Does this even matter?
A few weeks ago, I was laying in bed and my old friend “ NOT ENOUGH” decided to come for a visit.
She wandered into my bed and started filling my head with all sorts of stories about how nothing I do is worth value, how I’m not really helping “ anyone” and thus, not worthy and wasting my time.
Then she told me I should probably find something else to do with my days b/c my current work is of no value.
I put my hand on my heart and on my belly and did some breathing. I rubbed my feet with some oils and I felt her move through my belly . I did NOT push her away or believe her, I did not get mad at her. I invited her to be with me. I did a bit of journaling about where she might be coming from, but to be honest, it did not feel that great, so I put the journal away and went back to reading my super fabulous book ( The Boston Girl, did you read that? Goodness it is amazing!)
I went to turn off the light and go to bed and something told me to check my email.. here’s what I found:
“Wow. Your podcast with Paula really woke me up.
Since I began working with you, I’ve read here and there about your work on intuitive eating and thought “I don’t need that — I’m a healthy weight and eat want my body wants!” Which was true, but as you may recall, that did not mean my body was well. For the last three years, I suffered horribly from migraines. Debilitating. I had headache one out of every three days. And mine had a large gut component. There were serious disturbances. So, yes, I was “thin”, but I was not well. But I thought I was well because I was thin.
Fast forward and recently I have gotten my migraines more under control through a combination of lifestyle efforts and medication. I feel better than I have in years. BUT…I’ve put on weight. Not much, 5–10lb., but enough that I notice. It came on over the holidays mostly and then I spent January and February trying to “be good” (i.e., return to my normal, healthy-ish way of eating with some mindfulness of not indulging too much, but no real restriction of calories or anything). My weight has remained constant.
Instead of thinking, “This is my healthy weight.” (FWIW, it was my weight before kids), I became fixated on losing a few pounds, getting back to “thin.” I noticed a growing irritation with myself for not losing the weight. And that, of course, impacted my relationships. I was more irritable with the kids because I had this nagging feeling of failure and lack of worthiness because I had “failed” to lose the weight.
So, what did I do? Two days ago, I joined Weight Watchers (which I have done “successfully” a few times before). Immediately, the feelings of restriction and anxiety over social situations (there is food there I don’t know the point value of!! Will I binge?!?), the obsession over foods entering my body, the blindness to what my body was asking for and instead feeding it what had the fewest “points.” And, with all that, the twisted feeling of control — the high I imagine anorexics have when they refuse food. ARRRRRGGGHHHHH. But I promised myself it was just for a little while until I could get back down to this mythical number that I thought represented my healthy state. Then I could feed myself.
Then I heard your podcast. Mind blown. Wow. Wow. Wow. I believe everything you and Paula are saying. And yet…and yet…I find myself thinking, well, I can embrace that once I reach my goal weight (yes, I see how twisted that is). Even though I agree with what you are saying, these convictions about weight and health are so so deeply entrenched, I don’t know if I can let them go. Even though I want to. I don’t want the cycle of shame I feel when I my gravitational pull is stronger (LOVE THAT — it makes it clear how very very irrelevant weight is!!!) OR the torture of monitoring every single morsel that goes into my body and the GUILT I feel when I fail. I have been here SO MANY TIMES. And I don’t want to be here. And I don’t ever want my children to be here. But I don’t know how to get from here to there. I think I will start with the Intuitive Eatingbook you recommended and lots of journaling and meditating. But I know it will not be overnight. And, in the meantime, I know I will keep after my “goal weight.” And I know that when I get there, I will try to pretend that everything is OK again, but now I know it is not. I know this is all wrapped up in larger issues of self-worth that I need to continue to address. But I’m aware, and that is the first step. And I want to change, which is the second. And I have a step planned. And I know you have created a supportive community.
So, this is all to say, “thank you” for opening my eyes to the unhealthy patterns that have been governing my self-image that I thought I had conquered because the scale read the right number, but I now realize run much much deeper. I continue to grow stronger each day through the Thrive practices and your podcast. The growth and new connections you talked about really resonated with me — I feel I have grown in so many incredible ways since I first took Thrive, which is incredibly empowering and energizing, but I now see I am being called to go deeper.”
THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO. This incredible, beautiful woman- sharing the TRUTH of challenges and growth and dimensions of culture which we dig into, which we question, which we ask for ourselves- IS THIS TRUE? IS this how I want to feel? Is this what I want to pass on to my children? Does this really matter?
Not much else to say, but YOU KNOW, I woke up SUPER EARLY the next day.. eager to get “ back to work” b/c I KNOW it does matter.
One by one by one by one.. and the Ram Dass quote comes to me, “ We are all just walking each other home.”
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE,