Almost everyone has a story about weight in the United States. It's almost like a rite of passage to have the stories of deep wounds from parts of our life where we were either too thick or too thin.
I certainly have mine, here's just one of many photos of chubby Beth. The bangs are certainly not doing me any favors in this situation. The thing is when I found this picture, first I don't remember this particular birthday, but mostly I looked at it with a different lens. I would have normally looked at it and had a flash of happy remembrances, but mostly I would have been like damn I was chubby and then gone into a loop of all the years I spent the chubby kid.
BUT this time on finding the old photo, I observed the scene of a birthday celebration with a family that I am no longer in contact with (divorce happens) and those times with them, that I was chubby and then the thought I DON'T REMEMBER FEELING like the chubby kid. I just remember being a kid. I ate all kinds of horrible 80's "food" - I loved all things salty, sweet, processed. Oreos were number 1 in my book, so were many, many other foods. In this time period I ran around the neighborhood without shoes stubbing my toes, riding my banana seat bike, playing in the woods, playing with neighbors and extended family members. I just remember feeling like a kid. Not a chubby kid. That is a label I picked up later.
Unfortunately, that label I picked up in social cues from other people stuck with me and ruled countless hours of useless talk in my head, meal skipping, calorie counting, and dreadful workouts to tone and sculpt various parts of my body that frankly are not likely to be toned and sculpted unless doing that was my full time job, even then I'm skeptical.
Then came the day when I was 35, it was late spring. I had just showered after another grueling bootcamp class, which I had a love-hate relationship with. I had weighed myself and examined all the extra cushion in the mirror that clearly weren't going anywhere anytime soon, despite all of my hard efforts. As I moved through getting dressed I had a conversation with myself that was different than all the other "you can do it Beth" talks I had had before.
I finally just really accepted myself for who I had become: a 35 year old woman, mother, wife, and working professional. I told myself I was only going to exercise for the sake of it just making me feel human, not because of the way it would make me look. I was going to eat only because it fueled EVERYTHING I have to do in a day, not because of the way it would make me look. The food for fuel talk in my head was a long, hard one.
But I surrendered fully into what food is really for: fuel, survival, pleasure. Most other aspects of food makes you a slave to it, and I was done being a slave to food. This talk set me free and I shed about 6 pounds of emotional baggage over the next 2 months without doing a damn thing different. Well, I think I started eating the whole avocado instead of just a quarter.
Sure, we've all the you can do it talk with ourselves for the umpteenth time. But have you really BELIEVED it? You can't just think it, you have to believe it and live it.
What thoughts are holding you back?