Dang. I only WISH the title of this blog was true.
I’ve decided to go a little vulnerable this week and share what I’m currently struggling with on my rollercoaster of a journey through recovery.
I found out this past week that my weight has again stopped going down.
This is beyooooond frustrating. After a lot of tears, questions, anger, appointments, talking with fellow and former recoverers and support I picked myself up and realized….I’m fat, and I need to be cool with that.
The problem is….I’m not.
Like literally…I’m not cool with that AT ALL. I am VERY upset about it and it causes me a lot of stress, anxiety, embarrassment, shame…name a feeling other then happiness or joy…it’s being felt. I struggle every single day with the fact that I’m heavier then I’ve ever been and I have ZERO control over it. If I diet or restrict food, I gain. If I work out too much, I gain. I’m stuck in this limbo of just eating and waiting and it really stresses me out.
“But Sara, you don’t have to accept being fat, you can change your body if you want to, just eat right and exercise!” Well, in recovery, it actually doesn’t work this way. The body is now recovering and in complete control and I have to allow it to do what it needs to do and if I interrupt this process in any way I have to start all over.
The other problem is, in recovery, it is known fact, that the body and mind are connected. Every single person that I have ever talked to that has overshot their weight in recovery has said that their overshoot weight did not come off until they fully accepted and embraced their body at it’s highest weight. They said when they fully let go, loved themselves, ate what they wanted, exercised only when they felt like it and lived life to the fullest, their bodies recalibrate and all the weight came off.
This is SO incredibly hard to do. I’m sure I could spend a hundred therapy sessions unpacking why I’m having a hard time accepting myself at this weight and just living life. It could be because I feel insecure, it was my coping skill, that being fit makes me feel like all the other bad things aren’t so bad, or the shame I feel or the fact that I literally feel kind of gross and unhealthy. Whatever the reason, I need to figure it out, because I’m learning that I need to accept this body exactly where it is at today if I ever want it to feel free and safe enough to get back to where it needs to be.
I was talking to my dietician about it this past week. I kept asking her if I needed to work out more, eat more, or maybe eat less? What do I need to do?!?!? She told me my weight is a symptom to a much larger problem. It’s like an iceberg. My weight is the part of the iceberg we see, but underneath there are a lot of things we can’t see taking place that are effecting the part we can see. My weight is effected not just by diet and exercise, but also by stress and anxiety. It is almost as if my body knows what I’m thinking! Are my mind and body really that connected without my conscious control? It sounds like the answer is yes! My dietician said that my body knows that I’m scared to eat, or that I still will push off hunger cues because I’m coping with a problem. It knows that when it tells me it wants French Toast I still want to force feed it eggs because it is safe and “better.” It knows I hate it’s size and I stress about it all the time leaving it fearful I will starve it again. It knows that I live with a lot of stressful triggers and I’m constantly fighting the urge to restrict.
This makes me feel hopeless and stuck. I need to accept something I feel like I can’t accept.
It’s almost like my body is playing some sort of cruel joke on me.
Think about and concentrate and care about losing weight…weight won’t budge.
Accept my weight, love myself, even this heavy, live life and not care…weight goes down.
Honestly, this might be for the best. In fact, I KNOW it is for the best. You know why? I hated my body even when it was at it’s smallest. I still wanted to lose weight even when it was rock hard and super fit and could run ten miles. If I can’t love myself and accept myself at the weight I am at now, what makes me think losing the weight will make it better? I think it would just keep me stuck in all the same old habits of using my weight and food and exercise to control my emotions, self esteem and worth. If I could learn to love myself now, like truly love myself, despite my weight, I think that would be the real freedom and recovery I am looking to find.
The only issue is I’m really having a hard time doing it.
I recently had a recovery friend tell me that when she eats she says to herself, “I trust my body and I know that the same way it does not like to be underweight it also does not like to be overweight,” and this helps her to genuinely believe in her body and trust the process.
I spent seven years restricting, excessively exercising, calorie counting, dieting and eating within very rigid rules while labeling all foods either good and bad. Learning how to trust my body, its hunger cues, it cravings and allowing it to figure out the weight it wants to be as I nourish it correcting instead of controlling it is kind of a scary process! It’s a process that I know works though because many people have gone before me and done it!
I’m going to start working hard to love myself at this weight and while my body figures itself out. I’ve spent so much time hating it, maybe it’s time to give it some love!
If you have any tips on how you have learned to accept and love yourself and your body at whatever weight it is, I’d LOVE to hear them! Leave them in the comments, message me, or whatever!
- Sara -