but it’s not not about the weight.
The above is something that I read in a book by Geneen Roth called “Women Food and God”, in May 2015, and it’s stuck with me ever since. It represents something I have struggled with since I was young. I have constantly thought that if I lost weight, life would be perfect or that I would be happy. The fact is, anytime I have been thin in the past, it was short-lived because I still had the same issues and unhealthy thought processes around food. You can only diet so much before old habits creep back and if you don’t address your mind, nothing will change. I really believe weight and overeating (or withholding food) is all a symptom of something else that is off, internally. I know for myself, my body is not meant to be carrying excess weight. I don’t feel authentic with the excess weight I carry. I was a healthy looking child when I was young, until I started using food to cope with my feelings. It’s just not who I am meant to be.
I have come a long way in terms of loving myself and my body. I used to hate it, and pick it apart and feel shame about myself until I learned that it was okay to appreciate your body, but also want to change it at the same time. I didn’t know I was allowed to do that. I remember attending a local mindful eating class, and the woman who put it on and I were talking, and she was asking me a bunch of questions about why I was at the class, and obviously I was there because I knew something was wrong with my eating habits. I remember saying I was there because I wanted to lose weight, because I didn’t like my body. She asked what would be so wrong with loving my body for what it is, appreciating it in that moment. She told me it is okay to love my body in it’s current state, while at the same time acknowledging that I wanted to become healthier. She told me I would have to learn to love my body to be able to accept it. I remember starting to sob when she was telling me this, it was a total aha! moment for me. From that day I have worked hard on loving myself and have been able to accept my body for what it is, at any given time.
I realize I am not morbidly obese, but I can be honest with you and myself in saying that I have packed on an unhealthy amount of weight in the last 5 years, about 60 lbs. I am about a size 12-14, not that that matters but I know when I was around 50-60 lbs. lighter I felt my healthiest and most at my natural weight, and it was at a time in my life where I didn’t have to think too much about it, it was almost effortless for me to be that size because I wasn’t dieting or overexercising at that point. Currently, I feel the extra weight on me and it’s not a good feeling. My knees hurt more when I run because of the extra work they have to do, I feel wiped when I climb stairs. A lot of my old clothes that I really enjoyed wearing don’t fit anymore, and I just don’t feel like I’m myself when I am carrying around all this extra weight. It’s not an authentic feeling for me and I am starting to recognize that I am ready for and accepting of the shifts that come with building a healthier relationship with food.
Throughout the last 5 years, I have bought and given away scales because I was never in a good headspace to be able to face the up and downs of my weight. The number on the scale would crush me if it wasn’t moving down, and omg did it ever fuck with me when it was always going up. I gave our last scale to a friend who wanted it last year, and hadn’t weighed myself since. Well, that is not totally true because my doctor’s office weighed me in at my annual checkup last spring and I actually told her receptionist that I was closing my eyes and NOT to tell me the number. I just knew I was up, and I couldn’t mentally handle her telling me what I was up to. A week after starting to work with my therapist, I asked a friend if I could weigh myself at her house since we didn’t own a scale. The number shocked me a bit, but I accepted it pretty quickly.
So, what did I do last week? I bought a fucking scale! No, I am not crazy… I swear. I am in such a good space right now, and if you have been following along on my blog you know that since the beginning of January my whole mindset has changed for the better. I would like to be able to track how my body is responding to my healthier relationship with food. I am in a place where I’m not going to let the scale control my life or my emotions. “How”, you ask?, I set a boundary with myself and the scale, I told myself that 1) I will only step on it once a week and only when I am in a good head space to do so and 2) if, at ANY point, I feel that it’s starting to negatively affect me, I will get rid of it immediately.
I remember my therapist asked me what I hoped to weigh, if I had a specific number in mind. I said no, and I told him that I truly believe that if I fix my relationship with food and my thoughts around food, that my body will naturally come down to wherever it feels it’s best, and it’s already starting to happen. I am starting to notice my body changing and starting to shed the weight I’ve held onto for so many years. My clothes are starting to fit a bit looser. I have more energy. I feel more and more authentic to myself.
I know that by losing the excess weight I’ve been carrying, I will be gaining a healthier body with no more knee pain (or any kind of pain that is a result of extra weight), a lighter body to run hills and stairs with, a healthier body to start a family with. The list of benefits can be endless, but those are basically my most important reasons as to why I am ready for what my body has been doing lately.
I stepped on the scale this morning and recorded the number in the Notes on my phone. I have lost 8.4 lbs. in the last month and a half. I have not dieted, restricted, or binged at all since my first meeting with my therapist. I am going to continue to track my weight (as long as it doesn’t start to mess with my head), and I will continue to share it, when appropriate. It’s not to flaunt or anything like that, but more in hope that it resonates with someone else who is/has struggled with food and their weight as proof that it’s not about embarking on a diet or intense workout regimen.
It’s about wanting to live the life you were meant to live, digging deep and finding out why you think the way you do and making steps to change the way you think about your relationship with yourself, weight, and food. It’s possible, you just have to make the decision to do something about it.
Gratituesday: Today, I am grateful that we have the mountains relatively close to us, we’re heading West in a few days for a much needed getaway to our family cabin in B.C. and I cannot wait to share our adventures with you.