This blog article was originally published as a part of the Health Hungry series, which has been discontinued.
I had one of those weeks… I am challenged by one of my students right now, and I was ready for the week to be done. I stopped at the store and was about two blocks from home on Thursday, sitting at a stoplight when somebody ran right into my car.
I was just marveling at how I’ve had this little car for 8 years – and it’s been such a good one. The land-rover who hit me is paying (well, his insurance is paying) for me to drive a rental car until they can assess whether my car is a total loss – which will likely not be decided until Wednesday or so.
I woke up the next morning feeling OK (thank goodness), as it could have been worse… I went to log onto my laptop, and when I opened it up and a note that said “I Love You” fell out.
It’s the little things in life that make such a difference sometimes. I’d much prefer a little surprise like this over flowers or presents – well most days anyway! The most challenging thing the past couple of weeks has been to not eat my troubles away. I was noticing that I generally do really well on food plans for about one month before I end up “binging” on all of the things I cut out. Sometimes it takes me a long time to learn a lesson… and sometimes I need to learn, and re-learn the same one.
Part of my journey to wellness has been to shift from a lifetime of a dieting mentality where the very premise is; you are not right, and should change - to one of self-acceptance and self-love. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – and it is a shift still very much in progress. I find myself having to assess and reassess how I’m eating all of the time to stop myself from jumping on the good foods/bad foods bandwagon. After all, my ultimate goal is to find balance in moderation; there are no bad foods (though some may have more nutritional value) there are bad behaviors.
One of the things that’s been hard for me to DO, not just say, actually do… is; add things in, rather than take things away. This is important, especially given my history with binge eating, however it’s the opposite of what I was taught all of my life. My pattern for the last 9 years or so (pretty much since I had success on WW) is that I deprive myself of certain foods – until something happens emotionally -and then I go crazy, often binge eating those foods for longer than I deprived myself. It’s not working so well.
I think the reasoning behind this pattern, is that I am still struggling to accept myself where I’m at. I am miserable at this size, and I desperately want to be somewhere else on my journey to health - this obsession with weight loss does not allow me to truly be. I had the thought the other day, what if this is it, what if I am meant to be this size – no matter how much I try to fight it? And for the first time in a while, I actually felt okay with it. I have to stop punishing myself and my body for not being how I want it to be. I have to start focusing on the things my body does for me, and allow it the gift of movement, and nourishment – right now… not 10 lbs. from now, not two sizes down, not when I’ve accomplished some time-frame of eating a certain way – but now. And while I truly believe that health happens no matter your size (it’s about choices and experience) to believe that at my core – to truly believe that for myself, some days - well, it feels like an impossible feat.
I have often said that I don’t understand anorexia, a disorder where you often don’t eat because you don’t believe you deserve the nourishment. It occured to me how very similar it is to binge-eating; I often eat to punish myself, and avoid being present in my body. I have done it for so long that it is not conscious, but the past couple of weeks it has been completely conscious. I recognize when I am reaching for food because I am sad, lonely, anxious, or angry. I recognize when I am reaching for food that will numb me vs. food that will allow me to remain present in my day. The good news is, I have chosen differently here and there – it’s not all doom and gloom, and I have room to grow…
This week my focus is going to be on adding things in – as certain good habits have started to wane.
This week I’m making sure I get in:
- 84 oz. of water daily (this is my optimum amount and it varies for everyone based on a number of factors)
- 1 green smoothie daily
- 30 minutes of movement daily
That’s it. That’s all I’m focusing on. I will do my best to ignore the food police in my head and focus on these 3 things.
What are your goals for the week?
Being overweight has defined me for as long as I can remember. I was on a diet by the age of 9 and by the age of 16, doctors told me that a Gastric Bypass Surgery would be my only hope for survival beyond 30. I didn’t listen, and this blog is my journey to acceptance. I now teach others how to accept themselves through coaching and guidance. You can visit my website to learn more.