I, like many women (and a growing number of men) have spent the better part of my life being stressed (and obsessed) about my weight. And the whole time I struggle, I try to tell myself “the number, the scale, the pant size is not what’s important – it’s the heart of me, what I do, who I touch.” Some days, I am able to convince myself that that is true – but so many days, that voice is drowned out by the superficial voice that condemns me to a spiral of self destruction, loathing, and hate.
I have spent the better part of the last two years trying to get myself up at 4:30am so I have time to do an intense 1-hour workout, be it power yoga, P90X, Insanity Asylum, or some other program. In the evenings, I taught power yoga, I joined judo, and I began hiking. And I have made countless weekly plans, reward schemes, attempts to bribe myself to stick to my healthy behaviors.
And the result is that I am still 15-20 lbs heavier (mostly from fat, maybe a few pounds of extra muscle) than where I was when I was first motivated to begin these programs. I have dabbled with local eating, with clean eating, with vegetarian and veganism, and did a stint with Paleo. The problem was, no matter the benefits, I was unable to stick to it. My body clings to homeostasis like dew to the morning grass. I may make it a week or two – sometimes even four – see the scale start to edge down a few pounds… and then it all crumbles, and I have this magical vacuum of a stomach that demands to consume every last calorie that had been withheld from it – usually in the form of pizza, ice cream, and candy bars.
I get mad at myself, make more plans, research new recipes, make new pacts, and try again.
Month after month, year after year.
And then I descend into the pit of, “am I really going to spend my whole life constantly thinking about this? Worrying about it?” I don’t know how to be comfortable in my own skin. To be confident in public. To not constantly compare my body to others’.
And those are probably deeper rooted issues, than merely weight. Perhaps my obsession with my weight is a distraction. An illusion. A tangible object upon which my subconscious has displaced its issues. There clearly is a tie between food and my emotions. I eat when tired; I eat when depressed; I eat when stressed. I crave food when I’m having fun at a movie theater; I want treats if I’m having a tv binge night with my husband; gaming is not the same without “fun foods” near the computer.
So instead of focusing on the surface views of calories, nutrients, an exercise, I want to include more work on my inner self. Clearly, something hasn’t been working. I have been “trying to lose a few pounds” since 2001. And I have managed to do nothing but gain. It is time to try a vastly different approach.
I need to turn inward, and find out what else could fulfill me. What else will make me feel whole, not alone, not lacking? Many turn to faith. I have tried that path before, too. Over 18 years of trying to connect with the Bible. And that also left me more wounded and exhausted in the end. But, as I considered in a previous entry, the Westernized version of the Bible didn’t make sense to me. But a more abstract concept of it did.
I began to read the lessons from the Self Realization Fellowship, and while some of it made me skeptical – and it’s okay to be skeptical! – a lot of it just resonated, sounded right. And they are all about meditation, contemplation, and trying to align yourself with a higher being – whatever you want to call him/her/it.
Perhaps it is time for me to give meditation a true chance; a genuine attempt. To commit to SRF’s 19 week beginning series. And while I do that, I have also started to read The Yoga Sutras on swamij.com, and considering them in more detail than the skimming I did before yoga school. It has some interesting points as well, and incorporates meditation.
While I still want to exercise – as it’s good for my health and stress levels – I don’t want that to be the 100% focus. I need to find a new balance.
Time to break the eating insanity, and find the deeper meaning and causes.