Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “Keep your eyes on your own plate”

Some unsolicited advice to unstick my proverbial craw.

I was reading an Internet forum for people who have their eating disorders under control, and a woman said her husband, who recently lost a lot of weight because of a medical issue, started speaking judgmentally about her weight and how much she was eating. 

I wanted to write about that issue here because it sticks in my proverbial craw.

I write this blog for myself. I write it as a means of getting thoughts out of my weird, dangerous, sick, and sometimes brilliant mind. Once they are out into the open, I can see what is sick and what is brilliant. I am always honored if someone gets something out of my writing. And I love hearing about it in the comments! But I am not writing an advice column. And certainly, if you want to try my ideas for yourself, you are welcome to, but I’m not promoting anything here. 

OK. That’s kind of a lie. Peace. I am actively promoting self-acceptance as a means of attaining inner peace.

But both here and in life, I get a lot of people giving me advice. Unsolicited and unwelcome. Lately, it is usually when I talk about the weight I gained when I quit smoking, but it has been going on for many years.  And yes, it is hard for me to be with the extra weight. But this is not a weight loss blog. It is a blog where I share what it is like to be a woman who lives with eating disorders.This is a whole blog where I talk about how I was miserable (and yes, fat) because I couldn’t stop eating. And now MY EATING IS UNDER CONTROL! (Yes. I am yelling that!) 

And even more frustrating, I find that this unsolicited advice often comes from people who are riding the wave of being high on whatever diet/exercise/quick-fix food scheme they have discovered within the past year. And I will be blunt (and judgmental), sometimes I look at what they are suggesting to me and all I can see is them acting out an eating disorder because their eating is not under control. And I think, Oh, sweetie, been there, done that, when I was an in-so-deep-I-couldn’t-see-the-surface addict. So thanks, but no thanks. But I only think it, and I don’t say anything. Because they are not looking for advice. And I don’t do unsolicited advice.

I have been doing what I do for over 9 years. 9 years and 4 months. 3,407 days! I am past the “pink cloud.” I am no longer “high” on losing weight and eating well. I have stuck to this through life tragedies and screwball comedies. I do it when it’s boring. I do it when I don’t want to. I do it every day always. No matter what.

Yes. It makes me mad when people tell me how to do it “better.” I know it shouldn’t. I know they are just excited about something. Or they are trying to help. Or even if they are not, even if they just want to feel superior, because they have managed to wrangle their body into a socially acceptable shape and size, I should be grateful that I have my own solution. And that I know it without a doubt. I mean, how many things work for over 9 years? And since it has worked for over 9 years, I am confident that it will continue to work.

I will close with this. A lot of people want to know “how I did it” (referring to losing 150 lbs), but when I tell them that I have not eaten any grains, starches or refined sugars for over 9 years, they tune out. They want an easier way. But I have tried that “easier way,” and it  looks like exercising to the point of exhaustion and injury. It looks like starving myself for long periods so I can binge on sugar. It looks like being miserable in my body and life because I can’t stop eating. It looks like being obsessed with food every second of every day. 

We have a saying in the community where I keep my eating under control. “Keep your eyes on your own plate.” Today I’m giving you unsolicited advice. And that’s it.

Keeping my eyes on my own plate

I feel sort of silly writing today. I am not feeling particularly qualified to inspire lately. I’m feeling a bit like I have regressed into some behaviors that I don’t particularly love.

No, not with food. With food, I am as committed and vigilant as ever. Thank God. Frankly, that’s the reason I can tell that I’m not behaving my best.

I am probably not behaving as badly as I fear I am. I can be a little blind to the reality of things. Especially when I am observing myself. I would do well to keep in mind that I am growing. And that growing is not a straight line. That there will be some regression. Some circling back. That just because I can see the person I want to be doesn’t mean it’s possible to just be that person. It takes time. And work. And a whole bunch of failing at it. That’s the way of it. And it always has been. I am without a doubt a better person than I was. I have grown and changed for the better in huge and fantastic ways over the years. But it has always been by baby steps. Why would I expect it to be any different now?

So what I am going to focus on for now is minding my own business. That is where I want to grow today. One baby step at a time.

Yesterday I had some good friends come to visit. While I was doing something else, one was refilling the coffee pot with water. She didn’t know that the part that holds water is removable, and was using a cup to pour water into it. I said “Oh, that comes off so you can refill it in the sink…” And then I stopped and said, “But that works too. Never mind. You’re doing great.” Because she was. What she was doing was working perfectly well. She was getting the job done. I was trying to be helpful. But in that moment, I recognized that what would have been even more helpful was to keep my mouth shut.

I did the same thing to my boyfriend while we were trying to find the place we lost in our audio book. I insisted on “helping.” But all I succeeded in doing was expressing that I didn’t think he was capable. (Which isn’t true, sweetheart!) And it clearly offended him. (Sorry!)

There is a saying I learned when I first got my eating under control. “Keep your eyes on your own plate. And keep your eyes on your own life.” It doesn’t matter what anybody else is eating. I only have to be concerned with what I am eating. It doesn’t matter what anybody else is doing. I only have to be concerned with what I am doing. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Even about me.

And frankly, what a relief!

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