I am as self-actualized as the next person but, I will admit, I feel like that stupid piece of tin in the bathroom can catch me in a choke-hold at the WORST possible moment. I’ve said it all and done it all. “The numbers on the scale don’t define me. Maybe it’s just water weight. It’s probably muscle.” I have went an entire two months without getting on the scale, only to get back on it day 61 and have my heart drop to the floor because I was KILLING it in the food and workout departments. Or so I thought. But after yesterday’s episode, I’m in a different place. And I hope and pray it’s forever.
If you read my blog then you already know I’ve been on several trips in the past two months (Atlanta three times), Birmingham, L.A., Chicago and Baltimore. That doesn’t count all of my trips to Nashville for grocery and shopping (don’t judge me). I am now scheduled to go to Nashville twice for work (overnight) and Charlotte. I accumulated lots of Dividend Miles , weird sleep patterns and a habit I swore I’d never have again: not eating and not having the desire to eat.
As a vegan, and you know what, not even vegan, just a person who is EXTREMELY selective about what I eat, on the road (sometimes without a car), it can be VERY challenging to find things that are quick in between sessions or restaurant selections that won’t send the people you are with into a frenzy. For these reasons, I spent a lot of time alone. Spending time alone, for me, on the road usually results in 1) bath time and 2) sleep time. The LAST thing I think about it consciously eating or eating at all. I am eating shoveling food down my throat so I can go to bed or I don’t eat at all so I can go to bed. Even when I was at my parents’ house this summer, my mom said, “I bet you always eat standing up.” When I was eating, I noticed I couldn’t finish a full meal. I was rushing off somewhere or just didn’t want to eat. And I was probably wanting to go to bed because I was tired from not having enough calories.
Or could it have been something else?
It’s true that I was “busy” a lot of times. But, in the back of my mind, I wonder if I was being haunted by the desire to measure myself against others again. I was around quite a few “smaller sized” people when I was at all of these conventions. And people laughed at me when I said this (which is how I realized it may have been in the back of my mind) but there were several sessions where I was the biggest girl in the room. I’m not kidding. I started thinking I needed to be smaller. Or why wasn’t I as toned? Don’t get me wrong. There were days I starved merely because of circumstance. But I used to be anorexic. And I still have to remained prayed up about not getting into the mindset of “needing” to be smaller.
…which is what may have led me to get on the scale yesterday. I’ve been on a mini-vacation, doing yoga every day and barely eating. I feel like I should have lost a good five pounds. When I got on the scale, I had gained three. You would have thought someone told me that Morris Chestnut wasn’t that attractive in person. I acted a clown. I saw THAT number and UGH!!! Since my mother and my Pastor might read this I won’t say what I said but I went into that “heart dropping” mode and then I started planning my actions. You know how we do. “I’ve got to do MORE.” I ended up only eating one meal by like noon. Usually, I would have eaten three times by then. (In my normal day to day life, I LOVE to eat. My son gets it honestly.)
I was walking into the building to teach yoga and I saw myself in the reflection of the door. I had to look again because I didn’t believe the first thought that went through my head. It was “wow, look how lean you look.” And it’s true. My body looks different. At 38 years old, I’m finally outgrowing my baby fat. 🙂 But it was almost as if my mind wouldn’t let me accept it after that entire episode in the bathroom. But what was I going to believe?
Because it’s all true.
I am gaining weight because I am NOT eating. That’s what happens. Starvation only works TEMPORARILY. The minute I get my calories back up, the weight will come down. It’s truth. I’ve given up cookies and cakes (do you know how HARD it was to go to Cafe Sunflower in Atlanta, my favorite place in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD and NOT order that vegan chocolate raspberry mousse cake?) and coffee (no lattes. Oh my God. This is almost too much) this month and I know that I have done more than my share of exercise. I’ve been meal prepping and eating at home, when I eat (well, except for this week because I didn’t do it but I didn’t really eat either so…..) so my other habits are good. So I decided to change another scale…
The one in which I measure my “success.”
Three and a half years ago, I got really sick, panic attacks, gastritis, IBS and all of it and got down to 138. I kept getting all of these compliments about how fabulous I looked when the truth is I was sick as I don’t know what and couldn’t hold any food down. I remember working out with Jen Hendershott for a weekend at her Phat Camp and seeing stars because the only thing I could eat was oatmeal. But everyone thought I looked so fantastic. I don’t want that. I want to FEEL fantastic. And that’s how I feel now (well, when I eat enough.) I don’t ever want to get caught up in that number game again. This time, the numbers served me well because it was an alert for me to pay attention. But that number, other peoples’ numbers and other peoples’ thighs, well, I won’t be entertaining them any more.
When I step on my new scale it says, “awareness.” And that’s where I’m going from here.