Monday, January 24, 2011

Living for NOW

"I have never met anyone for whom years of rejection and hatred suddenly and miraculously turned to love, even after a face-lift, LAP-BAND surgery, liposuction.  When you love something you wish it goodness; when you hate something, you wish to annihilate it."~from Women Food and God by Geneen Roth.

Why are we all waiting to begin our lives until we lose weight?  We all say it, 'I'll buy nicer clothes once I lose __pounds', 'I'll get portraits done when I'm thinner', 'I'll start to exercise once I'm not embarrassed by my size and feel comfortable going to the gym'...and on and on.  Our lives are put on hold as if we aren't 'good enough' to deserve to live NOW.  

We even say we hate our selves...or at least bits and pieces...'I hate my thighs, my double chin, my butt, my stomach'...In the book Women Food and God, Geneen Roth asks the reader to imagine all of the people who died today (about 151,000 people) and ask yourself what they would give right now to have one more hour of life in your body.  Do you think they would spend that hour complaining that their thighs rub together?!  I'm thinking they would want to see, hug, and speak to their loved ones...smell some flowers, fresh brewed coffee, or their baby's freshly washed hair.  They would probably love your body, and what it can do for them, more then you can imagine.

For those of us who struggle with all kinds of obstacle, real or imagined, who think their lives are unfixable because of an eating disorder, childhood abuse, spousal abuse, depression, fears of how we might change once we are thin, fear of failure, money problems, etc...Geneen writes "An article in The New Yorker about people who romanticize committing suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge quoted one man, saying "I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable--except for having just jumped."

Perhaps it's time to realize that we tend to take better care of those things we LOVE...and not the things we hate.  Perhaps the weight will come off easier when we care more about ourselves and our health instead of telling ourselves we are ugly, useless, fat slobs, weak, undeserving.  Perhaps we should try going to the gym or for a walk when our mind tells us we don't want to because we care about our health and know that it makes our body happy to move.

I've spent YEARS worried about how I look, or more precisely, how much I weighed or how "fat" I was.  Even when I was anorexic, weighing only 84 pounds at 5'4", I was worried that people would think I was fat or that I would become fat.  Now, all of those years are gone, I can't live them over again, yet I used catch myself dwelling on them occasionally.  I used to say that I would tackle some activity or adventure, get a bikini or portraits done once I lost 10 or 15 or 20 pounds.  Before I started getting serious about my fitness I would looking back at pictures and wonder what the hell I was thinking?  What I would have given to have THAT body back!

It dawned on me one day that I was basically putting my life on hold, wishing away time, hoping that I'd be a better me one day.  I was waiting for some magic thing to occur that would make me more worthy of love and attention and, well, basically a life.  In reading posts from other people on their weight loss or fitness journey I see the same thing...people who are hoping that one day their life can begin.  That magically they will be happier, more outgoing, bolder, more stylish or worse, finally worthy of being a human being all because they lost weight.

For me, I decided to make every attempt to live in the present.  The only time that I truly have is this moment right now and this body I have, right now, is all that I have to carry me through my day; to hug with, to laugh with, to smile with, to make someone else smile with.  I am so fortunate, that with this body, regardless of what it weighs,  I can smell the flowers, see a rainbow, cuddle with my cats, kiss my boyfriend, read a book, go for a walk, enjoy a sunset, take pleasure in a relaxing massage or hot tub.  Why should I allow my mind to rob me of these pleasures??  It certainly doesn't mind letting me experience all of pains.
Just some thoughts about getting us to start living in our bodies and not in our minds.

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