Who loved playing hide and seek when they were little? Heart beating, trying to hold your breath so that you wouldn't be caught. The thrill of making it back to base before the seeker tagged you. Or hunting down your siblings, thinking you are really clever in knowing all of the best hiding places and then coming up empty as you heard them yelling BASE!!! And knowing that you were not the best seeker on the block.
I've played hide and seek with a cycle of disordered eating for most of my life. And then I learned to stop playing the game. Coming out of the closet and saying, I'm done with this game. It's not fun anymore. I want to live in the light.
In 2017 I started listening to a weight loss coach share her story of losing over 100 pounds and keeping it off for more than 11 years. She had always been an overweight person. Since childhood she had struggled with being overweight, not just a little overweight either. I resonated with her. My own childhood was lived feeling like I was so broken. My father used to say that I was a pig and that he was shocked that he weighed so much less than I did. I'm sure at the time he thought that he could scare the fat out of me. I'm sure he was concerned for my chubby little body but those words and those times when he pointed out that I was bigger than him only built a belief system in me that I was broken and needed to be fixed. I didn't know that I could choose not to believe what he was telling me. That I was acceptable just I as I am. That all of the kids who used to tease me and kick me in the shins were wrong about my body and my identity.
Why do I share this story with you? It's not so that you can think what an awful father I had. No, he was just doing what he thought would motivate me to lose weight and be acceptable in the society I was being raised in where all of the models and television stars were stick thin. He was raised in an abusive home growing up and didn't have the skills to understand how to help an extremely shy and lumpy little girl.
At 10 years old I started my first diet. I restricted myself in how much I ate in front of my father and then when I was home alone I'd sneak into his candy bars. Later when I became older it would be to sneak a beer from the fridge. I started this behavior of starving myself in the attempt to lose weight and then binge in secret and then beat myself up. I have spent nearly 41 years in the cycle of dieting and bingeing and beating myself up.
Back to 2017. I learned from my coach that I wasn't broken. I had a faulty thinking system. I could choose to break the cycle once and for all by working on my thoughts. By managing my mind I learned how to heal. I started to experience those feelings that I had been stuffing. I took action for how I wanted to show up for myself. I stopped overeating and I lost 67 pounds.
I'm still learning to think differently. I'm still growing in my own thought work and now I teach other women how they can break the cycle too. That it's not an overeating issue but a thinking issue that causes us to remain overweight. That we can choose to pick new thoughts that will create lasting weight loss.
I'm working on losing another 67 pounds this next year. I know without a doubt that I will do this by managing my mind. Allowing myself to feel any emotion, take action and achieve my weight loss goals. I will be able to tell my story of losing over 100 pounds and keeping it off for years and years to come.