Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm Trying to Avoid the Apples.

Do you remember the part in "The Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy and her friends are entering the haunted forest and all the trees are scary and it's dark and creepy?   For the last week or so, I feel like I am journeying through my own haunted forest, and I am waiting to get apples thrown at my head.

Back story...here goes.   About a week ago, this new fad called the K E Diet came to my attention.   Haven't heard of it?   That's because it is FREAKING RIDICULOUS!   Well, one of the network morning shows did a schpeel on it and it is basically putting a feeding tube in your nose, and letting yourself be fed by a continuous liquid drip diet for 2 weeks  so you can drop weight quickly for such monuments events as weddings, parties, and vacations!   SERIOUSLY!   Doctors are promoting this!    Well, at first I was COMPLETELY disgusted by the idea that we have come to this.   Women would rather walk around with a feeding tube stuck to their face and risk ruining their health, than accept themselves for who and what they are.   It broke my heart.   I have known women who used laxatives to lose weight.   They have eating disorders.   I have known women who have starved themselves.   Eating disordered.   Chewed and spit?   E.D.  Purged food.  E.D.   HOW IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT???   There is nothing normal about it.

I got all up on my soapbox and harped about it.   But really what set me off?   For a SPLIT SECOND I had the thought....."I wonder if I could do this."   I feel like I have come so far in my life and journey to accept myself, and for a second, I too found myself wondering....what if?    I felt sad.   Right there.....apples at my head.    Crap.

I have been on this journey for a while now.   Some of you have been with me in person.   Some in spirit. But it's been ongoing.   The road to self acceptance isn't an easy one.   And from this one little news story, I think I realize to a small extent, that I may have been taking the wrong road the entire time.

See....I HAVE lost weight.   I have had great physical goals met.   I've done well.   And I think that I have thought all this time that if I continued down that path.....success would be mine.   Nevermind that I finished the half marathon and didn't find the pot of gold.   Nevermind that I broke my foot (TWICE) and blew out my knee.   Nevermind that I still struggle with eating on a daily basis.   I had convinced myself that this road was going to lead me to the Nirvana I was so hoping to find.

Then I sat and talked with amy therapist about this.   (Thanks Jaynie, btw!)  I sat and told her how horrified I was that this diet even existed and that I couldn't believe how people would go to such extremes, and yadda yadda yadda.   I then proceeded to tell her that I had a better plan.   I was going to keep lists of what I ate, and weigh myself, and count calories, and exercise at LEAST so many times, and I would show them.   I had a very specific checklist that if I followed to a "T", I would lose weight and be healthy and nothing would stop me.  

She just looked at me for a minute and said (a little exasperated I might add) "NO TINA!"  She asked me, "Why do you keep trying to get back on this same road that has lead you to injury and upset?"  That my friends, was an apple of EPIC proportions STRAIGHT to my head.  She said, "I am fairly certain there is a path that leads to self acceptance, but it DOESN'T have a weight limit, and it doesn't have so many rules to follow so strictly.  Maybe you should be looking for a kinder path."  

I sat in stunned silence for a bit.   A lightbulb came on and I thought for a while.  See, the old road, the one paved with rules and regulations, was safe.   It was hard, and defined, and easy to follow.   You either did what you had to do and got results, or you didn't.   This new road seemed a little more like a bike path lined with plants and trees that lead into an unknown place.  However, it might allow me to accept myself without all the crazy rules, and I am hoping with each step the path gets lighter, wider, and easier to see.   Hence....my journey into the forest.  

The thing is though, that I don't think the forest is haunted or scary.   I think it's just not what I am used to.   And when I follow the rule of Dr. Phil and ask myself "how's that been working for you?"   I have to say...not so well.   I have learned a LOT in the past few years.   I have made forward motion....but I have to wonder if there isn't some credence in what Jaynie suggested to me.   Perhaps if I approach this journey from a new path that isn't so black and white....perhaps I will find even more success.  Now...I am not telling you that I have thrown caution to the wind and that I am going to put on my hippie glasses and saunter into the enchanted forest with no worry.   That's not how this works.   It's a new thing to try, and I am hoping one that will allow for a little more humanity and a little less perfection.

I still think anyone willing to put a feeding tube in their bodies to drop weight for a "perfect" day needs to have their heads examined, and that doctors willing to do this need to have their licenses revoked.   However, I also think that the way I was doing things was leading me to live with some extreme behaviors as well.   Although my extremes weren't as drastic as the KE Diet, Black and white doesn't work no matter how hard you try, and no number on the scale should determine whether my day is magical or not.   I should try to be happy with myself as I am, and do things because I want to and it makes my body feel good, not because there is a rule saying I have to.   I hope it works, and if it does, I hope more women will join me on this journey.   We have to stop this obsession with being perfect, and thinking that happiness is tied to a number on a machine that I am beginning to think was designed to keep us dieting.   I wonder if we give up this way of thinking, if we all might find acceptance.

So...here I go....journeying on a slightly different path.   Definitely one less travelled for me....and I am taking one step at a time while trying to avoid the apples.