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file9601306859266What makes you zone out?

I’m not talking about the zone where you sit in front of the TV shoveling handfuls of junk in your mouth and watch d-list celebrities detox, or you attempt to demystify the storyline of “Lost”(good luck with that one). 

I’m talking about the place you go when you’rebeing creative or partaking in your favorite hobby. Some people get to the zone by running, some by singing, others by painting, tinkering with cars,or building ships in a bottle.

I get to the zone by cooking, writing, and being on stage doing stand up comedy, which is a terrifying thought for most people. For some reason, I get there when I am called onto a stage with lights blinding me and the responsibility of entertaining an entire room full of intoxicated voyeurs for 15 minutes. When I’m there, I am completely focused on the task at hand. Time is non-existent, and so is everything that is waiting for me in my brain when I am idle: impending work to-do lists, chores, the broken washing machine, and the fact that I may have a strained relationship with
a family member. I’m not actively “thinking” in the traditional sense at all – I’m in an altered auto-pilot state that feels almost like meditating, even though I’m entertaining, and completely animated in my actions.

So what does this have to do with weight loss? A lot, it turns out.
Because if I’m not actively “thinking” about anything, then I’m not
thinking about food. And in a society where we are constantly bombarded about what we are or we are not eating at any given time, it is imperative that we escape – if only to release temporarily, and keep the demons at bay. Afterward, I feel as if I’ve had a great nap and many, many deep breaths.

Many people have no idea where their zone is, and mistaken their
screeching inner voices for hunger. I’ve discovered that my inner
creativity, or voice, or energy (whatever you want to call it) is often bursting to be released. As a teenager, I mistook this sensation for hunger, because both are feelings that create a panicky sense of urgency that wants to be recognized and remedied immediately. I know now that the feeling is more likely the culmination of things going on in my life (and this includes all feelings – happiness, sadness, stress, boredom) mixing up
inside and not-so-politely begging for release. But it took me 10 years and moving 3,000 miles away from my family to recognize it.

Do you have a zone? If not, how can you find it?

Ask yourself some questions. For example, what did you like to do when you were in kindergarten?

It may seem silly, but what you were like when you were five years old and uninhibited can be very telling. I really liked art projects until my sister ruined them all by vomiting on them on one fateful car ride home – so much for my painting career. I also discovered that I liked producing when I made my Christmas pageant group practice our “Color Circle” song nearly 100 times, and almost suffered a nervous breakdown over my teachers’
insistence to include a boy with a speech impediment in the group. “IF HE CAN’T SING THE WORDS HE CAN’T BE IN THE SHOW!” I have since asked the Universe for forgiveness for my insensitivity many times, but I also remembered the passion, and I produced and created a pilot for an online TV show called Welcome to the Stage, which details the lives of Bay Area stand
up comics this year with the help of a very forgiving cast and crew.

A few other questions that might help you discover your zone:
• Do you like to be inside or outdoors?
• Physical or sit still?
• Do you like to read or write?
• Do you like to observe or participate?
• Do you like to fix things?
• Do you like to help people?

Your Greenlite Health Educator is more than happy to help you discover your zone, so don’t be shy! And feel free to share your own “Zone” experiences in the comments.

Written by Pam, Greenlite Health Educator

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