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!"