Like I was pretty unsure that I even wanted to write this post.
And <heavy sigh>
Until two very dear and wise souls reminded me that it wasn’t just about me.
You may have seen me mention before that, for coming up on three years now, I have given up dieting, for a focus on better health and intuitive eating. I felt I had ventured into orthorexia territory, and I had to acknowledge that my obsessive and downright irrational thoughts around food – like being scared of fruit, for instance — just weren’t working for me anymore.
But I have a big event coming up this summer. You know… one of those milestone celebrations we tend to want to look our best and make an impact for, like weddings, graduations, reunions, and other such occasions. I was dearly, oh, so strongly tempted to want to ignore and manipulate my body signals and try to change its shape and size again.
But I am also becoming even more firmly attached to my new way of thinking, and so really felt it would be a monumental step backward to cave in to what I perceived to be external pressures and judgments and turn back to ways that obviously weren’t working for me anymore, in any case.
What to do? What the fuck to do?
The background noise can be so overwhelming, can’t it? Like when something on Instagram or Facebook, or perhaps an offhand comment or what you take as a backhanded compliment by someone, makes you react… um, alarmingly strongly, to say the least. Something that makes you question your decisions and second-guess your choices. Even consider a full retreat or a complete 180 from the direction you’ve been focused on heading, blinders on and all. Something that sends you off in a bit of a tizzy, rethinking, overthinking and threatening to blow up your whole life …AGAIN.
(Do please remember here that not only am I a recovering perfectionist, but a recovering drama queen as well. Although, these days, I do prefer to think of it as my intense, passionate Scorpio self really shining through.)
It was perhaps meant to be simply an innocuous post or comment, intended to educate or inform you, or even just share a story, to entertain you and make you laugh.
Hundreds or perhaps even thousands of others maybe took the second to like or otherwise react, the minute or two to comment, or immediately dismissed it and scrolled right on by.
But, my friend, if you experienced a super strong reaction that made your heart race, your blood pressure rise and a whole bunch of harsh thoughts get stuck in your throat because you weren’t even sure what the fuck to do with all the thoughts it caused to go spinning around in your head…
That is a button within you being pushed. That is your personal trigger.
What is your pattern? Where else does that show up in your life? What is the wound screaming out to be acknowledged? To be healed? What are the message and the lesson for you underneath it all?
It’s okay to have doubts. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be human.
…unless perhaps you are very closely related to Sheldon Cooper.
Plus, doesn’t it so often feel like you really can justify absolutely anything? And isn’t that the main function of a defence attorney? To create reasonable doubt in even the most unimaginable of circumstances? As also evidenced by comment threads that blow up and run amok on a post that started out with the most innocent of intentions. Like the Google searches that you fear could look awfully incriminating, if your laptop was ever absconded and searched for evidence.
Yes, these are just some of the thoughts that cause my mind to race and make for too many sleepless nights.
Sometimes the worst place you can be
is in your own head
Gut check time.
Not everyone is going to get it. Not everyone is going to get you. And all you’ll do is waste precious time if you take it on as your life’s mission to convince them, by arguing, debating and/or constantly defending your choices.
By rights, maybe I’ve already said too much, so I’m going to pull a Forrest Gump here and tell you that “that’s all I have to say about that” on the subject of dieting and body image. For now, anyway. I’m not here to justify my choice to you or to anyone. Because what I am absolutely sure of is that, after three-plus decades of punishing and hating my body, I don’t trust it. And – big shock — it doesn’t trust me either. And I have decided a while ago that my relationship with myself in all areas is important and top priority and the relationship I am committed to rebuilding.
Do you trust yourself?
The more confident you are about your decisions and convinced that your choices will serve your greater good, the less you will even look for external validation.
The more you love your decisions,
the less you need others to love them
And definitely notice the people who don’t necessarily get it, but respect it anyway.
Spend more time with those people.