Step back and recap

I’m feeling a bit more sane about things today! Yesterday was a bad day, a day when I was going to end up as a woman mountain, where I was out of control, well, at least my thinking was out of control. Today I feel better, a bit more normal and a bit more reasonable.

I realised that I was panicking about the whole body/diet thing, that without my daily weighing in (and my mood adjusting accordingly) I felt rudderless. Today I realise that I am doing ok, I am on a road and I will keep going until I get to where I need to be. I need to take a step back from my feelings of being out of control, look at what I was actually doing, remember why I started all this and give myself a good slap (figuratively, of course). So I have summarised my thoughts on all this:

1 I am never going on a diet again, I am not going to starve myself, eat in a strange way, in an attempt to be a size I am not meant to be. All that has stopped;

2 Where I am now I need to be aware of what I am eating and drinking. This creates a bit of a problem because thinking about food is the last thing I want to do because it makes me think I might be hungry and then eat something but at this stage I need to be aware. I am not ready to eat like a “normal” person but I am working towards it;

3 I am fine the way I am: I am perfectly imperfect. I have my own hang-ups and I need to be aware of how much these affect my thinking;

4 I don’t eat huge amounts. When I see diet stories (yes, I still read them, maybe that should stop?) people talk about eating enormous meals, lots of snacks etc but I don’t do that. I normally eat two meals a day, plus a snack or two, one of which is normally fruit. Secret eaters wouldn’t find me very interesting but I do eat when I am bored, become aware of food and I do eat more than I need;

5 I am going to eat less: not in a “on a diet” way but rather just being aware and leaving a mouthful on every plate, re-training my brain that I don’t need to finish it all. I am also going to take a step back when I think I am hungry and tell myself to wait 20 minutes to see if I really need any food. I have done this a few times and end up not eating but I need to persevere. I have put a large question mark on the fridge just to remind myself to stop and think.

I don’t want this to go back into a disordered way of eating but I do need to think about what I am doing and why I am doing it. Time to take stock.

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I’m ok

I’ve been reading about shame and a lot of what I read focusses on body image, how we see ourselves, and beat ourselves up because we don’t measure up to the perfect images in the media. The messages are (and always have been the same): it’s not the images, the body shapes and sizes they portray, that are wrong, it’s us that are wrong for not fitting into that image. Now if we’d only spend money on the latest diet book, follow the latest trend, we could look like those impossible airbrushed images and it’s only down to our laziness or greed that we are not able to do that.

Now as a woman who has spent her whole life living with a message of what is missing in my life I find this ridiculous but, of course, ridiculous for everyone else rather than me. I could spend the rest of my life beating myself up, wondering why I don’t look like Helen Mirren in a bikini but this is just repeating my go-to message: there is something wrong with me. But what happens if I throw out that message, what happens if I focus on all the things I am rather than all the things that I am not? I know it’s easier said etc but I have do something different, more sensible than I have been doing so far. I don’t want to just ignore the bits I like, but rather focus on what is good, what I like, I want to give up my focus on the negative which seems to impact on virtually, no, come to think of it, it impacts on every part of my life: me, my children, my partner, my home, my work etc etc It needs to stop, I need to stop, enough.

So I am perfectly imperfect: I am good enough, I fit just right in this world, and won’t hear anything else.