I made a breakthrough today- a big one for me. This year has thrown many challenges my way, and I am doing my best to learn and grow through them. I am an incredibly flawed human being, but a strong thread runs through me that continues to whisper in my ear, Do better. Be better. I am trying with all my heart. Today’s breakthrough dealt with my body perception, which has often been an issue. In my twenties I dealt with anorexia and bulimia, and ever since have waged war with the scale and my body. No more.
I began a big Spring cleaning project today, and tackled my closet filled with clothes of many sizes, representing all of my ups and downs (aka: ‘failures and successes’). I have been working since last year to become healthy- truly healthy and not skinny. There is a huge difference in those two words, though for so many years I equated them as being synonymous. I have worked hard to let my body tell me where a healthy weight is for me, where I feel strong and fit. And it turns out that ‘magic’ number on the scale is is not where I used think it had to be. But, I like how I look and feel, and my doctor is happy. Instead of trying to force myself to eat a lot less, I am making better choices, tracking everything on Myfitnesspal. I’m exercising most every day, and using my Fitbit to remind me to keep moving. These are behaviors I can maintain, and my weight has settled into what I really feel is its happy place.
So that breakthrough? I pulled a huge stack of jeans out of the closet and tried each of them on. So many I had saved for that magical day when I would fit into them again. Today was different. If they didn’t fit, if they didn’t make me feel good- or if they made me feel like a failure- they went into the bag set aside for Goodwill. I refuse to walk into my closet one more time and feel like a loser because I pulled out something that turns me into a stuffed sausage. I’m fifty-three, and life is just too short to be held hostage by denim.
I can’t believe the sense of freedom and power I felt by that simple act of letting go. I’ve come to the realization that my goals are very different now; I want to be strong, to age well and in good health- not just fit into a tiny pair of jeans or achieve an unrealistic (for me) number on the scale. I want to accept myself for who and what I am, warts and all, but work to grow and better myself in the ways that truly matter to me: to love more, to learn to be in the moment and let go of worry, to be a good wife, friend, teacher, musician, human being. All of those things are so much more important than dropping those last few pounds. I have lots of work left to do, but I already feel so much lighter now- and it has nothing to do with the scale. A good start.