Bah. Here’s what I woke up with, the doldrums baby. Two days without exercise, exceeding my calorie limit last night at a Mexican restaurant even when eating no cheese, no guac, and choosing soup, minus the tortillas, had me sullen and discouraged. I’ve been thinking a lot, about calories, about exercise, about the role of food in my life and why it’s so hard to lose weight. I read a girls blog about losing weight the other day, and at the end of one particular post, about a day in which she ate too much, came the heart-wrenching comment, “I hate myself, I hate my (expletive) self, I hate myself.” I was saddened for her, but I could relate. It was a raw emotion that she courageously shared with the world, and I asked myself, “Why is this such a huge problem for so many women?”
I saw a dear friends Facebook status this morning, she posted, “Trying to get motivated to start eating healthy and working out again! I know what I need to do to get fit, but feel like my mind is not in it!!” This friend is one that I admire, she is self-controlled about food, has lost 40 lbs or so and kept it off, she encourages me, and so I called her, because I felt the same. We ended up encouraging one another, but there were some real questions we both had about weight. For instance, why, when we look back at our lives and remember a time when we were successful at losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, do we remember feeling dissatisfied about ourselves? It seems like there is no arrival place when it comes to women and a state of positive body image.
I started to think more about this and wondered about the inner man. Could it be that we are feeding the inner man, the spiritual man (woman) with one of two things?? We all, save a small percent, feed our spirit with either the loss of weight/idolatry OR the indulgence of food. We were created to love and live with a passionate heart and so many times it gets lost in the world of food. We hide there, from the past, from the future, from ourselves. It is a journey, a hard journey, and we must first master the art of just being, before we can master the art of moderation and food. Food has to become a benign parallel in our lives. The bu guan xin, a spiritual indifference, literally meaning, “no relationship to the heart.” That is my journey. At any weight, I want my joy to be in LIFE, in GOD, in FAMILY, in things that last. Our satisfaction should be drawn from a deeper place.
What does this cost me? I could come up with a millions excuses not to do this.
-Morbid obesity runs rampant in my family, it’s in my genes.
-Food is much too comforting to lose. (scary)
-It’s going to be too hard to watch everything I eat.
-I’m happy, I don’t need to lose weight to be happy. (lie)
-Statistics don’t lie:
“By some estimates, more than 80 percent of people who have lost weight regain all of it, or more, after two years. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed 31 long-term diet studies and found that about two-thirds of dieters regained more weight within four or five years than they initially lost.” -Gretchen Voss Women’s Health Magazine.
Two-thirds. UGH. I don’t like that. I very strongly dislike that. I have to believe that again, if I’m not trying, I’m dying. I also have to believe that losing weight is NOT the end goal. The end goal for me, is to find that place where food’s comfort is no longer a source for me. A source of anything other than energy to be whatever it was I was put here on earth for. Bu guan xin, I become indifferent to it, there is no relationship to my heart. I hope that as I lose I will also grow, in spirit and courage. I will learn to live without the need for overindulgence, I will lose weight and learn to live more independently of empty things. So that when I get near my goal weight I won’t be left empty…without the loss of weight to reward me, nor the indulgence to appease me. I will be ok, I will just BE. This, is my prayer.