Episode 137 The Diary of an Emotional Eater: The Happy List
Sep 03, 2019
Hey, how are you? My name's Tammy Marshall and I'm the creator of The Unemotional Eater Protocol.
I want to talk about happy. I was listening to somebody; I'm always listening to somebody or something. They were talking about happy and it reminded me that one of my first teachers was always saying “What makes you happy?”
I don't know about you, but I was raised in an environment where work and money were how you got your accolades. Nobody ever asked what makes you happy? No one was really focused on their own happiness because life was, so survival driven. It just is what it is.
Thinking about the folks in my family, you have the mindset coming out of the depression and my parents growing up. My dad grew up in poverty and my mom's family had their own challenges financially. So, they were very work oriented, and I got it, but nobody really cared how you felt because that was just so not valuable.
But what happens in the food world is, if folks are struggling with emotional eating, then a lot of times it's because they're trying to get their emotions out of the food. So yes, that's where I go when I'm sad or mad or lonely, but it's also where I go to get happy, it's where I go to get pleasure because it's where I go to get excitement and joy.
This happy thing was a new concept because I had never really considered what made me happy. A lot of times we have a whole list of what makes us unhappy, but makes us happy?
That's part of this shift in our mind, I always have this list of what I don't want. However, your brain only knows what you tell it, it doesn't get the don’t part. The same is true about “I know what makes me not happy”. Well, my brain only knows the information that I'm getting it, and it skips on the word “not”, so you just get more of THAT.
The assignment from my teacher was, every night in your journal write down what made you happy that day. I came through the recovery community where you had to make, you don't have to do anything, but we would make a gratitude list. You would write down ten things that you're grateful for, and it can be as simple as “I have a warm bed to sleep in”, “I have gas in my car”, to whatever.
But the gas in my car doesn't make me happy, I'm grateful that I have gas in my car. Back in my 20s when I was struggling, I was very grateful that I had gas in my car.
But what makes you happy?
Really, what makes you happy?
This morning when I fixed breakfast, you can tell where I live. I chose between eating at my dining room table and going outside, eating in the backyard.
I have this killer backyard, I love it, it's really small but it's very quaint and it's very private, the birds are singing, the squirrels are you know running through the trees. I swear I feel like I'm in some kind of Snow White episode in my backyard. So I chose to go sit in the backyard because that makes me happy to just sit there, listen to nature, enjoy my food, listen to my dog whine because he wants to be in the chair with me, that makes me happy.
Yesterday somebody posted on Facebook, George Strait singing “Amarillo by Morning”, and if you want to get me fired up just talk about George Strait because he makes me very happy.
But what makes you happy?
• Is it a sunset? Is it at the sunrise?
• Is it going for a walk?
• Is it seeing a baby smile?
It doesn't even have to be anything that's necessarily related to you, just you're watching and experiencing.
That would be my challenge for you today, would be to begin to take an assessment at the end of the day “what made you happy”.
As we get older sometimes we have a short-term memory, so maybe you even write it down, like our phones have notes on them now. When you experience something in the day that makes you happy, you just go “Oh wow that made me happy!” Making a note of it so that you start to take inventory of the things that actually make you feel happy.
The next thing is to know that I can produce the feeling, I can create the feeling of a happy at any time, my external circumstances have zero to do with me being happy. I did not know that, maybe you all got that but I didn't.
I can be happy no matter what is going on around me because I can certainly be pissed off no matter what's going on around me. If I can be pissed off and pissy and all that, then I can certainly also be happy in the middle of whatever circumstances are going on. I own the switch for that.
But starting to write the “Happy” list and knowing what it was to even experience happy. That allowed me to be aware of it so that I was in control of it. Then I could start to go “I think I'm just going to feel happy in the middle of this”.
I can't change the situation, but I’d realize, “just feel happy”. Me being happy is not going to make whatever is going on in my world better or worse, probably better. It has a better chance of making it better than making it worse, so I'm just going to choose to be happy. But it was in that exercise of writing it down that I was even able to consider that as an option.
The more that you begin to create - I began to create my own emotions, my own response, so I didn't need to get my responses from food.
Food is just food!
• It's not good,
• It's not bad,
• It's not right,
• It's not wrong,
• It doesn't care about me,
• It doesn't miss me and everything about me,
• It's just food.
• Food itself does not really make me happy,
• Food with other people makes me happy because that's about community
• I really like hanging out with other people and sharing food.
• Food in itself, it's just food.
I really challenge you today about this happy, what makes you happy?
So if you want to notice today, let's just start a list of what makes you happy? It's in taking these inventories, checking in with ourselves, being fully present; because you have to be fully present in order to even know that you just experienced happy. You can't be caught up in the past, what happened yesterday, you can't be anxious about tomorrow, you have to be fully in right now, in today, in order to experience and know what makes you happy.
So that's the challenge today and it's also the challenge tomorrow.
It took me a little time. You all are probably going to get this way faster than I did. I was pretty hemmed up when I started this work. I was going through a lot personally and I was just shut down on so many levels. So exercises like this started waking up my spirit, so that I could even feel human again. Beginning to feel human at a higher level, a higher spiritual level not being so wrapped up in what was going on in the world around me. Becoming more in tune on a spiritual level, but also be a more in tune just on a one-on-one personal level. So that's your challenge today.
As I always tell you go love on somebody today. It's a big crazy world out there and you all know that. There are so many shootings that went on this weekend, it's just unbelievable what's going on. So, I'm just going to ask you to go love on people. You never know the impact of an act of kindness, especially in desperation. We do not understand when we look at someone, how desperate they may be. So please look people in the eye, please give them love and light, and just care in the world. People don't need a lot, I don't need a lot; I just need to be seen, just see me, look in my eyes and see me, recognize that I'm a human being in front of you, just acknowledge my presence. That's what other people need; just see them, acknowledge their presence, just be kind, say a kind word, do something nice, put somebody's cart back, open a door, say thank you, buy somebody's coffee, just some act of kindness, just so that we know that there is love and that there is goodness left in the world because there's a lot of folks who are desperate, who are just on their last edge. So please be that kindness in our humanity, in our society, as we walk forward. Love is going to heal us, and love is going to heal you.
I don't think I really understood when I stood in the mirror that day and said, “I'm going to love you no matter what you eat or don't eat, no matter what you weigh or don't weigh, I'm going to stand here and love you”. I did not understand the impact of what I did that day and the fact that I continued to say that to myself. So, I'm going to tell you the power in you loving you, it's like dropping a pebble in your water that's going to ripple for lifetimes.
Alright! Love you all. Talk to you all tomorrow. Blessings.
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