Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Reruns - Not Just For Television Anymore

With summer here, I'm finding less time to be at my computer, which means less time for writing posts, so I'm going to throw in the occasional rerun.  I usually can't bang out my Monday posts quickly, and lately I've been busy doing other things, rather than blogging.  So I'm giving myself a break, and I hope y'all understand.  Meanwhile, here's an oldie but goodie that still speaks to me...and I hope it does to you, too.

(This post is from nearly four years ago, and I still feel the same way...although in rereading it, I sure am happy to be freed from swimming laps - running is my preferred way to exercise.  Also, my mom had her annual post-cancer checkup a few weeks ago and is still cancer-free, which is an excellent addendum!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done!

(In the countless hours that I've logged swimming back and forth, I've had plenty of time to think.  And I've been composing this post in my head for about a month now.  I've worked through a lot, and it's gone from a bit of an angry tone to a much more calm, even-keeled, and accepting tone, and I'm finally ready to publish it...fair warning, it's a long one.)

I'm declaring myself done.  Done with dieting.  Done with always thinking I should be doing more.  Eating less.  Eating differently.  I'm tired of constantly having the "lose weight" thoughts always swirling.  I just want to be the me that I am now.  Not the me that I might be if I lost more weight.  Not the me that I was a year ago, when I was at my lowest weight of my adulthood.  Me.  Now.

I've been dieting for over 30 years now.  I started my first diet when I was in high school.  And looking back, no, I didn't need to lose any weight.  I was fine.  But let's not go there.  The past can't be changed, and we can rage all we want about crap that happened, but the fact is, crap happens to just about everyone.  And while it's OK to look back, it's easier if we can see our past with empathy to the likes of "it's a pity that happened" or "I'm sorry you had to go through that" - and then, release it and move on.  Forward.  Let that shit go, as much as you can.  For me, some days (weeks/months/years) it's fairly easy, and some days (weeks/months/years) it's not.  But I try to remind myself that I'm not the same person I was 30 years ago, or even last week.  Every day, every encounter with someone, every experience I have - it all adds up to a constantly changing, constantly evolving me.

Getting back to dieting.  Except for a few years when I was in my early 40s, I was ALWAYS either dieting, or feeling guilty about not dieting.  Those few years that I wasn't?  That was when I made a conscious choice to be overweight.  To accept my size, buy an entire wardrobe of clothes that fit my body, and to enjoy, without guilt, food.  Honestly, it was quite awesome!  Except for the constant heartburn, lack of energy, massive food bill (those dollar menus at the fast food places DO add up), and hating to see pictures of myself - but other than that, eating without guilt was fun.

However, with the graduation of my youngest child from high school looming, something made me want to give this whole dieting thing one last try.  And in May of 2008, I started my last diet, which, as you all know, I've documented on this blog.  Along the way, my focus went from losing weight, to changing my eating habits, from starting to exercise, to liking to exercise, and then I hit a major goal of losing 100 pounds.  But I never had an end in sight.  I never really had a goal weight.  I figured I'd just "know" when I was there. 

And then this year happened.  Two weeks in, I injured my ankle and lost my main source of exercise.  Two week later, my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I stress ate and put on some weight.  At one point, I remember looking back at that thinner person from the previous summer and wondering why on earth I wasn't done with dieting then.  It's taken me some time, but this summer, as I worked at losing the weight I'd gained, I realized that I didn't want to be doing this for the rest of my life.  I don't want to be that person who is always focusing on calories, on "good" foods and "bad" foods and treats and denying myself and spending so much time looking for a freaking number on a scale that I don't allow myself to enjoy life.

So that's where I am.  Right here, right now.  Living in the moment; appreciating my body for all that I can do (hello crow! hello swimming!), and letting go of a lot of years of negative thinking when it comes to food.  No more dieting. That saga is done.

15 comments:

  1. I remember this post!

    Great idea to rerun some posts this Summer. I find I have a little more time to sit behind the computer. Mostly because I have 45 minutes left in a day because Bella can't walk and second: Summer? What Summer? It almost feels like Autumn today, it's so cold. But it's only June and we have July and August ahead, maybe the wheater will be better then.

    Enjoy your Summer and I am sure I will enjoy your rerun posts!

    And such great news about your Mom.

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    1. I think the weather has been off for a lot of our country so far this summer, and it sounds like you're getting the weirdness, too. Here's hoping for improvement! :)

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  2. I have often thought about "rerunning" some older posts since my audience has changed throughout the years. Do you just "cut and paste" your posts? I heard that if you have multiple posts that are duplicated that Google will "Flag' you. Do you know anything about this?

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    1. I cut and pasted this one, yes. Haven't heard anything about Google flagging, but then I'm not one to care about SEO and the like...I pretty much have the attitude that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it. Helps that I don't have sponsors, I suppose...

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  3. I'm new here so this post is new for me. Thank you so much for posting it. I really need it. I'm so tired with thoughts of what to eat and what not to eat consuming my life, thoughts of guilt and deprivation. I just want to live.

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    1. I'm glad this post hit home with you, Lori. :)

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  4. Life is for living, not for dieting. And most certainly not for negative thinking!!

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  5. What a great post Shelley ....I am so happy to hear the good news about your mom! Cheers for a great summer!

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  6. I can't believe its been four years since you wrote that! As you know, it had a big impact on me, and I still think about it very often, and marvel! I still struggle with some of those thoughts. And your paragraph about deciding not to diet "Honestly, it was quite awesome!" I can still relate to with a smile. Thanks for re-printing it.

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  7. What a beautiful post! Congrats on moving past that 'diet' mindset and embracing and enjoying your life.

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  8. I remember this post too - I love reruns! No worries, glad you are getting away from your computer :D Happy Monday!

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  9. Never apologize for doing things other than blogging. That's how it should be.

    And I remember this post, but I cannot believe it was 4 years ago!!!

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  10. Just found your blog from the 100 Best List :) Yeah, I've also come to the point where I no longer label foods 'good' or 'bad'. I refuse to arbitrarily box myself in with restrictive rules that don't actually don anything positive in my life. I've actually had great success by eating 'dirty,' go figure lol. Now following!

    Sara http://www.dirtyeatinggirl.com/

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  11. I think people forget too that often reruns are just RERUNS but we have found ourselves in the exact same place--literal OR metaphorical--again and it really is what we are doing and where we are and LIFE.

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