Until I hit forty, food was never an issue for me. I ate what I wanted, enjoyed my food, and I always stayed at a healthy, comfortable weight for me. Then, I must have bought into the stories people were telling me about my metabolism slowing down as I aged. The stories came from my family, friends and doctor. I resisted them. Why should my metabolism change? In truth, their stories weren’t my problem until I resisted them and began to worry about it until I looked around and realized I had gained 20 pounds. I was frightened, when would it stop? I needed to do something now or I would just keep getting bigger and bigger.
I began the process of dieting and crossing forbidden foods off my list of things I was allowed to eat. For the past three years, I have lost and gained these same pounds over and over and frankly I’m sick of it. I’m tired of thinking I’ll find just the right diet that works for me and then I can go back to the way I used to eat. But first I just have to lose this last ten pounds. I have decided that I’m done with dieting for good. It’s making me sick. I’ve always been healthy, but my stomach and my head are not happy with the twists my diet has taken and they have been speaking back to me.
It’s hit me that sending my body love and then subjecting it to weird and torturous diets doesn’t work. Those actions aren’t in line with the thoughts I am trying to send my body and it backfires. It makes me sad because I know there are many people who have followed this cycle their whole lives. Being in it these past few years has been way more than enough for me. I certainly don’t want my children to pick up these habits. “Mommy’s not eating carbs right now.” is just not OK for me to say when my kids want me to have a treat with them. I want them to see me making food choices based on whether or not I’m hungry and whether or not I want to eat something, not its carb count.
I began to look back over the years when I maintained a healthy weight with no problem and I realized a few things. One was that my weight fluctuated up and down by about 15 pounds during those years and it never bothered me. I never thought about because I wasn’t worrying about gaining weight. Another thing was that when I was happy and focused on my the joyful things in my life, I weighed the least without trying to lose weight.
As much as I don’t like rules for eating, I’ve decided that there are three that I will follow:
1. I will eat whatever I want and I will feel good about it. If I want chocolate I will eat it and I usually want at least a little chocolate everyday. I will eat dairy, milk, eggs, and even BREAD, if I want to. I recently realized I had cut out several of my favorite foods, like pasta and bananas, for so long that it felt odd to eat them.
2. I will not do anything else while I eat. I will savor my food and take my time chewing and experiencing it in my mouth. I’m not going to do this in an effort to eat less. I’m going to enjoy and be present with my food the same way I try to be with other experiences in my life.
3. I will bless my food and send love into it before I eat. I will then ask my body to receive whatever in the food is for the highest good of my body, mind, and soul and transmute or eliminate anything that is not. I used to do this religiously when I learned it at a workshop twenty years ago, but the practice has slipped away. It feel right to bring it back as it always served me well over the years.
I’m, also, going to remind myself that no matter what my size, I am beautiful and lovable. I don’t need to lose 10 pounds before vacation to have a good time. I don’t need to look a certain way to be worthy of my love or anyone else’s love. I have never based my feelings about another person by their size, so why should I do it to myself? I am aware that most of us judge each other by our appearance and I’ve been guilty of that myself at times, but I know that anyone else’s opinion of me is none of my business. The best thing I can do for my body and my appearance is to love myself. Period. When we love ourselves, we will be guided to the best way to love and care for our bodies.
My rules may not be right for you, but I would ask you to consider taking a deep breath and sending yourself some loving thoughts before you consider going on a diet. I’m not saying all diets are bad, it’s all in you feel about them or how they make you feel about yourself. For me, it hasn’t been good. For you, it might be. The best way to make good choices for your health is to focus on loving yourself as your are right now and then, decide if you need to make any changes in your eating patterns from that place of love.
Do you have any rules for eating or thoughts or comments on how you’ve learned to love yourself no matter what you weigh? I’d love to hear your thoughts. To prove it, I’m giving away a bottle of Valor Essential Oil blend to one of my commenters during the month of February. It’s a great oil for boosting self-confidence. I’ll put everyone’s name in random.org and choose a winner to be announced here around March. 1st. Then I’ll email the winner to get their mailing address. Watch this space as I’ll be changing up my give-aways this year. Some months it’ll be oils and maybe crystals and some months it will be some of my new services and classes that are coming soon!
Transforming through Love and Joy,
Michelle Martin Dobbins
Namaste & Hugs,
Michelle Martin Dobbins