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Old 05-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Blocking Things Out

I recently made a connection about how I tend to block things out. I guess it's how I protect myself, even though it can potentially be a form of denial.

For example, when I was a teenager I didn't even bother trying to dress fashionably; I was fat and nice clothes for fat girls were hard to find and far too expensive. I also didn't try to exert myself because it seemed pointless and potentially embarrassing to have everyone watch me huff and puff over seemingly nothing. Whenever it hurt to not have something or be able to do something, I tended to block it out.

When I was a little older I developed an allergy to seafood. It seemed pointless to pine over fish and shrimp when I could no longer have it, so I blocked it out. And more recently I discovered I had a bad reaction to aspartame and had no problem learning to read labels in order to avoid the god-awful headaches that those products cause me.

And now? I'm currently in the groove of a healthier lifestyle, and I recently realized that I've learned to block things out to my advantage. It used to be that if someone close to me wanted to indulge in a treat, I just had to have one too. If I tried to deny myself, I'd feel terribly deprived and left out. But I've learned to block it out, so to speak? I've realized that I don't have to have a treat just because someone else is. I don't have to go back for seconds just because my husband did. I don't have to dig into the chips at the Mexican restaurant just because everyone else is. It used to be more than an excuse, it was a justification to indulge. My husband can eat a whole pizza at once and still weigh much less than me, it just isn't fair! I should be able to eat as much as I want as well and not weigh what I do, right? Except I wasn't taking into account that every body is different and doesn't have the same needs.

So why did it take me so long to learn how to block out the things that have robbed me of my health? I had no problem letting go of seafood or aspartame, so why did it take so long to realize what added sugar and deep-fried food does to me? Because once I did, I was able to block those out as well. I don't ever say I "can't" drink soda, I simply say that I "don't." Because it's true, and it's much more empowering. I don't eat seafood because it makes me sick (itchy, vomiting); I don't eat or drink aspartame because I get severe headaches and bladder symptoms; and now? I don't drink regular soda because it adversely affects my blood sugar, which makes me hungrier and plummets my mood; I don't eat deep-fried foods because it affects my stomach and makes me cranky; I don't eat too many calories in one setting because I don't like feeling overly-full or gaining for the week. Eating unhealthy is simply not an option for me anymore because I'm blocking it out.

And in the meantime, I'm slowly opening myself up to things I formerly blocked out, like dressing myself fashionably and learning to physically exert myself and push beyond my comfort zone. All in the name of being healthier and finding my confidence. It's been interesting to switch up my priorities into ways of enriching my life rather than just denial and attempts at self-protection.

Strange observation or is it just me?

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
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Nope not just you, me too! I recently had a psychiatric evaluation done and they send you a copy of their report when they've finished it. After lots of flattering descriptive words like friendly and optimistic, it said - "Does not let bad experiences get the best of her as she frequently uses denial to cope."

I was like WHAT? It wasn't until I sat and really thought about it that I realized how true it was. Objectively, my teen years were pretty dark. If you asked me to recall specific details, however, I really couldn't tell you, and I'm only twenty - I've completely blocked so many things out! It's easier to 'turn it off' than it is to endure some things I guess.

Glad to know I'm not alone.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:25 PM   #3
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I've spoken of the same phenomenon on here - once I decide something isn't for me, and refuse to even entertain the notion, all the mental struggle previously associated with it ceases and I'm at peace. Dietarily this is remarkably useful and has made maintaining and staying on plan (at least with food choices, if not quantities all the time) remarkably simple.

I firmly believe people don't learn this more naturally or frequently because of our messed up dieting culture. We treat the symptoms (badly) without dealing with the underlying mental management of our bodies and feelings. We do a lot more rote reaction and response than thoughtful assessment of our strengths, weaknesses, and the ways to manage both. Darn shame, and one of the reasons I think maintenance is such a struggle for so many. They're trying to maintain a new body without a different toolkit than they used to manage the old one - now that they're having to balance their intake and are off the diet 'script' they are woefully underprepared for the real challenge that the diet was masking - that of permanently changing the mind.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:48 AM   #4
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My mother calls this "block headedness" in me

There's a lot of unpleasant stuff I don't really remember (and unfortunately a lot of good stuff). As for the diet part of this? I totally believe I have been as successful as I have been thus far because I didn't think of it as a diet. It's been a full out lifestyle change, as cliche as that can sound.

I do have a "treat" occasionally, but once I fully educated myself on food and realized what some of those "treats" do to a healthy body, I simply didn't want them anymore.

Last night the bride and all of us bridesmaids were together working on some last minute stuff, and there were mixed drinks and wine. While I did indulge in a little of the cheese and dip, I knew the taste of a paralyzer just wasn't worth how I'd feel and how it would hamper my progress. So I had water. I didn't miss it at all.

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Old 05-23-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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Interesting observation

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