Be Still, But Move! Eat This, Not That! 3/365, 4/365
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.) https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/03/well/eat/healthy-eating-habits-new-year.html
(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