As I sat on the couch I started thinking about health and noticing how quickly my mind slid to dieting and thinness. Sigh. This cycle again. I know you’ve all seen it on this blog. I get excited about weight loss, I start a program, I do well. Then I fall off said program and make poor choices that spiral me towards disordered eating and self-harm. Then I declare that I am going to eat what I want and not give a rat’s ass about dieting. Then eating what I want turns into fast food, ice cream, too much coffee, etc. I gain a little weight or maybe just become bloated from salt and too little water. My face breaks out. I wheeze when I walk. I feel listless. So then I diet and it starts all over again.
Tuesday I was at home with a sick toddler and spent most of my day on the couch watching hours of singing children’s television. After several days of cleaning up vomit from said toddler I was ready to deep clean everything. I was also really wishing I felt healthy. Sure, I was sleep deprived, I ate too many carbs, and even though I never actually threw-up (knock on wood) I felt gross from all the clean-up duty. There was a reason I felt bleh… but that feeling happens more often than not.
I attempted to break this cycle back in March when I got back to therapy. The binge eating has subsided, but I still eat when bored, tired, angry, sad, happy. I have an emotion and then pick a food and stuff that emotion down. I still think of food as “good” and “bad.” I don’t reach for healthy food. I “save” things for when I’m “better.” As my therapist says, the only way to overcome this cycle is to be mindful. Mindful of my body, heart, and head.
I truly don’t want to diet. I don’t want the yo-yo. I cringe at the thought of people congratulating me on weight-loss. Does it mean they’re examining me? Waiting for me to mess up? Will I disappoint everyone?
I want to love my fat body. Yes, it is fat. Don’t tell me it isn’t. This body has carried and fed three kids. It has survived abuse and assault. It has a brain constantly curious and heart that loves fiercely. I have a soul. I have value and worth as I am. I want to honor this beautiful, sagging, scarred, tattooed, stretch-marked covered body. I deserve health, mental and physical.
Today I start a journey to embrace a mindful lifestyle focused on health and that not focused on calories, grams, and scale numbers. I may lose some weight. I may gain some weight. I’m not worried about that. I want restful sleep. I want to enjoy the food I eat and not race through meals. I want to be rid of the constant colds and infections. I want to be comfortable and not dissociated from my body.
Gosh darn it I want to like myself and treat this body well.
I am so bad about wanting everything to be perfect. If I cannot immediately be all organic, vegan, fitness super woman, then I will show you a binge worthy of one of those intervention TV shows. This path will be one of quiet, deliberate steps and not a rampage towards some big goal.
Is there a plan? Of course. While sitting on the couch I made a list of small, healthy lifestyle changes I can make. My goal is to work a few of these in each month and make it a routine. Here are the first seven steps:
– Take a daily probiotic. The stomach bug inspired this one.
– Mindfully take time outdoors each day. As in sitting outside and enjoying my surroundings for a few minutes or watching the sun rise on the back patio. Not on my phone, not rushing on an errand, but being present and mindful of my natural surroundings.
– Start back with the organic produce delivery service. I enjoy eating the organic produce, rather than the flavorless stuff at the store. I keep throwing away uneaten produce because we don’t reach for it like we did with the organic produce.
– Start my morning with a cup of green tea. I drink so much coffee at work. Starting with tea will help me cut back.
– Wind down at night with a cup of Sleepytime tea. I love the ritual and quiet of tea before bed
– Develop a morning routine and wake-up at the same time each day. To help reorder my crazy sleep patterns.
– Get a blender and make smoothies for breakfast. I don’t like to eat solid food before 10am in the morning. This means by lunchtime I’m scarfing too much food down too quickly.
There we have it. Small, healthy steps.