Monday, 19 August 2013

weighty matters

Today I'm sharing my thoughts on perhaps what is a very sensitive topic and a weighty matter - the matter of weight. Before you read on, or stop reading, I want you to know this is a judgment-free zone. We are all on our own journey and no one is perfect. So please, silence the inner voice that is condemning and unloving, and try to open your heart to a new perspective.

I'm going to put myself out there and be honest and vulnerable with you. A friend has recently demonstrated a boldness in honesty and vulnerability towards me and this has challenged me to do the same. I would like to share with you something I wrote last year as I was processing some changes in my life. Writing has been a very therapeutic thing for me to do, in case you haven't noticed! I am sharing this with you because this year I've become very concerned with the amount of attention I can hear people place on body weight without balancing the unfolding conversation with a focus on the process of becoming healthy.

Health is not just physical. A healthy lifestyle addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves. Many people who struggle with being underweight or overweight tend to have suffered a trauma in their early life or are carrying some kind of emotional weight, which was never intended for them to carry. Depending on the season of our lives, sometimes we must learn to sit with something. Sometimes we must learn to let go. Here, I am going to share with you two excerpts from the same piece of writing; the first excerpt is about my very free, very first memory and the second excerpt is about the process of letting go...
The day was overcast and windy and the leaves were swirling around our feet in a myriad of autumn colours. We went over to the tall gum trees and stood by the hammock with our cousins, waiting for our turn. When it was my turn he gently picked me up and placed me in the hammock. He tucked my feet into the holes of the hammock and told me to hang on as he wrapped the hammock around me, swaddling the precious cargo it held. And then he pushed. Grandpa pushed. And I swung. I swung in the hammock, safe and carefree. Back, forth, back, and forth.
It's a heavy load; it's crushing. And though I have tried to earn your love through my achievements, my success, and my efforts, I know I have to let go. Because I can't change you; but I can change me ... There are no places for me to put the things that I have carried. They belong to you. I could wish for someone who was for me. I could wish my life away, waiting for you. But you know what? I think I'll swing myself instead.
Just for the record, the second excerpt is not about my Grandpa! It's about someone. And I share this with you because I would like to think that many people could step into this scene and identify a person in their life who is that someone. It can be almost impossible to love and care for ourselves when the weight of a heavy load is sitting upon our shoulders. And when we carry this weight in life it can manifest in our lives through our relationship with food. I mean, who hasn't found themselves staring at the bottom of a packet of chips and wondering who ate them all?!

The process of letting go will look different for everyone. And if this post has resonated with you here is what I want you to know. There are things that happen in our lives that are beyond our control. But what you do with those things is in your hands. My wish is that you would choose to start to let go. You don't need to do this alone. There are resources for you in the process of becoming healthy. There are resources for you physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If you would like a place to start physically, read this blog post on losing weight in a healthy way without counting calories. And surround yourself with people who will support you on your way to living your most healthy life. After all, you are worth the swing!

Sharing the healthy love with my twin sister!

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