So I haven’t been saying much because I’ve been busy unravelling the dynamics of my binge eating. It’s become less, but it’s still there and every binge still leaves me feeling despairing and disgusted.
So I’ve been reading, thinking, unravelling and today, finally, there was that click. The click that I needed. The click that says ‘It’s different now. I’m different now.’
I realised that while I’m focussing on my weight I will never get out of this restrict-binge-restrict cycle. There is always going to be the sense of shame and self-disgust at my changed body that compels me to desperately want to lose weight; and the corresponding anger that I have to deny myself what is all around me and is constantly being offered to me, on top of my other current medical issues.
I feel ashamed when I see myself. I feel ashamed when I go out. I feel ashamed when people see me. I feel ashamed when my children look at me, because I know they were always so proud that I remained lithe and agile while other women my age were becoming … well, me. I hate the idea of anyone who knew me slim seeing me now, and later revealing to other people, ‘I saw A in town today and my God she’s put weight on!’
In gaining weight, I have lost the right to be a private citizen. My body is no longer my body – my body is up for public debate. It is now an object on which others are allowed to pass comment and judgement. I have stepped into the spotlight, and the audience have the right to throw as many rotten tomatoes at me as they wish.
All of that makes me angry. All of that is completely unhelpful. And nobody could dislike my body as it is right now more than I do.
But today, suddenly, that anger pushed me, like water out of a geyser, out of the place where my concern is for my weight. I suddenly felt, F**k the lot of you! This is my body! What you think of it is completely unimportant! All that really matters is, am I healthy?’
And in taking the focus off what other people thought of my body, I suddenly realised that love for myself should be focussing me not on what the scales say, but simply ‘Am I doing the best I can for my body?’
That should be the only decider about what and how much I put in my body; about how much exercise I take; how much flexibility work I do.
And the wonderful thing is, when I think I have to lose weight and set the target of becoming me again – well, that’s in 50lbs time and it could take a year; so for that year I’m going to constantly want to be other than I am. It will be a pretty bloody miserable year.
Whereas if I make my focus ‘Am I doing the best I can for my body?’, well, I don’t have to wait a second. I can accomplish that right now. It’s already here.
And a healthy, well functioning body will sort itself out. I have great faith in the power of the human body to heal itself: I’ve seen it, many times. If I treat my body beautifully, it will gradually shed all the waste weight it doesn’t want to be carrying anyway.