s about a lack of self-love and self-acceptance.
So, I have a brief journey I’d like to take you on today. A journey of self-acceptance based on the little story I’ve been telling you about, seeing how we see children. And I want you to think right now of someone or something that you love unconditionally. Often this is a child, perhaps there’s a child in your life. Or perhaps there’s a pet in your life.
I have one client and the most positive thing that she can think of is the face of her puppy. She just loves that puppy. And I can tell you she has sent me pictures and I can testify that that is one cute puppy. Actually it’s a dog, but it’s a little dog and it’s so cute.
Anyway, that is the face for her. Thinking of that is the face of unconditional acceptance. Unconditional love is the way she feels towards that dog. So, perhaps you have a dog or a cat or some other type of pet. Who knows what kind of pets you have? Or, perhaps there’s a child in your life. Think of someone or something that you really do feel unbounded, unconditional love for.
And I want you to close your eyes right now and visualize that person or that pet, that being that you feel such love for. Just see them in your mind and feel those wonderful feelings of love. Just feel your heart open and your love just pours out for this being, this creature, this person. Just feel that love. And if you don’t -- if you can’t think of someone right away, just pretend and imagine seeing that person. Who knows, maybe there’s someone coming into your life that you can love unconditionally.
And see them or that person or pet in your mind’s eye right now. And notice -- if you're seeing as you see this -- I want you to notice if you're seeing the whole of this being. I’ll say being, because I don’t know if it’s a animal, vegetable or mineral. See if you're seeing the whole or just the head or a part of this person or pet or being.
Notice if what you're seeing is in color; if it’s three-dimensional. If it’s as if this being were alive and right there in front of you. And I also want you to notice where you see this person. Not where the person or the being is; right? But where in your visual field your image of the person, pet or being is. I want you to notice where in your visual field -- this is kind of a funny thing to think about but just go with it here.
Because your subconscious is really likely to really understand what I am saying, even though your conscious mind might not fully understand the question that I’m asking you to answer. Which is very simply, where in your visual field are you seeing this being. And notice as well if this image is brighter than daylight, darker, or the same; notice that.
Notice all of the details of this image; where it is, if it’s at eye-level or above or below or off to the right of left or front and center; notice if it’s brighter or darker or the same, as daylight. Notice if there’s any kind of border around this image or not --if the edges are fuzzy or if this is a panoramic image. Notice all of that and especially notice the feelings in your heart and in your body of love. That open feeling that you have as you look at this being.
And now what I’d like you to do is imagine seeing an image of yourself. Not just any image of yourself, but rather an image of yourself that is exactly the image of this being that you love unconditionally is.
Now, what do I mean by that? I mean that I want the image to be in the same place --in other words, in the same place in your visual field. I want the image to be the same brightness. I want it to be the same level, above, below or the same as eye-level. I want it to be off to the right or left, exactly as the image of the being that you love unconditionally.
I want it to be in color if the other image was in color. I want it to be three-dimensional if the other image was three-dimensional. I want it to be living and live if the other image was living and live. I want it to have a border or not have a border, as the other image did.
Just allow your mind to put that image in the same way, except in this case it’s going to be you that you're looking at rather than the being that you love unconditionally. And you'll know that you have it right when you feel that same open-hearted love and acceptance towards yourself that you feel towards the animal or the child or the being that you love unconditionally.
So take your time here and set your intent to see yourself in the same way. What would it be like if you saw yourself in the same way that you see this being that you love unconditionally and wholeheartedly? What would that be like even for an instant; even for an instant that spread into your life that infiltrated into the darkest corners of your experience; filling them with light? What would that be like for you now?
You can sleep on that. Allow that to wander through your dreams tonight, bringing light where there has been darkness, opening your heart to you. So that each time that you look in the mirror you don’t see the physical so much as the love, as the being, as the soul that is there; the beloved soul that is behind those eyes that inhabits that physical body. And that being, that soul, can be any way it wants to be.
That brings us to the end of our show today. Thank you for being present.
When the time is right you can bring yourself, if it’s appropriate and you want to, you can bring yourself fully back and aware, awake and alert; ready for the rest of your day feeling energized and renewed.
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This is your host Renee Stephens and I am on a mission to eradicate the weight struggle from the planet, replacing it with light and love. Join me as we evolve the world by evolving ourselves. Take good care…
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