Peace is better than chocolate

Being committed: It’s not just for institutions anymore

I’ve been a little blocked about what to post this week. Because with only subtle differences, this week is much like last week. Doing that dance with myself. Worrying about my weight. Eating well anyway. Trying to remember that my value is not the size of my body. Forgetting. Waiting it out. Waiting for my body to adjust to quitting smoking. Waiting for what it looks like to be a non-issue again. Waiting for my eating disorder brain to quiet down. And it will. This too shall pass. There’s nothing to do but live my life in between my meals.

But then what am I going to write about? Because I have a commitment to post every week. Even if I have nothing to say. So I have decided to write about that. That kind of commitment. Because that kind of commitment is how I keep my eating under control. And I apply it to other things too. Like my daily meditation. And this blog. And being committed has changed my life.

I didn’t know anything about commitment when I was eating compulsively. I knew about excuses. Sometimes I just didn’t “feel like” doing something I was supposed to do. Or I did “feel like” doing something I wasn’t. But I knew that the right excuse, a strong enough excuse, would “make it ok” in the eyes of “the world”. Whatever “it” was. Whoever “the world” was. If I could get a “who could blame you?” kind of response, then whatever I had done or failed to do was “made right”. And I could move on. This was how I thought, and therefore how I lived.

What I never understood, of course, was that I couldn’t move on. Or at least that I wasn’t moving on. Sure, my feet weren’t being held to the fire by humans with authority anymore, but my conscience actually didn’t give a shit about authority. I didn’t even understand that my conscience was my conscience. All I knew was that I was incredibly hungry. Starving! I didn’t know that that feeling was shame and not hunger. Because food made it go away for a while. I didn’t know that was numb, not fed. So I just kept making excuses and eating. Getting bigger and bigger and never ever being satisfied.

My conscience still doesn’t care about authority, by the way. Its only authority is my word. My truth. My commitments.

When I put boundaries around my food, I had a kind of epiphany. I understood that I had to keep those boundaries no matter how I felt about it. What I “wanted” was taken out of the equation. What I “felt like” eating was irrelevant. Gratification ceased to be an option. There were more important things. Honor and commitment.

In a way, of course, my boundaries are about what I want. Because the big picture is that I “want” to be thin and peaceful and sane. And not be fat, or crazy, or sticking toothbrushes down my throat to make myself vomit. But at any given moment, whether I like the way I eat, or want a piece of cake, or feel like keeping my boundaries, has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I keep them. I just do. That’s it. No discussion. No negotiation.

And what I learned from eliminating the idea of “feel like it” from my eating, is that there is value in doing things because I do them, regardless of how I feel about doing them at any given moment on any given day. That gratification is a trap. That commitment makes my life better all around. It doesn’t even matter what the commitment is.

So like I said, I have a commitment to post every week. And I don’t even know who it’s to. Myself? God? You? I just know that I do it. There are no excuses. Circumstances don’t matter. Because I almost never “feel like” writing a post. I can think of a million excuses not to post on any given week.

Unless some glaringly obvious eating disorder thing comes up in my life, I always think there is nothing to tell you. And yet I manage to get something up every week. And most of the time I think it’s somewhere between not bad and pretty good. And every time I respect myself for doing it. Respect myself that I did it simply because it is something I do.

But I’ll admit that this commitment often feels like a burden before the post is written. I’m regularly afraid to write. Because I want to wow you! Every time! And that’s not how it works. And that’s not how life works. And that’s the best way to crash and burn and never write another entry again, let alone another entry I’m proud of. Or impressed by. (Because sometimes I do impress myself.)
Needing to top myself every time would be the best way to come to hate this blog. And myself. Not posting an entry one week because it’s not up to par would be an excellent first step in letting this blog end. More like disappear. Because it’s not good enough. And I’m not good enough. Will never be good enough.
So I write every week, even if I have nothing to say. And I post every week, even if it’s not so particularly good. And I keep in mind that to make greatness a requirement for sharing my writing is like killing the Golden Goose. Cutting open it’s belly looking for the gold inside. Forgetting that the gold comes from the magic that lives in the goose. And from the time in between laying the eggs. That there’s more gold. If I don’t get greedy. For pride. And praise.
And wisdom too. Because sometimes what I want most of all is to be the best person I can ever possibly be right now, instead of wanting to just be the best person I can be right now right now.
So here’s this week’s post. I wrote it even though I didn’t feel like it, and was afraid it would come out mediocre. And now that it’s up, I am relieved. And feeling pretty good about my level of honor and commitment. And sure, I do hope you like it. But mostly I just like that it’s done.
You can share my blog anytime you want. You can also follow me on twitter @onceafatgirl5

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