Betrayed by My Body: The overly dramatic saga continues! First I sneeze upside down and blow chunks (thank you to all of you who suggested using my neti pot to help get the stomach bile out of my sinuses – it is a fab idea and I’ll save it for next time although I sincerely hope there will be no next time), then I get another corneal abrasion from wearing my contacts too much forcing me to wear my nerd glasses and now I get attacked by own stiletto! (You should have seen Jelly Bean’s face) I mentioned before in my State of the Eating Disorder Address that while I’m doing really pretty awesome that I still struggle with some of the disordered thoughts.
Recently a blog friend e-mailed me about how to start her own journey with Intuitive Eating and as I was writing my response, I found myself repeatedly getting stuck on one thought: I am not happy with my happy weight. Before anyone worries that I’m falling off the IE wagon, this is just a recurring (and depressing) thought that I have. I’m not dieting nor doing anything else to try and lose weight. I know the problem is in my head, not my body. What I’m looking for is help accepting the shape and weight that my body has decided it likes best.
One of the very first things Geneen Roth tells you about Intuitive Eating is that your body is going to pick the weight that it feels healthiest and happiest at, not your mind. She warns from the beginning that part of IE is learning to accept that and that continually striving to be unnaturally thin (for you) will not only be an exercise in frustration but impossible with IE. As I’ve gone through this process I’ve kind of tried not to think about this part – hoping, I guess, that either my body would suddenly decide to do what I want it to or else that my mind would come around and agree with my body. So far neither has happened.
On one hand, when I reported that after 1 year of eating intuitively my weight was within 1 pound of what it was when I started, I felt like that was a coup. No measuring, tracking or being overly anal about what I ate (wow that’s an unpleasant image) and I maintained my weight! On the other hand, one year later I was still at the same weight. I wasn’t surprised as my clothes all fit the same and yet there was a twinge of disappointment. I exercise! I eat healthy! Shouldn’t that give me carte blanche to make my body into any shape I want it? No? That’s not how it works??
Of course that’s not how it works. So here’s where I need help. I’m about ten pounds over my “ideal” weight and I’m not going to try and change that. My body is healthy, I’m happy and relatively sane and I get to eat salted caramel pretzel ice cream which is the best ice cream ever. Let me be clear: I see this as a great success and I have no intention of ruining it. And yet I still can’t seem to let this one thought go. Every time I see a girl I wish I looked like, every time I overeat (it happens), every time I try on yoga pants that aren’t black and realize again how unflattering yoga pants are to my thighs, it’s there in the back of my head: this idea that everything would be better if I were just 10 pounds thinner.
Sure sitting down every time I eat is hard (and I’ll be honest, I break that rule a lot) and that whole stopping eating when I’m full business can be really tricky (I don’t care if I’m full, I want jelly beans!!) but by far the hardest rule of IE for me is learning to be happy with my happy weight.
Is this one of those things that just takes time? Does it get easier with age? Do motivational sayings help you? Does talking about it help or make it worse? I realize that by posting this I run the risk of giving some of you similar thoughts. I sincerely hope that my asking for help doesn’t cause you to have more problems. I am in no way advocating disordered thinking but figuring this out is really important to me and this is why:
She copies everything I do. And I pray she won’t learn this from me.
Any of you struggle with accepting your natural weight and shape too? How do you deal with this? What’s your fave ice cream flavor?