Actually, everything, movement-wise, is getting easier and easier. Losing so much weight…I am discovering and marveling over my bones. My knees have bones. My elbows are resurfacing. It won’t be long, not very long, until I have collarbones again. Well, it will be a while, but they are there.
My ankles are returning though I don’t remember having ankles. When I’m lying down I can pull both knees up to my chest with just a little belly baby fat flap squished up. And it doesn’t hurt to do it.
I can reach a hand over my shoulder and get a grip on my other hand, very tight, BOTH WAYS, when I’m in the shower. Soon I will be able to do it without the water on me. I can almost squat. I can lean over at the waist without dying.
I frequently stand up on my toes.
My wrists are smaller.
I am just lighter. Shrinking. I feel myself falling through skinning the cat I am pulling myself forward and slinking down into heels, clogs to be sure, but heels just the same. Stacks I hope, soon. Jeans are beginning to fit again. Pants. I haven’t worn pants in so long. I don’t care for them much, but still.
And my body is just different. I don’t think it’s been that long since I’ve weighed what I weigh now, but I may be wrong. I don’t have a record. But even so my body seems smaller somehow. This is probably because I am less bloated. My diet is radically different from what it was. No beans. No salad. No whole grains. No berries. All this breaks my heart but my body seems to like it. And the best thing is that I’m, slowly, slowly, noticing cause and effect. This is hard for me…
Actually, it isn’t hard. I just have to pay attention. All. The. Time. Not to my aches and pains. I’ve discovered that that’s a bad thing, to dwell on pain and discomfort. I’ve also discovered that I have to create energy by using energy. This association is becoming very clear. Which doesn’t mean I like it, but that I’m getting a grip on it.
It’s not hard to eat the proper things and to lose weight. (for me this means a low-fiber low-acid lower-fat lower-calorie diet) All I have to do is keep track of everything I put in my mouth. Forever. This is the key. I suppose it’s a little like the AA thing, saying that you’re powerless. Except I am not powerless. I hold all the power the keys to the kingdom God has dubbed me Peter.
I will not go on vacation and give myself a food “holiday.” I will not skip a day and throw caution to the wind. I will not “cheat.” I will not turn a blind eye and scarf down a donut in the car and then another one and try to ignore what I just did. Instead, I will make choices. If I decide to have two donuts, then I will record them and deal with the consequences.
I will make choices because I always have choices. All through the years of being depressed and miserable, Dale would always tell me two things—you always have options. There is always an option, even if it’s just how you decide to react to an impossible, terrible situation. Second, never say “should.”
My life has been a series of “shoulds.” All around me people are saying should should. I should eat a salad. I should really go to the gym. I should cook supper. I shouldn’t eat this crepe, really, I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t gossip. I shouldn’t despair. Should is not a choice. It is more of an excuse.
Banishing should is difficult. I am still stuffed with shoulds and shouldn’ts. But I sometimes catch myself.
Really, everything is about paying attention and then letting it go when you sin. To sin is to “miss the mark.” To sin is to fall short of perfection. We accept that we are sinners. But we also accept the load of guilt that comes with that sin. Another thing Dale has often told me is, “Well, don’t feel guilty.”
As Yoda says, “Do or do not do. There is no should.”
Eat or do not eat. Calories in = Calories out. This is the only proven fact about food and how it affects us. The only one. If you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight. All the chatter about fat and carbs and fiber and water and coffee and sugar and corn syrup is just that, chatter. There is constant speculation but speculation is not proof. There is only one proof. Calories in = Calories out. To keep calories out you must shut your mouth which means you must take responsibility.
Some years ago when I was running the writing center at UTC, a student tutor was having a very light breakfast because she had eaten a very heavy meal the night before. She mentioned this in passing. I don’t recall any self admonition on her part; she was just matter-of-fact. I marveled then at her checks and balances. It wasn’t so much that she had discipline (another dangerous word) as it was her reasonableness. Somehow she knew, without fussing about it, Calories in = Calories out. She knew it and she was trim and fit. When I was her age I had already been battling with food for years, most of my life really. And I had always been guilty about food. And about my body, the battleground of thighs of soft belly of donuts and Swiss rolls and biscuits.
When I think of all the years I’ve spent worrying and punishing myself. All these years of beating myself up for how I look or how I don’t look how I don’t look good enough how I look so great why doesn’t anybody tell me how pretty I am? Years of basing my mood, every single day, on my weight. Every. Single. Day.
Of course the truth is that I’m doing it now. Every single week. If I don’t lose weight I sink a bit. If I gain I sink even more. But I am trying to be happy about the gradual downhill progress the slope. I was afraid that when I got to a certain point, I would give up. But I got past that point and I am more determined than ever. To feel good. To run up the stairs. To squat. To bicycle my legs.