Monday, May 4, 2015

Body Peace: Update

Mondays used to be a day of getting back on the wagon, of tightening the reins, punishing myself and trying to get the scale to move down after an indulgent weekend.  The emotional ups and downs of being really restrictive and "on point" during the week and then wildly swinging on the weekends took it's toll on my "Body Soul".  But it worked for years to maintain my weight loss and allow me to enjoy things on the weekend.  But the enjoyment came with a price: GUILT!

Fast forward to this Monday and I woke up like any other day, put on my gym clothes and looked in the mirror.  I see a healthy and happy girl.  Not my leanest body, not my most muscular body, and yes I have some softness to my belly that isn't just the lose skin of losing a shit ton of weight (wine belly hehehe).  But I like this body, in fact I dare say I LOVE THIS BODY!  This body ran 32km on Friday and will fingers crossed be running my 5th FULL MARATHON in 3 short weeks.  This body hopped on a Mountain Bike and rode the trails for fun yesterday and felt like a child with my little squeals of weeeeee (no one can hear you in the forrest right?).  This body spent the day hanging out with my oldest girl sipping Starbucks, painting, and taking our first bike ride of the year together.  This weekend I enjoyed a Friday night with good friends, wine and food.  Saturday I enjoyed a date night at Le Nordic with my husband and again some delicious food and a little wine.  Sunday we made an incredible homemade Sunday dinner and I might have been found in bed enjoying some popcorn and some Dark Choc PB cups :)

Kay and I heading out for a bike together :) 

In some ways this weekend doesn't sound that different from weekends of past, there was much fun to be had, and indulgence and enjoyment.  But there is a POWERFUL DIFFERENCE.  I now know that this is not my last opportunity to enjoy that PB CUP.  There isn't a restrictive diet waiting for me on Monday.  I am much better at listening to my body, and usually do stop when full.  Sometimes I still overeat, especially when it's really delicious! but it's because I am enjoying it so damn much! Not because I feel I need to stuff myself because this is a limited time experience.  Also when I do overeat a little, I don't think DAMN YOU"VE FALLEN OFF, and therefore might as well keep on gorging yourself because you know your going to have to be really restrictive to make up for this.  It's embarrassing to say but many a Sunday has been spent in the past eating way past fullness and thinking what else can I eat because I won't be "allowed" this again.  Now that's some disordered eating.  Part of that is certainly carry over from years of binging and purging, struggling darkly with bulimia, in my youth and the over eating that led to gaining 100 pounds when "recovered".  But I also think it's very "normal" eating behaviour for so many of us that fall into the ON/OFF, BAD/GOOD, black and white of the diet mentality.  There are 38 years of behaviours to change here.

I feel like I have been striving to move to this "Body Peace" place the last two years but only touching the surface and hanging on to habits like a security blanket.  But these habits no longer serve me well.  Reading the Body Peace book has been the catalyst to some major change for me. At first it was really uncomfortable and scary.  I wanted so many times to return to my old habits, to "gain control" to make sure I wasn't gaining weight etc.  But I kept telling myself that I needed to see it through, to really try, or I would never see if there really was peace on the other side.  In the past couple weeks I have found myself feeling more free and "lighter in my soul" then I have in a long time.  Food is a thing of enjoyment.  I enjoy cooking and making new wholesome nutritious recipes.  I love trying new things.  I spend more time cooking in the kitchen then I ever have.  I am mixing things up and enjoying a waffle covered in homemade sun butter in the am, instead of a smoothie (Still have lots of morning smoothies but not afraid to change it up and have a CARBY breaky too, remember it's fuel for that run).  I'm doing things like eating white pasta during the week because it's no longer a forbidden food (don't have any food allergies) and my lord is it ever good! Might have over eaten a bit that night but it was sooo good.  But here's the funny thing, this magic thing happens and I remember reading about it in a INTUITIVE eating book.  My body seems to regulate it's self when I listen to it.  I don't keep gorging myself, that evening I was still full and didn't have my usual evening snack.  Or if I do it's later when I am HUNGRY again.  It sounds so simple! But it's a significant change in behaviour.

I find myself walking past the mirror and liking my reflection, not picking it apart first or comparing it to an ideal in my head.  Just reacting and feeling good about myself.  Do you know how good it feels to walk away from the mirror feeling like that? So different then standing on the scale and seeing a number achieved.  It's like a feeling deep inside. I feel content, happy, and yes at peace with myself of late.

Oh I have my moments where doubt creeps in, or I am triggered by "diet" talk and wonder what am I doing? I should be trying to lose this soft belly or fit into smaller pants. But for the most part I am doing pretty well at following my own path.  That's the thing, it's MY PATH.  As much as I would love everyone to stop dieting, throw their scales out and love themselves.  I know that not everyone is ready for that.  It's SCARY! I'm also realizing that you can have body peace and still care about eating nutritious food for your body and working on fitness goals and yes even caring about feeling good in a summer dress.  It's just doing so in a way that empowers you instead of adding guilt or shame.

Yesterday's ride on the trails was so fun, and I had an AHA moment where I realized that this is what being fit is about!  Being fit enough to jump on a bike and ride hard up the hills, and weeeee around the corners, to feel your heart pumping and to grin from ear to ear!  This summer is going to be about FUN, enjoying the outdoors and making my heart pump with excitement.  I"m going to enjoy not having a big race to train for and enjoy living a fit and fun filled summer.
Heading out for my last 32km training run last Friday after dealing with some  pretty awful foot pain.  I wrote never ever give up to motivate myself to get through the run but now when I see this I think of my desire for Body Peace and not giving up on myself. 
I thought it would be fun to share some tips, some things that have made it easier to get more comfortable in my skin.

  • Instead of using the scale I take daily selfies in my workout gear and clothing.  I find it so much better for my sense of self to see a happy fit girl staring back at me then a number on the scale. When I am having a moment of self consciousness I look back at the pics and think nope your ok let it go. 
  • I am inspired by food and food blogs.  I love finding new healthy and wholesome things to cook.  There is something about making my own food from scratch that fills me with joy.  I'm embracing this love and spending more time in the kitchen.  I am savouring the tastes and textures and trying new things.  But as much as I love the really wholesome stuff I love jube jubes and choc just as much and treat myself regularly.  
  • I'm learning as well that workouts don't need to be "hard core" all the time.  I short 20 min strength session is often perfect for me.  I am spending more time taking yoga classes, anti grav yoga, tune up yoga, things without a big calorie burn or sweat factor but they do so much good for my body and allow me to keep doing the things I love.  
  • I've unliked and stopped following pages and IG accounts that trigger me and make me feel less then.  Instead I have filled my feeds with body positive messages and yes pictures of people eating a God Damned Sandwich! :) 
  • I am surrounded by positive empowering women and friends and that makes a world of difference in how I feel.  We lift each other up daily and that is a blessing.  
  • I have goals that have nothing to do with weight.  
  • I am playing more again, recently began painting again.  I stopped doing a lot of my creative hobbies because my thoughts were so taken up with the business of food and losing weight.  How sad is that?
  • I am seeing that fitness can be just playful and fun and spent with my kids
  • I try to think about what my kids are learning by watching me, and knowing that there are habits I don't want them to pick up.  I would much rather they swear like a trucker then pick apart their selves and put there self worth in a number on the scale.  
  • I'm practicing "let it go"...might even sing the song a little sometimes....but I am letting this Sh#t go!