I have been on a wonderful, peaceful break for a week. No alarm clock, no work, no school for me or the kids. I originally had big plans for getting a lot of things done for our move at the end of March, but it turns out, that is a little over-ambitious as many of the apartment complexes we've called have said to call back in a month or so. So it has turned into a bit of house cleaning/ relaxing/reading thing instead. I'm ok with that. My holiday season is always extra stressful because I don't technically celebrate Christmas but we do go to my in-laws' celebrations, there is always awkwardness around gift-giving because we don't participate. Add to it that my mother's and my birthdays are in the week following Christmas and as an optician it is always the busiest time of year as people rush to use up their flex spending by the end of the year...I am usually looking forward to January more than anyone I know.
I actually really enjoy New Year's Eve a lot, it brings back really happy memories of great times with friends. I used to make the same "lose weight" resolution for years until I realized it was pointless. Stating a wish on any day of the year is just that. And while I believe in "try, try again" philosophy, I think I was wishing the wrong thing.
The thing is, I don't know what the right thing is, not all the way, so it leaves me grappling a bit, dangling between concepts. Or maybe I'm just in denial and rebelling against any kind of commitment at all.
After reading the Josie Spinardi book, I felt really at peace with the concept, but I didn't commit to it wholeheartedly, so I picked up another book from the library, this one by Deepak Chopra, the famous endocrinologist. It seemed to have a similar idea of breaking the spell food has over us, but already into the first chapter or two, it was littered with rules. Yuck! I found one more book called Stop Eating Your Heart Out that I've been reading slowly. The first exercise is to write your "food history", the story of the role food has played in my life, and when I first realized I was using it as more than physical nourishment. I do not tell a short story so it is already quite the document, but it is helping me figure out a few things. This is the work I feel I need to do right now because I feel like I haven't had a breakthrough yet, I'm stil eating on autopilot most of the time. It's great to say that I am going to stop torturing myself with diets, but then I have to do the rest of the work. And I haven't. I've been hiding food, eating way past "satisfied" and using it to fill some gap I haven't defined yet. I am gaining weight and feeling so unhealthy, I am aware something needs to change. But saying I want to lose weight sounds hollow. I want to care about myself, and prove it by treating myself how I would treat a loved one. I want to revisit my connection to that which guides me on a much deeper level. I detach, withdraw, numb myself because sometimes it all feels like too much work, but honestly, it's in that space when I truly feel peaceful.
So that is my goal, to be more kind to myself, to continue healing from within. I could do the whole January 1st diet, but that whole thing is so overplayed. And all it does is make me feel like a total failure when I can't continue restriction long-term. And then I binge. Cycle complete. Rinse and repeat. Not this time. Not anymore. I will find a different path if I have to cut it myself. No more torture and self-hatred. No more equating my size, weight, shape, age or height with my self-worth. I wouldn't let anyone treat my kids that way or my parents or my husband, and from now on I will stop allowing myself to treat me that way as well. It's the best gift I've ever conceived of giving myself, and it sure will taste sweet!