Posts tagged ‘personal’
Lately I’ve been tickled pink with my mental state around my body.
A quick rundown of the facts: I’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year. I’m heavier than I’ve been in 9 years. And while I recognize I certainly need to amend certain eating and dietary habits, I am not unhappy with myself.
Quite the contrary. I’m actually quite PLEASED.
“But how,” people question me. “How is it possible for you to carry this extra weight but still be OK with it.”
So glad you asked!
Over the past year, I’ve allowed myself to eat the foods that for YEARS I wouldn’t dream of eating. And yes, I’ve eaten more than my calorie allotment of chocolate cake. Actually, I think I’ve eaten enough dessert to last me 2 years.
But what have I gained (besides the 11 pounds?) I’ve gained understanding and appreciation and even LOVE for a body at a weight I never thought I could live with. I can honestly say that I love my bigger body. And only now, with this self love, can I begin to truly lose the weight for good.
(Oh, and by the way, if I can feel this way, you certainly can, too.)
I’ve been thinking about how when I was aged 21-28, let’s say, when I was much thinner than I am now, I was miserable. At 118 pounds I thought my thighs were fat. At 120 pounds, same thing. At 122-124 pounds, right again. I didn’t see the body that everyone called “thin,” but rather my thunder thighs.
And I think back to that former body and I’m just sad. I never enjoyed it. I never thought to myself, “Wow, I have this amazing body that I’m eating right and exercising and I’m in top shape, and I just love it!” Nope. I just doused myself with a heap of red-hot hate. Again and again. I think about what my lack of self confidence kept me from doing in life, and the situations I allowed to continue (ie. mentally abusive relationships) because I didn’t feel worthy. It’s amazing how cells of fat can control your life.
I guess what I’m trying to point out is that at 118 pounds I wasn’t happy. Being thin isn’t the answer to my problems. Being thin won’t make me happy.
Being older and wiser, I understand that losing weight isn’t the answer to my happiness. There will ALWAYS be something. There might ALWAYS be more weight to lose. That is why I have made an enormous effort to find ways to love myself as I am right now…even if it’s at a weight that’s higher than I’d like.
So try, just try for me, please…to think about this body your inhabiting right now. If you hate your thighs, most likely you’ve always hated your thighs and probably always will. But it doesn’t mean you can’t love what you’ve got right now!
**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.
Well, folks, yesterday’s post generated the most comments in C&C history!
Thank you SO much to all who took the time to say a few words. I am truly grateful…reading your comments is why I do this. It truly fills my soul
I was touched (and very surprised!) at the outpouring of people who told me to ditch my MD. In all honesty, I like him. He’s a good doctor, but I think this brings up an alltogether bigger point:
How is your MD talking to you about weight? It’s no secret that most doctors get NO nutrition education in school, and often their bedside manner can be…less than stellar.
Here’s how my conversation went:
MD: “Hmmm, you’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year”
Me: “Yeah, I know.”
MD: “Tsk Tsk (yes, he did that!) Not good. You just need to eat less. Stop snacking. De-stress.”
Me: “Um, OK. I know what I need to do.”
Seriously, it was as basic as that. He didn’t really probe any deeper. Had he done that, he would learn that I have a history of emotional/compulsive eating, and “eating less” is not as simple as he makes it out to be. I mean, when you eat your emotions, as I did for so long, “stopping snacking” seems almost impossible.
For the record, my MD was not telling me that I was fat. He was, in his own, special (wink wink) way, telling me that a weight gain of 11 pounds in a year is concerning to him. I mean, it’s not a real concern since I’m perfectly healthy, but whatever, I appreciate the feedback.
But this brings up a good point: Find someone you can talk to about your health and nutrition. There are so many health counselors and RDs out there who want to HELP YOU. They will really, truly, listen to you and will create a plan to help you achieve your goals.
I can only imagine how desperate someone else in my position would feel after talking to my MD. Seek support! If you need any recommendations, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your relationship with your MD like?
That’s a tough question, whether you’re talking about cake or…a carrot.
So often we choose food for reasons other than pure physical hunger (duh). But how can we tell if we’re hungry, or if we need to find nourishment elsewhere?
Here are 5 questions I ask myself when in doubt:
1. Am I hungry? Of course that should be the first question. I rate my hunger on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ravenous and 10 being so stuffed my jeans button popped off. If I’m below a 5, it’s physical hunger and I eat.
2. Do almonds or turkey sound good? If I’m not sure if I’m hungry, I ask myself if I’m in the mood for some high-protein snack like almonds or turkey. If I want them, then it’s a sign I’m hungry. If they don’t sound good, the sensation I’m experiencing is more likely a craving (But then I have to decide if I want to give into the craving. That’s another story)
3. Am I thirsty? You’ve heard this one before…quite often we confuse thirst and hunger. I make sure to keep myself hydrated throughout the day.
4. What are you feeling? Tired, bored, frustrated, angry, giddy, anxious, nervous? Try to pinpoint your state of being to make a better food choice.
5. What do I NEED right now? This is the most important question by far. I’ve learned to ask myself what I need before diving into the cookie jar. So often we mistake the fleeting comfort from food with something else we might need. Do you need a hug, to connect with a friend, a bath, exercise, stop procrastinating and get work done, take a nap, to dance around buck nekkid in your home? Whatever it is, ask yourself if food will fill this empty space. If the answer is NO, then ditch the food and fill yourself up some other way.
If after asking yourself these 5 questions the answer is still “Gimme cookie,” then by all means, enjoy the cookie with gusto. But at least you know that you’re eating the cookie because you’re hungry and not for any other reason.
What happens when a recovering emotional/binge eater no longer turns to food for solace?
Well, life pretty much sucks. For right now, at least.
The past few weeks have been a bit rough for me with my emotions rolling up and down. Suffice to say, I’ve been in a funk. We’re all human, this certainly happens, especially to a “glass is overflowing” type of gal like myself (which is why it particularly sucks)
But this time it’s different. My moodiness has a new edge to it. I’ve been racking my brain for the past few days wondering why I’ve just felt so, well, meh. More so than usual.
And then BAM, last night it hits me:
I no longer eat my emotions.
What does that mean? Well, in the past, when anything in life got tough, scary, or too much for me to handle, I’d turn to food. Sound like you? A piece of chocolate does not talk back to you, but it does make you feel better…if only for a little while. It’s way more fun to raid your pantry than focus on life’s issues. Although, the problems and issues were still there after you through out the candy bar wrappers. Except now you had issues AND you felt guilty and fat.
But I don’t do that anymore. Somewhere along the way with all my personal growth work, I’ve stopped (mostly) using food to comfort me. Which means I am actually experiencing my emotions to their fullest. Now I understand why emotional eating is so alluring. Feeling your feelings sucks.
Now that I’m not using cookies as a crutch, I’m left vulnerable, raw, naked (figuratively, people!). I feel wounded in a way, left with a whole mess of emotions, thoughts, and feelings for me to untangle. And this is hard work. This is what I’ve been avoiding for all those years when I was stuffing my face.
As I always say, The only way out is through. For any growth to occur, there has to be some uncomfortableness, some vulnerability. And that’s where I am now…feeling like I’m on the precipice of something BIG, although I’m not quite sure I know what that something BIG is. We’ll just have to wait and find out.
Do you turn to food when life gets tough? What does turning to food do for you? What are you avoiding?
I hope y’all had a great weekend!
After finishing up my summer class on Thursday, I celebrated with some spa pampering, and then some hiking, a walk around Woodstock, NY, and a visit to the Ulsa County Fair. Complete with 4H animal exhibits (read: chickens, horses, rabbits, and a terrible-to-watch pig race). See, that’s me with a very possessed look on a tractor at the John Deer exhibit. Not sure the dress works well with the look, though.
Anyway, this post has nothing to do with barnyard animals or tractors. That’s a different blog.
But in unrelated news, I’ve decided that I want a new, pretty reusable water bottle to take in my bad. Not to big, not too small, and pretty looking.
I found this link to Good Housekeeping’s Review of the Best 32 BPA-Free water bottles so I thought I would share just in case you were in the market for a new water bottle, too. Actually, the title is misleading and they only review 22 water bottles. Also, check out this cute review of water bottles from Slate magazine.
Let me know what you find…or if you have a favorite you can recommend!
So in the essence of full disclosure, I had a major pity party last night.
I was procrastinating studying for my final exam and I decided engage in a completely random activity–look through old pictures from my digital camera, as far back as Feb 2007. It was quite entertaining and Matt and I had a few good chuckles about how heavy he used to be (Seriously, it looks like he got attacked by a swarm of bees and puffed up).
But the pictures of me were a different story. Ignoring bad hair coloring, I was shocked to see how friggin’ THIN I was in those pictures (see above). Back then I had never been more obsessed with healthy eating, dieting, and more MISERABLE than I was at that time. But I regardless of that, I was thin. It certainly was a jolt to see myself in a way more slender body.
Which of course caused me to look down at my body now, which, don’t get me wrong, I revel in my voluptuousness…most of the time. But comparing my body now with my body of 3-4 years ago was very difficult.
And then the pity party started.
“Look at you, you can’t maintain your weight”
“You’re weak, you should have more discipline”
“You should eat less, exercise more, go on a diet. How could you let yourself get to this point?”
“You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re studying to be a dietitian, for crying out loud! Why will people want to listen to you if you can’t even keep your own weight down?”
And then, the victim voices:
“Well, you do gain weight as you age”
“My schedule has changed and I don’t have as much time to exercise and I’m stressed all the time.”
As you can imagine, I felt as though I was insane. It WAS insane.
So I made a compromise with myself: Go ahead and think these thoughts, feel badly about yourself, but you only have until the end of the night. Wake up tomorrow morning and it’s a new day. No more of this bullshit.
And you know what, it worked. I let myself be grumpy, angry, ashamed, sad, and spent sometime mourning my former self (which, according to my friends and loved ones, was too thin) and then went to bed. I woke up with a smile on my face, put on an outfit that made me feel fabulous, and sashayed out the door.
I’m just like you—I have the same negative thoughts about my body, and even with the massive amounts of work I’ve done on myself, sometimes they rear their ugly head when you least expect it (like 10pm on a Tuesday evening). By allowing myself to experience these negative feelings, I was able to move past them much more quickly.
So often women in particular are afraid of making waves in their life, and instead plaster on a smile and pretend like they’re OK. I used to be like that…it lead to a lot of issues, especially around food (aka binges). If you’re feeling crappy, seriously, give yourself some time to feel crappy, embrace the crappiness, and then say, “Thank you for sharing,” and move on. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, I Love you, body!
Have you ever experienced this? Do you feel like you’re allowed to throw yourself a pity party?
This past weekend, Matt and I celebrated the wedding of my college friend in Cape May, NJ. Holy crap, what a fabulous, relaxing, charming place. If you haven’t been before, I highly suggest it! We even took Gola with us, her first time to the beach…she dug like 20 holes to China in the sand.
So, before I left for Cape May on Friday, I decided that I would erase any nutritional knowledge I know, erase those damn calorie counts that I add up in my head, and take another look at fried food. Call it a human experiment.
SO what happened?
Well, I certainly ate with abandon. Frozen custard. Ice cream (twice in one day!). A breaded chicken sandwich (not my choice). Kettlecorn. Bread. Beers in the middle of the day. I tell you, I was a glutton.
And you know what? You would think I would’ve been in heaven, and at times I was (hot fudge? hello?) but truthfully I felt like crapola. My digestion was off. I craved vegetables like nothing else. I felt heavy. And then the negative self talk regarding my body started up again, which I haven’t experienced in quite some time. I was a train wreck.
So, not to sound like a broken record, it’s all about balance. Swing too far one way (ie. restriction diets) and you’ll eventually cave in and binge. But swing too far the other way (glutton and excess for a few days) and you’ll feel equally as bad. But this time I am craving whole foods and vegetables.
The trick with lasting weight loss and positive self image is finding that balance…eating a nutritious diet but enjoying your splurges. I didn’t listen to my body when it told me no more sweets, and I certainly am paying the price now (tighter pants, poor digestion, irritability).
How do you balance your diet? Have you ever let go of your “diet” mentality and just given in to your cravings?