health

Self acceptance tricks….

REVOLUTION UNDERWAY

This has been an unbelievable experience.  I can’t tell you how great it is to know I am not in this game of self blah-ness alone.  Check this out,  first, I am getting tons of feedback from athletes of all sizes who are interested in getting workout clothes.  I keep forwarding our news onto the owner of Run Chicago.  When he tells me the clothes are there, let’s plan to storm the store.  

Second, I had a conversation with my girlfriends this weekend about this whole idea of self acceptance.  One is the same girl I mention in an earlier post.  A point I was pursuing is this….this ever unreachable goal thing.  Saying, if I could only lose weight, I’ll be happier.  (you know what I am talking about)  I asked them flat out if they knew of anyone who made a change like losing weight and actually said they felt better about themselves.  Nope, not one.  The changes that make us feel better are the changes we make about the way we feel about ourselves today.  I am on the path, but I at least can see it this time, like the Brady kids in the Hawaiian cave, I can see the path.  Self acceptance is exactly that.  We have to do it ourselves.  I have started a little internal battle that I believe the side of the light is going to win. 

Here it is….”SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  That’s right, “SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Every time a negative thought enters my brain about myself (others are still fair game, I need to continue to be snide) I tell myself to shut up.  I have been working on this all week.  It isn’t easy, but I seem to be saying it a little less frequently than I was last week at this time.  Give it a try, you might be surprised how often you knock yourself down.

Advertisements

I like ice cream, but I like my husband more

To reiterate what my intention for this blog is….to share with others, my journey in the health at every size revolution.  I choose to call it that, because I believe I am standing out against the grain and am participating in something that might make a difference for others. 

A Revolution is:

1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
2. Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, esp. one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence (on this point, let’s hope not). 
3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something: the present revolution in body size 

Yes, I think I picked the right word. 

That said, I had what I consider a bit of a breakthrough this week.  One of the many things I “work on” every day is to consider the emotions associated with food outside of hunger.  Mouth hunger is what it is called, though I believe that is a little misleading, because sometimes I eat when neither my mouth or stomach are hungry.  I am getting pretty good at figuring out what I am actually hungry for and identifying when I am not hungry but still eat.  I mean, I will sit there with a bag of nuts or chips and tell myself that I am not hungry, I am bored, and still continue to eat.  That is okay though.  I am not supposed to pass judgement on myself at this point in the process….and I hope ever. 

So, here I am talking to my therapist about how I am really getting pretty good creating the right food matches for when I am hungry.  Eating out of hunger.  Where I struggle is with the ice cream.  I mean come on.  We have this great Gelato place down the road that we go to…the bacci is so good.  I begin to explain the ritual that I go through with  my husband when we go out for gelato.  Well…we put the kids to bed, or sometimes the mother in law does that for us and we head out of the house for gelato.  As my very clever therapist sits there eyeballing me with the look of “duh” another piece of the puzzle goes into place in my brain.  Here we both are, very active people just trying to get our shit done.  We barely have three minutes of alone time and I wouldn’t call any conversation we have at home a connection.  When we actually get out of the house, away from it all, we are able to connect on a deeper level.  I KNOW I am a BRAIN surgeon here.  But really, what I am doing to myself is going to eat gelato so that I can talk to my husband. 

Case and point, this week, we couldn’t get away.  I put our son to bed and my husband came home with my very favorite gelato.  When he showed me the brown bag filled with gelato, I actually felt myself getting a little irritated and couldn’t figure out why.  I sit down to eat the gelato while he lays on the sofa watching TV.  I decide to just put the gelato back in the freezer and go to bed.  

After I have this revelation in my revolution, I decide to talk to my husband about my new found wisdom.  Don’t think that I am all of the sudden blaming this lack of communication with hubby for the reason I overeat….that isn’t it.   What I did see is that I really do eat out of emotion….every day.  If I spend a little more time thinking about why, maybe I won’t substitute food for something like communication. 

While the gelato actually might have helped me get to my husband.  It isn’t going to replace him and it certainly isn’t going to talk to me. 

Response from the fat friendly doctor

This is what the doctor had to say to my e-mail from a few days ago.  What a great sign that once I get comfortable talking about who I am and how I struggle,  I will find people out there willing to help.

 

thank you for the email and it is great how much exercise you have been doing. you do not have to be weighed when you come in: please tell my assistant when she brings you back that you spoke to me and I said you do not need to be weighed (hopefully they will not give you a hard time. I will tell my assistant now, but there is a chance someone else will bring you back that day, so please just let them know). please mention again when we are talking that you do not want to discuss your weight and I will not (but instead congratulate you on all of your exercise!). it is great you have the strength to discuss this. keep up the good work. see you soon ee

 

 

Letter to my size friendly doctor

I sat down with my counselor a few weeks ago struggling with the idea that I really need to get into my doctor’s office for a physical.  The last time I was there I was down 15 pounds from the previous visit, but still had higher than desired blood pressure.  On top of that, I believe I have actually put some weight on since then.  My counselor sort of put me in check by stating the obvious contradiction….I need to get to the office to check on the status of my health, but I won’t go to the office because I am afraid I am not healthy enough.  Of course after thinking about this, I realize the absurdity of it all.  So, armed with some encouragement from her and a damn good sample of a letter to a doctor from Hanne Blank I was armed with tools to write the following letter:

I have been doing a lot of personal growth work lately…not to sound too Oprahish. I continue to work out 5 – 6 times a week, I completed 2 triathlons last summer, this summer I am registered for two more and perhaps a mini marathon by the years end. However, I am about 4 months overdue on my annual physical. It is baggage that I have been carrying with me for a while now. The reason I have delayed the appointment month after month is my concern that I have not lost enough weight to actually put a dent in my blood pressure levels. In fact, the reason I can’t muster the courage to come into your office is because I am still fat and I don’t want to discuss my weight.

In February I decided I needed to talk to someone about my issues with eating. I have been seeing a counselor at the Family Institute for a few months now who has me questioning a lot about health, weight and food. She has introduced me to a movement called Health at Every Size. It is an approach to health that focuses on intuitive eating and physical activity rather than dieting or weight loss. That said, I need to come in for an appointment, to get a general check up and to get some blood work done for sugars, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Before I make my appointment though, I wanted to say that I prefer NOT to be weighed when I come into the office. I spent most of my childhood and teenaged years completely focused on my weight. I had to be weighed weekly and was punished when I didn’t lose enough weight in a given timeframe. The whole weigh in experience is traumatic, very depressing and I feel like crap for weeks afterward. If there is a pressing medical reason that I should be weighed, please talk to me about it….

I‘d like to hear what you think about this. You motivated me to quit smoking…now I’d like to have you as partner in my quest for self acceptance, increased physical activity and normalized eating (without dieting).

So, stay tuned for the response from the doctor….

How would you have handled this?

Do you have any resources with lists of doctors who are size friendly??

 

Man oh man can I relate to that

I’m embarrassed that I didn’t say more than before.  Mara D brought up so many good points and questions that really ping my heart.  I am humbled.  I do know the drills you refer to, I remember being “grounded” as a child if I didn’t lose enough weight by the end of the week.  It is a brutal brutal world that complicates clouds.

I am new to HAES, perhaps still in the honeymoon phase, but I am LOVING it.  The day I was told I could stop counting calories, getting on the scale and limiting what I was eating has been HUGELY liberating.  I struggle with the self acceptance piece, which is the cornerstone of the whole process.  Not even sure though, if one can actually feel that way all of the time (perhaps another discussion at another time.)  I am a part time resident of the negative spiral.

I have also used the opportunity to respond to comments by saying “I am focusing on getting my health back in order at the moment. I’d prefer not to discuss dieting/weight loss, please.” I find it shocks people a little and they tend to get defensive.  The challenge is to get to a place where I can tailor my message enough to not offend them while telling to step the heck off the bus.  It isn’t their business what i am doing to my body.  This is my body, my life and while I hope to treat it well, it is not their business.  It think the place that re-frames the vision of beauty, health and a joyful life sounds wonderful. 

In terms of the eating choices, piece, I am not there yet, I am eating what I want and loving it.  I do work out nearly every day.  I do this simply out of pleasure, but what got me here is a journey outside of HAES.  I had to find a passion in sport.  Something I really enjoyed….and a group of women I love to do it with.  More to come.  I love this dialogue.

Virgin Comments

I am new to blogging.  I feel compelled to share these feelings and thoughts.  I didn’t know if anyone would actually read what I am writing.  I am completely pleased to see that there are actually people who read what I wrote.  Thank you thank you.  Not only that, but posed some really interesting questions…some that I am dealing with at different times as well. 

Is this movement a “thinly veiled diet”?   I hope not, but will enjoy the thinking this comment inspires.

 I want to be happy with my body/myself as I am right now.  What I am in the future, is irrelevant.  Therefore weight loss…or god forbid weight gain is a non issue.

My Health Mantra

This is about me (and maybe you?) 

It is about my struggles with self loathing.  It is about the struggle to be better, but never defining better so consistently “failing”.  

It is about the revolution of not doubting my own worth based on how much weight I lose. 

I started to struggle to come up with phrases that would help me when challenged about my reversal of dieting culture.  I often came up speechless when someone would comment on another person’s weight, what they ate and how much of it in a day, how many pants sizes they had dropped.  I had to come up with some one liners to lead me through the responses.  This became my mantra.

  • I am not how much I weigh or how much I’ve gained or how much I’ve lost.
  • I am not what I eat…I’m what I do and what I say.
  • Changing my shape and size isn’t going to make me happy
  • Changing the way I feel about my body/myself will.
  • I respectfully decline to discuss your size, my size, her size or his size in any way.
  • I will eat what I want, and move on.
  • I swim, bike, or run every day…being healthy doesn’t mean being thin.
  • I embrace my body as a part of me.

How do you respond comments about your weight or other’s weight?  Why do people think it is acceptable?