This weekend I spent some time at my parents’ house and not long after I walked through the door, my mom showed me a camisole she bought for me at the store. It was really pretty- white with a flower design at the bottom. I really wanted it. Technically, this wouldn’t count as me buying clothes, right? It was a lot harder than I thought to say no to her. It was a really nice camisole that I could convince myself I needed! I felt guilty saying no, too. It’s nice of my mom to think of me and buy stuff for me. But also, she knew about my yearly goal. The night after that, I had a dream that I was shopping for clothes. Wish fulfillment, anyone?
The harder resolution though, has been my focus on being healthy instead of on my weight and appearance. As a part of that resolution, I decided that I would weigh myself once a week (instead of the daily weighing I was forcing myself to do). I still wanted to have an idea of how much I weighed, but I didn’t want to obsess over it. Monday mornings are my weigh-in day, so this morning I was faced with the disappointing realization that I had gained 3 pounds this week, since I had started this new resolution.
3 pounds. Wow. I immediately was angry at myself for trying out this resolution. I kept thinking- I knew it! I knew this was a bad idea and that I would just gain a lot of weight. I took my dog for his morning walk and thought a little more rationally about this. I had the sense that I wasn’t exactly doing this right. I don’t think there’s one right way to be healthy, but there are certainly some wrong ways and I felt I had just replaced one wrong way with another.
I spent the week thinking that not focusing on my weight meant I could eat whatever I wanted and not have to worry about it. This meant I ate a lot of deserts. I snacked on them all day. Whenever I was hungry, I would grab a cookie or some chocolate first, telling myself that I didn’t have to worry about losing weight any more. I used my quest for health and better body image as an excuse to eat poorly. I took it to the other extreme- instead of focusing on what I was eating, I didn’t pay attention to it at all.
I think the point (at least for me) is to focus on health over appearance, not to not think about what you’re putting in your body altogether. When I reach for that second (or third) cookie, I shouldn’t tell myself not to because I’m going to gain weight, but I should tell myself to think about what I’m putting in my body and why. Am I eating because I’m bored? Because I’m hungry? Because I’m upset?
Mindful eating is what I’d like to my goal to be. Not to obsess about weight loss or what I’m eating, but to be aware of why I’m eating and to eat what my body needs, not just what I want.