Trusting my body

This is quickly becoming one of those weeks, where I wish I could press the rewind button and start it all over. However as we all know life doesn’t quite work like that, so all we can do is carry on and do the best that we can to maintain sanity in the midst of madness. Part of me maintaining my sanity is making time for me, oddly enough that includes taking time every day to write whether it is in my journal or in this humble little space. Today I am in this space.

While the list of things I could bitch about is ever growing, I realized a few days ago that actually there is a bright spot. Earlier this year, I gave up my relationship with Weight Watchers; don’t get me wrong Weight Watchers didn’t do me wrong in anyway. Hell, I actually took off almost 50 pounds with WW and maintained that loss for several years until I got sloppy by their standards and eventually I gained back almost 20 of the 50 pounds.

I had planned to get back together with Weight Watchers this year but found myself resistant; the truth is I wanted to learn to trust my body to make right choices without concern about points or that dreaded weekly meeting. It’s been a journey this year as I embraced the idea of intuitive eating and trusting that my body will make the right choices.

Well after months of feeling stalled and wondering if my body didn’t know how to trust itself, all of sudden it seems my body has gotten the memo that she is a capable being who can choose what and when to eat and doesn’t need the weekly meeting or those points. I don’t know exactly when this all started to happen, but I know that I am no longer freebasing desserts daily, a simple dark chocolate square is often all I want when I feel the need for something sweet.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I baked exactly one pie, and in the end I had one slice of that pie and ended up throwing away almost half a pie. Oddly enough I didn’t feel any which way about that either. I find my body craving more fruits and veggies than ever before as evidenced by the fact that I was way more enthusiastic about the vegetarian café that opened up near my job, than I ever would have thought it possible.

I don’t step on the scale often, but I do know that all of a sudden my bigger clothes, the ones I reluctantly bought this fall now have room in them. After realizing that all my large clothes have room, I did break down and step on the scale and was pleasantly surprised. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, last year I read several of Geneen Roth’s books and learned about intuitive eating and knew that initially it would be an adjustment, one that might even cause the numbers to rise but that eventually my body would find its sweet space…guess we are heading to the sweet spot.

In the end who knows what all this means, but I admit I am digging my veggies, yoga and walking, now if I could get my seven year old to join me in the veggie love. Then again maybe I need to trust that her body will guide her and that eventually she will want to eat good healthy foods and lose her love for all things meaty and swine. Trusting my own body might actually be easier than trusting my child’s body, but that is a post for another day.

Oops, I did it again! Return of the chipmunk

A little bit of cockiness combined with taking my eye off the prize has bit me in the ass once again. Oh I can blame this or that, but the truth is I got cocky and sloppy and last night I got confirmation from the Spousal Unit, I have gained weight or to use our code which means red alert “Your cheeks are starting to look a tad chipmunk like”.

I admit last night I fell into a restless sleep asking myself what went wrong. I practice yoga several times a week and while it won’t take a ton of pounds off, I do some walking as well. I eat relatively well, had been maintaining my weight more or less except for a few extra pounds but clearly I have crossed the line.

Then it hit me! Back late last year when my dreams to move my agency to larger and nicer location became a reality and a lot of hard work, I fell into some old traps. Not eating properly, skipping meals and my old nemesis, portion control. The old, well I didn’t really eat breakfast so I will eat a larger lunch. I realized I have been doing that more than I care to admit, of course I know skipping meals is never a great idea but I didn’t think I had been doing it that much. Add in the fact that my office is now mere steps away from a pizzeria that gives a generous discount, yeah, it didn’t take long to figure out where I went wrong. I admit though that having stopped my weekly baking habit as well as giving up calorie laden coffee drinks, I figured I was all good to go. The truth is I set myself up for this plain and simple. Also after year of working with no snacks at my desk, I must confess at this moment, there is an organic chocolate bar, a bag of granola and a bag of hot chips in my desk.

I have toyed with going back to Weight Watchers in the past, where I hold a lifetime membership and this morning I realized I really need to go back. Weight Watchers does one thing for me that I know I need help with and that is accountability. Something about paying $12 a week to be weighed by someone who won’t let me explain away the numbers is what I need at this moment. Based off my visit to the bathroom scale, I would say I have 20 lbs to say good bye to, while part of me is saddened about this, the truth is I have not gained back even half of the almost 50 pounds I took off some years ago. So despite this set back to the land of chipmunk cheeks, it’s okay, weight loss and maintenance like much of life is a journey, sometimes it’s good and sometimes….well you just look for the next day.

I have been public over the years in sharing my struggle and journey with my weight but I admit I didn’t plan on sharing this, I felt a bit of shame. Yet this morning when I realized I felt shame, I knew that was more a reason to share, to keep myself honest. Hell, most of us at some point in life gains weight, shit happens. Now let me get back to my tasty salad!

The struggle to accept my body in 2011

This post will conclude my public review of 2011…come on; ya know I can’t share everything! 2011 has been good in many ways, professional growth, dealing with old demons and a host of other things. There is one area though where 2011 wasn’t quite as good and that’s my body! After losing damn near 50 pounds and keeping it off for several years, my weight situation came to a head in 2010 thanks to what turned out to be double hernia repair surgery. What was supposed to be a quick fix and move on situation, had me laid up damn near six weeks and for months afterward I was still physically limited. You know the song…I gained weight.

I pretty much gained the weight while laying around, relaxing on pain pills spending too much time indulging in bad television and snacking. I figured as soon as I was back to full mobility, I would drop the weight. It didn’t happen and somewhere along the way after years of being a devoted member of Weight Watchers, I got tired of the weekly weigh in drill and said fuck it! Weight Watchers can be a good program, but I feel that it’s a crutch, for me the idea of weekly weigh- ins and tracking every morsel I put into mouth for the rest of life is frankly depressing.

So for the first time in heaven knows how many years, I have seen very little of Weight Watchers this year. Yay for me! Or maybe not! I am approximately 15 pounds over my “goal” weight according to those handy charts that tell you what you should weigh and I am struggling. On the one hand, I seem to have stopped the weight gain, for many months now I have maintained my current weight, I strive to eat decently and occasionally even move my ass. I admit work and family get in the way of my desires to move.  It seems the downside of living in a small town/city is that most exercise classes are pretty much offered in the evening, same time I am at home trying to get in quality time and dinner with the six year old.

I am a big believer in self-care and certainly taking care of my physical needs is self-care however as the parent of a small child, I am simply not comfortable being gone 1+ hours in the evening. Especially because on days I work from the office rather than from home, we have exactly 3 hours together. Some may say I am making it harder than it needs to be, but I know my child and considering her intensity, we need our time together. Instead I take a morning yoga class and try to sneak out for the occasional evening class but it most certainly isn’t weekly. Granted my yoga practice is more mental and spiritual than physical.

So I have been in a funk over the body, since this extra 15 pounds has gone straight to my ass, hips and lower belly necessitating the need to go up a few sizes. Growl. Lately though I have been pondering the mental issues of weight gain, why does my personal opinion of myself dip if I gain weight or soar if my weight dips. Am I not the same person regardless of my size? Mentally this makes sense but emotionally I am struggling.

I end 2011 not with the goal of losing this weight but with a desire to make peace with this body that houses my soul. To know that I am more than a set of numbers either on a scale or the tag of a blouse, to accept that who I am does not change just because I have a little more padding. I am tired of having my self worth tied into my appearance. Just as I struggle to accept my weight, it’s starting to hit me that I am aging. In my mind, I am still that lithe 20 year old, but that body does not exist. I admit in a society that prizes youth, accepting that one is aging can be hard. But again, am I not more than this physical container?

The older I get I am convinced that true wellness starts with our minds and rather than fretting over my physical state, I want to get my mind right and trust that my body will do what it needs to do when it’s ready to do it. In the meantime, I accept and acknowledge that it is a struggle.  So maybe in the end 2011 wasn’t as hard on my body as I initially thought.