Friday, February 22, 2013

Seven Pounds and a Palpable Shift

Monday morning I went to my primary care doctor for a regular wellness check.  I was weighed and I looked.  Some experts in intuitive eating advise not to look at the number, not to weigh every day.  I knew I had gained some weight because I could feel it in my clothes, but I found out in a hard number.  I went home, I was tired from our wonderful trip to New Orleans over the weekend.  I picked Annie up at the vet where she was boarded and took her for a walk.  I rested.  By late afternoon, the feelings of devastation gripped me.  I had gained seven pounds since my last doctors visit at the end of 2011.   This put me into a massive tailspin.

It's all I could think about for the next hours.   And the next day,  all I could think was, I don't know how to overcome this.  It is the opposite outcome of what I have been diligently trying to do.  I have been doing very hard internal work.  I have learned to feel my feelings which has not been easy whatsoever.  I have learned to have boundaries with people.  I am learning to accept myself for who I am.  I am learning to accept other people for who they are.  And this goes on and on.  The ahas have been coming for several years now in so many profound ways.

I went to therapy.  I sat down and told her we had fertile ground to work with.  And then as the hour progressed, questions were asked, tears flowed and the message was received, my self worth does not depend on my weight.

Self worth does not depend on my weight.

I cried and let out the disappointment of the situation.  I cried about the shame.  I cried about the sadness.

After the so called "negative" feelings flowed through.  (And that is another topic - all feelings are okay, we determine them to be negative.)

As the tears dried...

A palpable shift occurred.

(Palpable: so intense so as to be almost touched or felt.)

Devastation magically turned into relief and tiredness.  Fighting the feelings takes more energy than allowing them to flow through.  I went about the rest of the day lightened.  My mood, my outlook and then energy returned to my body.  It was a freaking miracle.

All of the inner work I have done over the last four + years culminated in me believing that my feelings were acceptable but the facts in my head were not true.  I had to have some massive groundwork done to be able to walk away and have that much of a shift in perception and for it to stick.

My self worth as a person does not depend on how thin I am. This is not the message that I receive over and over again on a daily basis in our Western Culture but I can choose to change my thoughts and know that I am more than my dress size, house, car, jewelry, or any other external fact about me.

The feelings of inadequacy will come again, when my clothes feel tight, when I can't find something to wear or I just have a bad day.  I will again remind myself to let the feelings flow and redirect my thoughts.   I have been in therapy for a while, and I think there is something wrong with me because it's taking so long.  I have begun to let up on those thoughts because that is my ego talking.  I do know how incredibly beneficial it has been for me to be in therapy and this particular experience is the ultimate proof.

I believe that this weight gain will have positive ramifications.  This feels like a turning point.

(Thank you to one of my friends for using the words palpable shift when I described what happened!!)

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