It happened again, but this time it's worse.
My struggle with food and weight has been around for as long as I can remember. Literally, my earliest memory is of waiting in line at Weight Watchers with my mom and aunt.
Just wait - it gets better.
The reason this sticks out to me so much? Because the Weight Watchers place had a bottle coke machine, and I was EXCITED about the frosty, sugary drink that tastes best in those old-fashioned glass bottles.
Nearly 40 years later, I can still feel and taste that Coke on my tongue.
So yes, thoughts/struggles/war about the amount of fat in my body is my constant. I don't have the foggiest idea of what it is to intuitively eat, as in eat until you are full and just use the food for fuel.
You might as well assume I speak Latin natively if you think that type of thinking comes naturally to me.
So you may be wondering, what happened again and why is it worse?
What happened: I went to the doctor for a checkup. My blood pressure and other numbers were NOT where they needed to be. So, now, losing weight just isn't about vanity, it's about my health.
But. Here I am back on my b.s. (I say that in the nicest way possible) of eating healthier, moving more, and managing my emotions WITHOUT carbs and sugar (this is the kicker for real).
I've probably gained and lost the same 50-70 lbs. 20 or so times over my lifetime. I've lost weight through numerous rounds of Weight Watchers (they should give punch cards or frequent flyer miles - I would totally dig that), calorie counting, a raisin-bran and baby food only diet, and even a scary bout with anorexia in my early teens.
But this time HAS TO BE DIFFERENT.
I want to live to continue my sandtray legacy.
I want to travel with Sean without needing medications.
I want to enjoy trips to Europe with my nieces and nephews after high school graduation.
I want to be my best self.
So - what I'm doing differently now (and what this has to do with sandtray therapy)
1. Enlisted support. Sean is doing all the things with me. He's a pretty naturally healthy person and doesn't see good food as the best part of a day (as opposed to yours truly). When I met him, he was eating one large meal in the middle of the day so he wouldn't have to 'waste time' eating later (I KNOW WTH - have no idea of how to relate).
2. Honesty with myself and others. Writing this to you all is SCARY. I DESPISE vulnerability. But, if I don't lead by example with my family, friends, and even sandtray community (you), then I'm not being my most authentic self.
3. Reframing food in terms of "Is this being nice to by body?" Several years ago, I was in a yoga class and the teacher told us to tell our body thank you for what it does. I was blown away. Thank my body? My entire life it's felt like the enemy or something that contains what I don't want to feel.
But now, my effort is to reframe not using by body as a dumping ground for unwanted emotions but one that deserves to be treated with respect.
4. Weekly sandtray check-in's with myself. Part of the process of 'feeling my feelings' is by doing my own work through weekly sandtrays. These sandtrays are about my emotions, thoughts/feelings about food, why I'm doing this, and especially the shame, guilt, and grief that goes along with this process.
This edition of the Sandtray Ally isn't just about weight loss - the real focus here is importance letting others support you on your journey of life.
Numerous studies have shown that we are at our best when we have support.
Check out the links/stories/studies/quotes that reinforce our need for support.