Episode 9: rules to lose weight and be skinny

Shut the Fuck Up

Rules to lose weight and be skinny

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rules to lose weight and be skinny

Every day a new rule seems to appear telling us how we must eat, what we must eat and what we must avoid at all costs because it is very, very bad for you. To lose weight and be skinny.

Over the years of me trying to lose weight every single fucking day of my life I came across rule after rule after rule. And, I tried to follow them all resulting in overwhelm and overload.

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My mind won’t shut the fuck up. It’s always telling me how awful I am, how fat I am, how unworthy I am.
And, I’ve fucken had ENOUGH!
The best part is, I don’t actually have to listen to this mean voice inside my head anymore.
But, now comes the hard part. Cleaning up all of its mess and getting rid of every single fucked up word it has ever spoken to me.
This is my therapy. My way of healing. And, sharing all I have learnt over the last few years.
So, enjoy my fucked up thoughts!

* Rules. So many rules. So many rules to lose weight and be skinny. (YAY!!!)

Every day a new rule seems to appear telling us how we must eat, what we must eat and what we must avoid at all costs because it is very, very bad for you. To lose weight and be skinny.

As a teenage girl back in the 90’s (yep, that long ago) I was fully aware of how a woman was supposed to look. She was everywhere. In every teen bopper magazine I poured over faithfully, every TV show I watched religiously and all the films I went to see with my friends at the movies. Her beautiful tanned and skinny body subliminally informed me I was never going to be like that but yet I must do everything in my power to make sure I fought hard every day to be exactly like her.

Which meant there were certain rules I had follow to get the body of my dreams.

I remember specifically when Opera lost all of her weight and the whole world went nuts. It was her biggest achievement. Not the fact that she was helping woman all around the world with the self-help gurus or every day woman sharing their stories or the poignant and heartbreaking interviews she did every day on her show. No! It was her weight loss and how she did it. The biggest news there was.

I can’t write remember all of how she did it but there was one rule she shared with everyone and that was to not eat past 5pm. I thought, “Wow. I could do that. If it will help me to lose weight, then that is the rule I’ll follow.”

Maybe you can guess how long I was able to follow that rule? I don’t think I even did it one day!

Over the years of me trying to lose weight every single fucking day of my life I came across rule after rule after rule. And, I tried to follow them all resulting in overwhelm and overload.

The main ones of that time were this: eat less, move more. Calories in, calories out. Count calories. Calories, calories, calories. It was all about the calories. Not really about the food so much, just how many calories were in it.

Women were reciting the calorie content of every bit of food they ate and that they saw others eating. You couldn’t eat anything without someone telling you how wrong it was to be eating what you were eating because there were WAY too many calories in it.

Oh, and then we were supposed to weigh our food and measure it so that it was the right portion size.

We had to take all of the fat out (bad, bad fat!) of everything, then we had to never eat those mean and nasty carbs again but you had to ensure you filled up on your protein because that was the golden child. Protein could never do any wrong. Eat as much of it as you want. It will never harm you.

Study after study was given plenty of air time on all of the news programs informing us how to best lose weight. How to slim down. Demonising fat and carbs. Showing off the latest fad diet. Then on the news the following week would be contradicting weight advice. As if the excitement from last weeks news story never existed.

Its still the same today. The exact same crap on repeat. Just different diets and different studies. If I see a weight loss video on a specific social media platform I use, I scroll right past. I don’t let it get into my attention. I stopped watching the news years ago because it was the same negative drivel from many years past.

Recently I decided to join a popular fitness trainers program. It was a decent price and I thought why not? I had seen all of the promos of women losing the weight, becoming fitter, healthier and skinnier. Muscles showing up in places they only dreamed about. It seemed different. It was advertised as being different than all the other programs out there. I was curious. I wanted to see if that really was the case. If this program could teach me something I didn’t already know.

Once I received my login details I went into the program and had a look around. I was mostly interested in what foods this program was recommending. Of course, I could have paid more to get a personalised program but that’s not what I was looking for.

The first meal of the first day of this program was an egg white omelette on a piece of grainy bread. BORING!!!

It wasn’t different at all. It was the same-same as had been shared by fitness trainers and so-called health experts for decades.

I was disappointed.

Because eggs were another food that was demonised a long time ago. Another rule about what to eat. That the yolk was full of fat, full of cholesterol and was not good for you at all. It had to go. One must only eat the white part of the egg. No! I want to eat the whole egg. I’m not having ten at a time. I’m only having two. And not every day either. I have eggs when I feel like it. I love them scrambled on toast. I do love a grainy bread but I eat that bread because that is what I enjoy.

And, that is the part that is missing from all of these rules. Enjoyment.

How do you feel when you eat? Do you feel guilty about certain foods you choose to eat? Do you feel ashamed of yourself? Are you eating in secret?
Who’s choosing what you eat? Is it you? Is it the company selling the food? (That is a whole other column). Is it your parents? Are you still eating foods because of how you were raised?

What rules did your family have about food? Especially your mum.

The mum’s of the family heard the news, they took note of what was being said about this food and that food. They (back when I was younger at least) were the ones making all the food decisions. They went to the grocery store and brought home what they thought was best.

They made the rules, too.

My mum had an issue with food. I think it was her comfort. She grew up with not much, an abusive father and lots of trauma residing in her body so food was her go-to to soothe her. That was passed down to her daughters. We all developed a bad relationship with food. This resulted in not being able to share this part of my life with my mother so I could get the comfort I needed. Food became my comfort. The weight piled on. The desire to not be fat and hideous was intense. Compulsive. So, I would listen to anyone and everyone who had any bit of advice on how to lose said hideous fat.

This went on for decades. Trying to follow the rules to lose weight.

Did I ever lose the weight? Yes. Slowly.

Back in 1997 I moved to America for the first time. It was a dream of mine to go to there all throughout my teenage years. There were even cut out travel brochure pictures stuck all over the walls of my room, alongside the glossy magazine pictures of the heartthrobs I absolutely loved such as Balthazar Getty, Kirk Cameron, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and many others.

When I moved to America I was at my heaviest. I think. I never really weighed myself because that was just too depressing, but I think I was probably around the 120kg mark. Fucking huge! (So, they say).

It wasn’t an easy year of living abroad looking after 3 month old twins. I had my insecurities, depression and anxiety packed up in my suitcase to take along with me. They had a ball. I did, too. As much as I (them) allowed myself too.

Those twelve months were great. Living away from home. Away from all of the bullshit I was attached to. A lot of it came with me but some of it was left behind. I was enjoying myself in a way I had never done before. I was living my dream. I was living in America!

Although, it wasn’t quite the same as Beverly Hills 90210 or Saved by the Bell or Friends; it was real. And, I loved it.

The point I am getting at here is that I came home lighter than when I left. I lost weight. Not intentionally or by eating the right foods or by exercising more to burn off all those nasty calories, it was because I was living. I was enjoying myself. I was out of my usual rut. I FELT different. I was acting different. I was being different. I was living different. I didn’t come back half my size but some weight did fall off. (Plenty of weight sill being carried around inside my mind and my heart).

In the year that followed when I returned back from the U.S, the weight stayed the same. It probably went up and down a little but nothing much changed. I was a live-in nanny away from my home life again saving all my money to move over to England and do the work visa.

After nannying in Birmingham for about 2 months or so, I moved down to London.

This is when things really changed.

My depression and anxiety still lived on the surface but different kinds of emotions began to emerge. I felt good. I felt happy.

Amongst all of that the rules still applied. I did my utmost to uphold them. Calories in, calories out. Exercise those nasty calories off my hideous body. Listen to everyones advice but my own. They all know more about me than I do so believe in what they are saying.

Unfortunately, the mean and horrible voice in my head was still very loud and obnoxious. Demanding life to be her way. She insisted I was not worthy of all the good things I now had so the depression and anxiety relished in her words. Those words were their comfort because feeling good was way too uncomfortable.

So, when I ate I was still being hounded by my shitty voice. She would recite all the rules to me about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Why and why not.

“You’re such a pig. Look at how much you’re eating”.

“You’ll never get skinny if you eat those chips”.

“You only just ate. Why are you eating again?”

“Look how hopeless you are. You can’t even stop eating for one minute”.

“Do you know how many calories you just ate? You better get your fat bum to the gym and burn them all off”.

“Don’t even bother. Just keep eating. That’s all your worth, anyhow”.

“No one loves you or likes you so you may as well just keep eating and stay fat”.

On and on and on it went. Every single fucking day of my life.

It was exhausting.

But, yet.

When I arrived back home in Australia nearly 4 years later, I was thirty kilos lighter. Without trying. By not following the rules I tried so hard to obey.

How? Why?

It was always a mystery to me. How I did that. And, I think sometimes that’s just how life is. A big mystery. I don’t know if we can ever truly know all of the factors that work with us to make something happen.

So, between my return back to Australia and this moment in time, my weight has continued to be an issue. My mind and my shitty voice have not dropped the subject. I have heard the same words in my mind for the last thirty plus years.

In a previous podcast I spoke about why I was meant to be this way. Listen to episode seven titled “WHO I WAS MEANT TO BE”, if you haven’t already, to find out more about my weight and who I am beyond that. It may give some insight into your own place here on earth and how worthy it actually is.

I have heard the same rules read out to me every time I put something in my mouth or even think about eating.

“Am I genuinely hungry or am I just looking to eat?’

“You just ate not long ago. You can’t be hungry again”

“Make sure you have a salad for lunch to make up for the biscuits you ate before”.

“You’ll have to eat less tomorrow now because of the big dinner you had. You really didn’t need to eat that much”

“You have to work out every day this week if you want to lose any weight”.

“Don’t have anything past 6pm. If you’re hungry, too bad, you can wait til the morning”.

“Stop eating sugar. It’s bad for you. Have some veggies instead”.

Looking back over the decades of my life. These rules have not worked for me. I have come to realise that weight loss happened for me when I was in a better place. Geographically, emotionally and mentally. When I removed myself from the traumatic connections of my home life then I felt free. Unconstrained. Something deep inside of me was able to relax.

My life has taken quite the turn in the last few years in regards to the inner workings of my mind and my body. I am paying more attention to my thoughts and my feelings. I am allowing my feelings to shine through instead of hiding them away from myself and the world. I am giving myself permission to be my Self again. With all of that there has been an abundance of learning. I have gone down a rabbit hole of knowledge that I never knew existed. I want to share that with you, too. That’s what this article is here for as well.

Back in 2008 my now husband and I moved interstate. It was tough but I loved the move. In 2009 I finally became my skinniest since I was 13 years old. I was 32.

I held onto that skinny for a good couple of years. Then kids happened. Life happened. My voice continued its silent verbal assault and I returned time and time again to the comfort of food to soothe my pain and my emotional trauma.

Today as I write this, I am fat again. A slow and tortuous ascent to where my body now is.

The thing is, though, I am active. I love working out. I eat healthy most of the time. I am living a great life. I am doing “all the things”.

So, what is it? What has brought me to this place in my body where the weight holds on really tight?

You see, I asked to start again. I asked to put on weight so I could begin this climb from the bottom. Even though I have ascended this mountain a little bit the weight is still there. Why? What do I need to differently this time in order to reach the peak, set up camp and call this place home?

My heart.

Heal my heart.

Let go of the stupid rules and listen to my heart. Listen to what I need. To what I want.

Continue opening myself up to the invisible connection we all have access to.

I have healed many parts of myself. I have released a tonne of anger and a tonne of shitty emotions I no longer require.

But, I kept asking myself why I bounce back to what I have always known. I have listened to what others have to say. I have done my best to implement their words of wisdom. I just couldn’t seem to turn my feelings around. I got rid of the shitty ones but the loving ones I longed for kept eluding me. I want them back.

My inner guidance, my loving voice, has told me to heal my heart. So, that is what I need to do. Then I will be able to release the weight on my body, my mind, my emotions, my soul and my heart.

The universe has led me to some amazing information about the heart and all that it contains within it.

I will share it with you soon once I have more information to discover and to practice before I can confidently share how it has helped me.

Here’s a little exercise for you to do:

What are the rules you have been living by when it comes to what you eat? Are they working? How do they make you feel?

Write them down. Share them with your friends, partner, family. What rules are they living by?

 

I reckon you’re not the only one with so many fucked up lies going around and around your mind.

Thank you for listening.

Remember, keep on shouting… “SHUT THE FUCK UP!”

Until next time.

a collection of poems and short stories

VIEW BOOK

You can read even more fucked up thoughts in this collection of poems and short stories

For the Love of Me

This book came to be from every part of my life experience. Every heartache. Every hateful thought. Every self-loathing feeling about myself and my body. And, every bit of love that was denied to me and that I denied to myself. Be open to what may come to you whilst you are absorbed in the heartache, the loneliness, the sadness, the misery, the hope, the reflection, the spirit and the love in this collection of poems and short stories.

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