I am happy. I feel content. For the first time in a lot of years, I actually think the whole "issue" of eating, weight, diet, and being upset at how I look is gone. I mean it is *really* gone. I can't remember ever feeling this way before, going back to when I first developed disordered eating... which was probably about 20 years ago. All this time, all of it, I have had that nagging feeling that I am not good enough, that my body needs something about it changed, that there is something wrong with my eating or my activity level or just something wrong with *me.* I always wanted to be something I wasn't. I was always trying to be something else: thinner, more active, less obsessed, smaller. Even when I got 103 pounds off I was not content. Yes I was happy about the weight loss... thrilled about it... but I was still wanting to lose MORE weight and was horrified about the loose skin situation. I was never really just content with the place I was *right then.*
I have had the voice of food obsession nagging me from the back of my mind over most of the past 15 years. I was a binge eater for a long time. Compulsive eating destroyed my inner peace. And when all of that was quieted, usually by a change in diet over months (like when I was on Medifast or AIP), I *still* had the edgy feeling that I was not enough, I needed to be doing more, be more perfect. I should move more, take more steps per day. I should strength train. I should bike, I should walk, I should eat less carbs, more protein, less calories... I should, I should, I should... all the way into a feeling of never quite being content.
I have come to the realization that *those* inner voices... the ones telling me I should be doing xyz or I should fit into a size 8 or I should be smaller... those are just as disordered and just as unhealthy as the obsessive eating voices. I did not know how to make it stop, or even that it was possible for it to stop, or healthy for it to stop. I thought that this drive to change was *good* because it would make me do whatever I needed to do to get healthy, lose weight. Obviously that is not true. Somehow over the past couple of weeks, after my trial with calorie counting and then letting that go, I also let everything else go. I don't mean I went back to chowing down on junk or binge eating or just not caring about myself. I mean I let go of all those expectations and demands and *shoulds* I have been putting on myself for so long. I didn't let it go consciously; it just happened. Gradually over the past couple weeks as I stopped fighting myself, let the obsessiveness fade, ALL of that inner dialogue stopped. And just today, I noticed the silence. I suddenly *heard* the silence... the lack of inner drama about my weight and what I "should" be doing and about food and exercise and all of it. And in its place, there is this beautiful peace. I can't even describe it. I haven't "heard" it in almost two decades. But I hear it now.
I am very much soaking in the peacefulness of this state of mind. There is a self acceptance and calm I have longed for. I wish I could tell you how this happened, but it just did. I guess I stopped trying to force myself into things, without stopping trying to just do nice things for myself. I made some soup last night from many healthful things... vegetables, grass fed beef... and I did it because I love myself and I wanted to make something good. It had nothing to do with any weight program or diet or shoulds. If I had wanted to make a cheesecake I would have made that instead. I had a really great vegetable panini today for lunch and it had nothing to do with cravings or inner drama or weight or any of that. I walked today for the joy of walking and to see the leaves changing and smell the fall air, and it had nothing to do with fitness or weight loss or shoulds. Does that make sense? I am living to live. I am doing to do. There are no goals or shoulds and as a result, no more guilt. This is the best I have felt in a very long time. I know true contentment and happiness.
Where this takes me, I don't know. It will take me somewhere. I hope I always feel like this and never get caught up in the drama of food and diet obsession again.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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