Cognitive dissonance, part 2

I have written and re-written this post multiple times since yesterday.  My head is so full of things that I don’t know where to start or what to say.  I spent most of my weekend hitting the emotional wall.  When I’m trying to change my thought patterns or my beliefs or my habits, a few weeks in I hit the wall: when all the emotional shit I’ve been suppressing rockets to the surface and either has to be dealt with, or has to be re-suppressed by the resumption of old habits and attitudes.

Over the weekend, I’ve eaten enough junk food to make me feel sick (literally) and consumed enough alcohol to do the same.  But once that door has been opened, once you start recognizing the fucked-up thought patterns as fucked-up, you really can’t close the door again – no matter how many chips you eat or shots of Scotch you drink.

Here’s the thing: When I said before, “I’ll deal with my emotional shit, and if I lose weight, great – and if not, that’s ok, too,” I MISSED THE POINT. 

FUCK my weight.

I should take care of my body because – and ONLY because – it’s the one I have.  It runs, it jumps, it can still execute a perfect double pirouette and a pretty damn good triple.  It bends and reaches, and it’s flexible enough for me to lay my head on my shins (not my knees – my SHINS) and pull my foot WAY up over my head.  It balances on the top step of ladders and stools, on one foot, on its tiptoes, and never feels like it will collapse.  Its blood pressure is low, its heart is healthy, and the sunshine makes it sleepy in the happiest, most content of ways.

My body is a fucking miracle.  And when I say, “If I lose weight . . . ” I lose sight of the whole point.  I start allowing a number on the scale and pictures in magazines to dictate the way that I feel about this miracle.  Instead of relying on God (or Nature or Buddha or the Great Cosmic Muffin, if that’s what you want to call it) to remember what I’m worth, I rely on outside sources.  I let those outside sources tell me whether or not I should feel good about myself, and then . . . this is the worst part: I BELIEVE them. 

Well.  FUCK.  THAT. 

I shouldn’t exercise because, “I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT – it’s good for me!”  It should be exactly the other way around: the dominant hope, even in the far, dark corners and shadows of my mind, should be that I’ll be HEALTHY, not THIN.  All the posturing about, “I’ll be healthy, and if I lose weight, hey great!” doesn’t really mean that I’m really hoping for health.  It means that I’m hoping for thin, and am HIDING behind health. 

Well.  FUCK.  THAT. 

You know what?  I hope that I’m HEALTHY, goddamit.  I hope that this body, which is a perfect expression of God’s love for Itself manifesting on this planet, is the healthiest damn thing ever to “come down the pike” (as my late grandma would say).  And if that means that I NEVER lose weight, that I NEVER attain that “perfect” ideal that permeates Lost Los Angeles, then HOORAY! for me! 

Because HEALTH, not thinness, is the perfect expression of gratitude for the tremendous gift of a body that runs and jumps and stretches and bends.

Thank God for my body.

Or, you know, thank the Great Cosmic Muffin.  😉


One response to “Cognitive dissonance, part 2

  1. I second that! We need 2 remember how blessed we already are to have healthy functioning bodies. Period. All the rest is gravy but we have the essential.
    This applies to everything else in life, we have the courage, the smarts, all of it but we let fear and society tell us otherwise and next thing we know we are imposing negative patterns onto ourselves. Thanks for this reminder. K

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