My high school friend, Robin, used to say in a sing-song voice, "Secrets secrets are no fun; secrets secrets hurt someone." Truthfully, she said it when she felt like she was being left out of something. Probably because I was busy being silly with anyone and everyone around. But the sing-song rhyme has stuck with me.
Yesterday (as I was cutting about fifty thousand vegetables for a healthy gumbo that is hopefully getting yummy in our crockpot at home as I write this), I was thinking about how true that saying actually is.
Secrets don't just hurt the person who feels left out because they don't know what is being said. They hurt hurt the secret keeper too.
I mentioned this yesterday in my post, but there were two Oprah shows while I was off that really spoke to me. The one with Portia De Rossi and the one about what is normal. She basically took a poll of her audience members on various topics and then compared their results with some other study. Most of them were silly and not really helpful. And then I found this one:
Have you ever hidden a food wrapper in the garbage so people don't know what you ate?
67% of her audience answered yes.
On one hand, I felt great. I thought I was so different when I ate crap that I didn't want someone else to know about and then threw it away in a place no one else could see.
And truthfully? I've even done it a few times since moving in with Joe.
So part of me felt great - I'm not alone!
But the other part of me realized how messed up that actually is. I don't want to live a life in secret. Moreover, I don't want to be the person who doesn't feel like they can be honest for fear that someone else will say something, will judge, or will not understand.
And you know what? I'm not limiting that to food wrappers either.
There came a time when I was very vocal about my struggles and about my mind on this blog. And people were supportive.
When I quit Weight Watchers in May, wanting to finish my journey on my own in my own way, there were a few hateful emails that I received. It was discouraging but I kept on. I have had a lot of support (a LOT of support) even from Jams, who IS a WW leader (Thanks Jams!). The support and encouragement far outweighed the Negative Nelly's, so I dismissed their emails...even if they nagged at me from time to time.
But then I started being vocal about wanting to eat intuitively. I even posted a few days about our rights to eating intuitively. And I was mocked - a few times - privately and publicly - by a few people.
Even before that, I found myself not wanting to write about the struggles of intuitive eating (and there are plenty if I'm being honest with myself) because I didn't want to be misunderstood. I didn't want my struggles to be interpreted as the program not working. It does work. I have met people who have been thin for years after struggling with weight for decades.
But to be 100% honest, I didn't write about it because I didn't want to get picked on as other bloggers had. My eating isn't 100% clean all the time and I don't want to be the posterchild for anything. I'm not claiming to be a nutritionist or a person who knows everything about what they're doing.
What I do know is this:
~ restrictive dieting feels wrong to me because the plans that I have tried focus on lots of things other than actual nutrition. Because it is a matter of simple math (calories in must be less than calories out), it's easy to tell yourself that the 100 calorie ice cream bar is healthy. Or that because you ate 18 slices of bacon (but no carbs!) you're okay.
~ The truth (for me) is that I feel better when I eat better. I run faster, I think clearer, and I am happier. Eating more nutritionally dense foods makes me a better person.
~ When I eat less, I'm satisfied. I don't like the feeling of being stuffed. And I often would choose low point foods or protein laden foods (in the past) and then gorge myself on them to the point of being over-full because I wanted that feeling. The feeling of being stuffed made my soul feel full; made my life feel full; made myself feel less alone.
So, for me, I don't want to focus on one type of food, on a number (either for calories or points), or on other restrictive approaches.
Maybe that means that I take longer to lose my weight. Maybe that means that I never lose all my weight. But if it means that I'm a happier, saner, fitter person, why should I do anything differently - aren't I worth doing things the way I want to?
Lyn from Escape from Obesity has taught me so much in the years that I've been reading her. If she would've stopped when people started being hateful, she wouldn't be where she is now- a healthier mom and a healthier woman. I've really appreciated that she blogged her way through it - it let me know that there is no shame in stumbling. Our approach of losing weight isn't the same, but we're in each other's corner just the same. She never quit...and I'm not about to either.
The progress that I've made has had much more due to the space between my ears than I ever imagined it would. I've processed those thoughts most effectively through this blog. In fact, if I could offer anyone advice when starting out on the weight loss journey, I'd say: blog, vent, journal...or SOMETHING to get your true thoughts and feelings out there.
And just like yesterday, it's about time I took some of my own advice.
So here's the deal: I'm not going to hide behind my computer any more. I'm going to share my struggles with my life - just as I have been - and my food journey. I'm going to blog about my life, my relationships, my exercise, my relationship with food and anything else I want. If you feel like coming along for the ride, I'd love that - I truly would. I really enjoy reading about your triumphs and your failures.
But if you feel like my way is crazy, insane, or just fodder for rants on your blog, please leave.
Just because I'm not going to have omissions from my life doesn't mean I'm not going to omit your comments.
As I've found recently, being healthy means me standing up for myself when necessary. It's about time I do just that.