Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It's not about weight - part 1

According to Weight Watchers this lovely
young lady is "overweight".  According to me
she is fit and healthy - check out the quads!
At some point last year I decided I was DONE with looking at this perfectly healthy, attractive, strong body and judging it negatively.   For 20+ years I've been trying to "manage" my weight so I could achieve an arbitrary ideal.  Funnily enough, I could never reach that ideal.  Every single day I'd look in the mirror or step on the scale and feel disappointed, frustrated, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.

You know how the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result"?

Mindful eating was my insanity antidote.  Rather, the books I've read on it were.  No more barrage of negative thoughts every morning.  My body tells me what it needs.  I make choices.  What I see is the outcome.  It's pretty simple.

I have a big birthday coming up this month.  Until recently I had a ridiculous goal: I wanted to weigh "1$0" pounds by the time I turned "$0" (I'm being cryptic - it's a riddle).  Thank you mindful eating gurus (I'm talking to you, Charles Eisenstein) for helping me ditch that goal!  I've weighed 1$0 pounds exactly thrice since I was 23 years old:

  1. When I was in graduate school and walked one hour to get to school and home every day.  Oh, and I also swam, played squash (sure miss that free gym membership you get when you go to university), rollerbladed, and had no money for delicious things. 
  2. When I had the Norwalk virus. 
  3. In my early 30s when I was training for a triathlon.  The training didn't get me to 1$0 - a crazy cleanse during which I got so weak I couldn't even open the lid of my jar of meal replacement powder almost did.  I think I was "1$2" for a day - and then I started eating again. 
Not EXACTLY words to live by, but close...
maybe "Eat what your body needs or what you will fully enjoy..."
1$0 pounds is not a healthy goal for me, regardless of what Weight Watchers and all the BMI charts led me to believe.  I'm glad I finally realized and accepted that.  What a relief to not be stressing over that stupid number and wasting precious moments of my life not being grateful for the body I have.  I know it's not perfect.  I think I would feel better and be able to fit into more of my nice clothes if I lost another 5 or so pounds.  But the only way I'm going to get there (if at all) is by slow, deliberate, sustainable (and therefore permanent) lifestyle change. 

There may come a day when I know I am eating mindfully as consistently as possible, and I still don't fit into some of my pants.  I'm OK with that.  What a weight off my shoulders!

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