Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Deeply Afraid

My bathroom scale became a flying object a few weeks ago when dearest one got fed up with it. No, he wasn't weighing himself - the man's weight has barely changed in 24 years of marriage - he was trying to weigh out the seed for the field work and the scale was being persnickety. It's uncooperative spirit earned it a ticket into outerspace and all the pieces have yet to be found.

Now, there have been a time or two in my life when I have wanted to chuck the scale into outerspace as well. The only time I've been really happy with it was when the battery was dying and every time I weighed myself I had lost a little more weight. Eventually I clued into the reason for my effortless weight loss and begrudgingly bought a new battery.

I'm in no hurry to buy a new scale. I could write a book a foot thick of how my moods have been uplifted or deflated by the number on the scale. So I am quite content to be without one. That is, I would be if I didn't look to it to tell me how serious I really am about this journey.

Yesterday I read an essay in the latest Oprah magazine by Anne Lamott on bingeing. One sentence in particular fairly screamed at me. It went like this: ".....whenever I want to either binge or diet it means that there is some part of me that is deeply afraid."

I sat in the library, where I was reading the essay, and asked myself what I was afraid of. And the answer that popped into my head startled me. I was afraid that perhaps I could actually be okay, be acceptable, just as I was in this body of mine, fat and all.

That thought reminded me of one that popped into my head a few weeks ago. I was just sitting in the silence when the thought "How about being at home in the skin you're in?" bubbled to the surface. The next thought was that if I couldn't learn to be at home in my skin the way I am now it was going to be a false sense of security to think I could be any other time. I didn't like the way this line of thinking was going so I stopped sitting in silence. Most likely I went and got something to eat.

I'm trying to remember the last time I was at home in my own skin without it hinging on the number on the scale.

Never. Ever.

Sometimes I wonder when I will see and value the real me - the core of me that has nothing to do with my weight. And sometimes I wonder when I will get emotionally healthy enough that feeding feelings/numbing emotions will cease to be an issue. Will I be disappointed if I die a fat lady? Give me the right incentive and I can follow a food plan perfectly. The last time I tried that I realized following things perfectly was a problem. It made me about perfection and not the journey. So I said farewell to that particular food plan until I can live without equating perfection with holy; perfection with good; imperfection with bad. Until I can stop passing judgement on myself for every morsel of food that goes in my mouth. Intuition tells me to simply be right now. That the eating will straighten itself out if I just continue to be present and aware. Another part of me wonders just who the hell do I think I am kidding? Present and aware are not near good enough. Couldn't I at least get my appetite under control and be present and aware? I say that to myself as if I am unworthy unless there is some part of me striving for God knows what.

I was writing in my journal the other day when I thought: "How do I tell the difference between intuition and denial?" And I wrote the sentence down and closed my journal very fast. Too bad my brain didn't close too. Intuition is life giving. Denial isn't. Those were the next thoughts that came crashing through my veneer of "I don't want to know the truth right now, thank you very much".

Present and aware. I can do that.

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