Saturday, January 9, 2010
Loving What Is
I went into a tailspin yesterday when I got on the scale only to discover that I hadn’t lost any further weight since the three pounds I’d lost in the first 24 hours of my 7-day diet! I got very depressed because I felt like all my hard work of the week had been for absolutely nothing. The simple act of letting go of the sugar helped me to lose 3 lbs of water-weight, and then that was it, the scale wouldn’t budge.
How could this be? I started to freak out over it, but I am beginning to understand that self-punitive, highly restrictive diets just do not work for me. Trying to micro-manage my behavior re: food feels like punishment: “I’ve gained weight; I need to be punished”, so I turn to the hardest, most in-human approach I can find. During such an endeavor, I feel angry, deprived, unsatisfied, and then like an un-fairly disciplined child, I begin to rebel.
Though I wasn’t eating any illegal foods, I ate when I wasn’t supposed to; I wasn’t sticking to portion control; etc.etc. My body was finding a way to get what it wanted (probably what it needed) regardless of my stringent efforts to be “good”.
A “good” dieter never cheats, a “good” dieter does everything perfectly; a “good” dieter is a “good” girl (i.e. lovable, socially acceptable and thin.) Well, those may be the messages in my head, but I am here to say that they are propaganda. I am a human being with needs that vary from day to day; I have a need for variety in my diet as much as in my life, and I do not need to beat myself into submission in order to be lovable. I am lovable right here and now.
What I do need in my life is sanity, balance and order. But the order has got to come from inside of me. I need to trust the wisdom of my body. It knows what I need, far better than I do; instead of weighing, measuring, restricting, I need to learn to trust the body’s process. There are certain truths that I know: I need a balance of protein, fats, and carbs; whole, unadulterated foods are best; exercise is not only good for my body, but necessary for my mental and spiritual health, as well; I need to eat when I am hungry, and stop when I have had enough.
I also know that I need to stay clear of toxic, addictive, foods. Sugar, for me, at least, is poison, and when I am free of it, my emotions feel balanced, I feel sane, because I am not experiencing the mercurial mood-swings typical of a body on sugar, and , as as my adrenal glands are not being horrendously over-worked, I find am no longer continually exhausted. All of these benefits mean that 'no processed sugar' ceases to feel like deprivation, but rather, like a gift that I am giving to myself.
Most importantly, I know that I am not over-weight because I don't know how to nurture my body properly, I am over-weight because I don't nurture my spirit.For this reason I need to honor my emotional needs: find healthy ways for me to express my feelings, and share them with safe people; know my limits and honor them; check-in with myself (how am I feeling right now, what do I need?); be gentle with myself, give myself loving, encouraging messages; and most of all, know that I am beautiful for far deeper reasons than the size that I wear.