This is a rather spontaneous splatter of thought so bare with me!
First of all, allow me to explain my mentality, which I am trying to crawl my way out of.
When I’m about to have a meal, I create a mental image of how its contents are going to become a percentage of my body fat. Whilst I’m eating, I’m constantly ‘measuring’ my waist with my hands to observe how bloated the meal makes me. If my stomach goes past a certain size, I stop eating. I used to call this ‘mindfulness’. I’m not satisfied, but hey, still lean after eating, so I guess that’s how it works! Before having another meal, I look at the mirror constantly to see if my body deserves another meal by being thin enough. If it is, hurray! Dinner! If not, oh well, a biscuit and tea will do.
I am not going to get into detail about how I got to this point, that won’t help anyone. All I know is that this is not healthy and I project this utterly abusive behaviour onto loved ones by counting their calories as well as mine. However, I’d like to share how I’m learning to get out of this mindset, and that is by practicing this kind of…detachment.
My body is the way it is because I lost a lot of weight since I’ve been a teenager. In the culture I’m from, you’re almost applauded for this kind of an ‘achievement’. Therefore, I obtained a strange sense of pride. I made a conscious decision to not ascribe pride to my weight. Pride is already a ridiculous notion on its own, let alone when it is gained through something demeaning. Instead of thinking ‘I’m proud…’ I now think ‘I’m happy…’ and I am happy for a healthy body. I have been blessed with a sturdy physique that, in my eyes, makes my body look strong. Perhaps it’s my Taurus ascendant…that would explain the stereotypical ‘plump’ Venusian features, but this is not an astrology post – I’ll note it down for another one though.
Another form of this detachment is not looking at food relatively to your body, i.e. I no longer try to wrap my hand around my upper arm after eating pizza. That’s not how food works, it’s not like a bagel will be directly transported onto your thighs.
I look at my arms as tools to carry my belongings and I no longer spend my time obsessively looking at them in the mirror three times a day in order to see if I can still see my bones. I look at my legs as a form of transportation! They get me from A to B. I no longer try to measure by how much my thigh gap becomes narrower if I decide to spend the day indoors and not do any squats. I look at my abdomen as…an abdomen? It keeps my two halves in tact, I suppose. I hope you get the gist.
Beware though, that by ‘detachment’ I do not mean ‘ignorance’. I learned how to listen to my body. If my stomach starts growling, I’m hungry. If I have a headache, I’m probably dehydrated. If I feel somewhat feeble, it means it’s time for a nice walk or some other pleasant form of movement. I am slowly discovering what my body likes and dislikes. I no longer try to have a complete control over it. Instead, I established a healthy form of communication between my physical and mental well-being. And it is incredibly rewarding! It gave me a sense of freedom from judgement – especially my own judgement, which I deemed as someone else’s way of looking at me.
In not a very conclusive conclusion, I’m off to make dinner. I will have more intelligent things to say about this as I will keep on learning.
Please love yourselves, because it’s only your own love that is truly fulfilling.~