Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not staying stuck

The last three weeks have been the hardest I've faced since I started this diet. I've let emotional eating get out of control. Today was so bad I just quit tracking my points which I've done religiously since I started, even on the days where I blew it so badly that having a record of what I'd eaten was just embarrassing.

I've also been stuck in some serious body loathing. This has become less common for me, because I've seen some pretty big changes. Dropping five, nearly six clothing sizes, has just been fun. I've tracked the number of inches I've lost. Heck, I've even been so compulsive as to make a spreadsheet and graph my pounds and inches lost. So, the body loathing has dropped a lot as well. However, I'm in one of those phases where my skin is looser and the firmness that I felt in certain muscles a few weeks ago isn't quite as firm. This has happened before and it's been followed by a tightening as my body readjusts. However, at my age, my skin is not going to snap back the way it used to, and it is harder to build muscle. Images of my skin eventually looking like over stretched crepe paper are haunting me. On top of this my hidradenitis suppurativa has flared up with several lesions. This is the first time in almost two years I've had a serious episode. Being in pain, dealing with wound management and the subsequent additional hygiene challenges, and knowing that I'm adding to the map of scars on my body have just been the icing on this toxic cake.

However, despite all of that mess, I've been able to reach my sane place. I'm not going to stay stuck here. Several years ago, I wrote a body image affirmation to help me re-learn how to love myself. It's no masterpiece of writing, but it's been very helpful to me. I haven't looked at in a long time, so I pulled it out tonight and re-read it. Smartest thing I've done in some time.

I love my hair. It's thick, shiny and a lot of different shades of dark brown, and I love having it long again. I love my eyes because they communicate to the world, and it is a source of amusement when I see people trying not to notice when my wandering eye pops off to one side and back again. I love my smile because it can draw people into my world. I love that my shoulders are broad and strong enough to carry my burdens. I love my breasts because they fed my daughter and are a source of comfort. My daughter, my husband and even my pets all tend to rest on them when they are tired or discouraged. I love the curve of my belly and hips because they show so clearly that I am a woman. I love that my back, legs and feet are strong enough to get me where I want to go. I love my wrinkles because they show that I've grown and matured. I love my scars because they remind me that I can endure. I love my freckles just because they're cute. I love the sensuality of my body, the pleasure of feeling, tasting, hearing, smelling, seeing, how it can interpret and understand the world in a non-intellectual way, how it grounds me solidly. I love the sheer transcendent power of my body's sexual response. I love the interconnectedness of my body's systems, and how naturally they show me what true balance is. I love how emotions become real physical feelings. That's such a miracle to me. Oh, God, life is such a miracle, and I am so grateful.

Tonight, I want to add this. I deserve to love myself. I deserve to respect myself. I deserve to be honest about my feelings and share them with the people in my life. I deserve to be healthy and treat this body with love, care and tenderness. I deserve to give myself credit for my accomplishments and to believe in my ability to achieve more. I trust that I have both inner and outer beauty. I deserve the chances to pursue my dreams. I thank God/dess for loving me when I've forgotten how to love myself.

I originally posted this entry at my other journal, Taking Off.

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7 Comments:

Blogger don't eat alone said...

Cynthia

Your post was both helpful and resonant. I've lost track of points and WW the past few weeks. I haven't gone completely crazy, but I have lost my focus. I keep telling myself, as our leader says, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Hang in there.

Peace
Milton

July 25, 2007 9:07 AM  
Blogger more cows than people said...

i've been way off track on my weight loss journey for several months now. your post is powerful and true. every day is a new day... i'm so glad you have learned to love your body and continue that you deepen in this love every new day.

July 25, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger am said...

Theresa William's blog led me to your blog. It is good to meet you through your blog. I, too, have long-term issues with food and body image, as well as 20 years of relative freedom from the worst aspects of that struggle.

Having just been reading about the differences between Drudgery, Craft and Calling in a book called MAKING WORK WORK FOR THE HIGHLY SENSITIVE PERSON, by Barrie Jaeger, I appreciate your July 24 post.

And I, too, have had to deal with migraine headaches.

Hope your day is a good one!

July 25, 2007 1:25 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

And I love that your physical body houses the you I have come to know and love so well.

:::hugs::: You are loved.

July 25, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

What a beautiful affirmation, and I especially like the last line of the paragraph you've added: "I thank God/dess for loving me when I've forgotten how to love myself."

That's it, right there. Great post.

Judi

July 26, 2007 11:47 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Thanks for this post. I'm working on the same task, but am much earlier in the process.

July 27, 2007 3:10 PM  
Blogger Magdalene6127 said...

Amen, friend. Thanks for this.

Mags

July 27, 2007 10:58 PM  

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