Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learning to love....myself

Since I didn't feel very good this morning, I decided to stay home from work today. Instead, I curled up in front of the TV where I discovered Ruby on Netflix. I had a Ruby marathon. I've never watched her show. I spent three hours watching Ruby and her weight struggles, and reading weight loss blogs.  It was a perfect day.

Around 3pm I decided I'd better go to the gym. Watching Ruby kind of scared me. Ruby and I have too much in common. I can see how I could easily slip into my old lifestyle, eating poorly and not exercising daily.

After the gym I went to Barnes and Noble. I had to have the 4HB book right now. 4HB is The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. I know, silly title, but a few people have recommended it and it seems to be working for them. I thought maybe something new would work for me since I've been struggling for the last several months.

The 4HB book is a huge hardback, very thick and very large. I glanced through it, looking at the graphs and charts, skimming through the book, reading a few sentences here and there. Then I stood there and stared at all those weight loss books. There are several shelves of this type of book, each one promising a miracle. I recognized several of them since I already own them, some I've read, some I've started but never finished.

As I held the 4HB book in my hands, I thought, do I really need this? Is this the book that will fix me? I didn't like some of the things I read. It sounded really restrictive, with a cheat day. I've never been good with a cheat day. I just don't like the idea of throwing away a week's worth of work to cheat on one day.

Then a book caught my eye. "A Course In Weight Loss". Then I saw the author's name and almost didn't even pull the book off the shelf. It's by Marianne Williamson. I saw her years ago on Oprah. I had an immediate dislike for her new age religion mumbo jumbo. Actually, I often have a dislike for someone that Oprah gushes over and promotes. I'm sure Oprah is a nice person in real life, but honestly, sometimes she annoys me on her TV show.

I opened the book and realized I had looked at it before, and didn't purchase it because of the author. I flipped the book open to page 93 and read the following:

Lesson 7:  Love Your Body

Love, and love only, produces miracles. Your primary work in doing this course is to identify where there is a lack of love in your life, and be willing to address it.

That includes your love of self, and your body is part of who you are If you love your body when you're thin but hate it when you're not, then you love yourself conditionally, which is not love at all. If you can't love your body, you can't really love yourself.

"But how can I love my body when I hate the way it looks?" you might ask.

Begin by asking yourself:  What are you hating your body for?  For being overweight? It didn't do this to you; you did this to it! You haven't been abused by your body; your body has been abused by you. And yet, unlike you, it has continued to hold up its side of the relationship. It has continued to function as best it can, even though you have made it harder. It has borne excess pounds, even though it has been a burden to do so. And it has continued to support you, even though you have often failed to support it.

Is it your body you hate, or its size? And since all negative emotions derive from fear, if you hate your body, you must fear something. What is that? Do you fear ridicule? Or is your deeper fear--one that overrides your fear of being overweight--a fear that you'll be punished if you try to "play big" in life? Again, what are you afraid of?

I was hooked. It was like she was speaking directly to me. I know I need to learn how to love myself right now. Not when I lose another thirty or forty pounds, but right now, as I am this very moment. I need to get over the constant hate of myself. What I've been doing isn't working for me. It's not the life I want to live. I want to learn how to love...starting with me.


Ginny said...

I hope this finds you feeling a little better today. I am home and reading blogs, because I am having a down day.
And have just started my weight loss journey.
You look great. Ginny

Mer and Mo said...

Diana - I love the Ruby series - it has its ups and downs - I am not a huge fan, but come across it from time to time and enjoy it when I do. I am learning to love myself again too - doing things for me that make me feel good and in the long run I feel like it is showing more on me in all that I do. It is amazing how much you can do when you love more then just a hobby, a friend, a child...find your inner self...encouraging you on this journey!!

Staying MOtivated

hopefulandfree said...

Hmmm. I still wonder if there is any difference between *me* and *my body*...

It's all very confusing. And mysterious?

I don't like the thought that *my body* has been "abused" by *me*...not one bit. In fact, that thought actually seems quite abusive, like an accusation and sentencing without any trial. (So, not to mention, it feels crazy-making.)

But that's just *me*. In this moment. Maybe I'll feel different in 10 minutes. Or not. Sigh.

bbubblyb said...

Yep, we have to love ourselves today, some days are easier than others I've found. You and I are very similar so I am interested in hearing more as you read more. I think finding joy in our lives is another really important thing and I think you taking off the day was a great thing to do for yourself.

Barb said...

Really good post - and my thoughts exactly. In fact, I could have written most of your posts, they are just what I have been thinking, and doing! It's like taking baby-steps everyday! I think we all need to learn to love ourselves for who we are, not what we look like, or should I say, what we think we look like. Someone once told me that we have a very distorted view of ourselves, and it would be wonderful to see ourselves through someone else's eyes. We would see a totally different person.

Really enjoyed your post - keep up the good work!

Carrieheff said...

Give Marianne another chance. She used to be the "minister" at my old Church and she was AWESOME!! I've got the book but haven't read it. Guess I need to start this weekend.

Grace said...

4HB is definitely not for everyone. It is not a panacea. It think it is working for me this time because I'm also finally dealing all my emotional stuff.

And yes, you should love yourself...because you are a very lovable person. :-) I know this from personal experience!

hopefulandfree said...

Hi Diana,

I've been giving your post more thought because the quote from Marianne bugged me so much. The part about abusing one's (my) body--this bothers me because it seems like there is intention or awareness involved, like I was supposed to be able to act differently when I was not taking much care about myself. But, really, I was doing my best for that time. I'm not even sure it makes any sense for me to "forgive" myself for past behavior regarding body needs, and contrary to be helpful that keeps me stuck in the past. Keeps me paying attention to all those thoughts about the past that I've already been over a hundred times...almost like another way to beat myself up. Sorry for the ramble. You seem very caring and kind. I hope you will understand my need to share. I'm not saying that Marianne's insights aren't valueable to me, just that they can be used in both helpful and unhelpful ways.

Hope you have a nice Easter holiday. Thinking of you. Be kind to yourself. <3

The title of this post is a joke, there's no new me. It's just the same old me, doing the same old stuff. Just for fun, I went back...