I was content to keep weighing myself. Despite the fact that the scales have not moved much in a year. I was content to believe that I needed that external monitoring, because I can’t be trusted to rely on myself. I mean, look at me, overweight, unsuccessful dieter. Letting go of that external monitor to tell me that at least I’m not gaining weight, it would be a mad idea for this untrustworthy woman.
But then Geneen Roth, in her kindness and her wisdom, called me into my body, and pointed out who I was listening to when I believed that I can’t be trusted. She calls it The Voice. That authoritarian voice that points out all the flaws it perceives, that reminds me of all the things that are wrong with me, that reminds me moment after moment how I am incapable of change and progress and success.
And she showed me how The Voice is not me. It is a lying critic, born out of childhood memories of chastisement and hurt.
Calling me into my body, with the belly meditation was a first step to calling me home. I think, in general, we are used to going through our day on auto pilot. To become aware of internal sensations in silence and for a dedicated time is a powerful thing. Or it was for me. To feel my breath, my lungs expand, my tummy rise and fall. To notice my fingers tingle as I breathed deeply. To inhabited my body with awareness, after being separated for what feels like the longest time, is an altering thing. And I admit, I was sceptical. While I love it, I still scoff with embarrassment at naval gazing activities. And a belly meditation was no different. But already, in two days, it feels a valuable tool in coming back and finding myself and finding my calm.
Back to The Voice. It’s an interesting thing to become aware of. Because it does sound like me. And I thought it was me. And maybe it is easier to distinguish as something else, now that my depression seems to be blurring away. I can hear that inner critic and know, that like depression, it is a liar. Today, on going to weigh myself, and discovering that, oh, I’ve gained after a weekend of food and drink, that Voice said loudly to me “You need to keep weighing, because look, you gain so quickly. You can’t honestly trust yourself to lose weight without it. And you’ve attempted to lose weight without diets so many times before, why should this time be any different? Keep weighing. You know, just in case.”
And I could believe ever word. Because it all sounds so reasonable. But then I realised. It is criticising me, and robbing me of my own strength. Stealing any self belief. “You can’t honestly trust yourself…”
I have decided to call bullshit. And I have decided I am going to trust myself! I am going to keep coming back to my body. I am going to keep practising mindfulness, and I am going to keep going to those feelings, and sit with them, and let them happen.
It might not work. I might be unsuccessful yet again. But while I continue to listen to The Voice, I’ve lost before I’ve started. And a year of weighing has made virtually no difference to my weight. So The Voice is already wrong!