One of the most challenging things when you have a public weight loss journey is to meet people you know online in person. When the perfectly well-intentioned “I’m in Sydney, let’s have coffee” invitation appears in my inbox, my first reaction is to decline. Not because I’m anti-social (just a little shy) but because I worry that the person will think I’m fatter and less toned than they imagine. Dragons I thought were dead turn out to be only dormant and awaken from their slumber to spew forth their fire of self-hatred and doubt.
This is not a new phenomenon, it has happened to me at every weight — even at 50 something kilos I hesitated to meet readers of my blog because I never looked ‘perfect’. I still regret never meeting the outrageously wonderful Kitty in person because I was in the grip of bingeing and felt too fat to leave the house.
So not wanting to repeat my past mistakes, I gathered up my courage and ventured out to have lunch yesterday with the gorgeous Mish.
Despite all my fears, our first meeting was like catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We talked fluidly, candidly and openly like we had known each other for years. I am glad I went.
Of course the conversation turned to weight loss and Mish talked of the idea of the free zone. She said that there is a zone between achieving a weight that is impossible to maintain without constant starvation and restriction and the other end of the spectrum where you eat what you want but feel out of shape and heavy. The free zone is that place where you practice honouring your body by making healthy food and exercise choices and settle at a size that takes a little mindfulness without total obsession.
I think it’s time to go there. I want to go to the free zone. I can no longer wait for the gurus of intuitive eating’s promise that once I’m in a happy place my excess weight will just melt away. I have to do something practical, sensible and sustainable.
Katie, now’s a great time to:
1. Give thanks that life is… just as it is (and that it’s been… just as it’s been). Because of it, you’re now “READY.”
2. Define what you want in terms of the end result. Don’t worry about the hows, or even the course. KNOW that what you want is ALREADY yours in spirit, by divine LAW, just focus on the certainty of this ownership, understand it, claim it, and “it will be on earth, as it is in heaven (spirit).”
3. LET THE UNIVERSE show you the way via your impulses and instincts that appear as you take inspired action. Don’t worry that your first steps seem silly or futile. And if you don’t know what to do, do anything! Go! Get busy! Do not insist on intermediary successes, only upon the end result.
2011 is going to be your year (it already is),
My inspired action looks nothing like the days of old. There is no daily weighing or calorie counting and no 2 hour sessions in the gym.
♥ I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full (which I already do) but I make healthy choices as often as I can without feeling deprived.
♥ I move my body in a way that I enjoy (swimming, yoga, walking, light weights) 3 x a week.
♥ I aim to lose 1 kg a month for 12 months.
♥ If I hate doing any of the above, or I get freaky stupid about food or exercise I get to change my mind without feeling like a quitter or a failure. Happiness will not sacrificed on the altar of body image.
I do honestly love and accept myself the way I am right now 90% of the time, and if I had to stay this size for the rest of my life I would learn how to deal with the other 10% when I feel fat and heavy. But the time has come to take back the power my disordered eating has taken away from me.
I no longer want to fear watching what I eat, exercising or seeing how much I weigh because it will make me spiral into starving, over-exercising and bingeing. I don’t want anything to have that power over me.
I do want to be and look fit, and take better care of my body. I think the free zone is a place I could live.
The best thing is I feel excited about making these small changes and none of it feels like work. After all, I’ve had 5 years practice and in comparison to my former methods, this is a walk in the park.
Oh, and I have a star chart … I fucking love a star chart!
PS — thanks Mish xx