The Horrible Food Wonderful Food teleclass is underway right now. One dear participant mentioned something to me that I have heard many times before.
I sometimes suggest that people give up their bathroom scales….you know, the ones that calculate body weight. She said, “I could never give up my scale, I have to weigh myself twice a day.”
Measuring things can be incredibly powerful. Documenting, looking, examining, surveying, gathering data. These are invaluable for studying information, analyzing. Especially when you are totally uncertain about how something works.
It’s so amazing to have ways to track something over time that may not be entirely conscious. Like lets say a scientist is studying a brand new species of insect. She could open her computer and write down every hour what is happening, as she watches through a camera the insect’s behaviors in its habitat.
But if the scientist has gathered information for a year, and has tracked the whole lifecycle of the insects several times….but then can’t stop documenting that insect’s behavior…it could be a little weird, right?
The problem with the scale situation is of course not the scale, but the lack of deep inner trust around eating and weight. The belief for me was “I do not understand my weight fluctuation, therefore, I must measure it constantly….otherwise, I might grow heavier and not even realize it!!!”
I used to feel extremely anxious if I didn’t have access to a scale. And then, I felt extremely anxious if I DID have access to a scale.
The thought I had way back when I had a scale was that if I saw the number was too high, it would alarm me and push me towards weight-loss strategies. If I saw the number was low, then I could feel happy and proud for being a “good” weight.
I believed I needed a measuring device, that I couldn’t feel deeply what was right for me on the inside.
Last week when I was at the hospital in the surgery pavilion, before I was sent to change my clothes into the hospital gown and before the kind nurse put in the IV into the back of my hand, they had me go to the scale.
I watched the electronic bright red numbers speeding by and balancing out to the exact ounce. I remembered the way I used to feel in this waiting half-second “Oh I hope it’s going to land on a good weight and give me good news!”
It was about the exact same number I’ve been mostly for my adult life, but for a flash I thought “isn’t that amazing”.
Still the same. Without trying for it, wanting it, setting it as a goal, or caring about it. Amazing, because I once thought I needed to run this whole food, eating, weight situation!
I remembered when I used to want the scale to say that number, when I had an eating disorder and my weight fluctuated up and down a bit.
I used to strive for that number, wish for that number. Just tell me what to eat so I can always have that number.
Then I threw away my scale, because I used it too often and for the wrong reasons: to feel good or feel bad. I let the scale tell me what kind of person I was. I didn’t want that from a piece of metal that measured weight. I wanted to be good no matter what.
Is it true that the amount you weigh means you are good, or bad? Worthy or unworthy? Lovable or Not Lovable? Attractive or Unattractive?
Long ago, I found the answer was “NO”. Even though I had been acting like it was “YES”.
Who was I when I believed that my weight had something to do with my character, my lovableness, my worthiness, my power, my strength, my attractiveness?
Horribly obsessed with weight. Angry. Hungry. Overeating. Undereating. Calculating, planning and trying to control food.
Jumping on the scale every day, and at the gym, and in other places where scales were sitting around.
Who was I without the thoughts that without a scale, I can’t be trusted, that my weight MEANS good/bad, lovable/repulsive, worthy/unattractive?
Open to another way. Open to not knowing. Relaxing, resting at a most deep level, slowing down. Not planning.
Taking a deep breath. Eating and noticing the flavors, the beauty, the texture.
Practicing feeling Joy, Quiet and Peace in the presence of food, or mirrors, or scales.
Living the turnaround. Turning towards the light, the inner light.
“Enlightenment is to be totally Un-Self-Concious, Un-Ego-Conscious. It’s to be free of self-reflection. Isn’t it the biggest bain on humanity to be always reflecting on oneself? ‘How am I doing, I like it, I hate it, this is hard, my life’s difficult’. Constant reflection…..I’ve never met anybody who was addicted to anything who was ever able to get beyond it until they really saw and came to grips with ‘this is not working’.” ~ Adyashanti
Much love, Grace
P.S. 8 week teleclass on food/eating starts again on January 15, and the Year of Inquiry for the Addictive Mind YOI starts on January 10th.