Be Still, But Move! Eat This, Not That! 3/365, 4/365

Like everyone at the start of the new year, I have some intentions about moving more in 2022. My job is sedentary and the osteoarthritis/Fibromyalgia mix I have been dealing with has shut down a lot of my options. Right now, I'm just trying to add some steps to my day and to figure out if some form of gentle yoga is even possible. What I'm noticing is that just having the intention to add steps makes me more likely to park further away from places and to take an extra trip down the hall to kiss my love. That seems like a good trend.

Daily gratitude: water, discipline, orange cats

(I'm combining entries because posting every day is probably not sustainable and may actually be annoying to my regular readers. My intention is the write every day, post occasionally.)

If you ever want to put yourself in a really bad mood, go looking for quotes about food. There is so much stridency and sanctimony and judgment... and that's just in MY head. Mercy.

I'm at this weird point in my life, though --overweight due to a lot of factors like menopause, pandemic, Cymbalta, alcohol consumption, loss of my daily yoga practice due to chronic illness --and nothing is working. Believe me, I have tried it all. I've fasted. I've fasted intermittently. I've done Keto. I've done vegan. I've done meds. I've done Intuitive Eating. I've done all of the diet programs. I've done ALL OF THE THINGS. 

Except, you know, just loving myself and my body as is. Because that's some radical notion that works for other people. 

I have been at war with my body since I was in middle school. Mostly, overly restricting, but there was also that 17-year span of being bulimic.

Yeah. Seventeen YEARS.

So, here I am and nothing I do is affecting my weight and I'm trying to be okay with that. 

I say "trying to be okay" because, wow, there is no area of my life where my Inner Critic is louder than this. I'm so busy pre-judging myself through a lens of what my weight means about my character that when I see people I haven't seen in a while, my first impulse is to sit steeped in shame, instead of reconnecting with friends in joy. 

I recognize my own hypocrisy, even if I haven't figured out how to address it yet.  I've tried not to pass my disordered eating on to my children, but I know I wasn't always successful in the messages I sent. I counsel people every day about loving themselves and quieting their inner critics, and then I beat the crap out of myself for having gained weight. I have read all of the books on how the toxic messaging around food and size is literally killing people and I still can't stop my own endless loop of judgmental thinking.

I'm just really tired of it.

So, I'm doing things a little differently this year. I'm not doing anything extreme and all at once --no big, sweeping new effort, no joining some cause or letting someone else's agenda make rules for me. (Except I did give up alcohol, which I'll say more about in another post.) I'm just asking myself what I want and then noticing how often I have to shut down a billion negative thoughts about whatever that is. One thing about recovering from an eating disorder is that I have way too much knowledge of what various foods do to the body. Left to my own devices, I could find a reason to exclude all foods. (Except maybe kale --and I hate kale.)

So, mostly, I just have an intention to get back to a way of eating that feels true for me. I know that I want to make my way back to a meatless diet, because I don't really want to eat animals, and I know that dairy makes me vaguely sick but other than that, I'm going for balance and self-love. I am interrupting my negative thought cycle with a different message every time I catch myself, and I am being very careful what I am allowing into my brain. 

ETA: Just came across this article in the New York Times that might be helpful if you're also inclined to try something new when it comes to food/body issues. (I hope this isn't behind a paywall. I think you can create a free account and get four free articles per month, though.)

(Please don't give in to the impulse to suggest something else for me to try to lose weight. I will delete your comment but first, it will hurt me. This post is about acceptance.)

Daily gratitude: boundaries, sunshine, humor



ccr in MA said…
Self-acceptance is so hard, isn't it? I weigh more than I wish I did, but I've been pretty steady at this weight for a few years now, so it seems this is the weight my body wants to be. Accepting that is a constant struggle.
Susan said…
I never get to Austin but I would LOVE to reconnect with my
old friend with joy! Proud of you for sharing your journey so we all know we’re not alone.
Jen B said…
Being kind to myself and taking care of myself are two things I've been working on. Intuitive eating is something that I also continue to work on. (We've discussed this in our mutual friend group.) The more I work on these things, the easier it gets. I've made great progress on my disordered eating and related behaviors. I'm not saying I no longer want to lose weight, because I do, but I am working on rooting out my internal fatphobia.

I wish you peace and joy and work through this process. Hugs, my friend.
tanita✿davis said…
So, so good to hear from you. I'm in the same liminal space of "move more! not that much!" that autoimmune weirdness brings about. I pay for it if I try and recapture the driven-ness that got me to weight loss before, and I'm left adrift in pain and recriminations and honestly, it's just not sustainable, so I'm in this place too - just a few more steps. Just a few gentle stretches. Just some water and positive thoughts and kindness to all.

Welcome to this moment in our lives. May we work through it with grace.
Laura Bettor said…
You are just beautiful, always have been, always will be. That's all I have to say. Except that I love you!
Ei said…
Barb, I am so happy you are writing again. I have been thinking about New Year for a little over a week now. I haven't been sharing those thoughts with anyone though and I think you've inspired me to maybe back to my own blog, after, what is it? 12 years? Give or take.

I hate New Year's resolutions, they just feel icky to me. But I loved to hear about how you are always turning towards grace. Keeping good to my friend Barb. She's the bomb. On the other hand (insert joke of your choice here) lots of my life is changed lately, and I wonder I'm being led to make some other changes in my life.

If I do start blogging again, and in my comments as well, please remember I am mostly using voice to text right now. I'm getting pretty good at it but I need an editor. Ha!