“One day you are going to have to stop hating yourself.”
A few days ago this statement came across my Pinterest account. Probably because of my constant search for diet and weight loss tips. I have decided to stop searching for this information but the internet doesn’t know this and continues to make suggestions. I am bombarded with advice on clean eating and fitness from all the blogs I have subscribed to over the last year. My inbox is loaded with information on improving my fitness level to losing that “last xlbs.”
I’ve lost the “last xlbs” twice now and the messages remind me there are always improvements to be made. Promises of happiness with just a tweak of firming up a said body part here and there are everywhere I look. The weight has come off but the happiness has not shown itself. Maybe it’s just around the corner. Maybe a few more pounds lost will put happiness in reach.
Over fifty fitness videos are saved in my Facebook account. They wait for me to have enough energy to try them out. People inquire about my lack of hiking pictures on my feed. Excuses of being busy and bad weather roll off my tongue and they nod their heads in understanding. What they don’t know is my secret fear that my undernourished body won’t let me reach the top.
The answer is simple, right? All I have to do is eat enough so I can do the one thing that brings true joy to my heart. Hiking entered my life to replace vineyard hopping when drinking was the demon to battle. Being in nature cleared my head of all the noise. The beautiful scenery on my hikes ranked the beauty of vineyards second rate at best. I miss hiking. My mountain necklace is a constant reminder that hiking can heal me again.
My pattern of disordered eating or what some tell me is best described as my eating disorder has been stripping my joy and tells me lies. So I finally know and have an answer to what is telling me that I’m not good enough nor will I only be enough if I restrict and just lose a few more pounds. I know these are lies, at least in this moment I am aware they are lies.
With turning 50 right around the corner it is hard to believe that I have a new demon to fight. Looking back, it seems this demon has always been hiding. It hid behind chronic dieting followed by over eating and then came self hatred.
So where do I go from here? My choices are limited but simple. Continue on the same path that has me lying to all those who care about me while hiding the shame and self hate I feel. All the while getting validated by those who only see the thinness as healthy and tell me how “fit” I look. Or…tell the demon it’s wrong every time it lies to me. I need to remember that it lies to me constantly. The acknowledgment that I even see a problem feels like progress.
As I’m getting ready to be with family that I love and we will be celebrating our thankfulness with delicious (but for me scary) food I am going to do my best to be present. Focus on my blessings with the hope it quiets the noise telling me I don’t deserve the happiness of these blessings.
I am just beginning on this journey and I know there will be times I give into habits that have not aligned with my desires for health and happiness. I am reacquainting myself with the part of me that knows I not only deserve nourishment but I need it.