Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mind blown!

I had my mind blown a few times all in one day recently, not always in a good way, but that is ok too.  I briefly alluded to the first and not too fun one in some  previous posts.  Interestingly and sort of randomly, I also had a scientific discussion on that same day and was directed towards a theory of multiple universes.  I definitely am going to read up more on the parallel  or  many-worlds universe theory.  While I've heard of these in a vague way, I was fascinated with the whole thing. I wonder what I am up to in a parallel universe!?!  I like to think about stuff like that!  Sciencey stuff is so cool!

Anyway, on FaceBook,  I came across a blog post that I actually put on my own page.  It was so powerful and meaningful for me.  Mind-blowing.  This post was where I was about 2 years ago.  I have had a lot happen in the last 2 years, and I have wanted to write about my thoughts and actual experiences since, but have hesitated as I was unable to articulate it like I want.  I have made a few stabs at it, but the ideas that she states here were a jumping off point for me.

The After Myth- (on Can Anybody Hear Me blog by Lisa) is alluding to the widely held supposition that after you lose weight - get to your goal, become" fit and healthy"- how good life will be.  This is one of the biggest con jobs and/or fairy tales that exist in today's culture.  There is no "after" when you lose weight.  You suddenly (or not so suddenly) are "there" but you don't feel that way.  One morning after you step on the scale,  you are at this place that you are supposed to be free of all your troubles and you should have all your shit together and you really don't have to think about what you eat anymore, or you don't think you should have to, because after all- you are at goal weight.  Well, it doesn't happen that way at all.  Lisa surely has that right!

Up until that goal weight moment, I had been on a mission. I, like many people, had defined myself by a large period of time where I was losing weight.  Losing weight to the point of starving myself and crying over the fact that I ate more than half the dinner I had ordered one night - the plan being to take half home.  But I was so fucking hungry that I had a little more and a little more and the drink I was having might have made me eat more than I planned.  And I fell to pieces just because I NEEDED to get to a magical number on a scale. I remember this moment because somewhere deep inside I knew this sort of insanity was just wrong.

I actually had no idea what I actually looked like, as the ED and disordered thinking that had taken hold could only see that last bit of belly that was there, or the way my legs looked, or the fact that my muscle's definition hadn't yet occurred like I wanted.  I was defined by the fact that I was losing weight and I had a goal and I would have done ANYTHING, including exercising for 4 or more hours per day to achieve it.

God I'm exhausted just remembering it.  I spent so much money on all the "right" foods and supplements- organic this, high protein that, eating clean and leaving out evil things and replacing them with good things that don't taste nearly as good, but some blogger somewhere has deemed them the right thing to consume.

Anyway, back to after.  When I got to After I was freaking lost.  And frankly tired.  And that struggle continues to a degree.  If you aren't eating just the way you were before, it seems you are going to gain weight.  And I personally did.  And I struggled not to, but I couldn't not eat any more.  And then I got to feel like a failure again, convinced that I would regain all of my weight just like I lost it.  Because that was the only thing that was important in my mind, the number on the scale..... the size of my clothes.... and what am I going to eat.

I was so sick of thinking about stupid food every damn minute of my life.

I knew I had to change something.  I don't exactly remember how it all happened, but I started reading blogs by people who were looking to help others heal themselves and their weird ass relationship with food of all things. I read and I listened to podcasts and made little tiny adjustments in my thinking.  I learned that I should NOT let my self worth be dictated by what I put in my mouth.  Food is food- there is NO good or bad.  You eat it, it does not make you a virtuous or a bad person.  There should be no moral judgements about a person because of what they eat.  Eyes on your own plate people!  And while I still hear that Debi who wants to stress eat, and to worry about everything, and who still frequently feels less than worthy, I tell her everything is ok and let her relax.  And she is ok with that.

So fast forward here 2 years and guess what!!  I don't think about food all that much any more.  I wish I could tell the girl in the blog that her weight is seriously immaterial to living her life.  She touches on that very thing, but she is not really in the After yet like she thinks. She still is thinking about the numbers.  She is still concerned about her weight more than what she is gets to do today to be even more fantastic and make her life even more awesome- and sweetie, it has little to do with how much you weigh.

I really REALLY wish I could tell the girl that was me how weight loss, though important for my growth as a person, was not the final step. That the final weight I thought I would be at is SO not something that matters.  I have had an interesting personal journey that has had me quit doing a lot of things, including weighing myself.  Unfortunately,  I can't yet let myself know what that number is.  They occasionally are able to jolly me into getting me on the scale at the clinic, but I won't let them tell me and they honor that.  It still freaks me out to possibly know. Someday I won't care enough finally and will be able to know whatever that number is.  Does that make sense? 

The thing is that your weight will go up and down over your life.  You won't stay at that goal and you shouldn't feel like you have to.  In her blog, the writer states so poignantly that she still struggles with her weight- I wish I could tell her that she doesn't have to struggle at all.  Let your body do what it wants!  Once you work through some of the underlying actual issues (I recommend life coaching- HIGHLY.  PM me if you want info on the wonderful Anne-Sophie who is mine), you don't have to struggle with it much at all.  It is not simple, or easy, but it is a really good place to be.  You can't fall off the wagon if there is no wagon to fall off of.  Think about that for a while.....  weight comes and goes, you lose it you gain it.  Just like you have long hair or short.  It changes and never ever stays the same.  And it is good because you are still you.

 You are still you.  You are the same person that weighed 75 pounds more or less.  The same person when you weigh 25 or 30 pounds more than some crazy ass goal that you set for yourself.  The same scared, happy, emotional, sensitive person wearing a size 10 (or what ever) as the one who wore a size 18.  Your friends love you the same, your students love you the same, your family does too.  The weight loss does not make you better or worse, just different.  We need to live our life the best way we are able to in the moment that we in.  We should not be defined by our weight, our "diet" or our clothing size.  We are not a number on a scale.  We should not give one flying fuck what anyone thinks about how we look. The important person there is you and you alone.  Your self worth should not be dictated by a society, it should be internal and personal, dictated by your character and the way you love.

Let me make it clear, you do get treated differently by many people when you are thinner.  Life is easier if you fall into the parameters of what society feels is normal.  People treat heavy people like crap- and that is so unfair.  I hear my students talk about themselves in such a negative way sometimes and it breaks my heart.  I never miss the chance to tell them how beautiful they are, and their weight has nothing to do with it-  they are amazing!   And we need to tell ourselves that as well. 

Though it sounds like I am trashing my weight loss journey, I am NOT.  First of all, my life is so much the richer for getting strong. (Strong, not thin)  I do so much more in my day now that I am doing the things: things that challenge me, things that delight me, things that frighten me.  Fear has held me back for so so long. Losing weight gave me the courage to start weight training: my strength, both physical and mental, that I use now to push my boundaries and my limits.  But I do not regret the person I was before, because that is and was me.  Why does different than before have to be better or worse?  And the people that I have met during that particular time, virtually and in person, have enriched my life in so many ways that I can't even begin to quantify it.  So while I do wish I wouldn't have been so extreme, that just isn't me.  I tend to jump in with both feet and see what the heck happens later.  Underneath I am still very scared, and actually very shy and certainly insecure.  But you just don't see it, because I have gained so much more than I lost.

So, I guess my point is that I wish I could impart on people who are frantically trying to become some sort of after in their life, that they need to live in the now.  During!  You are not a work in progress, you guys.  You are not a project.  You don't need to be fixed.  You are amazing and perfect the way you are.  You don't have to kill yourself exercising for hours, you don't have to be hungry every minute, you don't have to try and hide yourself in black clothes or excuse yourself for how much you weigh.  Because when it all comes down to it, you have to live in your body and you have to do what you need to do.  Being thinner does very little to make you happy.  And life is way too short to feel guilty over what you eat.

Be a  joy giver, but don't be afraid to feel all the things that life gives you. You just never know what those things are going to be! Be brave, Debi!  :)


  1. THIS is SO good, Deb. So so good. I actually teared up reading some passages. Yes, our weight fluctuates, our moods fluctuate, our relationships fluctuate, our entire life fluctuates ALL the time. If we can truly accept that and ride the wave called life, we can focus on what really matters while we're here on planet earth. ;)

    1. Oh I am so happy that you were affected by my post! You have been pivotal in my - what to call it? recovery? I am ALWAYS thinking of your advise of feel your feelings, they are all ok.
      I am so thrilled riding the wave- it is the most important thing!

  2. Wow! This is a powerful post. "You are still you. You are the same person that weighed 75 pounds more or less. The same person when you weigh 25 or 30 pounds more than some crazy ass goal that you set for yourself." Thank you so much for sharing.