Project Totus was an amazing experience (I am still looking forward to interviewing Wendy, from I.M. Spa and discussing healthy natural beauty). What I started with Project Totus was an amazing movement inside of me. Confronting why I use food to cope and the behaviors I have developed therein have been transformative. Project Totus, as I said before is not over. It has just started! As I was contemplating the next step in learning how to care for myself, I decided that an immersion health/therapeutic experience was necessary. I needed to find a safe place to untangle all the messages in my head and evaluate a plan of recovery. In light of this, I called several "health facilities" to get the skinny (pun intended) on what they offered in the form of recovery. The first call was to a certain place on that has been featured on the show HEAVY. On the TV show, they have featured people with a past flooded with binge eating disorder. In speaking with the intact specialist, I was immediately brought into awareness of their true motivation- Weight loss. I need to be fair. They DO call themselves a "weight loss spa". I was informed that I would learn the difference between good food and bad food, how to count calories, I would exercise extensively, and was guaranteed to lose weight. It was a------------------>Dead end. I have chatted with two other facilities, one of which (I think!) was a homerun! I will give you the low down on the other two facilities in individual posts. But for now, lets talk through some important things:
With Project Totus, I learned that my situation wasn't about food, fat, or weight loss or gain. It was about emotions. It usually IS about emotions, afterall. What we chose to do in life is compelled by how we were taught to feel about ourselves and the world.
I learned that the if I lost weight without learning how to TRULY care for myself the only thing I would be is SKINNY, but not HEALTHY. Health and WHOLENESS is the goal.
I learned that there is a paradox involved in the mechanism for change. You must embrace reality and accept yourself as you are before you can ever really change, and in doing so you'll be free to change into who you wanted to be.
I learned about how truly obessessed people are about weight loss and being the "perfect size". People asked me what my secret to shedding weight so quick was. When I answered,
I listened to my body and fed it what I wanted...
I was met with eye rolls and scoffs, "I am sure it is burning the extra calories in breastfeeding that is helping!"
People want to be preoccupied about their diet. Running in the hamster wheel of diet/weight loss/body obsession helps us forget. It helps us push down the gut feels that our husbands are having affairs, that we need to go to therapy, that we have to keep better boundaries, that we have to grieve our losses. It is a distraction.
I was watching Private Practice the other day. I just started watching the over dramatic and hip soap opera and I am hooked. Naomi, one of the most crucial characters is a binge eater. After a difficult marriage failure, amongst other things, she finds solace in Dell's (the midwife/nurse) homemade cakes. She has this dialogue with Addison:
I push down the pain, the hurt, the fact that I haven't had good sex in awhile, the loneliness, the disappointment... I push them waaaaay down and then I pile cake on top- so they can't escape.
However over-dramatic that show is, her words ring true. When you choose to not medicate with food, well, sweet baby JESUS! Watch out! It all comes back up. It is worth it though. It is worth learning how to TRULY love yourself, because no matter how hard you want to pretend a cheese steak will never be a good substitute for self acceptance and love.