Conquering the Know-it-All in Me

4th Birthday

That’s me, the birthday girl at our kitchen table in 1978. If you asked them, I think my parents would tell you that the “know-it-all” in me was born around the time I was blowing out these candles. My baby book tells me one of my favourite expressions at this age was: “As you can see…” Ha! So cute…for a four-year-old.

I was praised for being clever. For me, there was no reward like a grown-up telling me how smart I was. From being able to read when I started kindergarten to wowing my teacher with a University reading level in elementary school, I learned early on to attach my self-worth to my intelligence. When I started to gain weight around age 7, smart became even more important. So did funny.  If you’re going to grow up fat, you learn pretty young that you’d better have other attributes to keep you in the world’s good graces.

And so I excelled. Awards and achievements in academics and art. I was a smart, capable, go-to person. A leader. I had all the answers – and I wasn’t afraid to tell you about it. I was also an expert at losing weight. Why shouldn’t I be? I’d lost hundreds of pounds in my life. I knew the facts. There are 80 calories in a medium apple, drink a glass of water before every meal, avoid processed food, diet pop is bad for you, more protein, fewer carbs, a Zumba class burns 1,000 calories, don’t worry about the number, it’s a disease with a spiritual cure, don’t go on a diet, it’s a lifestyle change, don’t eat after 8 p.m., popcorn fills you up.

And every time I lost weight – and then found it again – I was gathering facts, and evidence of one thing I knew for sure: I can’t do this. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, but that doesn’t work for me” became the refrain when someone, anyone, tried to help me with advice – even doctors. Another thing I’d catch myself saying  is, “I know HOW to lose weight, I just can’t find a way to motivate myself to do it.” I know, but I can’t. “I know” became an excuse, a barrier and a shield. “I know” went from being an attribute to a handicap.

There’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge lives in your brain; wisdom lives in your soul. I’ve been making my way through this world with a big brain that has left me with a big (albeit fabulous) butt. So how do I conquer my inner know-it-all and cultivate wisdom? Maybe comes in starting over right here, right now. Maybe going back to before I had all of this “knowledge”and looking at myself, my mind and my body anew will reveal things I couldn’t or wouldn’t see before. Perhaps really hearing what people are saying to me and approaching their words, suggestions and support as if it’s the first time I’ve heard it will open my mind, my relationships and my life. Maybe letting go of my ego will allow me to take hold of my possibilities.

This is what Nourishing Camie is about. I’m not just telling you my story, but also engaging you in it. I seek your support, inspiration, ideas and wisdom. Please share them with me. Tell me your stories, share with me your wisdom. Allow me to learn from you…I promise, I’m ready to listen.

Love and Light,
Camie

6 thoughts on “Conquering the Know-it-All in Me

  1. I needed to learn why. Why I ate to excess. I also learned there was payback for the overeating, including being a “know it all”. Yes, I was one too (and still am unless I keep that part in check) and there was certainly payback in that. Once I learned the why (for me it was fear – an assault in my early years – combined with learned behaviour from childhood), I could address that and then things began to get better.

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    1. Thank you, Merry! Discovering that there’s a payoff for overeating has been a difficult realization for me. Figuring out what the payoff is, exactly, has been another challenge. I’m pretty sure it’s to avoid feeling my feelings…when did feelings get so scary?

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  2. I NEEDED TO LEARN WHY. For me, my drug of choice was food from a very early age, growing up in a household fraught with unending tension. We all need to look at what pushes our “buttons” and learn more appropriate coping skills. The other part for me was looking at the big picture-deciding how I wanted to live the rest of my life, starting right this very minute. I needed to learn to eat in a way that is healthy and makes me feel better-and tastes good- I’m a big foodie-(without weighing and measuring and writing every thing down.) I was so unnaturally heavy that I knew if I just did that, and tried to move a bit more, the weight would come off in its own good time. It has taken me over one and a half years to lose 48 pounds, but the thought of eating the way I do today for the rest of my life does NOT make me want to slit my own throat!

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  3. I’m optimistic for you! Here’s my advice, since you asked.

    When my weight has creeped up, usually from stress/emotional eating combined with inattention, what has helped me lose weight and maintain the weight loss, for years, is eating the calories I would eat if I were at my goal weight.

    So when I’m 150lbs, the perfect weight for me and my 5’5″ frame to keep just the right amount of curves I like, I eat roughly 2,000 calories. When I’m heavier (I usually peak at 170lbs when my jeans don’t fit and I can’t afford new clothing) I start counting calories and eat 2,000. Eventually, I make it back down to 150lbs again – I’m eating like a thinner me until I am the thinner me!

    There’s a calculator here you can use to determine what your caloric intake should be based on our age, height, goal weight and activity level. http://www.fat2fittools.com/tools/bmr/

    I have watched many friends cut their caloric intake down to far less than what they would be able to consume and maintain for their goal weight. They eat 1,500 or 1,200 calories and they can often maintain it for awhile, but eventually they break their “diet” because they’re always hungry.

    The Fat2Fit guys don’t have their live podcast anymore, but you can download over 100 episodes on iTunes for free. Each podcast talks about healthy weight loss, dispels myths and fads, and all of them say the same thing – don’t eat too few calories or you’ll set yourself up for failure.

    So there’s my two cents, do with it what you will. I’d also encourage you to read Brene Brown is you haven’t already. Her book I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power is fantastic for teaching yourself how to let go of fear, shame and guilt over things like our weight. Shame is not a good motivator – forgiveness will get your further on your path. Good luck!

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    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for your note and your advice. As you suggested, I’m currently eating about 2070 calories a day and have not yet found myself hungry and “out of calories.” I’ll check out the Fat2Fit guys, thanks for the suggestion. Also, great call on the Brene Brown stuff. I read all of her books over the period of a week (obsess much?) and loved them. In fact, this blog is a direct result of having read Daring Greatly. Thanks again for your advice and encouragement! Great to have you along on the journey, Sarah ❤

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