Here’s a picture of my pretty Tracey. Isn’t she sooooo cute with the white spots on her cheeks? I was going to post a picture of my budgies eating, since this blog is about food, but I didn’t have very good photos. I’m often too busy to take a picture, as I’ll sit there and eat my part of an apple or cucumber or whatever, while they nibble their piece. We share meals that way, in our household!
So, food. I was going to tell you about my new freedom. It’s really rather remarkable that after decades of learning and growing, starting with an eating disorder that first manifested at age 17, I have arrived at peace. Those of you who read this blog regularly, will know about it, for the rest of you I’ll quickly summarise: I’ve not had compulsive eating behaviour since I was around 30, and I never did fad diets, but I did watch my food and there’s no denying I was always happier when I lost weight than when I gained it.
All in all, my weight was stable until three years ago, when I suddenly put on quite a lot over a relatively short time, and without compulsive eating. You’ve also read about my speculations as to why this has happened. I have once again introduced healthier food, mostly organic, as little as possible processed, but the weight hasn’t shifted.
Now, to set this straight: I’m not overweight in any medical definition. I used to be a lot slimmer, although I was never model-skinny; I always had curves. Now I’ve gone up about two clothes sizes and people who didn’t know me before 2010, think of me as fairly normal-sized. For me, the issue has been that I KNEW my body slimmer, and my clothes don’t fit anymore (sigh at those skinny jeans). So I kept on trying.
And now, quite simply, I’ve had enough. I’ve decided that life’s too short and that while I’m healthy, I may as well just enjoy my food. I also decided that I LIKE not feeling bad or thinking of the extra pound I might put on when I eat something rich. Almost symbolically, my bathroom scales broke a few months ago and I haven’t replaced them.
This is not about healthy eating, or getting into shape, or advice of any kind. It’s my personal journey and the point I’ve arrived at is pure enjoyment. I eat what I like. Thankfully I like a lot of things that are good for me; plain, whole food. Sometimes I eat something processed if I fancy it. For the very first time in my entire life, I don’t judge it or feel anything other than pleasure.
At the same time, I’ve stopped looking at my body with a critical eye. I’ve instead replaced the words I used to think with “lush”, “curvy”, and “voluptuous”, and you know what? I love my body. It’s pretty much the most awesome body ever. It works, it makes me feel good, it carries me through my life, day by day, without fail.
How long has it taken me to arrive at this? Just over 25 years. That might not sound very encouraging for those struggling with their relationship with food and their bodies, but think of it this way: Most people struggle their entire lives, and compared to that, 25 years doesn’t sound so bad. Also, I have felt pretty happy for most of that time. My compulsive eating behaviour disappeared about 15 years ago. I’ve been able to enjoy food. It’s the total freedom of eating what I like and not even wondering what I might weigh, that’s new these days.
So, that’s my journey, and it turns out it made for a rather long blog post. I hope with all my heart that it’s encouraging to those who still struggle, rather than off-putting. The journey is beautiful too, but the arrival, I have to say, is blissful. Yay!
News From The Tribe
Sue wrote this incredible post about surrendering last week. It’s so full of wisdom in a world where we’re often encouraged to do, do more, try harder, push forward… I truly recommend you read it.
Crystal blogs about green living. I particularly loved this article about criteria you might not have thought about which make a place to live greener. Check it out!