Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Gets Lost?

(Image of me at a student's farm teaching a retreat this last weekend,
by Dayna Flores)

"If you lose your mind, come back again"
A slogan from Shambhala Sun Camp

For over a month now, Dylan and I have been doing Weight Watchers. The first couple of weeks were awkward - adjusting to their point system, shocked by how little or much certain things "cost" me. But once I got used to it (and, in fact, went on 10 day retreat where I couldn't enter my info onto the online app or system all the time, which is how you really keep track if you are doing it online rather than "in person" meetings, but still somehow did pretty well, intuitively) it really made sense to me. It still does. There's a sense of how much something "costs" us financially, as always, can we afford to eat out, if so, how much, etc. Then there's now also a sense of what "costs" us physically - I worked out, I have some extra points saved up, so we can go to Culver's if we don't go out again this week anywhere with more than salads.

I like this way, frankly. I have tried "diets" with "calorie counting" before and it hasn't worked - too much to keep track of. This makes it simpler, and comes at a time when, due to Dylan reducing work hours to keep his sanity and assist me in my "business" side of teaching, we are on a tighter financial budget, too. As we buckle down on eating out to save money, we buckle down also on eating to save calories, fat, and weight. So far Dylan has lost 12 pounds, and I've lost 10.

"33 for 33" is our mutual goal - we both turned 33 this year, and losing 33 pounds for each of us would put us both in "healthy range" for our heights, etc, from where we were when we started. But as friends have pointed out, the benefits of WW are long-lasting - even if you don't consciously or electronically "track" your "expenditures" you become far more aware of costs and gains.

I feel it's a bit like a game, actually. Move this here, like Tetris, and weight will drop.
; )
There's strategy for sure - eat as many veggies as you want, basically, because they cost "nothing" in comparison to french fries. And so on, and so on...

This week a "hidden" gain/loss has come up - and it's a bit of both. A feeling of sadness, disconnect with my body has emerged - old trauma mixed with new stories and struggles. I have heard over the years about all that we carry in fat - hormones, emotions, toxins - and I wonder, can't help but wonder, if both literally and metaphorically I am losing some of the weight, the hidden fears and secrets, issues and suffering, that had trapped itself in my extra weight. Or even more likely, losing weight is taking away my barriers, my protection from these darker, harder places, all of which are centered around body image and body hurt. So far it actually feels harder, worse, than it has in awhile - I commented to Dylan that I am more aware now of how "fat" I feel because I am losing weight than I was while I was stuck at one place and in denial - but also real and raw, as if I am ready to work with all of this energy that's been caught inside me.

Food for thought, literally.


  1. Yes, it IS losing and gaining. and I appreciate hearing about this. You know it's a topic close to my heart.
    Have you seen/read "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth? It IS an Oprah book, but I thought is was very real and very gentle. she speaks about ww and the point system - it works because it's so simple, it tells you exactly how to go about your eating with less question.
    As always, thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you, Ali. I hadn't heard of that title but also have a friend teaching mindful eating in Minneapolis, so I will check it out for me and let her know, too!

    Simple is right. Simple is hard but simple is clear.

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