Is this where I'm supposed to be?
As I've mentioned in a previous post, I had an "a-ha" moment several weeks ago and decided to make an attempt to stop obsessing over/tracking my food intake and my weight; my obsession with food, dieting, and weight loss has been with me for more years than not, and I finally hit my breaking point.
This not tracking, at first, was a novelty, a new thing with which to occupy my mind; instead, I began obsessing over not tracking, eating intuitively, listening to my body and wondering if this would work. After a few weeks, the new became routine and I began to doubt myself, to look for more control.
In addition, it's that time of year again - yay! Every company that has a presence in the marketplace is sharing photos and ad campaigns about the upcoming summer season; everyone needs to be bikini ready and tan and look like a dream while only partially clothed. I caved, and I put a calorie tracking app back on my phone; I weighed at work, in the employee health nurse's office, and noted the weight in my little tracker.
Thankfully, it only took me two days to remember why I was sick of this behavior; the app is now gone again, I'm feeling much more confident in the reasons why I've chosen this path, and the bikini body pushers can go, well...I'll just leave it at that.
As it turns out, this long-term, obsessive tracking may have proven beneficial; in looking back through old data, I've discovered something pretty amazing: I've been within 5 pounds, plus or minus, of my current (approximate) weight for at least 18 months. I had to let that information soak in for awhile.
After all the restriction, the bingeing, the emotional ups and downs, the meal plans, the workout programs, the never ending bullshit, I'm exactly where I've been for a considerable amount of time. I've decided that this is a very valuable piece of information. Nearly every day, I spend time with patients and assist them in reframing their life when faced with a new illness; we examine which choices they would make, if the outcome were to remain the same.
When I really stop and reflect on this, the solution seems very simple: if this is where I'm supposed to be - this size, this number on the scale, no matter what I do - I would prefer to make the choices that are going to provide me with a positive outcome. I choose to live a life full of body positivity, a life of enjoying the food that I choose to eat, a life with friends and experiences that don't involve anxiety around food, body image and comparison.
I'm not thrilled with the realization that this is where I'm supposed to be; I don't know, given my history of disordered thinking/eating, when I would ever be thrilled. There is certainly a part of my brain that thinks I would be thrilled about a smaller me, but the majority of my brain knows better, thanks to years of horrible experiences.
What I am happy about is that I stumbled, and that this stumble led to a revealing trip down memory lane; this information is going to stay with me along this journey to acceptance and will remind me that needless suffering is not necessary to be where I'm supposed to be. It doesn't mean that I'm giving up or giving in; instead, I'm learning to give love...to myself, finally.