Category Archives: Oprah

Fear of Dying by Diet

When I think of dying, I am not afraid.  After a very low spot (physical) several years ago, I lost that fear. Or I thought I had.

Once again I must honor the presence of my convoluted thinking.

Weight has always been an issue for me.  As a chubby child, I took a lot of ribbing.  There’s no doubt that I carried that child within me for years and failed to appreciate my perfectly acceptable body through my younger years.

In my parenting years I’m not sure that I could blame my increased weight on child-bearing, although it definitely had an effect.  My subjugation of self for the benefit of others probably had more to do with it.  I ate my way through exhaustion, anger, grief, overwhelm, and you-name-it! Then, as I gained more of a sense of myself, I began to shed the worst of my pudgy pounds.

Although I have never been (what I would call) obese, I carried some extra weight with me for a long time – both psychically and physically.  Then several years ago I decided that my looks were not at issue – it was my health that was at issue.  I changed my diet and my lifestyle in order to age as a lean machine.

It just didn’t work.

I have lost enough to feel better but those last pounds won’t go away. Although I eat an exemplary diet, I continue to hover around the same weight.  I exercise more.  I eat less.  I lose.  I gain.  The result is healthy but static and more than I’d like  to carry into my coming years.

Recently, I began having a few health issues. Nothing serious (I hope), just a mystery fever that comes and goes at will. While the doctors are puzzling, my sisters and I talk and question and scare ourselves looking up symptoms on the internet. Yesterday I admitted to her that I am losing weight.

“I hope I’m not dying”, I said.

My sister began snorting with laughter. She couldn’t catch her breath. Mystified, I chuckled along with her, waiting for an explanation. “OMG,” she said, “that’s just what I would think!”

When she caught her breath we talked aobut it. It became a serious conversation. We have watched friends and even our own parents stop eating and decline. Our dear sister who died of cancere become emaciated and resembled a holocaust survivor when she died. Our true feelings around being thin have some grim memories attached.

It does seem a bit silly to think that I cling to those last 15 pounds so that I can feel robust when I look in the mirror. Ultimately, I can laugh with her. We acknowledge our unconscious fear of weight loss as an unexplored aspect of our fear of dying.

Who knew?

The Student

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Filed under Self-examination, You Become What You Believe

Opinions

Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with “facts” or “truth”. Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint. John Moore 

 

I’m wondering when my opinions become the strongest. Or more to the point – when am I the most vociferous about them?

Many of my opinions are strong. Although I no longer see most things in black and white, I still veer toward the more intense colors of any subject. What, however, looses my tongue and makes me argumentative about them?

Alcohol, of course.

Anger, when aroused can create some heated arguments.

Fear, which is the basis of anger anyway.

Last night I could hear my ideas flying about like razors even as my friends gently leaned away from me. And so I spent my go-to-sleep drowse and my wake-up-thoughts coming to understand my behavior. I must be compassionate with myself and not spiral into self-denigration.

I have been a little bit ill too long without answers. My energy is beaten down. My confidence is shaken. Fear trembles beneath the surface of the unanswered questions. Anger bubbles up in defense.

I owe some apologies this morning.

The Student

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Filed under Quotations, Self-Acceptance Project, Self-examination, When you stray from your center, you get lost

My North Star

Martha Beck always inspires me. Today on my walk she gave me some phrases to watch for in my daily life.*

I am dismayed by how many times I use the self-limiting words, “I have to,” and “I can’t” when I am actually living my own choices. Not even counting the times I say or think, “Yes, but…”?

Like the cartoon she cites of a man holding bars up to his own face with wide-open space behind him, I sometimes create my own prison. I make decisions about how I “should” act and what I “should” do based on old habits, old needs, and fear of change, when actually I have the privilege of living a life of love and freedom without confining myself in an imaginary structure.

I am a wife whose husband encourages me to live my best life. I am a mother and grandmother who has long ago fulfilled all duties but those of love and support. I am a friend of men and women who live their lives thoughtfully and with intention.

If I am led astray from the path to my own North Star it is only by my thinking…thinking…thinking…

The student

*This time I am listening to “Follow Your North Star” on Audible.

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Filed under Living our best life, More Teachers, Self-examination