(Originally posted July 18, 2009)
Okay, I stole that line from Loretta LaRoche’s new book, Lighten Up: The Authentic and Fun way to Lose Your Weight and Your Worries. It’s the truth though. Tell me I can’t eat something, or that something is not good for me, and I don’t find it funny at all. Well, except for liver. I could routinely give up liver for Lent (or any other reason/season). I liver was all there was to eat, I would probably learn to appreciate the concept of fasting. That or become a breatharian!
I don’t care what you call it, if you aren’t eating what you want, or you are making choices that don’t make you giddy, it ain’t fun. I no longer am fooling myself (or anyone else) by saying “Oh, I much prefer this sliced up apple to a chocolate chip cookie.” It isn’t true. I can appreciate that the apple is better for me. I can appreciate that the apple has fewer calories. But honestly, if my body processed both the apple and the cookie in the same fashion – I’d pick the cookie every time.
Like a large number of middle aged women and men, I have been on the lookout for the perfect foods for me. You know the ideal concept – things I can eat as much of as I want, which also happen to be the things I want to eat, and still be the weight I want to be (which isn’t what I currently weigh).
I’m still not sure what happened. In high school, I could eat whatever I wanted. My goal was to weigh 100 pounds by the time I graduated. I didn’t make that goal, by the way. I was a little over that goal when I got married. Then I had children. Maintaining a weight of more than 100 pounds suddenly got much easier. When you have younger kids, you are always busy. You are running here, running there, doing this, doing that. You barely have time to cook, much less eat. Sleep? What’s that? But still I was able to maintain my weight at a level where I didn’t feel overweight.
Years go by, and the kids got older, more self sufficient. I went back to work at a job behind a desk, and sat most of the day. Although I was busy, I didn’t get much exercise. Boom – 20 lbs gained. It was getting to the point where I wanted to do something. Something, as long as it did not involve exercise. Surely, I could just alter the food I was eating, and lose weight.
And I did. I feel like I tried most every diet or quick loss eating plan known to man. I’ve done food combining . I’ve done the vegetarian route. I’ve done Atkins. I’ve done NutriSystems. I’ve done point counting with Weight Watchers. I’ve done South Beach. I went back to a vegetarian diet again. I’ve done raw. I’ve done the cabbage soup thing, and the lemon juice, ginger and cayenne thing.
I prayed. I affirmed. I used dream boards. I did every manifestation technique I could come up with. Eventually, I began losing weight. Easily and effortlessly. Cool. I was happy. I maintained that weight loss for about 1-2 years. And then I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperactive thyroid). One of the symptoms is increased metabolism, resulting in weight loss. (Note to self: When affirming easy weight loss, add the phrase “in a healthy manner.”)
Next stop – long term Prednisone to take down the swelling behind my eyes from Graves Eye Disease, and antithyroid medication to return thyroid function to normal (which means metabolism slowed down to ‘normal’). The 20 pounds I lost, came back and brought 20 more with them.
A few days ago, I saw a picture of myself from 5 years ago. Wow, I looked almost too thin. I had an email from a friend I had not seen in 6 or 7 years. She asked if I was still skinny? Who me? Skinny? I didn’t think I’d been skinny since I was in high school. So I did that thing that I’m guessing most middle age women would hate to do. I got naked and looked at myself in a full length mirror. Really looked. Then I shut my eyes tight. Okay breathe, I told myself. Look again, and find things you like. Hey, my calves looked pretty good. I could see some curves in my torso. Hey, there is a waist line there. My ear lobes looked good. My fingers and nails, my hands, my forearms, my upper arms – not so bad. The front of my thighs – check. Not ready to look at the back yet. My face was returning to ‘normal’ (a lot of people develop a roundness to the face and neck when they are on long term steroids – and I was one of them). I am starting to look like me again. Next step, look at things I don’t like. Check that thought – look at things I’d like to change. Yes, that back flab needs to go. I’d like my belly to be flatter. You probably don’t want to read my whole list, so I’ll save you getting to that place of too much information.
I began to look at things I wanted to change. Some, I could do relatively easily – like have my eyebrows shaped. The back fat and the belly, well, those are going to take some work. Am I worth it? Damn tootin’ I am.
Okay, how many of you are now wondering what the metaphysical reason is that I’m not releasing that weight. Oh trust me, I know I’ve looked at all of those aspects as well. Is the extra weight about protection? Is the extra weight about comfort? Is the extra weight about holding on to things too tightly? Is it about not letting go? Is it because we talk about ‘losing’ weight, and thus we have to go ‘find’ it?
I’ve talked with people that have meditated their weight to a level they wanted. I’ve talked with folks that have called on their angels for help and suddenly lost all desires for high calorie foods. I’ve talked with people that have told their bodies they didn’t need the extra protection, and the weight just disappeared over night. I’ve talked with people that have released weight just by clearing their chakras each night. Woo Hoo! And I’ve been disappointed in myself because I have been unable to do the same. What kind of spiritual teacher am I if I cannot put those metaphysical tools to work and achieve results?
You know what kind of person I am? I am someone who does not like to exercise. I don’t like to raise my heart rate to an uncomfortable level. I don’t like to get all sweaty. I don’t like doing aerobics. I don’t like sit ups or crunches. I don’t like bike riding. I don’t like jogging. I don’t even like shopping for special clothes to wear to work out in.
But you know what. I live in a physical body in a 3rd dimensional world. Science does play a role here. Decrease the amount of calories you take in, and increase the amount of calories you expend each day, and you will experience weight loss. Am I going to like the process? Probably not. Will I like the results, probably, okay definitely. Am I ready to commit? Maybe tomorrow………Just kidding. Yes, I’m ready to commit. Wish me luck.
BUT, if you find that miracle plan that allows me to eat carbs and dairy and chocolate and have a beer now and then – please let me know! I do believe in miracles, I do, I do, I do!