Friday, July 16, 2010
I feel like when the same theme pops up over and over in my life, it makes sense to stop and examine it a little closer. Lately, it has been living a decadent life that keeps coming up. I am reading Eat. Pray. Love and I have been looking into the Oprah book Women, Food and God, both explore what it means to live life to the fullest. For months (years really) I have been on a weight gain binge. And recently I have hit my all time non-pregnant weight max. In fact, I was weighing more recently than I had when I was 7 months pregnant with my twin boys. I have always had that love-hate relationship with food. I love to eat, but hate to gain the weight I eventually put on. I remember being 12 years old and getting weighed by the school nurse for a gym related task and being 132 pounds and in size 8 jeans. Most of the other girls were still weighing around 100 pounds and wearing junior size clothing. My battle with food continued into high school. Then the summer before my Senior year, I joined Weight Watchers for the first time and lost 15 pounds and started daily gym workouts. I felt great by the time Senior Prom came around and my dress was gorgeous! But, I packed weight on again in college, I skipped the traditional Freshman 15 and went right for the 45!! After college my weight was a yo-yo.
Then in 2001, I traveled to Italy by myself and stayed for a few weeks in Assisi, the Peace Mecca of the entire planet. I visited sacred places, I journaled, I meditated, I met new friends, I stopped and took a look inside my own soul. I found Peace. I brought that feeling back with me. Then, after the devastating events of September 11th, I clung to that feeling of Peace and tried to find the good in the world. I decided it was time for me to take better care of myself physically and emotionally. I cleared out the junk food and the clutter of my life that was no longer working and I distanced myself from the people that were taking the energy right out of me. I let go of relationships that were no longer fulfilling and decided it was time to move on and find the Love that I wanted for my future. I again joined Weight Watchers, this time committing to the weekly meetings as a time for myself to concentrate on my health. I lost 30 pounds, I met my Sweetest and I enjoyed the work I was doing. Life was good and I felt strong and healthy.
Over the past 8 years a lot has happened. Marriage, 3 babies, my body has changed, my mind set has changed, my career has changed. I am a different person than I was 8 years ago and some changes are not for the better. I spend less time on my spiritual life and journey and that has spilled over into all areas of my life. I have fallen into keeping pace and treading water to stay afloat instead of reaching out and soaring like I once did.
Infertility, 2 miscarriages and giving birth to my 3 children has changed me emotionally and physically. I will never again be that naive girl who thought you get married and have babies and it requires no work at all. I will always carry with me that feeling of devastation that the challenges of infertility opened up in my life and that miscarriages reinforced. I will never forget that feeling of "the carpet being pulled out from under me" when I found out one of my sons had a neural tube defect. The ups and downs and joys of new parenthood and lack of sleep mingled with the sheer terror of my infant undergoing surgery 5 times in his first year of life.
But, I settled into motherhood and blocked out the trauma of all that and focused on the good. I rejoiced that all turned out well with my boys! And when I got pregnant with Isabella it was a healing experience. After I delivered her I had lost 35 pounds in the first 2 weeks, I had only gained 18 with her so the rest was a bonus! I thought this it is, I am healthy and going to lose the weight-Finally!!
Of course, it wasn't that easy. I fell into the mode of grazing throughout the day or binging on junk food. Then last month I decided that was it. I had one of those AHA moments. It felt like the planets aligned. I realized I was at an unhealthy weight which affected every aspect of my life and my mood. I decided that enough was enough and it is time to take care of myself. It took me a few weeks to go from that point to actually ready to do something about it, but one day a Weight Watchers post card arrived and I knew it was my answer. SO the day before 4th of July I joined. I thought- How could I possibly be so stupid as to join a weight loss program the day before a major holiday?? What would I eat?? How could I have a 4th of July celebration without my food???? But, I did it anyway. It was time!
My meeting Leader was so motivational!! She said, "this is the first day of the rest of your life! You can lose weight, you will!!"
She talked about making a smoothie for snack with frozen cherries and she described it as "Decadent!" I looked that word up and it means "luxurious self indulgence" or "a rich, luxuriousness." Hmmm...
I left there thinking, that is what I want~Decadence! I don't want ordinary, I don't want ok, I don't want satisfying or to settle. I want decadence! My food, my life, my future- I want it to be DECADENT!!!
I have been following the WW program called "Simply Filling." The foods are basically designed to fill you up in the healthiest way possible. The food list includes whole foods, fruits, veggies etc. And it clearly states bread is NOT a filling food. That made me stop and think. Most of what I shovel in does not constitute a filling food.
I needed to get a handle on the feeling of exhaustion. I had to realize it wasn't the laundry piles, the dishes, the cooking, the bills, the kids. It's me. I need to fill myself up with life. Similar to the advise to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others. I need to be filled up so I can be the best mother, wife and person I can be.
One of the things my WW leader said is to eat what you "need." I have been paying attention to that lately. And I notice my children eating what they need. They know hungry, thirsty and tired. Even my infant knows when she has had enough food and turns her head away. And the boys are very vocal about expressing their needs. When a child is full you cannot force them to take another bite, nor should you. Isn't that how most of us overweight people got here? The Clean Plate Club that we were encouraged to be members of?? When you observe a child you can see that they know just what their bodies need at any given moment. I find it fascinating when I hear my little ones telling me they are thirsty or tired. How do they know? They listen to their instincts. And when they are tired the world stops for a siesta. I love that!
I want that feeling of-yummm this tastes DECADENT!! Or wow-this moment or experience is -DECADENT!! I want to look back in 10 or 20 or more years and think about the moments that were worth living for and be at Peace and feel content. I feel pretty assured it will not have been the Reece's peanut butter cups I consumed while watching my Soaps that I remember as the best moments of my life! Or at least I hope not!!!