Saturday, August 1, 2015

Post To Be

You know, it's not that I haven't wanted to journal these past couple of days. It's just that I haven't had much to journal about. It's just been one of those weeks where I've been pressed into my little bubble of life, not so aware of the outside world, completely content to just be.

Typically, I'm not satisfied with the just be part, because I want more. More of what, only the day can say. Sometimes it's more friends. Sometimes it's more food. Sometimes it more time, or more pretty, or more ability, or more sleep. But this Goldilocks has found her just right this week, and while I have passing thoughts of "I wish I had...", I have had the uncommon (to me) ability to shake it off (shake it off, ooo, ooo) and know that I am where I'm supposed to be. Which means smelling other people's socks to see if they are clean (gross, don't try it, ALWAYS  just assume they are dirty) and cleaning up dirty dishes and making dinners and lunches and answering endless requests (mom, can you...).

A couple of months ago, after the months of striving and dieting and watching and counting, I just decided to stop. Just one day. I don't even know what got into me, as my wanton desire for perfect typically outweighs any sort of common sense. I guess I just got tired of being so aggressive with food all the time. The portion of my brain solely dedicated to "FOOD and all that makes it bad" was purely exhausted, and maybe it just gave up.

It was the best thing I ever did for myself.

I've slipped up a few times, so don't get me wrong. But I have to give myself some sort of margin to make mistakes, which is totally against the very makeup of my DNA. But when there is no slack in the rope, you choke.

I've been actually listening to my body. Which means paying attention to the signs and cues instead of ignoring them in favor of what the latest diet says. When I'm hungry, yes, I eat. When I'm getting full, I stop eating. You'd think this would be innate, but after long bouts of controlling the food intake, of analyzing the fat content versus the carbs versus the fiber, I paid more attention to the food than I did my body. I was waging war against myself.

The first time I ate bread after a long hiatus from enjoying it, I thought I was going to cry. Because bread. Is. Good. I am all about being healthy and going the whole grain route, of course, but I had cut all grains out completely. I couldn't get over the feeling that I had done something wrong. Because all those years of diet training had told me that eating bread (and carbs and sweets) was not just unhealthy, it was wrong. And that is messed up.

When I am hungry for bread, I eat a slice of my own homemade, whole grain bread. And then I tell those guilty feelings to go to hell. I don't need that in my life. There is enough in the world to feel guilty about, and bread ain't one of 'em. When I am full of bread, I stop. I listen. Am I hungry, or bored, or tired, or looking for something from the kitchen that I should be getting from life?

I'm aware of all the hype surrounding sugar, and I've mostly cut it out. Not completely, but mostly. I know it isn't good for me, and I know what it does to my body. But I've also realized that being so completely rigid about sugar makes me unhappy. I'm not going to go dive into a pool full of Dr. Pepper and Sweet Tarts, but when I am craving something sweet, or am offered a sweet dessert, and I'm in the mood for it and my body isn't sending me "I'm full" signals, then yes, I'll have something sweet to eat. And I refuse to feel any guilt over it.

I've been told by those who love me the most, and therefore presumably want the best for me, that I've got to relax and not be so rigid. That's hard for me. Being rigid is how I stay on top of things, how I get things done, how I stay in control. Being rigid is a little bit a part of my personality and a lot a part of how I cope.

I feel like I've settled into it a little bit this week. This "comfortable", this "just right". I'm working on lots of things in my life right now. One of them is feeling comfortable with food and enjoying it. Another is finding my voice and using it. Which I don't do enough of, but I get angry when no one considers what I think or feel. And then I think how does that make any sense, you didn't even say. Sometimes I don't know right away what my opinion is, or what the right answer is, or what to even say, but instead of expressing myself in a clear and concise manner, I get quiet and bottled up and eventually just mad.

Relaxing into my role in life isn't easy, even though to an outsider it may seem like "what's not to love about your life?" And really, perspective is everything when it comes to loving life. So is accepting that the life I think I want and the life I have may not ever intersect. That's okay. The life I've been handed, while it has to do with smelly socks and dirty toilets, is where I'm supposed to be. And that makes it just right for me.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

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