Yes, if you know me, you know I really dislike the Frozen song, “Let it go”. Today though, today I heard Demi Lovato’s version and I rather liked it. No, I’m not going to break down the lyrics here and give some kind of profound teaching moment, but I am going to talk about “letting go”.
I’ve been in this long process of letting go for over two years now. I’ve been side-tracked by the lure of diets, which I know don’t work. I got sucked back into scale watching and food weighing/restricting. Why? Because after you let go, you freefall for a bit and I panicked. When you give up dieting, there is always someone ready and waiting to “help the lost” take it right up again. Everywhere you turn, someone is losing weight (or wishing they could). Everywhere you turn there is a new study, a new diet, a new workout regime. Everywhere you turn, there are images to measure yourself against. Everywhere. And even since that post over two years ago, I’ve been one of those talking about diets and weight loss… and I’m so sorry. I woke up the other day (after another go at WW) and thought, “what on earth am I doing?! I’m miserable!”
How many women do you know who are truly comfortable in their own skin? Are you holding up one hand to count? Yeah, me too.
I’m tired of fighting against my body’s natural instincts to control something (weight) that society says needs controlling. My weight isn’t a moral issue. Eating chocolate isn’t a sin. And yet, there is so much guilt surrounding food and body image, it’s a wonder many of us can even somewhat function in society. We turn the desire to be a certain way into an idol that we bow to with our personal food laws and scales. We’re afraid we’ll be struck by lightening (fat) if we do one thing “wrong” or that people will cast judgment on us for not dutifully eating tiny amounts, counting calories, or working out like a crazy person. And if you’re already overweight – good heavens! We label food as “good” or “bad” as though it has the power to condemn us to hell or at the least convict us of some wrong-doing. The more rules I place on my eating, the more apt I am to break them. Before I know it, I’m trapped under impossible ideals, screaming to be let out. This is what I do to myself with dieting and scale watching.
The solution? Let it go. There, I said it. Let it go. Oh gosh, I sang it that time.
- I need to accept that what the scale says, does not define me. Let it go.
- What people think when they see me eat a piece of cake, does not matter. Let it go.
- If I don’t feel like eating greens, it’s ok. Let it go.
- If I really want to eat french fries all day, the world will not end. Let it go.
- If the kids eat all my peanut butter cups, I can buy more. Let it go.
- If nothing in my closet fits, it’s time to go shopping. Let it go.
- If I am obese for the rest of my life, I can still die happy. Let it go.
- If I spend my life wishing for things to be different, I will have wasted it. Let it go.
Yeah, it’s time to let go of some things. It’s time to live right here, right now.
I’m glad you are feeling more at peace. I feel like I’ve had this attitude, or tried for the most part … yet there’s always this thing in the back of my mind. This desire.. even responsibility.. that won’t let me feel free. I was feeling pretty good. My baby is almost 3 months old. I’ve cut myself a lot of slack. Made a lot of peace. Until I caught sight of myself in some mirrors at the mall recently. Is that me? Do I really look like that? During the pregnancy I knew I weighed the most I ever had, but I still thought I looked pretty good and I didn’t really feel much different. Main time I can tell is when I really try to move… walking.. exercising the few times I have.. I feel like I have lead weights tied all over my body. Otherwise.. I can’t really tell. As shallow as this sounds… as much as I’d let it go.. made peace with having a healthy pregnancy… not worried too much about gaining 40 lbs… I’m really struggling to keep it gone. ha! Excellent grammar I know 🙂 Some days I give myself a break. I’m 35 years old.. I have a healthy baby (my third child).. I’m breastfeeding.. I’m OK. I accept myself. Other days… like seeing myself in the mirror I think how could I give this body any break? I looked fat. I felt ugly. And I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t like them.. but that’s what I really thought of myself.
Rewind to last Fall. I remember how I felt at 150ish lbs. Right before I got pregnant…my “biggest” clothes I had were not fitting great… I knew I SHOULD be doing better.. yes, I would exercise.. yes, I would make good efforts with healthier eating habits, but nothing consistent enough to result in weight loss. I’d lose a few over the fall.. gain a few back.. by Dec I thought to heck with it.
Keep rewinding to several months before that.. Summer 2013… I weighed 138… only if I could weight 125.. or even 128. Oh, if I could slap myself I would! I looked great and even though i was glad I’d lost some weight.. the few years before I played with 10-15 lbs… it didn’t quite seem like enough. The journey to lose… resulted in me gaining. So that last half of the year I got right back up to my high weight.
Today, I weigh right around 180 lbs. I feel heavy.. and a little bitter that the walking a few days a week.. briskly for 45 min.. carrying Ben around… breastfeeding… hasn’t resulted in at least some loss. I weigh a little more than I did right after I had him. So, what do I do? I am breastfeeding a thriving child… I have clothes that fit. They are maternity, but I don’t think I’ll feel much better in regular clothing. And I’d rather get some new things in smaller sizes then what would fit now. Is that wrong of me? Right now 150 lbs seems like a dream. Can I even get there? Part of me feels if I keep letting it go… will I keep getting bigger? I don’t know.
Just rambling…. thoughts?
But you know, I don’t think you are letting it go. Not really. I think you’re still clinging to the numbers, still thinking about dieting, still thinking about “getting the weight off”. What we need to do is fully accept where we are, right now. We need to do exercises that we enjoy because they make us feel good (not to burn calories or lose weight). Our focus needs to be on living in the body we have, not trying to escape it. You’ve already proven that focusing on it has just made you heavier. Same here.
Yes, in the beginning of “letting go”, we gain a bit of weight because our bodies don’t believe we aren’t going to diet again. At least that’s what I believe is happening with me right now…. and what happened two years ago when I let go (then I freaked out and started flipping between diets again). I believe if I had stuck with it two years ago, I would be lighter today, but I didn’t and so I didn’t lose any weight over the long term. When I weighed myself I weighed almost exactly what I had two years ago. I want to make it through this stage and move on.
Right now, I’m trying to release the diet/weight loss mentality. That is a day to day struggle on its own lol. Check out the book “Intuitive Eating”. You can probably find it at the library. You’ll want the newer version. There is also an online support group forum for Intuitive Eating @ intuitiveeatingcommunity.org . I would like to start a local group, but I’m not to that point yet.
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Ok, so what I thought was me “letting go” was me faking letting go. Dang it lol
I believed it… but then I was disappointed that my being the the moment with myself wasn’t getting me better results. Honest truth is… I have some issues I need to deal with. Diets won’t work because this isn’t about the food. Yes, I like to clean my plate… but it’s about control and comfort. Resting and eating was a huge comfort in pregnancy and now, but some deeper issues play into it as well.
It’s definitely not about the food. Uncovering what those issues really are is hard work, but I’ve had some really eye opening moments that have already altered some of my behaviors…. not all of them, but I do see some progress.
That’s so good. I’m really trying to keep this in mind.
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