My days consist of thinking about food and fitness in addition to my work and home life. It's important that it becomes an integral part of who I am. I won't be returning to who I was--and what I was not doing physically to build strength and fitness (not a lot, but some--people think I'm more than eccentric for choosing to be at the gym by 5:30 on workout days). And I also won't be returning to the food that I ate all my life. My body is type A blood type and at my early-middle life age is already glucose intolerant. I've been addressing that and my underlying hormonal imbalance since 1997 with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals that I'd rather not be taking. The effect is living life more 'normally' and yet normal would be not taking anything but vitamin supplements in my book. The food that I love(d) has been killing me. You know that my husband and I tend toward healthy--organic when possible, little salt or oil added when we cook. My food demon is carbohydrate and sugar. Add to that a stressful lifestyle and accepting others' drama, and you've got a recipe for weight gain and central stores of fat.
I have really loathed my physical being for years. I cannot remember when I didn't really feel self-conscious. I was three or four years old the first time I remember someone (family members--not immediate) commenting on my size and calling me tubby or something like that. I still see the bathing suit I was wearing, and that was the last time I wore a bikini. Age three or four. I'm not sure if that was the moment or not, but I've carried that memory with me off and on for decades now, along with the internal battle of beauty v. satisfaction. Outside, I grew smart and funny. Probably saved my bacon many a time, and kept me from succumbing too much to others' opinions of me. I could self-denigrate and laugh it off. And I never really had to think much more about it.
I'd spent the last two years trying hard to lose weight, and yet I kept gaining. I consulted with a nutritionist and counselor for ten months, and sunk a monthly service fee into a national commercial program. Both worked for a few weeks (like six) until I grew bored or thought I had figured out how to game the system. Self-sabotage is what I term it. I would do well, but then get scared of what might come next. How could I change my self from who I'd been since childhood? I wouldn't need to the toolkit I'd built over time would I? If I didn't have the toolkit to protect me from others' judgement, what would I have left and who would I be? These, my friends are serious questions. I am not yet sure I have the full scope of the answers.
And perhaps I don't need them at this point. I'm not sure. I was reminded of one of my favorite Zen koans today when following a link in a favorite Twitter feed: Soulseedz - 5 ways to agree to disagree The other points are well made, but koan goes something like this:
Two monks are walking in silence. They come to a river they must cross only to find a beautiful woman waiting for help to cross. One monk lifts her and carries her across the river and sets her gently on the other side. The monks continue walking, but the second monk grows more and more agitated. He and his travelling companion have both taken oaths which prohibit them from ever touching a woman. An hour or so down the road, the second monk explodes on the first, asking how he could have picked up and carried the woman in violation of the oath. The first monk turns and responds, "Why are you still carrying her? I put her down after crossing the river?"And so I think perhaps I need to stop re-thinking and over-thinking my source of consternation. I need to leave it at the river until we meet again.