Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Me and Oprah

I’m mad at myself. I’m embarrassed. I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. Oprah Winfrey
Yup. That's me and Oprah. Bosom buddies on the scales of life. The only difference is, Oprah tries more diets than me. But then, I don't try any diet. I just think about them. I am the Law of Attraction in action when it comes to weighty issues. I think about weight. Weight thinks so much about me, it can't stay away!

What to do. What to do.

There is a Buddhist saying, that goes:

Thoughts become words.
Words become actions.
Actions become habits.

To change a habit, I must start with my thinking. What is it about weight that I am so attracted to? Digging deeper, what is it about my thinking that keeps me stuck on the heavy side of unhealthy?

Being over-weight is a symptom of my unhealthy thinking -- not about my weight, but rather about parts of me that need to be fed a steady diet of self-love, devoid of any trace elements of shame, anger, despair, sadness.

Being over-weight makes me feel sad. It keeps me in that place of feeling, I'm not capable of accomplishing my goals. It keeps me treading the 'I'm a victim' role, limiting my capacity to soar free.

Perhaps the extra weight is my self-sabotage tool to keep me from getting all I want in life, all I'm meant to be.

Perhaps, weight is my addiction. My repetitive behaviour that keeps me stuck in running like a hamster around the wheel of life, forever repeating the same old same old in an attempt to get nowhere other than where I am.

Weight keeps me stuck.

Beneath my thought, I can't lose weight, is another thought. I need this weight to protect me. Ahhh, now I'm getting somewhere.

What am I trying to protect myself from?

And therein lies spiritual growth without the body growing size-by-size with my food for thought!

My weight protects me from being hurt. My weight protects me from letting go of childhood issues that leech the energy from the present.

My weight is a manifestation of what ails me. I'm 30lbs overweight. How does that translate into karmic joy? How much do those pounds deny me? How much do they weigh me down by keeping me from experiencing inner joy?

So, rather than focusing on losing weight, I'm going to focus on healing wounds. On digging deep into my psyche and lovingly smoothing out the areas of distress that are disrupting my experience of joy.

In an article in the Huffington Post, Elaine Liner writes that TV and talk show host, Dr. Drew Pinsky, suggests Oprah must deal with the "chaos" before she can deal with the weight. "Pinsky, who counsels addicts of all stripes," writes Liner, "often says that sexual abuse in childhood can have longlasting repercussions...Not to play armchair shrink, but maybe Oprah's tendency to pack on pounds, even while preaching health and fitness to her audience, is her way of protecting her inner child. She builds a mighty fortress around her feelings, stuffing down the "chaos" with fine food and good wine."

Give me more armchair shrinks who can so succinctly pinpoint what ails me and keeps me growing in size. I need the tools and radical thinking that will convert the energy I put into food into spiritual growth!

In my healing journey, I have healed and grown and soothed my inner child's angst that once led me into the arms of an abuser. Today, my inner child plays in a field of wildflowers, singing songs of joy. But, when I'm acting out, she likes to throw a tantrum, stamp her feet and eat away her fear. Food is my favourite way of soothing the child within. Food is my default tool to handle angst and anxiety, 'less than' thinking and moments of discord. Food is my companion. It is my friend.

ZAP! And there's a thought that needs to be changed! If I am to change the habit of eating away what eats at me from within I need to change the thought that feeds me gobbly gook about my need to eat more than my body's need for energy. Food is not my friend. But, Food is also not the enemy. It's my stinkin' thinkin' around food that is keeping me growing. My stinkin' thinkin' is feeding me a load of crap about what it needs to sate my aching spirit's yearning to be at peace.

My stinkin' thinkin' is keeping me stuck on thinking I need to feed my inner child rib stickin', thigh building comfort foods that will push down the past beneath a load of weighty matter.

My inner child is not looking for nourishment of the tangible kind, she's looking for nourishment of the spirit kind. She's looking to be loved, and held and to feel safe within. And the only way I can do that is to be the most incredible human being I am meant to be without over-feeding myself on stinkin' thinkin'.

Like Oprah, I've been carrying embarrassment about my weight -- more specifically, about my apparent inability to drop the pounds. The pounds are not the issue. My thinking is. My thinking that leads to words that lead to actions that lead to habits that undermine me.

As Louise Hay says, "It's only a thought and a thought can be changed."

My change thought for today is: I am creating peace and harmony for my inner child.

This isn't about food or weighty matters. It's about healing and love and joy.

My joy doesn't come from filling myself with bits and bites of chocolate chip cookies and Hagen Daz ice cream. My joy lives within me. It is my being all I'm meant to be when I am at peace with all I am.

So, bye bye Oprah. I'm getting off the scales and into my running shoes. I'm hitting the gym and burning up the calories and... I'm loving my inner child enough to feed her only what nourishes her and me with love, peace and harmony.

The question is: Where's your stinkin' thinkin' holding you back from being at peace with all you are? Is your inner child stomping her feet in fear, or dancing with joy?


i am storm. said...

very candid post. you, oprah and i....same boat.

for me i think it is shame and fear. shame of my past and fear for what will come with all of the new attention....when you are overweight, you become invisible to the world....they look through or around you...

i decided a while ago to focus on healthful changes -- flossing, getting 8 hours of sleep, using my night guard as i grind my teeth, drinking enough water, dry brushing and using my neti pot. all i aimed to make consistent habits. all contribute to my overall health in some way.

i moved away from all 'diet' and 'fat free' foods. i try to add more vegetables and fruit to my day. the other biggie is that i try to not assign a judgement to what i do or eat. if i make a less than ideal food choice, by judging that food and that choice, i add to shame and that sends me to a negative place.

so far 5 pounds in a gentle way.

best of luck to you and your inner child,

she deserves the best life has to offer.


Riin said...

About a year and a half ago, I made the transition from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan, not with the intention of losing weight, but because I wanted to eat a healthier diet, and because I wanted a more compassionate diet. I've lost 35 pounds since then.

Don't focus on your weight. Focus on your health. Eat healthy food.

Don't go on "a diet." Find new foods to eat, healthy, delicious foods that you want to eat! Eventually you'll be so happy with all of your new healthy food, you won't even want the foods you used to eat.

Start by eating grapes after dinner each night. They're so good! And they satisfy your craving for something sweet. They fill you up, they're really good for you, and you'll start to get used to the idea that this is what sweets are supposed to taste like. And did I mention they're so good!

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hi Storm -- I love your gentle approach. That makes so much loving sense!

Thank you for sharing your light.

Hugs and blessings


M.L. Gallagher said...


Thank you for your healthful and helpful suggestions!

I love the idea of grapes after dinner. I love grapes and what a great way to include them as a healthy stimulus.

My inner child and my outer adult thank you!