"We are always getting ready to live but never living" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
How long have I been "getting ready to live"? How long have I put off the things that I yearn to do but my weight or my food or my numbing behavior has gotten in the way? A long time. Too long.
I planned and I made lists. I had great ideas. I schemed and dreamed, never putting myself out there; never taking the risk of being seen, of being hurt, of being vulnerable. All of my accomplishments were in my imagination. All of my dreams, up in the clouds, never coming true. Such a safe, cocooned life.
To live is to vibrate with energy and to allow the thrill of the unknown to be alive in me. To live is to risk. To live is to take a stand for what matters. To live is to say yes and embrace the full spectrum of emotions. To live is to fall down and get up and keep on doing because that's the sauce, that's the good stuff.
For too long I have believed that if I did it my way, it would work out. Look where it got me. Sick and tired and numb, afraid to live. So here I am, humbled, surrendering, ready to jump into this life with both feet.
A few days ago I watched a movie and that movie clanged a bell in me so loud I swear others could hear it. It perfectly illustrated what it feels like to have sugar addiction. I'll explain.
At the beginning of the movie we see that there are children, strapped into wheelchairs, lined up in a classroom. They cannot move. Not even their heads. The teacher is teaching, as teachers do. As the story progresses, it's clear that the kids are being held by the military and are being restrained because they have been infected with a virus that makes them, in effect, zombies. But they are different. They can speak and learn and function like normal people. Except when they smell human flesh, they freak the eff out.
So, there's a part, near the beginning of the film, when the teacher gets a little too close to one of the kids and one of the tough military guys, the general, sees her touch one of them gently on the head. He marches in, pulls his shirt up, spits on his arm and wipes something off. He shoves his arm under a kid's nose and in a split second the kid goes from normal to bug eyed, straining forward, jaw gaping, teeth chattering insanely, trying to get a bit of the general. The general is clearly making a point that the kids are incredibly dangerous.
Here's what struck me about that scene. That zombie kid, in his full flesh eating insanity? That's how I feel when sugar has me. It's not so dramatic but it is as unremittingly enticing as flesh is to a zombie. I do not have the ability to have just a little or stop when it's enough.
There is no "enough".
When I'm eating sugar and flour, and I mean ANY sugar including sweeteners and ANY flour, my brain does not function properly, like a normal person. There is no ease around food. There is no take it or leave it. When I'm in it, I crave junk. I allow junk into my food system. I lie to myself about what I can and can't have.
All of the diets I was ever on always allowed some form of sugar and/or flour whether it was a cheat day or with points or with moderation. When I am fully under the spell of these ingredients (I want to call them drugs because that's what they are but I don't think we're there yet in our relationship, so for now, they are "ingredients"), I cannot have some, or a bit or a bite or a taste. Pie? Sure! I'll eat the whole thing. Maybe not at one sitting but I'll take care of it for you BL&D.
I become a flesh eating zombie and I don't like it. Not one bit.
Since I gave up S&F, I've finally found some ease. It seems so normal and unexciting but there's no zombie chatter going on in my head and that feels great. It was so gradual as to be almost unnoticeable but in looking back, and as I write this, I can see that in nearly four weeks, I am better.
And instead of thinking that it's forever, I am taking it One Day At A Time.
Today is Day 18 of my new way of eating which consists of no sugar, no flour, 3 meals a day and measuring my food. I gotta say that it sounds awful even when I read it but 18 days in, I feel better, more in control of my food, which is no small thing for a person who has spent the majority of her life in a constant battle with the stuff.
I'm using this space to keep track of my journey. I'll post as often as I need to. I want a record of what this time was like when I took on my food and body and life as a priority.
I'm following the four Bright Lines, created by Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson (Check it out HERE). I started eating with bright lines (irrevocable, do-not-cross boundaries) around sugar, flour, meals and quantities, on January 2, 2019. My goal when I started was to get to a right-sized body. My estimation of what that might be is based on when I last felt pretty good which meant that I have 47.7 pounds to lose. And the last time I was at that 'right sized' weight? It was my wedding day on May 15, 2010.
Follow my adventures as I take on a new life following the Bright Line Eating program.
I am not affiliated with Bright Line Eating and the opinions I express here are mine alone. For more information on Bright Line Eating, go HERE.