Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hope for Tomorrow

On my last post about the food detox I did, that also contained some information about my work with a nutritionist, Debby commented and asked, “Helen, I'm kind of wondering what your thinking is about the work you did with that counselor(?)at your workplace last year, where I think the thought was to be content where you were.”

Normally I would just answer the question within the comments, but my answer is a bit convoluted and I knew as soon as I read that, I would write another post.

Last summer an anti-dieting coach did a 12 week workshop at my place of work.  The emphasis of the whole workshop was to get off the diet bandwagon by learning to love and honor yourself. Her belief is that if you truly do that, you will automatically make better choices regarding food, health, and fitness and your body will follow, putting you at the weight you should naturally be at.

It wasn’t so hard for me to believe, after all, because I live with someone who does not diet and just eats.  He has days when he eats for fuel and he has times when he eats for pleasure. Yet, his weight remains fairly steady and I know it’s because, bottom line, he doesn’t abuse himself with food.

I really enjoyed the workshop and while I didn’t love all the techniques or homework she gave us, for 12 weeks I did not “diet” and while I didn’t lose any weight, I didn’t gain either.  Victory!  

Over the last 8 months I have continued to enjoy the freedom of not being obsessed with food, at all.  I really worked on listening to hunger cues for eating and allowed myself to enjoy treats.  Even over the holiday eating period of Halloween to New Years, I didn’t gain any significant amount of weight, but I didn't lose any either and the plain fact is, I'm overweight.

Now, imagine this:  the entire time that I’m learning to just love myself and appreciate the things my body does for me on a daily basis, I have a constant nagging thought: I wish I could figure out WHY my body won’t allow me to lose weight because I know I will feel better and my health will better if I can drop even just 10% of this weight.

I mean, in my head I know it’s a combination of 10 years of thyroid dysfunction which is now combined with age and muscle loss and menopause.  But I can’t help but wish it could be figured out, because I am overweight.  I haven't looked in a while but I actually think I'm borderline obese by the charts used by professionals.

So this nutritionist comes along and offers to work with me… and I can’t help but want to try.  What if this is the answer and will get me down a few pounds and give me some relief from some of my health issues:  blood pressure, nagging aches and pains in my joints, pain in my lower back, etc.

And that’s why I decided to try.  Plus she promised me no drastic dieting and the first thing she did was ask me to eat more and exercise less. Unfortunately, I just didn’t fit in her plan and I don’t think she knew how to adjust it for me. 

But back to the workshop and the things I learned. I still love and accept myself in a way I didn’t before the workshop – my clothes are indicative of that.  One of the ways I always punished myself was to not buy clothes in bigger sizes and I would squeeze into anything I had.  But over the summer, fall, and winter, I’ve purchased items that fit me properly.  Guess what?  Those clothes don’t make me feel bad, they make me feel better!  The smaller clothes were like a constant guilt noose – not good for the body or the soul.

I got a bunch of gift cards for my birthday and you can bet I will joyfully spend them on beautiful summery clothes, if winter ever leaves here – I refuse to buy any more sweaters or leggings!

Debby, I hope that makes sense… still lots of self love and care going on here and I’m still not “dieting,” but I haven’t given up hope that the answer is out there somewhere.