Saturday, August 28, 2010

Accepting Who We Are

"The answer for me is acceptance. I don't need to CHANGE who I am, I need to learn to LOVE who I am. I need to accept myself, everything about myself and honestly be okay with it. I need to do this unapologetically and without guilt."

Wow, does that not just hit you right between the eyes (and heart)? It does to me! I can't even remember how long it's been that I've felt the need to apologize for who I am. So often in prayer I beg that some day I'll be worthy of the blessings I have. Whose to say I'm not? I know that Satan definitely wants me to think that I'm unworthy, unloved, and alone. And even though I had amazing parents who always have loved me and made it known, and have a husband that is lavious and verbal with his love, I still have felt that way. I know that past experiences through out my life have also given me those feelings. That I am less than, that I always need to be sorry for who I am, what I said, what I did. So often I feel the need to apologize for things that I have no control over, that really have nothing to do with me. This year has been all about change. And I am not saying that's bad. I feel like I've come so far this year. But I think I'm just realizing that it's not really that I've been changing per say, more that I've been defining who I really am and finally accepting myself. This step into the intuitive eating world is just a part of that.

So speaking of accepting myself, and to another point, others and who they are. I've had the thought that perhaps some of my readers are not really interested in intuitive eating. That they will no longer be interested in following my blog. I say this, not to... make anyone feel bad or guilty. On the contrary, I say this to acknowledge your feelings and to let you know, it's okay. Of course I hope you'll stick with me. I hope that we can continue to learn from each other and that we can find value in all kinds of ways of not only losing weight, but of coming to true acceptance of ourselves. But if you feel that this is not really something you are interested in, then that's okay. I'll miss you, but I understand. I've kind of had this pressing down on me and I just needed to put it out there for you, and for me. And if there is no one feeling that way, then great!

Yesterday I successfully ate breakfast and lunch by listening to my body's hunger signals. I stopped eating when I was satisfied and it felt great. It never ceases to amaze how good that feels. How empowering it is to know that I fed my body, and nothing else. Even when doing WW, I always felt amazed when I accomplished that. Dinner did not go so well. My blood sugar dropped as I was out and about, so by the time I came home, I ate way too much and totally ignored the STOP sign! Then we had dinner as well. Then I fell asleep into a "I ate too much" coma. The rest of the evening I physically felt terrible, mentally tired, and yet... I wanted to eat more. And did.

This morning I woke up and knew that I needed to spend some time with that. I wanted to know what happened. Why it happened. Etc. I'm still trying to understand this whole process and to do it, but not force it. That's tricky. I find that I want to direct my feelings, I want to label them. But, the idea is to let your body tell you what's really going on. Not to really label, but to feel them, let them be, accept them with kindness and love, and then they will dissipate. Sounds kind of phewy (yes, that's a word, that I just made up, that means... "sounds like craziness, what in the heck are you talking about Sam?". Get it? Good!). It's okay if you don't get it, because like I said, I don't get it yet either, but I'm trying anyway.

I sat on the couch this morning in the complete quiet except for the melodic wind blowing through the aspens in my yard and feeling the warmth of the sun on my back and just felt. I felt my body, felt the feelings from last night. Tried to see what they are and what they are doing. I feel like it was successful and I know I'm not really explaining it right. But I'll tell you this, it was peaceful. I feel peaceful. And what I kind of came to is that I've been really angry with myself for gaining weight back (just like I have every other time). I've been really fearful of the future for my weight loss, that I would just let it all slip away. Fearful to really commit to this lifestyle and what if it doesn't work and maybe I should just do it half way, or just stop being silly and go back to WW. As I sat with those feelings and tried to be kind to them and not judge them I realized that of course I feel that way. My past experiences have taught me to feel that way. But this isn't the past, this is now. And just because that happened in the past does not mean that it has to happen this time too, that is just a story I have told myself. That I always have to do what I have always done. No I don't! Or that this way of living is not going to make me a free person from self cruelty and extra weight. That too, is a story. I think it's a protection mechanism, because what I am embarking on is very scary. I kind of liken it to wearing boxers or shorts with no underwear. Haha. Have you ever done that? You feel all venerable and like you're just flapping in the wind with no protection. That is how I feel. Haha, sorry for the image! :D

I loved that quote at the top of my post, because I think no matter what plan you are on or not on, it still applies to everyone. We need to be more loving, accepting, and forgiving of ourselves. Today, I was able to do that, and it feels wonderful. How about you? What can you do today to love and accept yourself?



:Deliciously Healthy said...

Beautiful message!

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

I love what you wrote and what that quote says about refusing to apologize for ourselves or for accepting ourselves. The truth is that our society/culture doesn't necessarily WANT us to accept ourselves - then we don't need to buy the beauty products, or read the advice-filled magazines, etc. Not accepting ourselves fuels consumerism because we try to find a product or something tangible to "fix us." So accepting ourselves as not perfect but still completely acceptable - as children of God - is pretty darn radical! :)

Jessica said...

Hi Sam! Thank you for visiting my blog - it sounds we are at similar places with ourselves. I look forward to following along and hopefully we can both learn from eachother!

From my heaviest weight I have lost 50 lbs through restrictive dieting & tons of exercise, which was actually probably too much. That is why it is so difficult and stressfull for me to stay at the weight that I am. It is a constant battle and I find that I had been living in absolute fear of weight gain.

The only answer at this point is for me to treat my body with love and respect and my weight will level off. I have been working on this for a bit and have gained back a few pounds and you know what? It is totally okay, it is healthy. I am healthy. I am loving my body and it is loving me back. Of course I still have struggles ~ that may always happen. But overall, just like you referenced when you were sitting with the sun on your back, things become peaceful.

If you have not read it, I am reading Women Food & God for the second time now. Holy Amazing and life changing. It will be a book that I contine to re-read throughout my life. I would suggest reading it. I have read, and loved, Intuitive Eating and this book (WF&G) is the perfect thing to follow that up!

Sorry for the super long comment, so excited to follow your journey.

You are beautiful by the way : )

Lesia said...

Sam you know I love you and wish you only the best in whatever you do in your life. I am not totally understanding this whole intuitive eating thing but if you do that's all that matters. I know what works for me and that is all I need to know. Good luck again and know I will be following you always. smile.

Jessica said...

I was just reading some of your posts and saw that you have already read Women Food & God. It is a great book!

You are going to rock this journey, it sounds if you are already moving in a good direction. Unless your motivations are coming from a place of love and acceptance - it is tough to do them forever. The hardest lesson for me to learn was that I needed to start on the inside FIRST, then on the outside if I still felt the need.

Again, I am excited to follow along!

Anonymous said...

When you said that it feels so good to honor your hunger and fullness signals it made me think of something I read in one of my Geneen Roth books. It said something along the lines of every time you do that, you are choosing to take care of yourself. I think of think of this every time I throw away or package up food I would have normally eaten just because it's there.

Joy said...


You are so awesome! I love what you are doing for yourself. It's great that you are finally listening to what your body needs. It's funny that we don't question when we are tired. We just go to sleep. It should be that easy to listen to our bodies when they are full. Keep at it my friend!

I gave you a blog award - just go to my blog and check it out.


Lesia said...

Blog award for you on my blog...Come get it!

Happy Fun Pants said...

I loved this post - and I feel that you ARE going to be successful - and starting with loving yourself is a fantastic feat.

Like I said the other night, we are in this together...and I think that this, more than anything else I've ever tried, really is a journey. If I know and love myself DESPITE whatever weight I have been at, then I will be successful.