I went to bed with a headache last night and awakened with the same headache. As I lay in bed I recalled the same feeling when I was in high school many years ago. I was stressed over classes that were too difficult for me, stressed over my difficult home life, stressed that my boy friend, who was my anchor, was far away at college and unreachable in a hurry, and stressed by what I was doing physically to my body. Taking dance classes was fine, cheerleading was fun, but starving myself to be “thin” was anything but fine or fun. This morning I felt pain for that girl and pain for how poorly I’ve been treating myself. Not starving for sure, more like stuffing, and definitely not treating my body in a way that it deserves.
Fast forward about twenty years… through self-abuse, addiction and transformation… A long and difficult path to know in my heart and soul that my body is worthy of love and appreciation, as it houses my precious spirit on this short journey of life. I learned that in order to make real change in my life, I need to reach out for help and be consistent in my self-care. About 10 years ago, I found Weight Watchers (WW). It was the right program at the right time — I was ready for the kind of support and accountability WW provides.
As I worked toward my goal, I called myself a WW “lifer”. I thrived in the program. I reached my goal and maintained it, thus becoming not just a “lifer” but a “Lifetime Member”. With this came the privilege of attending weekly meetings for free and a weigh in once a month. If my weight remained within two pounds of my goal weight, I didn’t have to pay. If I went over, I had to pay the normal meeting fee. Good deal, great incentive, as if being at an ideal weight were not enough…
In the last 15 months I’ve become a slacker! I have gone to WW intermittently but really couldn’t commit to myself or my new group in my new community. My weight has slowly crept up to a point that very few of my clothes fit. I refuse to purchase larger sizes. Despite lots of exercise and a vast wealth of knowledge, I could not get back on track. I knew I needed to break the “spell” of perceived deprivation I was under that was causing me to stuff myself and sabotage my health and well-being.
From my wish to God’s ears — My friend, Donna, frustrated with her own efforts and health issues, decided to go to Weight Watchers three weeks ago, and I watched her shrink by five pounds over Christmas! She shared with me that the program was revamped just this month in very healthy ways (if you’re interested, veggies and fruit unlimited). Seeing her progress inspired me. Mind you, not before I got even MORE pissed off at myself and my genetics and my mother, blah, blah blah!!! As I headed out to my first “new” meeting last night, I told my husband I was disgusted that I’ve gained and lost about a thousand pounds since I was 8 years old (okay, maybe it’s only hundreds)… and I was truly sick of it, again.
Why does my weight matter? It matters because now, as a wiser and more self-loving adult, being at the “right” weight (which is higher than most charts indicate) means that I am taking impeccable care of myself. As a teenager it meant I was hatefully and abusively starving myself to thinness and ill-health.
Yes, I can’t help my genetics. Yes, I can’t help that I’m getting older every day. Yes, I can’t help the top limitations of my physical potential. I can help what I put in my mouth. I can choose my exercise wisely. I can do something about my EFFING ATTITUDE! And it’s likely that a return to a healthy weight for me will be the result.
I love my body and can express that love every day by by treating it with loving kindness.
Here it is in writing. I will joyfully journal my food intake and count points, whether I feel like it or not. I will joyfully continue my exercise whether I feel like it or not. I will joyfully go to my WW meetings whether I have a good week or a bad week. I will humbly ask for support from others who care about me and my success and I will return the favor. I will be grateful for this precious temple that houses my spirit each and every day.
We human beings are a funny lot. Needing to learn the same lessons over and over again like we have amnesia! I smile at my own humanity and I am willing to receive the lesson again. Again, I embrace what I share with others in my coaching and in my life every day — change on the outside begins with change on the inside. Amen.
I’ll keep you posted.