Yesterday I had amazing clarity all day. It felt like a rare treat; a gift I am rarely bestowed. It was as if, by going within I was eliminating some of the noise around me. Not meditation, but finally focusing on the issues underlying the wounds, a clarity of cause and purpose bubbling beneath the surface. I treasured it, and didn't want to go to sleep for fear that it would pass. But today I feel good, I feel relaxed, content and focused. I am still fat. I still have bills. I still have two kids with special needs and a husband who is focusing inward too. But I have given myself the time and attention ( and the OK) to put toward healing, and what a difference it makes to my mental state.
I am not saying I am "cured" and now I am going to begin getting skinny. I know those who have lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off have done so by being focused and honest. I don't see weight loss as something I can just get to a certain point and then eat whatever I want. I used to feel that way, which is probably one of the reasons I ended up gaining ALL my weight back; I got down to the 150 range, and noticed that if I ate junk one day or two days a week, my body was still in a healthy and muscular enough place that I could maintain my weight loss, or at very least, lose it quickly from getting back on track. I was increasingly OK with a new higher weight because I believed it would be "easy" to get it back off. I didn't mind putting in the work because the results were pretty consistent.
Now I realize, all of that stuff was just something to focus on so I wouldn't deal with the real issues. I didn't try to fix the reasons why I wanted to eat all that junk, I just self-shamed when I did give in. Or worse, I just gave myself the old talk about not wanting to become a rigid person who never enjoyed food or normalcy. Normal people do not buy a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and eat the entire thing in one sitting. But I was living on autopilot, believing that I could will myself into changing by sheer willpower and some inspirational quotes. I love a good quote like the next guy, but quotes can't fix what needs fixing internally. Outward inspiration can only get you so far, then you have to take steps. Sometimes we are so in a fog of self-hatred and re-fires that we can't stop to ask ourselves what we need in order to get what we want.
Today I took another step toward getting what I need for my process of healing. My entire lower body is weak and hurting, I have to fix it before I end up injuring myself just by walking around so obese. One of the only things that doesn't bother my knee is the stationary bike, so I spent 20 minutes pedaling away in my apartment complex's "cardio room". It was an especially great feeling because I go into work a little later today, so I didn't feel rushed. I looked out the window while I pedaled, people-watching. I saw a girl packing her things to move. She looked like she was in her early twenties, about 6 ft tall and so slender that at first, I couldn't distinguish if she was a male of female. I made an immediate judgement, it must be so nice to be so tall. And thin. And to move with such fluidity, grace and ease. Judgements are a normal part of life, but if we take them for fact it can destroy our spirit. Without really thinking about it, I began to think about what her issues might be. Maybe she is self-conscious because she can't put on muscle, maybe she is moving out because she made a bad choice in relationships; sometimes when attractive people have a lot of choices in relationships, they seem to make bad choices. And then a wonderful thing happened, I applied what I have been questioning myself about my fat. Being fat meant that I wouldn't let just anyone in my world, I made really wise choices in relationships because I didn't have the chaos of having to appease a bunch of people to try and weed out the ones who weren't there for the long haul. I didn't have a large group of friends or boyfriends so I got a chance to form some really strong relationships. I married a man who any woman would be proud to have, he is very attractive, fit, funny, respectful, patient and a good dad. Things might not have gone so well for me if I constantly had people wanting my time and attention. It might be a little thing, but for me, it was another good step to be able to look at someone who had what I felt I wanted and see things clearly, that everyone has "stuff" to work through, and just because someone is taller, thinner, fitter, or younger than me, doesn't mean they live a worry-free life. And, no matter how my body looks on the outside, I will always have unpleasant things to confront like bills and cars breaking down, or kids not behaving. It is up to me to know that I have gotten through this and worse with grace, and I can rise above anything that comes my way if I keep reality in check.
I am feeling strong and good. My goal right now is to keep doing the internal work, being aware about why I am eating and what my real needs are, and to talk more with my husband. I did tell him briefly what I am doing, and have eaten "bad" foods in front of him. It is still a little uncomfortable, but he hasn't said anything. And if he does, I will approach him with patience and grace, and ask that he does the same. I am going to try to get on the stationary bike most days of the week, until the end of June, to see if that helps me strengthen my lower body enough to start walking without pain. I am guessing it will, based on how awkward my legs felt today after only 20 minutes, they were all pumped full of blood and stiff as if I had just done squats or something. My knee only hurt when I was trying to pedal really fast to get my heart rate up, so I will nix that until I am stronger. I'm OK with moderate, it is maintainable. I feel good mentally for the first time in a long time. I am appreciating things so much more right now, and it has nothing to do with my weight because I am really heavy right now, but I don't care about the scale. I am making the choice to quiet some of the noise I have allowed to distract me for so long. I feel so liberated. I am glad I found this author, and glad I gave the exercises a chance. I think I may finally be finding myself inside of all this protection.
Here's to a new day! Hope your week goes smoothly!