I am losing weight. And I am happy. But I am not happy simply because I’m losing weight. I’m happy because I know I am so many more things than a number on the scale. When I read of people “falling off the wagon” my heart goes out to them. Because I remember those days. Those sad days when everything revolved around following a diet plan to the letter, yet craving so much and feeling I was missing out on wonderful foods. Those feelings that I would always be on a diet and how would I cope? When would life get better so I could eat what I wanted all the time?
Discovering the powerful message of Intuitive Eating was a godsend to me. It freed me from those negative beliefs I’d learnt from the various diet stresses I’d experienced, and allowed me to learn about food in a new, positively affirming way. But I also learnt and heard so much about myself, and finally I can accept these messages wholly. I am more than a number on a scale. When that number changes, I am still the same person. And I am good enough, wherever I am, whatever size I am, whatever my food choices, whatever my activity level.
I have learnt something else about myself recently though. I need some sort of structure. I still don’t feel I am capable of making the food choices that satisfy me physically, emotionally and mentally, and with that I need a little help.
But for several reasons it feels easy and I feel content. While I am employing some sort of structure in my food planning and eating at the moment, I am allowing myself the foods I enjoy. I am taking the time and effort to cook tasty foods, and this is satisfying my creative and nurturing side. I’m enjoying the fact that my whole family is sitting down in the evening and eating the same meal. Some have been hits, some slightly “meh”, but I’ve been cooking for us all. None of this “I need to eat differently because I’m on a diet and can’t have everything you can have”. I am feeling better physically. I sleep through the night, and feel i have a bit more energy. And some medical issues are lessening.
I won’t lie. The thought of dropping a dress size does give me a buzz! And there’s nothing wrong with that. But being able to move with more energy and agility, being able to play around with my kids for longer, those things matter more. Not feeling generally unwell and exhausted a lot of the time, not feeling physically limited…. These are the things I want to see the back of.
If I had never found Intuitive Eating or Beyond Chocolate I don’t think I would be where I am now. I believe I would be on the constant merry go round of dieting for weight loss, because in my head, weight loss would still solve all my problems. And it does eliminate some things, as I’ve said. But it doesn’t change the world, and it doesn’t solve everything.