A weird thing happened this week. Martin and I went to The Cheesecake Factory after a long day of walking, shopping, and not eating, and your girl was walking the line between hangry and homicidal. The bread basket came and if you had seen how fast I was on that pumpernickel loaf you’d wonder how I’ve never won a race before (new race strategy formulating…). Then the fried mac n cheese came and it was deeeelish and also way more than I expected. So by the time my super delightful and oh-so-healthy meal came, I was already chock full o’ carbs and unable to eat it (but I sure as hell tried anyway!). Afterward, I was uncomfortably full. I remained that way for the rest of the night, and the next morning when I thought I was actually going to have to get someone to cut the rings off of my sodium-laden sausage fingers.
Then I realized something, and when it really hit me, maybe I should have been upset or a little disappointed with myself for over-eating, because I then realized how long it had been since I’d eaten to the point of discomfort. But here’s the thing, I wasn’t upset. I was actually so proud of myself. It used to sometimes be a more-than-weekly occurrence that I’d eat so much that not only was I extremely uncomfortable, but it would negatively impact how I felt about myself for days afterward. It would lead me to berating myself for having no control, no will power. Then I’d try really hard to make up for it by either over-exercising, or severely restricting calories the following day. These things never work. These things always backfire.
It has been a very long time since these binges were at their worst. I’ve also come to realize that it probably wasn’t even the binges themselves that were bad, just the mentality I had and the energy I expended worrying about food and hating myself for food. Because I have taken certain steps to stop this cycle, such as being aware of my emotions and mentality, practicing self-love and forgiveness, and allowing myself to celebrate victories that may not show up on the scale, I have also completely changed my mindset about my own health and wellness, and I wasn’t even completely aware of it happening
Over the past 8 months, I have lost about 9 pounds. For that amount of time, that is not a lot. It’s been a slow, sometimes grueling, and often frustrating process, but as they say, the time passes anyway, so what’s the rush? I have tried as hard as possible to make sure that I am never making myself miserable in the name of health and more importantly, wellness. How backwards is it to spend so much time making yourself miserable in the pursuit of being happier with yourself? How can one cultivate self-love by living in a daily routine of self-hatred? There have been times when I have felt like I really messed up (eating and otherwise) and it has taken a huge, concentrated effort to not only tell myself, but to believe: It’s going to be okay. I am not my mistakes, and I have every reason to carry on my own path, without punishment, and without self-loathing.
The truth is, we become our habits, our practices, our processes; we cannot simply wish to be – whether that wish is to be healthy, to be happy, or to just find peace within ourselves. When I have closed my eyes and thought “It. Is. O. K. You. Are. O. K.”, I didn’t know that I was cultivating an entirely new perspective on myself. It was a small step. I just took it over and over and over again, and once I finally looked up from the gravel below my feet, it turned out that I was somewhere completely new.
It is beautiful here.