adventures in quarantine, Uncategorized

All the right ways.

Monday morning this thing happened.

I thought about how the previous week the scale read 150.0 pounds even. The exact number. A tenth of a pound less and I would have been able to officially ring some imaginary bell of excellence or success or I don’t even know what.

But the universe needed me to wait. And I get that. I’m down for whatever lessons I need to learn. And so I waited. No sweat.

Then Monday arrived and I limit scale curiosity to once a week because ocd. I woke up and did my regular routine of appreciating my body and feeling my skin and my ribs and my hips. I felt good in my skin. Content.

When I got on the scale, it was almost alarming.

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Holy numbers, Batman.

It makes me smile to think of all those years, trying so damn hard to not focus on the number, and the number never budging. Now that I’m keenly focusing on all sorts of other places–really honing in on purpose–the scale freaking jumps. The universe is fun.

This could have been a thing that tripped me up, as it did many times in the past. Such a “win” used to feel terrifying and I had been the girl to sabotage wins. You wanna know what I did this time? How I proceeded after stepping off the scale?

I did the same. damn. thing. I do every day. I follow routine and I stay actively engaged in my health and my family and my well being. I continued to purge my garage and build healthy relationships (Beth came over), and lead with faith and love instead of fear and doubt.

And none of it is fucking easy. It’s work. And some days it feels less work, but still it’s work. Above all else tho, it keeps me safe and happy and gives me the freedom to bring my best self to this world. And for right now, that’s the goal.

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Can’t you see the sunshine?

It’s fascinating to me what a difference time makes.

Here we are, always chugging along. Some days feel like molasses while others feel like that bowling lane oil. Yet we all just keep going.

Then sometimes, along with the going, we slowly change. We grow and evolve and become. With action, we are always becoming.

Nine years ago I was in therapy saying “I love myself, I do, but if only I was thinner, I would feel like the work I’ve been doing actually did something. I feel so fat. I just want to not be 160 pounds.”

My therapist, in all of her incredulous glory, looked at me dumbstruck and said, “You’re not fat. 160 pounds is average.”

I tried to argue that because of my lacking height, 160 pounds was much more on my body. That my body was not made to be 160 pounds. That I knew I was so much smaller than my body had currently allowed.

She wouldn’t budge.

She asked what it would mean to me if my body was just meant to be 160 pounds.

I stomped about it. Metaphorically. As I often did about things. I didn’t want my body to be meant for that.

And then life moved along.

Fast forward all those years. The last year, I have indeed come to think of my body as average. I look in the mirror and I feel neither fat nor thin. Just regular. I don’t feel my body makes me an outlier on any spectrum. I’m average. I’m comfortable.

My goals center toward health and strength. And while I still have a picture in mind of a number on a scale and having less hips in the mirror (not no hips, mind you! I love my curves), those things are fuzzy background images. The foreground picture is health and centeredness and a love of my body no matter what.

I’ve done intermittent fasting since last November. It was a boundary point as I learned to navigate food and feelings and life and safety. I remained 157 pounds no matter what I did. Sometimes it would fluctuate a pound or two, but then back up it went. In the past, I would have said I was stuck there. But I never feel stuck anymore. I’m too busy navigating more important to me things.

But my point. My point is that I’ve looked in the mirror for the last couple months and I feel good about my body. All the while staying 157 pounds. And it was okay. It didn’t trip me up.

The last couple weeks I’ve been really proud with my relationship with food. Consistency has loaned me momentum and that switch in my brain has allowed consistency to not feel so grueling.

Earlier this week I weighed myself and I am 150 pounds.

It’s not about the number. It’s about the fact that I’m paying attention to the right things this time and life followed suit. That is very cool.

Most days growth is like molasses, and time is just chugging along. Other days–those rare beautiful days–the molasses thins and I can suddenly see all the progress my growth has afforded me. Today is one of those days.

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Sentiments, like shadows, grow.

I have a compulsion this morning to weigh myself. I know it’s just that–a compulsion.

I know the rational. It doesn’t negate the irrational.

Logically I know that, whatever the number on the scale, it isn’t indicative of my health or my progress or even really my weight. Logically.

I considered scratching the itch. I considered getting out the scale and just seeing and then I’d know and I could go about my day and I wouldn’t entertain it again.

But that’s not how compulsion works.  Because I weighed myself over the weekend. And that doesn’t matter at all to the voice in my head. In fact, it gives the voice fodder. You lost .6 pounds. The number went down! Let’s see if it went down more. I hope it didn’t go up. Do you think it went up? We should check. Maybe it went down to the next whole number. Let’s look.

I can hear these thoughts and not listen to them. I can choose that. It’s not easy. But it’s possible.

This morning, like every morning before I get out of bed, I felt my stomach. I noticed the thinner skin and the flatter mounds. I noticed how my ribs protrude a little more. I noticed how my pelvis juts beneath the skin and the area below my belly button each day feels a bit flatter and a bit more hollow. And I thanked my body for being strong and supporting me. For keeping me alive and safe. And I told it that I’m learning how to care for it properly and kindly and I hope it can see my progress. I thanked my body for showing me progress.

I do this every morning.

This morning that routine precipitated a desire to weigh myself. To see if the number validated the bones and muscles and curves of my body. Today that routine opened a door to allow the compulsive voice in. That’s okay. It doesn’t make it a bad plan. Honoring my body is a good thing. Navigating unexpected moments is good too. My constructive routine may have played a part in opening the door, but it presented me an opportunity, and I am able to choose to gently close the door with little to no damage.

I have a compulsion, but in this moment it doesn’t have me. So I’m not weighing myself. I’m not enabling the compulsion. I’ve put in years of work for this. To stay the course for this moment. To see all the things and let all the things just be. One foot in front of the other.

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A drop in the ocean.

I never understand how my dog gets herself so bent in half.

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She always falls asleep so deeply like this tho, usually right at my feet.

It’s been in the back of my mind for a couple months now that even tho I’m still wearing the same size pants (12s and 14s), that my weight has maybe gone up significantly (and maybe even irrevocably) and so I’ve been afraid to weigh myself.

Last year this time I was on a journey from the 170s to the 140s, and the thought of being back there again hurts. I had a doctor appointment last week and I knew I’d get weighed and I would navigate it when I had to. But not before. I was 157 and I wasn’t upset about it. I assumed it would be 160s and it was actually motivating to find that I wasn’t.

I haven’t had a lot of body issue issues recently. No, I don’t necessarily *want* to be this size. But also, when I look in the mirror, I don’t feel bad about myself. In fact, most of the time I look in the mirror and feel pretty average. It’s a strange thing. I know I’ve been at this size before and felt fat and ugly and unlovable and undesirable. But I don’t right now.

Sometimes I do wonder how my husband contends with having had me in my 130s compared to the 170s. Sometimes I do think “man, I felt so much sexier in my 140s, when my stomach was flatter and my ribcage was more pronounced; how on earth does he not think this is gross?” But also….so what? He doesn’t and who am I to question that? He’s had ups and downs too and it doesn’t really come into factor in a tangible way for me.

Confidence certainly factors in. He feels more confident when he’s more fit. I get that. So do I. There’s a glow that comes when you are working to achieve a thing and successfully achieving it. So, the reverse is true too. There can be a dulling when you aren’t working toward self-happiness. The dulling can be, by design, not as sexy.

But I digress.

I am simultaneously content with my body as is, because it’s mine and allows me the luxuries of being alive and living, and also I would like to be kinder to it so my body and I can have more time being alive and living.

Today I went thrift shopping for jeans because I have no pants and it’s getting cold. I found a pair I was content with. I was willing to spend the six bucks on something now that I didn’t love, but liked enough. Turns out the blue tag was 99 cents today. Score! Turns out too that once home, I really love the jeans. And I’d like to think it doesn’t matter….but it was a comfort still to know that they’re a size 12. Maybe it’s not irrevocable after all.