Sunday, November 11, 2012
Today I listened to the 2nd IOWL podcast. In it Renee suggests doing two things: paint a realistic, honest portrait of where I am now as I start (restart) this journey, and create a future me (a wiser, improved me).
Here I go...deep breath
Where am I now?
Well, I'm 20 pounds lighter than I was when I started IOWL in June. But I was 26 pounds lighter and at goal, just about a week ago, so I'm also terrified of how many huge steps back I've taken. I'm back to binging on nuts almost every day, making myself completely sick to my stomach, unable to sleep, not enjoying meals, feeling complete disgust for myself and my body. My digestion is completely off from all of these binges. My daughter and husband have noticed my binging and have both made comments. I'm embarrassed, I feel unattractive, and I'm no role model for my daughter.
When I started IOWL, I thought I had it all down! I was so confident that after 30 years of binging, IOWL was the answer and I'd finally beaten the demon. I was sure I'd NEVER binge again and that I was a completely different person. Well, then life kicked me in the head, not once, but three times in a row. I got a very bad health diagnosis for myself, my marriage has a huge rift that may or may not something we can heal from, and my husband just got a very scary health diagnosis. And instead of handling this stress calmly, I immediately reverted back to the old me. The binging came right back with a vengeance.
So what has also come to me, and perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned in these ugly few weeks, is that I really hadn't done the IOWL program fully. The biggest piece Renee mentions is unconditional self-acceptance, and I really never got there. The self-loathing is still here, right under the surface. And with my marriage problems, the self-loathing became even greater, too great to bear. So I turned to food and the problems got worse.
Another part of IOWL I still need to really embrace is eating until sated, not stuffed. Through my entire journey, though I lost weight, I still wanted to eat huge quantities of food. So I made giant bowls of veggies. You can lose weight eating tons of veggies, but you can still overeat and get too full. And it's hard on your digestion. There are still issues here, obviously.
I'm very grateful that I've had this setback. I'm going to embrace it and really learn from the lessons it's teaching me about where I still need to grow and evolve.
Now for the future me:
I am five pounds lighter than I am now and I'm at that weight permanently. Sure my weight might go up or down a pound here and there due to life, but it generally hovers at my goal, easily and effortlessly.
When stress comes, and life throws me curve balls, I take even better care of myself. I exercise more, and I eat really well. That way, I feel good physically, at least, and have that to shore me up through the difficult times.
I renew regularly. Each day I do nourishing activities for myself, like meditating, journaling, blogging, reading for pleasure, playing the flute, and laughing with my family. I am open to the love in my life and get regular hugs and affection. I take time to enjoy what is around me.
I eat well. I eat seated, slowly and mindfully. I take reasonable portions and stop when I'm sated, not overly full. I attend social events with confidence, because I know I'll focus on the people and the event, not the food. The same is true in restaurants and holiday gatherings. I visualize myself leaving feeling great, sated by just enough food and stimulated by great connections with others.
And when I do overeat, I self correct immediately. I am kind to myself and use it as a learning experience. I redo the event in my mind, figure out how to do it better next time, and wait to eat again until I'm hungry.
I welcome hunger because it makes food so much more pleasurable. I get hungry for all of my meals and snacks. And if my dinner is delayed due to work or some other unforeseen reason, I stay calm. I drink extra water and I breathe. I realize that the hunger is a temporary feeling and when I do get to eat, I eat slowly to recognize my fullness.
I wear smaller clothes and feel great in them. Every day I wake feeling clean and light, full of energy and excitement for the day, confident in my body. My relationships with my family, friends and colleagues improves because I feel so much better about myself. My joy radiates out to them and comes back to me from them.
Ahhh...what a nice vision. Looking forward to being that me!