Losing Weight? No. I’m Releasing It
Ok. Newest challenge: Getting my fat *@* up and get healthy. Yesterday I was full of get up and gusto. Today, not so much. I have ‘willingly’ [insert grumble and loud protest here] restricted myself to just under 1200 calories/day.
This morning my “hey, where’s my pizza?” stomach and I are in a very loud disagreement.
Losing weight is not a new phenomenon nor is it even a stroll through a strange neighborhood for me. I grew up dieting. Being one of the youngest people to ever be forced to join a nationally known weight-loss program, I think that is half of my problem. I was given a clear picture that the shape of my body was not good enough.
I spent my early years in a war that I could not win. One that revolved around my weight. On one hand, it kept me safe. On the other hand, it was the obsession that my parents laid claim to proudly. “You aren’t going to end up fat like me,” I heard almost daily. I was in a tug-of-war over my body. I was told I would never be good enough and when I caved in and lost the weight I opened myself up to greater danger. It was a lose-lose situation.
In my teen years, weight was still the focus forefront in everyone’s mind except mine. I was determined to hold onto my armor no matter the circumstance. It then became a bargaining chip. “Lose the weight and I’ll buy you a car,” was the running theme for several years. I would lose it, they would buy it, then sell it again within a short period of time. I would become angry and put it back on. This was the hamster wheel I ran in throughout my high school years. I learned that my body was for trade and that nothing would last. One ride was enough though. I can still recall the excitement of driving that bad-ass car even now, almost 30 years later. (yes, some of the picture has been blurred.)
I continued to fight with my weight and it was a factor even on my wedding day. “Well, you had better take this one. No one else will have you at your size.” The insults are long and varied but with the same result. I took it all in and NEVER released it. I held it all in. All the insults; the physical, emotional and sexual abuse. With no way to release it, the only way to cope is to escape and/or insulate.
Strange sounding huh? Not to those of us who carry it. If we begin to look at those around us that carry excess weight as “warriors under the weight of their armor”, we may begin to understand the reasons behind obesity and then begin to truly address the issues that cause us to ‘put on the armor’ in the first place.
Now I’m in my mid-forties and my conscious mind and I agree that the extra weight and I need to part company. I no longer need it as the shield it was intended to be and I am more conscious of the nutritional needs and desires that my body is screaming at me. The weight of carrying this shield has lately become too much to carry. 204lbs to be exact. I’m not ashamed of that number. Depressed by it, of course but never ashamed. The weight of that shield protected me over the years and I am thankful for it.
At my age, I only have a couple of options. Spend the time and money to get healthier or pay a pharmacist and doctor to keep me in this loop. These days, there are pills and treatments to try to fix just about everything. The truth of the matter is none of them work. Not really. Even if science finds a workable combination of drugs, they will fight against the natural processes of the body and will not be successful. Even those who choose surgery to “fix” the problem with their weight find that it does nothing to address the emotional and spiritual issues that keep that person stuck. We are all 3 in 1. Mind, Body and Spirit. Anything we change must be a change made across the board if it is to be successful.
I have spent most of my life fighting a losing battle. Juggling food has always been my lifestyle. So why try again? What is different this time? Why continue to fight a losing battle?
This time I am not fighting. I am healing. I have spent a long time finding, understanding and speaking with God. I have spent the better part of 2 years working through the trauma and terror to let go of the trapped emotions that I have carried. So I have slew the dragons that caused me to need the protection that my excess weight offered. My physical presence is the last part that needs to be brought into balance.
The biggest difference is that I am no longer dieting. Yes, I am CHOOSING to limit my intake and to exercise daily but I will never diet again. Wait a minute. According to the dictionary, the word ‘diet’ means to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. So how can I claim I “will never diet again”? If you look again there is another meaning to the word and it is rarely used. Diet also means the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. I am CHOOSING to find out what ‘diet’ my body requires and then I will make THAT my ‘diet’ or my lifestyle.
The trick is to find MY happy medium. You know, somewhere in-between the ‘Subway Guy’ and this one:
So what I’ve learned is this: ALL of life is about balance. I juggle everything from my calendars to my food. I am made in the image and likeness of God and I AM 3 in 1. Mind, Body and Spirit. The secret is to find the balance in all three. The number on the scale that weighs my physical body tells very little about me as a whole person. It weighs my armor only. So if I judge the shape of my body by that number alone, I am only getting 1/3 of the correct information. I must also “weigh” my mind and my spirit to get an accurate reading.
I am choosing to release this weight. I try never to say I’m ‘losing the weight’ because that implies that I am actively searching for it again. I have weighed my mind and spirit and they are now closer to balance. I will now take off the armor I have carried all my life. Pound by pound. No judgements. I do so with a thankful heart because it served me well.
Thank you old friend. You protected me for a long time but the war is over and this soldier is tired.