The first time I felt in control of my heroin was after I had Amelia. When I was perfect to a T with diet and lost 80 lbs. But I remember going past my Flex points one day after 7 months of complete perfection. I was really upset. Oddly upset. Crying. I called a friend and "confessed" it. I wanted her to tell me I was still okay. That I wouldn't get fat again. And that moment was the beginning of my obsession with "losing weight." If I stayed on plan- it was a good day. If I went over my points- it was a bad day. It was my religion. I had no real sense of contentment or "goodness" unless I was in control of my eating. I was not enough until I reached "goal." I was not enough.
And so I read this...
"Can you remember a time, perhaps when you were very young, when life as it was- just the fact that it was early morning or any old day in summer- was enough? When you were enough- not because of what you looked like or what you did, but just because every thing was the way it was. Nothing was wrong. When you were sad, you cried and then it was over. You were back to a fundamental feeling of positivity, of goodness just because you were alive. What if you could live that way now? And what if your relationship to food was the doorway?"
What? No, but see I'm fine. I just have to lose 10 lbs. It's not a big deal.
"No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul."
Oh shit. Now I gotta be all crazy-inner-healing-praying-girl. I mean, I pray. But I don't "deal." Dealing with pain, emotional pain, makes me want to bolt. I'd rather eat grass. Do 100 jump squats. Hold a plank for 20 mins. Diet.
"Dieting was like praying. It's a plaintive cry to whoever was listening: I know I am fat. I know I am ugly. I know I am undisciplined, but see how hard I try. See how violently I restrict myself, deprive myself, punish myself. Surely there must be a reward for those who know how horrible they are.....Making the decision to stop dieting was like committing heresy, like breaking a vow that was never supposed to be broken. It was like saying, 'You were wrong, God. You were wrong, Mom. I am worth something.'"
And so the realization hits me hard: I fill my life with goals to distract myself from being present. Because if I'm working toward a "goal," I can be swept up in that task. And not deal.
Geneen Roth tells the women at her retreats:
"I tell them that ending the obsession with food is all about the capacity to stay in the present moment. To not leave themselves. I tell them that they don't have to make a choice between losing weight and doing this."
Ding! Ding! Ding! My first thoughts on reading this book was that this lady was going to tell me to embrace my thighs, stop caring about weight loss and like me. And that kind of thinking makes me feel like I can't breathe. My obsession with weight loss (whether its fruitful or not) fills me. It gives me meaning. I know. Sounds ridiculous. But hey- I was successful! I did it 4 years ago! And hell, I'm only 7 lbs from where I was 4 years ago. But I just..can't...get...there. It's like it's just sitting out of reach and I can't do it. And so what do I do? Well, another project of course. Yeah. If I get all hard core and shoot to be a figure competitor then I'll have to lose the weight. I'll have no choice. And so I get obsessed with figure competing.
"Obsession gives you something to do besides having your heart shattered by heart-shattering events.... It creates a parallel world, a hologram of emotions, passions, breathtaking reversals. It gives you the illusion of feeling everything without having to be vulnerable to anything. In the drama of obsession, you are the star, the costar, the director, the producer....Obsession is a way of organizing our lives so that we never have to deal with the hard part-the part that happens between two years old and dying. We compulsive eaters wouldn't have an obsession with food if we believed that life was tolerable without it."
You know where this is going. But I cannot have a realization like this and still be consumed with my "project." And so I'm doing it. I'm quitting. Fuck figure competitors! Nah, just kidding. Fuck projects. Fuck anorexia of the soul. Life is too short. In some ways I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. In other ways I feel terrified of not losing those last pounds. Losing ground. Being a quitter. A flake. And I fear that some of you are thinking that I'm just being lazy and using this book to give me a ticket out of this figure thing. I fear a lot. I can be a very paranoid girl.
So what's my theme? My goal? What am I doing? You know, bloggers have to have goals. You have to be onto something. Doing something. And then post pics of it.
I am doing nothing.
Absolutely nothing. I mean, I'm going to be here. I'm going to ramble. I still love fitness. I still love mochas. But I can't, with any presence of mind, be a figure competitor right now. The perfection of diet and hard workouts are counterproductive to being "enough," because you're only striving towards changing yourself.
I want to deal with my need for distraction. Hell, I have no idea what "dealing" looks like. I've been through years of therapy that never touched this food stuff. But I feel strongly in my gut that I read this book at the time I needed to. And I want to be present. For myself. My husband. My kids. I just want to enjoy life because I can and I deserve to. I want to be enough.