A few years ago, I received a letter from someone who’d included a Weight Watchers ribbon on which was embossed I LOST TEN POUNDS. Underneath the gold writing, the letter writer added, “And I Still Feel Like Crap.”
We think we’re miserable because of what we weigh. And to the extent that our joints hurt and our knees ache and we can’t walk three blocks without losing our breath, we probably are physically miserable because of extra weight. But if we’ve spent the last five, twenty, fifty years obsessing about the same ten or twenty pounds, something else is going on. Something that has nothing to do with weight.
Geneen Roth, Women Food and God
I am in my mid thirties now. I have been dieting or thinking about dieting, or looking for another way to lose weight for 30 years. It’s a long time for something still not to have solved my problems. So when I read this passage in Geneen Roth’s book, it felt like the sky had lit around me. It’s NOT about the weight, But it’s NOT NOT about the weight. For me, it is an issue, but it is an issue resulting out of another issue.
It’s easy to blame weight. It’s physically there, visible for all to see. It is perceived as a marker as to how successful/in control/owning of willpower you are. And folk like Katie Hopkins are adamant and vocal in the belief that weight loss is a simple problem to be solved, by eating less and moving more, and perpetuate that belief freely and with little resistance.
But if the weight isn’t falling away simply, in spite of years of attempting to lose pounds and stones, it is surely logical that something else is going on? Some resistance to the idea of less food, to a smaller size?
8 years on from my first discovery of intuitive eating, I’m lighter, but not all the way there. I figure I am an onion, with layers and layers to peel away. At the moment, reading Geneen Roth is bringing hope and confidence that I am not a problem that needs to be fixed, but rather a human in need of self care and understanding. Food does not provide the care that I have believed, and mindfulness and awareness are more important than the first grab of a handful of crisps when things are uncomfortable.
Going to keep reading. It’s a good book.
But for someone like me, it isn’t that simple. It is a challenge I have been facing for 30 years