Posts tagged ‘weight’
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.
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?
As many of you know, after 10 long years of dieting and trying to morph my body into something it, quite simply, is not, I’ve given up my pipe dream. Alas, I’m not going to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. I’m hard at work at Intuitive Eating, learning to trust my body, myself around food, and handle my emotions (rather than binge eating).
In my spare time, I’ve been reading every book I can get my hands on and joining every group, subscribing to every newsletter, about Intuitive Eating. Currently I’m enrolled in an 8-week program called Total Immersion Intuitive Eating with coach JoLaine Jones (don’t you just love that name?) of Genuine You Coaching, honing my self-love skills.
However, during my search, I came across an incredible movement called Health at Every Size (HAES), started by author Linda Bacon, PhD. What is this movement? According to Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight:
Let’s face facts. We’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away. And being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it, will not necessarily make us healthier or happier. The war on obesity has taken its toll. Extensive “collateral damage” has resulted: Food and body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, discrimination, poor health… Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat.
Health at Every Size is the new peace movement.
Very simply, it acknowledges that good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size. It supports people—of all sizes—in addressing health directly by adopting healthy behaviors.
The HAES movement encourages people of all sizes to improve their health through improving, and honoring, their relationship with their body. We should adopt a healthy lifestyle out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for our body, not to be a number on a scale or a size tag inside our pants.
As someone who has struggled with body image, binge eating, and dieting for much of my young adulthood, this is something that truly resonates with me.
I encourage you to check out the HAES website, sign their pledge, join the community, and start taking steps to love yourself…and others…totally and completely.
UPDATE: I am honored that Linda Bacon PhD herself has commented on this post. Truly in awe! The correction she made is that the HAES movement has been in existence before Linda did her research and wrote her book, and she is just one of the many “freedom fighters,” as she calls herself and her colleagues, working to get the Health at Any Size Message out there. Thank you, Linda!