While I understand that America is getting larger and larger, and very real diseases are consequences of our hefty appetites, I still feel the words "war" are harsh, especially when you take the glorified news headlines and whittle them down to the specific individuals they have set their sights on. That individual is me. I am in medical terms - obese. I may not be the image that comes to mind when you hear the word - after all, I am an active, productive member of society. I hike, kayak, bike, walk. I eat things like kale, quinoa and tofu. I am happy and for the most part - healthy. So why is there a war waged on me? What crimes against society have I committed?
When I hear people talk about their weight in war terms "Battling my weight, struggling with my weight, wrestling with my weight" ... I cringe. Then there are the Boot Camps that treat the overweight like insignificant underlings that need to be punished for being fat slackers and slobs of society. It makes me angry.... and eventually, the anger subsides to deep sadness. Sad for the teenage girl that I once was that I constantly battled with. The personal battle I waged against myself at such a young age nearly conquered me. As I grew into my twenties - the battle raged on - the battlefield was my dinner plate, base camp was the gym, and the Commander in Chief was whomever I had deemed the expert that day - whether it be Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, or Susan Powter. I often went AWOL - binging on bags of chips, bags of cookies, quarts of ice cream, loaves of bread. Punishment was full on battles at the gym, or worse, head in the toilet to purge myself of all my sins.
The war waged on into my thirties.... this seemingly never ending battle took its toll on my self esteem, relationships and productivity. It consumed everything I did, every decision I made, and every event to which I was invited. I had to strategize and make "battle plans" to divide and conquer buffet tables at family events. I planned and plotted the days leading up to going out with friends - starving myself for days so I could participate "normally" with my comrades. Surprises such as my husband wanting to take me out to dinner, or being presented with a gift of chocolates, cakes or baked goods were sneak attacks of friendly fire- and I would have to retreat from the battle lines to re-arm.
If you are thinking to yourself "that sounds exhausting".... it was. I trudged myself to the gym, and through my workouts. There was no joy - it was all militant and with purpose. I measured my progress of inflitrating the battle lines with tape measures and scales. I lived on rations of diet shakes, pills, powders and supplements. I suffered battle scars and wounds. Some friendships became collateral damage. But I was a soldier - I had to win this battle of the bulge. I even went as far as to become a Weight Watchers leader so I could lead other soldiers into battle.
Battle weary, I sat down at my computer - meaning to strategize a new battle plan to combat my binging attacks, I stumbled upon a group that met on the Weight Watchers chat boards.... but they were not discussing WW - quite the opposite, they were talking about being victims of war - the war they had declared on themselves, and they had found peace. The peace treaty they signed was a pledge to themselves to never diet again. I read the materials they suggested, the books they recommended, and their stories of victory. I waved my white flag - I surrendered. I will never diet again. I entered peace time for the first time in my adult life. The war was over, I was allowed to come home.
Since then, I no longer fight with myself. Instead, I have peaceful negotiations on eating consciously, being active and enjoying my life. Peace time has consisted of enjoying meals, looking forward to dining out with friends and family, and not being stressed out when presented with tokens of love or gratitude in the form of food. Walking my dogs has become an activity of love and joy, taking note of my surroundings, nature, and enjoying the fact my body can power me up mountains. I still have scars of old battles such as stretch marks, sagging skin, cellulite and age marks, but I look at them as medals of honor.
So have a A very merry Christmas, And a happy New Year ~ Let's hope it's a good one, Without any fear. War is over over ~ If you want it ~ War is over ... now....
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I encourage anyone who is struggling with weight issues to surrender. This doesn't mean give in, sit on the couch and eat chips. This means give up the war - declare peace. Peace equals love, war equals hate... you will never be healthy, fit and vibrant if you hate yourself. End the war. Do it now.
I highly recommend reading Geneen Roth's book - Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. If you would like some coaching to get through the book and end the war, contact me... I'd love to hear from you.
Paradise is here, Paradise is now .... Paradise is being at Peace with Yourself....