On Sunday night I found myself sitting down overlooking the beautiful Toronto skyline reflecting on my feelings. I had just had a great catch-up with the beautiful and insightful Lindsay, had enjoyed an amazing weekend and had spent some time journaling whilst reading Love Your Body, Love Your Life.This week has been the first week in months where I have actually had a bit of down time and I guess that has led to my self reflection and in some cases self deprecation. While rationally, I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve come and the great life I’ve created for myself, I still find myself struggling to be at peace with the body I’m inhabiting.
Well, yes. And no.
There are moments when I don’t feel at peace. I feel like there’s a part of me that can never be “enough”. A big part of me just wants to feel adequate and lately I’ve been struggling to find that for myself.
I was reading through an old journal from last year and found an entry I had written around the time I was finishing boot camp. Even though I was in amazing shape, it wasn’t enough somehow. I still wanted to lose a few more lbs and couldn’t be happy with the way I looked, despite feeling physically strong, toned and really proud of all that I had accomplished.
I found another journal from earlier this year when I had lost some weight following my break up. I was at the lowest weight of my life, but still didn’t feel good about it because I wasn’t happy with how I had gotten there and recognized that I was too thin. While I already knew it deep inside, I learned that a low number on the scale didn’t mean instant happiness. Imagine that.
On the flip side of things, there are moments when I feel amazing:
During/after a really great workout
When I plan my meals and make great food choices
Wearing a bikini at the pool on Saturday
During my belly dance recital or even just in class
I’ve realized that I start to freak out a little when I’m stressed about other things, upset about a certain situation or just generally overwhelmed. I have started to see a pattern in Ashley-meltdown land and know that if I’m overworked and under-rested and without groceries or a meal plan in sight, I will probably freak out within a few days.
Yesterday I went to see my gastroenterologist for a check up. It has been a year since I last saw him, and I can’t tell you how amazing it was to hear the words “You seem to be doing fine without me, I’ll see you in a year unless there is a problem”. I have worked so hard to be as healthy as I am and it felt so good to be sitting in that room on the other side of this disease. The side filled with energy, vitality, strength and without pain, anger or a need for hardcore medication or surgery.
It made me grateful for where I am today, regardless of how I feel about my body. This is what I believe in: achieving great health and being my best me. The other stuff is frivolous and I know I need to work past it.
I’m beginning to realize that my definition of “enough” is changing. I am more than enough and I’m tired of treating my body with such disrespect and anger when I’ve really achieved an ultimate goal, so much more important than the number on the scale or the size of the skirt I’m wearing. I know that I believe that there is so much more to this journey than just the eating right, the exercise and the number on the scale, it just sometimes takes a bit of time to put that into perspective and really live it.
It’s been four years since I started my weight loss journey and looking back I can see how far I have come. I see the small victories I have had and the milestones I have hit along the way. Despite a Crohn’s diagnosis, I feel healthier than I ever have before. I am so happy in the life that I am living and am surrounded by some pretty amazing people. I have so many things to feel joyous about in this life and I know that as I continue to work through this aspect, I will find peace here too. Enough is enough; I am ready to move forward.
Part of the book includes a section on setting intentions and as a result I made a list of intentions for myself. A second part of the exercise is to flip the list around so that it is stated in the present. Here goes nothing:
I am beautiful.
I am comfortable in my skin.
I am healthy.
I am loved.
I am happy.
I am at peace.
I am stable.
I am strong and toned.
I am a role model.
I nourish my body.
I am getting the most out of life.
I am enough.