Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Food Fight

Well, spring has sprung and I am still at the drawing board with my eating disorder and my word of the year, courage. I missed reporting at the Spring Equinox but I haven't been exactly idle.  It took awhile for me to get an actual purchase in this endeavor, however.  I ate my way through the existing food in the larder and replaced those things with more healthy foods.  I then began throwing the healthy foods in the garbage because I wasn't getting to them soon enough.  I discovered I was buying too much fresh food. I was buying too much food, period!  It doesn't take much to consume 1350 calories a day. Of note: organic food spoils. Who knew? I then got my Y Membership going and got back into the pool doing water fitness a couple times a week.  Then, to deal with the motivation, I hired a gun.  My insurance allows for a counselor and my doctor who eyed my 211.8 weight for February with an arched brow, gladly wrote a referral.  She noted 3 lbs a month would be a good goal.  That's 30lbs in 10 months! It sounded so "doable". Fifteen years I've been overweight (though not over 200 all that time).  I can hardly imagine loosing that much weight in 10 months! I became giddy over the prospect. I then got lucky and found someone fabulous to talk to and we've yet to talk about food BUT...then there was a twist...

The internets came to my rescue once again and I now have a new best friend named MyFitnessPal.com! One site linked to another when I was sitting at the computer brooding over the fact that I could not afford a pricey weight-loss program like Weight Watchers.  I read a review that said this web site was as good or better than what Weight Watchers offered and it was FREE! FREE! FREE! ...which just happens to be within the high end of my price range.

So now I have a counselor, a gym scholarship from the Y and a virtual best friend who reports to me saying, "Cile is on a 28 day streak of keeping her records!"  and "Cile has followed a fitness program today that burned up 658 calories!" and "Cile was under her calorie goal today!" It even says, "Cile has lost 8 lbs since May 1st and will weight 190.3 lbs in 5 weeks if she keeps up what she did today!" I now want nothing more in life than to please my new friend, Fit. We bill and coo as I enter the data and tally my calories daily.

Oddly enough it all turned out to be about calories.  I was making the eating thing way harder than it needed to be.  To my chagrin it is the same old thing I was told when I was a teenager.  CALORIES!  Watch them! Burn them!  Don't eat more to compensate for what you burn. Period. My healthy body is slowly reappearing and I feel happy because of the endorphins that I've come to enjoy on a regular basis...also, my knickers don't pinch me anymore.

So how is what I am doing courageous?  I think that taking on something - anything - that stands in the way of one's health and well being takes courage...especially when there is a fear at play keeping one from their quality of life. Certainly that is true with how I was doing food and my consequent my weight. Perhaps this journey with weight loss is just a dress rehearsal for new challenges that await me.  Who is to know? I aim to find out. I'm happy with my progress and I want to end this post with something that David Whyte posted on his Facebook Page:

IN MEMORIAM: MAYA ANGELOU 1928-2014

COURAGE

is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposing fire, to do something under besieging circumstance, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public, to show courage; to be celebrated in story, rewarded with medals, given the accolade, but to look at its linguistic origins is to look in a more interior direction and toward its original template, the old Norman French, Coeur, or heart.

Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences. To be courageous is to seat our feelings deeply in the body and in the world: to live up to and into the necessities of relationships that often already exist, with things we find we already care deeply about: with a person, a future, a possibility in society, or with an unknown that begs us on and always has begged us on. Whether we stay or whether we go - to be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made.

©2014 David Whyte
Excerpted from ‘COURAGE’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

Yes. That is what I want; I want to stay close to the way I was made.

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