Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weighing the options

"Sweet disposition. Never too soon. Oh, reckless abandon. Like no one's watching you. A moment, a love. A dream aloud. A laugh, a cry. Our rights, our wrongs." - Temper Trap

By: Stephanie Horton

I'm usually reluctant to write anything too personal, because after all, this is the internet and although an audience is desired, it's also extremely scary. But lately, I've been going through a lot of changes, and these changes are almost forcing me to really feel the connection between body, mind, and spirit. So, I'm gonna take the plunge... and get a little personal now, because I want to share some thoughts with you.

I've never been so aware of how change in life can influence the mind and the body. Maybe this is because I've never gone through so much change as I have in the past year, or maybe it's just because I'm getting older. But either way, I'm realizing that change is a challenge to maintain the core of your identity, all while allowing change to influence you for the better.

This week, we decided to write about our views on weight. It was tough for me to think about something to write, because my weight is currently not on the forefront on my mind as I've been dealing more with staying centered while everything around me changes, pushes, and pulls. So maybe this is the reason why I thought of "change" when I thought about weight...After all, the mind and body are quite closely connected. But as I thought more about it, I realized that "change" is exactly what "weight" is to so many of us...

We step on the scale, often hoping for the change to be in the direction of "less." Fewer pounds, less body mass, step on the scale completely bare and naked, early in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink, squinting your eyes because you're a bit afraid to see the results. Sometimes I live my life this way; my brain naked and open, a little frail, a little afraid to open my eyes, because I know it's reality that stands before me. Others hop on the scale at night, after the day has had it's way with them, hoping to see a change in the direction of "more." Flexing the muscles, hoping gravity's pull is stronger than ever, keeping socks on for that extra sixteenth of a pound, making excuses before the number even pops up. I live my life this way sometimes as well; my brain cloaked and closed; trying my best to look my strongest; repeating the line, "nothing's gonna change my world," trying to attract more and more into my life in an attempt to be fulfilled. But lately, I realize none of these things work. Maybe our battle with the changes in the number on the scale is simply a reflection of our battle with the changes that occur in our lives. Maybe not. Who really has ever taken the time to think about this connection anyway?

When I'm unhappy with how I've eaten or how often I exercised over the week and therefore, probably the number on the scale, I often seek happiness in other places: friends and social events, dancing til dawn, exhaustion by travel, basically anything to keep me busy and distracted with loud, mind numbing things. When I'm unhappy with how things are going in my life (other than nutrition and exercise), I seek happiness in the same loud things. But I've realized, just THIS week, that by filling my life with "more" while giving "less" attention to change, I'm doing myself a large disservice. Just like when we step on the scale, that number consumes us before we even see it. Oh my dear god, we need to give ourselves a break!!! (Yes, that deserved three exclamation points.)

So I re-traced the heart on my scale that Elizabeth drew. And I opened a good book. I allowed my mind to be quiet, and I decided to stay in for a few nights in a row (something I have barely done all summer). And wow. I'm starting to see things a little clearer, and I'm starting to embrace the change in my life without losing myself. I stepped on the scale last night with all of my clothes on (AND an apron!), and I decided to smile no matter what the result. This morning, while thinking about life (but not blogging about weight), I decided to just go for a run in the rain without music and listen to myself with my ears wide open. I'm weighing the options, and I'm not opting for less, and I'm not striving for more. I'm simply going to be still and allow myself to face the reality of my body and my mind, and instead of ignoring change and instead of beating myself up over a lack thereof, I'm going to just BE...thankful, realistic, connected, excited, and therefore, happy. Want to be still with me?


  1. oh to just be. to be still. wonderful.
    change is part of life, and can be a very positive thing. so maybe if we look at weight and food as a dynamic entity it will help us to heal our relationship with it. maybe it goes up, maybe it goes down. we just need to work on staying true to our core selves, and embracing whatever changes come our way. thank you for the beautiful words!

  2. I really enjoyed your post, Stephanie. I think that in striving to be leaner, thinner, lithe, diminutive-- however your mind glorifies it that day-- we lose sight of the fact that often less is simply less. I applaud you for desiring more and choosing to allow yourself something greater and something more as you move through your latest transitions. Bravo!

  3. I really loved this post, Steph. I found that I too am having issues embracing change. I live in a new city, I've made some new friends, new job, and the one thing I am most unhappy about is the new # on my scale. Since moving to I've notice I've packed on some unwanted lbs. Instead of getting upset that my pants are tighter than usual and beating myself up what I really need to do is take your advice and embrace this change. Thanks for your inspiring words. Love ya! -Li