Wednesday, 6 August 2014
Freedom, self control and keeping to a diet
I'm on a diet.
Now, to most people that would hardly be a big deal... but to me it is - I don't think I have ever said those words before!
Back when I was trapped in food hell (I shared a bit more about this here), it would have killed me to admit I had anything other than a nondescript relationship with food. Nobody could know. The fact that my weight losses and gains were impossible to miss, the fact that I had to carry my shame in public, in my body for all the world to see, how I hated it - but I would never say a word.
Later, when I was in 12-Step recovery, I learned to admit publicly that I had a problem with food and was following a programme to address it. [The fact that I would never eat outside of three committed, weighed and measured meals - which sometimes meant taking the scale out in public and weighing my food at restaurants, conferences, working lunches etc. - could hardly be missed.] I was able to name the problem - addressing it as an addiction, a mental health problem.
And then, without asking for it because I thought I had all the freedom I would ever have by following that programme, I was simply and suddenly set free. God just did that.
My new found freedom meant that for the first time in a decade I was able to neither binge or starve - that food was actually just fuel, however enjoyable, I didn't have to think much about it or obsess about what to eat and what not to eat. I felt very strongly that not excluding anything [vegan], not restricting myself, just eating in response to hunger and fullness was the key to keeping that freedom. Sometimes I'd happen to get very hungry. Sometimes I overate. Most of the time, I ate what I fancied at the time and stopped when I had enough. If this sounds simple and obvious to you, let me tell you: to me, this was the holy grail of utter and complete freedom.
That's how I've eaten and maintained a stable weight for years now, since the time I was freed.
And now... I'm on a diet. Oh, the irony!
I have developed gestational (pregnancy) diabetes, genetically caused. Until the baby is here, I need to stay away from sugar. It's a diet.
Predictably enough, sugar is what I really really want now that it's off limits. I can sense the old ways, those old train tracks of obsession and crazy thinking - they are overgrown with weeds, but they are still there.
Perhaps, as a friend recently observed when I shared this with her, this is the next step in the freedom journey. Because freedom isn't doing what you want, all the time; it's the freedom to choose. Freedom is being able to be self-controlled. That is what I hope to learn in the next 10 or so weeks, until baby is here.
And yeah, I'll admit, I'm kind of scared.