In order to sustain a significant 60 pound weight loss from 2012 to 2015—where I went from a size 12 to a size 2—I created a new relationship with food.
One where emotional eating was eliminated because instead of seeking every opportunity to eat my favorite foods, I sought therapy. I may not have known what to do with what came out, but I knew that it needed to come out. I talked it out. I danced it out. I wrote it out. I just had to get it out.
I was most proud of my body then. I grew up in the 90’s. I remember images of Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss were prominent. I remember Janet Jackson affirming her reflection with admiration in That’s the Way Love Goes and somehow knowing that I was supposed to do the same thing. However my 13 year old understanding was that I needed to look like her in order to do that . . . it never occurred to me that I could just admire my own reflection and affirm my own being. So as a result, I began to desire being small.
Initially it was about having a small waist. You see . . . I also grew up with the influence of Pam Grier, coca cola bottles and the bountiful, fuller bodied, confident women of Atlanta — the city in which I became a teenager. So I married the two standards of beauty, thought about what was ultimately possible for my 5’2” frame and aspired to be a coca cola bottle.
A size 4 coca cola bottle to be specific, because my hips looked better when they were allowed their fullness.
A 6 or an 8 was too big for me. At that size, I could feel my arms wrestling for room as they attempted to rest by my side. I no longer felt light due to a constant fullness in my gut, as if . . . it were pregnant . . . with burden.
I could hear internalized insults hurdling towards my frame. Darting my thigh meat, piercing my flesh and pinching my fat . . . marking it with shame. . . abusing it from the inside.
I could hear the Rules of “No” — no eating of this and no eating of that.
Where did this come from? Why were there things that one could not eat? While certain foods may be allergens or poisons, why wasn’t there just an explanation of consequences . . . allowing me my choice?
Instead I was told no. And that no made me want to eat the very thing I could not have.
I told myself no and then every part of me sought it. My desire was increased and because I was still partly run by my desires, as in they fueled my actions, I would still make plans to eat it. I hunted it down. I researched to find or create it. I bought it or I had it served. I cooked it. I baked it. I ate it.
This is how my binges were created.
This was and is injurious to the body.
But I didn’t know until I knew.
It was such normal behavior to me, as I’d seen it permeating through culture in, books, television shows, print ads, food commercials, movies, conversations, eating habits and other areas. There was a period of time when my environment informed my decisions more than my values, my beliefs and my thoughts.
It takes time to come into your Self.
It takes time to know what you want . . . truly . . . not desires that are sold to you through advertisements.
It takes time to understand how you want to feel, not just a feeling that’s sold to you through the careful and intentional selection of images that are designed to sell brands and products.
It takes time to know what’s ultimately best for you . . . and then . . . .to have The Word to follow through on those beliefs and thoughts that serve you.
Now . . . I Listen In.
With a monitoring ear that reassesses with presence and without judgment nor fear.
This ear, hears with my Stellar Self in mind and she listens . . . she listens . . . as a daily offering.
She amplifies what’s kind and turns down what’s just pure bad mind.
And she makes sure that the messages are cellularly encoded so that it’s the only truth I live out.
As a result of listening in, I’ve come to know myself as a regenerative being who’s nourished body can heal, build, repair, restore, create, energize and power.
And she is who I choose to feed.