I had a thought

Tuesday morning. If you haven't read the New Orleans post below, go ahead and do that (I'll wait). Done? OK, so here's what I've been thinking lately...

Could it be possible to be happy, healthy, and whole right now, just as I am, without losing a pound? I'm not talking about being a sloth and bingeing whenever I feel like it, I mean getting some exercise most days of the week, developing a regular yoga practice, and eating what I want when I want it but only until I'm not hungry (basically following Geneen Roth's way of thinking). I could never get down to my dream weight of 144 doing that (at least I don't think I could) but I know I could be happy that way.

Restricting calories, strict exercise plans, and the feelings of failure that accompany them when I inevitably "fail" have been my way of life since I was 12 years old. That's 27 years, people. And here's the thing: They haven't worked. I'd love to think that I'll change somehow and they'll start working, but I've watched myself over the last few weeks and I'll be cruising along with the activity portion of things and then I'll try restricting my food and it always triggers a binge. So, what I'm saying is, no more restricting. And it actually sounds pretty OK to me that I will be fat until my dying day as long as I'm getting regular exercise, managing my stress with yoga, and not bingeing.

It was as I was driving home from yoga on Saturday morning that I had the great epiphany: I'm actually pretty darned whole right now, as I'm sitting in this car, my body humming with the exercise and the yoga and the no-more-obsessing about what I'm eating/no-more-forcing myself into tiny portions of food I don't like. And then I remembered the mental picture Gloria had me create in my mind of myself, whole and happy. The picture had always been of me in yoga clothes, slim and serene, but suddenly I saw myself as I am - fat and all - serene and whole. I nearly had to pull over on the freeway because the moment was so powerful and so true. When I'm not obsessing or beating myself up for my dietary transgressions, I'm exactly what I've always dreamed of being.

I have Alcott and he has me. There is nothing - not clothes, not food, not the perfect pair of strappy sandals - that makes me feel as whole as he does. Nothing.

I have a wonderful boyfriend who follows me to New Orleans as a vacation. He stands up in the aisle during our flight because he came back from the bathroom and found me stretched out across both of our two seats, finally asleep. He told me to spend his birthday night at Alcott's first football game because it was once in a lifetime. He coaches youth sports on base and has no children of his own. He is a good man and he loves me and I love him, too.

My job doesn't inspire and excite me any more, but I'm pretty sure I'll be making a change at some point soon and I'm not pushing it right now. Besides, it pays really well and that helps me do the charitable work I want to do, so it all works out.

I love my yoga classes. This is gentle yoga, taught by someone about my size, and I feel totally comfortable in my own skin when I'm there.

The only binges in the last several weeks have come when I've tried to go back to my prepared (low cal) meals on the weekends for lunch or when I wait too long to have dinner (and get that shaky, "starving" feeling). Breakfast is fine, but lunch just makes me feel deprived and then I binge. So, OK, no more of that. I'll do breakfast and lunch during the week and breakfast only on the weekends. Waiting too long to eat has to stop, too, so I need to get some string cheese, fruit, and ready-to-eat veggies for my office - just enough to take the edge off until I can get home and eat.

So, no more elaborate plans with huge expectations (and huge disappointment)...just simple and easy. And, lest you think this is me giving up, I stepped on the scale yesterday just for giggles because I'm feeling soo good that I wondered if there might be a drop and *gasp* there was! I've lost 12 pounds from my all-time high and 2 pounds since I last saw Gloria at the end of September. Again, I'm not worried about the scale, but at least it's headed in the right direction, so I'm taking that as a sign that what I'm doing is good for me.

And that's it right there: It's good for me. Listening to my body, not abusing it with binges or mistrusting it with strict diets anymore, just going with the flow and doing what feels good, well, it's what's right for me right now. I could totally change my mind in a few weeks or months or years, but this is for now, and it makes me happy.


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