Can I Have it All?

This week has zipped by! I say this on the heels of driving an hour away to stay with my parents and Josh in a cabin for the weekend. No internet and probably little phone reception.  I’m bringing lots of books and notebooks and will be inspired, relax and swim.

It’s been a little over a week since I made the resolve to find peace with food through Intuitive Eating and I must say, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. Mostly good and liberating. Some filled with fear and worry. A lot less guilt. I’m working on less guilt.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I want and what I’m willing  to do to get it.

I want to be healthier without worry. I want to weigh less so that I if I fall on a dog (like I did in February) and hurt my knee, I’m not worried about going to the doctor and having them say “well, you fell because you’re fat” or some other nonsense. I want to go to the doctor and have whatever it is I’m there for be the conversation. I want to be told at my annual exam “fit as a fiddle” and I hope my doctor, uses that exact phrase.

I want to fit comfortably into an airplane seat without an extender. I want to fit on a small boat and amusement park rides. I want my style decisions to be by choice, not by what’s available in my size. I want to feel  free to be myself without worrying what people think of me because of my weight. I want to get out of this subculture that being obese sometimes seems to put me in. I want to go sleeveless. I want to run up stairs or take a brisk walk outside without breaking a sweat or losing my breath.

I want all of those things without the confines of a diet. Without so-called good or bad food days. Without worrying about all the food that could kill me. No food combining. No time frame for eating when I’m hungry. With a lot less guilt. Without bingeing or overeating. Without measuring a new recipe to come up with the calorie count. I want to put a reasonable amount of food on a plate, eat it and be done with it. I know, by now, what reasonable looks like.

I don’t want the ups and downs that come with dieting. The seesaw of self-loathing and self-congratulation. The I’m so awesome and amazing because I lost 10 pounds. I’m unstoppable! Or even worse, I’m off the wagon! Time to get serious! Time to make it happen! I want bigger things for myself and my life than weight loss.

I want to be more than a woman who loses weight. I want to be smaller, healthier and fit, but god bless, I want so much more for myself. I’m not the fat around my thighs no matter how big or how small. Weight loss will not be my greatest achievement. Is that so wrong?

I want to step on the scale and have confirmation of my efforts, not my self-worth. I don’t want to have any more buckle down, get serious, militant, yet very fleeting rules and regulations. I want sustainable weight loss that involves all foods. I want to eat reasonably no matter the circumstance. I want to take responsibly for today and all of the choices that lead into results.

I want to travel to Paris and eat the market vegetables, cheese, fresh squeezed orange juice and croissants without worry or regret. I want to go to NYC (in three weeks!) and have one really good treat, rather than stuffing myself with everything that will pass my way and say “I’ll be good when I get back”.  I want to have a giant slice of pizza for dinner if my appetite calls for it, and move on. Walk it off. Better yet, dance it off. I want to go to a party, a wedding, an event, and not stare at the cake with longing yet skip a bite or two for fear I will spiral out of control later. For fear that it’s not in my plan. I want to eat without worrying that I will never be satisfied. I can be satisfied on much less, I can’t say the same for guilt. Guilt will always have me reaching for more. Wanting more. Waiting for tomorrow.

I want to eat well because it makes me feel good, not because I should for weight loss or for being a better, humane, ethical, or skinny person. I want to eat vegetables because they call to me when I really listen. And fruit because it’s sweeter than I ever gave it a chance to be. I want to be intuitive because it’s what I know that I can live with. It makes sense for the life I want.

And it’s not easy to just sit there and not eat. To not grab something just because I have the calories for it, or because I planned it out. Regardless if I want it or not. I doubt I ever did.

I want to sit with whatever it is that tells me to go eat. That I’ve been good. That tomorrow I’ll be serious. Next week, I’ll start. To sit with discomfort.

I want to make better choices every day. I want to celebrate food, eating and cooking because of their importance for survival, community, entertainment, love and passion. I don’t want to punish myself with it.

I want to stay off the scale for two or three weeks at a time and let my actions take the seat. To move so much in a day that I collapse into bed at night.

Last night, I had to sit with my emotions and strong desires to eat even though I wasn’t hungry and I wasn’t full. It was hard. It was hard while I sat on the fence about it. Trying to justify a nibble of something.  But then I got out of my head and thought about my body, how was my stomach feeling? Fine. Do I really want food? No. What would it mean for me to let this moment pass without diving into to whatever is in the house? A lot. And so I made the decision, I wasn’t going to eat for no reason.  I wasn’t going to have guilt if I did. And once that decision was made there was no struggle, no self-loathing or guilt for wanting. I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t eat. Life goes on, do something interesting with your time- that’s what I told myself.

I take responsiblity for my idealistic path to my goals. My romanticized view. I know it’s not very Dateline-20/20 of me not to be screaming the dangers of everything on this planet that could and will eventually kill me. To not preach the diet rhetoric of the must and the should nots. I know it’s not glamorous to hope that I can achieve my goals without the confines of counting and tracking. Especially now.

There is a part of me that says, how dare you think you could relearn to eat and listen to yourself. What gull you have to think you can be healthy and fit  without regiment. You must think so much of yourself to want to have peace with food, to eat and not be consumed. To think so highly of yourself to dismiss everything you’ve ever tried to do to lose weight. To trust that I can lose weight without a diet. To believe that I can have just one.

When I take away all of this over thinking about food, I have more energy to focus on fitness and exercise. The stuff that makes me feel really good.

And a bonus:  That bridesmaids dress is zipping up!

Here of my non-rule rules:

1) Am I hungry?

2) Treats are for special occasions, not for the house.

3) What do I really want to eat?

4) Am I full?

5) Exercise every day.

6) Have fun.

7) No food guilt. Ignore food and diet police. Stop mentally calculating and tracking.