A year or so ago, I started a journey that I thought would help me relearn how to be a “thin eater,” a term I learned about twenty years ago in one of the many weight loss systems I’ve tried. It was a program called Diet Breakup and since I was feeling disappointed and upset with myself for having regained a good bit of weight in the last year, it seemed like a good answer. Quit dieting. Quit restricting. Learn to listen to my body and eat what it calls for and the weight will just fall off, right?
Well, it’s been a year and the weight hasn’t fallen off. It would be easy to look at this as failing, but I don’t see it that way. Over the last year, a lot has changed. Here’s a list I’ll start with.
- I haven’t weighed myself in a year. This means that for a full year I’ve avoided the daily “ugh. I can’t believe that number” internal reprimand.
- But I haven’t gained weight either. Doctor’s visits have pointed that out to me.
- I’ve learned to wear clothes I enjoy and that make me feel good.
- I’m no longer willing to keep clothes in my closet “in case” I lose weight and they fit. Clothes will either bring joy or self-judgment and life is too short for anything but joy.
- I’ve learned to challenge myself when I find myself judging someone else for their clothing choices. If I find myself critiquing them, I redirect it to prayer, thanking God for that person and their confidence.
- I’ve learned that I love yoga and that my body feels better when it moves regularly.
- I’ve learned to identify my inner critics. I sent the loudest of them off to Antarctica to smash all the odd and end Mason jars that wind up in people’s cabinets. When she tries to return, I remind her of what her job is and where she needs to be in order to do it and that Antarctica is not in my head..
- I’m no longer tired every single minute of every single day.
- I’ve gotten to know a group of women who deal with some of the same situations and circumstances. I’ve learned that I’m not alone.
- I’ve learned that skinny and healthy are not synonymous. That the up and down of losing-gaining-losing-gaining-losing-gaining does more long term health damage than carrying some extra pounds.
- I’ve learned not to wait “until I’m thin” to do things I want to do.
- I’ve learned that I’m not competitive by nature. I don’t have to be the best. The winner. The smartest, hardest-working, or thinnest.
- I’ve learned that I’m not a black and white person and that I’m very OK with that. I’m very content to stay in my middle-child, middle-ground place and love people on either side of me.
I can’t claim to have arrived at a place where none of these issues ever bother me, but I have more peace about my size and my body than I have in — well — forever, probably. I am me. Lisa Fuller. And I like me. I like the clothes I choose to wear and the way I look. I may never be smaller than this. Some days I’m OK with that; other days I remind myself that my body is strong and capable and that my time and energy are better used when I’m not obsessing about whether or not food is good or bad or if I should or shouldn’t eat it or what my body looks like at this particular moment.
I am so much more than my body. I am kind. I am generous. I am loving. I am intelligent. I am compassionate. I am creative. I am patient. I am understanding. I have a big spirit and a big soul and I’ve always prayed that God would keep my heart soft. Maybe — just maybe — I have a big, soft body because it matches my big, soft soul, spirit, and heart.