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Adult Literacy - not THAT kind!

If this post has appeared elsewhere, apologies. I seem to have lost it so here it is again..

This post is for anyone about to to into Development, already in Development, about to go into Route to Management, past Management, any weightholders...in fact, it's for anyone who has gone past week 3 of Foundation. And as some CDCs pop in, from time to time, your input would be invaluable.

I've posted a longer version of this thread on my blog www.thelardarms.typepad.com, if you are interested to see the whole thing.

I've been writing up my Development 'opus' in the past few days (A Beginner's Guide To LighterLife Development - similar to the Beginner's Guide I posted here) and I've been thinking about goals (or rather the lack of them) during this part of the programme. There's also a Development thread (brilliantly started by Tiger Girl) that some of us (Cerulean, Sandra et al) have been contributing too as we hit the Development Doldrums:


I have realised what a fundamental goal should be - the ability to access the adult state - quickly, easily and painlessly! I had this lightbulb moment on Thursday night but then things got a bit messy...

This is what the LighterLife Green Book (Foundation bible!) says:

"Adult Style is based on here-and-now reality. When you use your Adult you are making your own choice of how to be, not responding to outdated messages from the past. Choice is the most useful word to hold in your head: you have a choice to look after yourself and your weight and you have a choice not to listen to your unhelpful chatterbox. Adult thinking says, 'I can weigh up the pros and cons and make a decision on today's reality and circumstances."

My LLC recommends another technique: to ask ourselves "is this a kind and loving thing I can do for myself?". But sometimes even that is not enough to stop a binge.

Anyway, I digress, if we are to make it to Route to Management (LighterLife - stage 3 - when food is re-introduced) ready, willing and able, adult 'literacy' must be a goal. And even if you are not following LighterLife but you have issues with food, chances are you probably have struggled to access your adult state on a regular basis or at least at those moments when a very unhealthy food choice seems like a very good decision (thanks to crooked thinking and all that).

One fundamental thing that I know, for sure, is that the adult state is NEVER going to be easy to access if any of the following factors are involved (our old friend, HALT) - if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired - chances are, your adult will be somewhere else, just when you need them.

So, my question, fellow fat fighters, is this - what does YOUR adult state feel like and do you think you could describe it to others? Have you got examples that you could share? We need to nail this, for all our sakes, don't you agree?

Happy thinking!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Mrs Lxxxxxxxxx
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Silver Member
S: 17st2lb C: 11st10lb G: 10st5lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st6lb(31.67%)
The thing about adult is that we generally have constant access to that very clear sensible gentle voice but we just don't believe that the answer can be that simple. The key word is 'choice' - am I acting out of freedom or fear?

I did a course last year called 'Essence' which seeks to get to the voice at the heart of all of us - the guiding light at our core (or our essence) which I think is our adult voice. It can be very elusive, but when it speaks and when we act from it, it's very powerful. At first, if you are a rebellious child kind of person you really don't want to listen to it - if you are a critical parent kind of person you think you can go one better than it. So I think you can access it in a couple of ways

Asking your adult a direct question about what you should do.

If your answer to the answer is 'yes but I should be stricter than that' you are probably behaving from critical parent if it's 'yes but my way is more fun' or 'that's boring' you are probably with your rebellious child...but listening to your reaction to what is being said you can find out where you are operating from that moment - does that make sense?

For example - yesterday morning I got on the scales and they said 151 and my first reaction was 'oh it's all going horribly wrong, I lapsed and now I am being punished' I thought that the sick sensation I was feeling was due to the sugar load I had put myself through.

My adult just said quite clearly 'Well we know that using just the food packs will clear any glycogen weight and will prepare you for management next week and you probably need a break from chewing so let's do that' it was very clear, very direct - there was no wheedling tone or manipulation behind it - just calm facts.

Sure enough a day and a half later the weight has already shifted and today I have the same sicky feeling I had after eating caramelly chocolate - so the guilt and anxiety I felt about eating the rubbish looks like it's actually nausea brought on by my painkillers.

The difference in my bingeing behaviour has been that all the way through I have been in touch with my adult. My adult has been there, reminding me that it's okay - that people do eat lots of ice cream and biscuits when they are scared or vulnerable, that thin people do it, but that they stop when they're not scared any more - they don't continue because they are angry about being weak when they were scared. My adult voice is also spending a lot of time telling me that I am thin at the moment - my children are gleefully yelling it at myseld, my nurturing parent is a bit worried that I might be a bit skinny any my critical parent is taking stock of all the lumps and wobbly bits - but the adult just calmly tells me that I am a slim person - very quietly reinforcing the message on a daily basis.

I'm reluctant to write much at the moment as I am just about to go to sleep again (ugh these painkillers are so frustrating!)...
Brilliant thread Mrs L :D

Lots to think about. I've gone through some of my thought records and stuff, and I'm now pretty certain that what I thought was my adult voice may actually have been a critical parent. Eg, when I've been off the wagon the voice that is saying 'you shouldn't be doing this, all you're doing is slowing the process down, you're failing' isn't actually an adult voice - its a critical one! (I think?)

I've always thought my strongest voice is my rebellious child, but surely when you're in abstinence for as long as we have been (and even with the slips, it's still massively and predominantly in abstinence), then maybe I've learned more about how to quieten my rebellious child than I thought I had.

So, I'm going to have to have a think about what an actual adult voice would sound like when I feel the overwhelming urges and temptations that seem to pop up these days. As oppose to this fight between rebellious and critical. Hmmm...that really is an interesting one for me.

What made me get up and go to the gym at 9 this morning? Critical or adult? I really need to be much more aware of the thoughts I'm running in the concious mind. I've posted before about writing up the good days on thought records, and I haven't done one of these for a while. But I guess at this stage, and having a really good weekend of abstinence and overcoming temptation then my adult voice would be telling me the following;

You've been to the gym twice this weekend and really enjoyed it. One of your goals was to incorporate gym activity into your everyday lifestyle and look how easy and enjoyable it is.

Ooh that feels immediately much more calmer than;
You were not abstinent every day last week and so must go to the gym to punish yourself and work off any additional calories that may have been consumed.

Hmmm...so maybe Sarah has it cracked by seeking advice from the adult in the tough times, asking questions and seeking feedback instead of 'telling' yourself that you're either 'bad' or 'good'

I'll give it some more thought!

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