About six months ago I decided that it was time to pay more attention to my health, more specifically, my voluptuous (for lack of ability to write an ugly word) waistline. I read a book titled “The End of Overeating” by David Kessler. It literally fell off the bookshelf at the library so I picked it up and instantly had an obligation to pay attention to it and take it home with me, because the Universe (or the librarian) was clearly trying to tell me something. Yet again, a book changed my life. I am in love with books for their ability to do this to me. I highly recommend reading this book if you have even the slightest food addiction or tendency to eat just because you love food. No need to be obese or a couch potato. Just a person that loves and craves salty and sweet like it’s their job. (Wouldn’t that be like the best job EVER?!)
I proceeded to lose about fifteen pounds with very little effort or willpower needed. I had read the hard facts/truths in this book so I could no longer pretend that I wasn’t an informed person. This book makes you pay attention to the very real consequences of letting food cravings run your life. When I hit a plateau in weight loss, I decided to join a very highly recognized program that is known for its ability to change your life, without actually depriving yourself of anything and I have lost another twenty pounds. That was until...
THE HOLIDAY’S! Merry- freaking- Christmas to me! All it took was walking into my parent’s house and I somehow turned into a chocolate, Bailey’s and all things candy cane-a-holic. I’m not sure how or why it happened because my parent’s house is full of all the same healthy choices that mine has. I was the one who brought the homemade biscotti cookies so I guess I was just doomed from the get-go. Needless to say, I have gained some pounds back. Not a lot, just a few.
So here comes some honesty for myself. “Kate, you think you are invincible but you aren’t! You let a few compliments go to your head and you forgot that you are still fighting this battle! You aren’t done yet! Get your ass in gear here girl!”
There is a reason why recovering alcoholics can’t have “just one drink”. It’s similar to battling a food addiction in the early stages of recovery. One cookie can turn into two before you know it. I thought, going into the Christmas holidays, that I had learned enough skills to handle all the temptations that would be put before me. I was a little wrong! I thought that if I gained a few pounds back then it wouldn’t be the end of the world, and it’s not. BUT, I kind of feel disappointed in myself. All the morning Bailey’s in my coffee and delicious meals were consumed with all the people that I love so much. There are memories attached to it all (not really) so it’s hard to be upset about it. Ugh. (This is me, trying to justify my bad habits to myself) and it’s got to stop!
I figured out that I better be even MORE honest with myself: “Kate, you did great! You didn’t gain four pounds, you gained three. You sprained your ankle and couldn’t exercise (the way you like to) for two weeks and you did a hell of a lot better than you would have done before starting this journey to a healthier you. You are worth all the sacrifice that this takes. I love you.”
I like the second version of my honesty to myself the most, but I also really need to hear the first one. I find that it is all about loving yourself enough to tell the truth, but then hugging and nurturing yourself back into a good place again. A happy balance between “Girl, get your shit together!” and “Girl, you’re amazing and you can do anything you put your mind to!”
So, I guess the reality of this is: I am not perfect, but I AM a strong woman and I CAN make these changes in my life permanent (even with three cases of Girl Guide cookies in my house, taunting me during every cup of tea). The results have been amazing thus far. I have a long way to go but I didn’t think that the day would ever come that the changes I have made in my life would be visible on the outside, but they are now and it feels great! I am going to fail and have personal setbacks (see above Girl Guide cookie pandemic), but it’s what happens after the fail that will help me to move forward in this journey.
And the greatest reality of all of this is that the next Christmas season is like 343 days away so I have a lot of time to prepare for it again! Hopefully by then I will have the ability to act like a normal human. Not a chocolate, candy cane, and Bailey’s fiend with a death wish. (But I DID do better than the Kate of six months ago would have done, so I’m proud of that)
Self-respect lets you own up to your mistakes without feeling shattered by them. Self-respect lets you notice the harm of the hurt you have caused so you can do something about it. ~ Stephanie Dowrick
Peace and Love my friends! Respect (and be honest with) yourselves!