Yesterday something amazing happened. We had a family get together of about 40 people at our house (that’s not the amazing part but considering how anti-social R is it could be). The truly amazing thing was that I was faced with dozens of people, many of whom I hadn’t seen in a while, everyone taking pictures, food all around us… and today I realized that I hadn’t worried about my weight, having my picture taken, what anyone thought of my looks, eating in front of others or any of the other neurotic thoughts usually associated with large crowds. Not. a. single. one.
In fact, the issue of weight was so far removed from my mind that it didn’t even occur to me that I wasn’t thinking about it until I sat down this evening to do this blog post. I was both surprised and pleased. Surprised because I can’t remember that ever happening before, pleased because after all this time these lofty aspirations of self acceptance seem to be actually happening.
At this point you may be thinking, “Well, that’s great but what does it have to do with the meme you posted?” Or maybe that’s just me assuming you’re wondering. But anyway, I do have a tie in with this family get together story, I promise…
At one point I remember commenting about walking away from some sort of food before eating something I shouldn’t. I realized as soon as I’d said it that it was a mistake because it opened the room up to diet talk. Several of the women in the room started talking about the current diet they’re on, foods they were avoiding, workouts they’re doing… you get the idea. When there was a pause in the onslaught of this conversation I only hesitated for about half a second before I piped up to clarify that I avoid that food because I’m diabetic, not because I’m dieting. Because I don’t diet anymore.
And I still wasn’t feeling self conscious or really thinking about my weight. I was just talking about HAES.
I got a few inquisitive looks, a few uncomfortable laughs and this comment, “Yeah, I hear ya. It’s hard and sometimes I just want to give up too.”
And still, no self-consciousness on my part. I just kept talking about HAES, not really thinking about it.
I said, no I haven’t given up. I just eat things that make me feel good and energetic.
Then this comment, “Well, I just have to get rid of this, (grabs mid-section). It’s uncomfortable.”
I said, oh, I get that. I said I do daily yoga and it has helped me feel much more comfortable and move much more freely even though I haven’t lost weight. No judgment from me or chastising her for wanting to lose her mid-section. Just a statement of fact that I found a way to be comfortable with mine. She looked puzzled for a minute, then introspective. More people came into the room talking about something else. The subject changed. The night went on.
And it wasn’t until nearly 24 hours later that I even realized the personal magnitude of this exchange. I had an anxiety free conversation about HAES and non-dieting. I didn’t give it a second thought. Sorry for tooting my own horn, but that’s pretty freaking awesome.