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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't worry, 'bout a thing. Oh - every little thing is gonna be alright!

Thank you Bob Marley's song Three Little Birds for the title to this post. I'm sending this little ear worm out to Blogland today because I think we could all use it!

I had this amazing sense of peace on Saturday. I felt overwhelmingly that everything was going to be okay. It may not work out the way I want or hope, but things are looking up! I am not typically especially optimistic so this feeling was such a blessing.

There are several issues going on in my life right now. Money is behind many of them. Unfortunately I had to tap into my (meager) savings recently to just have enough money to live on. I went into this year with the goal of increasing my savings. I even saved part of my Christmas bonus for a rainy day which came too quickly when my fella lost his source of income in January. I have been the main breadwinner in our family for years, but we rely on his contribution. We are fine for now and through the summer, but there isn't any vacation money. Sports, clothing and summer camp for the kids are potentially not going to happen. About a year and a half ago, I whittled down all the "extra" household expenses - internet, expensive cable package, meals out, coffee drinks, books. Really I've cut out all the extras and now there isn't much that can go!

But I'm not freaked out about it. Normally I am a worrier, but I know that worrying won't help the issue so I am trying to let it sort itself out. There are some things in the works that could come together to make things 100% better in a few months and I am content to sit back and let it happen.

Every year the ladies from my church go on retreat to Suttle Lake, outside of Sisters, Oregon. One year I made a list of all my troubles, hopes, dreams, desires. Since then I have looked at the list every year or so and written the date of items that have been resolved. It is amazing to look at issues that seemed so big and then be able to write a date that they were resolved. Some of the things on the list were wishes and desires and many of them have been resolved too. I attribute these things to God, but I think this is a powerful exercise for anyone - not just those of us who are religious.

One of the biggest issues that has consistently appeared on my list is MY WEIGHT ISSUE - caps and bolded. I feel like now, once and for all, I can consider this issue in the process of being resolved. My lap band is a powerful tool that is playing a huge role in this resolution, but it is more than that. I am discovering that the compulsion for food is going away. I am not on a diet that creates even more food obsession, as diets generally do. I am finally learning to listen to my body and eat according to its needs. All the years of dieting and believing that I needed some external force to tell me what and when to eat and when to stop eating is being replaced with the desire and ability to hear my body tell me what and when to eat and when to stop. A diet would have me measure out a portion and I would eat every bit of it, but now I am often stopping before the portion is consumed because I am full. I know my lap band is sending really strong "full" signals to my brain at times, but not always. Oftentimes it is my brain that is simply recognizing that I have had enough - not because I've finished the portion, but because I feel full. This seems so simple and intuitive. I wonder how we can ever lose sight of this, but I know we do.

I was thinking about this process as I walked this morning. We all start off as babies who pretty much eat when they are hungry and stop when they've had enough. But very early on we start to receive messages (both explicit and implicit) from our families about what we should eat. These messages can be as seemingly-benign as the types of foods our families prepare to specific messages from our families about cleaning our plates or eating specific foods due to their healthful properties. At the same time, we start absorbing societal messages about body types and food. We see actors and models and we begin to adopt these messages about what people "should" look like. Everyone, even "normal" eaters, has these experiences.

But I think something different happens to those of us who eventually develop weight problems. We begin to self-identify as different from others and in need of something external to make us okay. We might hear these messages from family or friends who tell us we are too fat or are going to get fat or we might come up with this on our own, but something occurs differently for us than for the "normals". Eventually we decide (or are told) it is a diet and/or exercise program that will "fix" us. But no one tells us that what we really need is to regain our innate ability to know when we are hungry or when we are full.

It is really sad that most of us come to this realization when we are very young. I was probably 10 years old when I first felt out of control with food and in need of a diet. 26 years later, I am still struggling with the legacy of this destructive pattern.

It is such a relief to know that I can fix this. I have felt out of control and hopeless for so long, but no more! Which is why I, "Don't worry, 'bout a thing. Oh - every little thing is gonna be alright!"

13 comments:

tessierose said...

Amanda, you did it again. You have such a gift of expression. What a lovely post and oh so true.

carla said...

What a great post Amanda. I commend you on finding your sense of peace and knowing that everything will be alright. I dont think we are given more than we can handle in life and I know you will be able to make the best out of the situation. Thanks for sharing today and making us all think about things in a different way :-)

Sandy Lee said...

This really moved me Amanda. You have the right outlook. Since I calculated your age as 36, let me mention my family was in the exact same position as yours when I was 36 (20 years ago). This was the last recession in the early 1990's. My hubby lost his job and I only worked a few hours a week. My hubby decided to start his own business with all the expenses and stress. We were broke, I was slowly losing it, but one day it just came clear. We would make it. I remember at the 5 year point I realized we had held on that long, we would make it. And each year got better and better. Now 20 years later we are in a good spot in our lives. Financially fine, house paid off, kids put through university, we can travel.

So I want to tell you that you will look back on this time and revel in your success. I feel I am a better person because of this. We had some tough decisions and cut back drastically. My one bit I kept hold of was that we were able to keep our house-it was close-but we got through. I don't have a "god" in my life but I do feel there is something to believe in and hope this small little support helps you know you can do it. Just like the band will help us with our weight. Hope you have a great day!

Sherry said...

I'm so happy for you that you've found some peace and am hoping that your DH finds some work soon!

Bonnie said...

I'm sorry things are rough for you financially. My husband is self employed and work is up and down, so we never quite know where we are going to be month-to-month I've gotten used to it as best as I can, but it is stressful. Great thoughts about the band - really helps me feel good about my decision to get one.

Kristin said...

Great post, and hearing the song in my head made me smile. You're right about things seeming so big and then when you look back... it was all OK in the end.

I'm sorry things are especially tough right now, I hope your guy is able to find something that works well for your whole family. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Jenny said...

Great post! Eventually all things work out, not always the way I want, but they do. You have a great attitude!

LDswims said...

Everything always happens for a reason. My sweet hubby thinks I go too far with that mantra but I truly believe it. It may not happen the way we want it to, but it works out the way it needs to. And when you can look back objectively, at least in my case, I can always see that it was best the way it went. I understand that peace you talk about, sometimes, without being optimistic OR pessimistic, we can just know that it just IS.

What a great blog!!

workinprogress said...

Love and prayers for you and your family. You have a fantastic attitude and you will get through this.

Jacquie said...

You did it again Amanda...yet another blog that reaches deep down and touches me. I believe that God only gives us what we can handle. You will get through this and have more items to scratch off your list next year!

Cindylew said...

Sorry things are so tough right now. It seems like such a feat to have found peace in the midst of everything that is going on right now. Sounds like you and the band are a match made in heaven.

Barbara said...

Hi Amanda thanks for visiting my blog.
Shoes are very comfortable.. they are made by Jambu (style called Sonya) they were bit more than I would normally spend ($123).. but they were what I was looking for.. Love the aspect of inner peace.. because that is what really matters in life.

amandakiska said...

Barbara - Those shoes are too cute and they look comfortable too!

Thank you all for your support! I appreciate each and every one of you so much!