Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

It was about Loving Myself

artist: Agnes CecileIt’s been two months since I last posted.

Why? OK, I’ll admit it: I was a coward. I didn’t want to write until I knew if what I was doing was going to yield results.

Remember my last post, where I talked about my relationship with food? How it was becoming a stand-in for everything? Well, after that realization, I decided that food and I needed to break up for a while.

Bur how exactly does one DO that? It’s not like a difficult interpersonal relationship. Or alcohol. Or gambling. Difficult as ‘walking away’ from those things can be, they aren’t ultimately life-threatening (usually.) Food is different. It’s like breathing. How could I sever a relationship with something that is necessary for my continued existence?

The solution came from a client (I have the most amazing clients!) I met Tandi about five years ago, and I’ve photographed her at least annually ever since. She’s petite, spirited, and beautiful inside and out. When she visited me this February, she mentioned in passing that she used to be heavy.

“What?” I exclaimed. “No way. You’ve been thin since I’ve known you.”

“Don’t you remember?” she replied. “I first came to you to celebrate my weight loss.” Then she showed me *before* photos. She was right. She’d lost a lot of weight. And she’s kept it off.

“What’s your secret?” I asked. She told me. “OK, I’m in,” I said.

I started what I dubbed My New Life on March 4.

The food I ate was plain. Very nourishing, but unexciting. And there was no satisfaction to be found in preparation, either, because I merely opened a packet and reconstituted it with water. Unappealing as this sounds, it was exactly what I needed. You see, it allowed me to disconnect eating and pleasure, so that food became sustenance, not fulfillment.

I didn’t *just* go on a diet. I started seeing a counselor and dealt with some long standing emotional questions. I immersed myself in Lenten spiritual activities. I reprogrammed my brain: instead of relying on food, I found joy and fulfillment through writing, photographing, sewing, playing and listening to music. In walking and yoga. In meditation and prayer. I even learned to crochet.

As I attended to my entire person – body, mind and soul – the weight came off. As of today, I’ve lost fourteen pounds.

Turns out, it wasn’t about weight loss. It was about attending to my┬áneeds. About listening to my body. To my heart. To my soul. It was about loving myself.

It still is.

PS: Tandi is an excellent health coach. Find her on Facebook: Tandi Graff

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