I spent the greater part of my life in a battle with my fat thighs. Angry wishing I could cut away the part that rubbed together and chaffed.
Over the years I learn tactics to deal with it. Dieting, extreme exercise, joined the military and was quarterly humiliated by having to be weighed and measured and had my career dependent on the size of my ass. Nothing worked. My festering resentment at my lack of conformity to the “ideal” boiled over.
Until one day I stopped. I decided that was bull shit. My body was a gift at any size and I was going to celebrate it instead of shaming it. I was going to feed it lovingly instead of loading it with rubbish. Now this has taken a while to do as my drug of choice is and has always been sugar. Some days are better than others. Some days the inner bitch is back and has her way with my mind at the detriment to my poor body but it serves through the tyranny of the mind.
This month my father died.
I sat at his bed side watching his body shut down. Eventually it sounded like a latte machine bubbling with each breath. Very difficult to watch but I stayed with him through the three days it took him to “give up the ghost”. When he took his last breath I felt his spirit retract. Just boom like that. One minute he was animated and the next the plug had come out of the socket. Retracted back up into the ether. Just like that. One minute there…one minute not. Not his consciousness because that had left the building two days or so before. But the animating force that was keeping the machine that was my fathers body still breathing poof it was gone.
Earlier that week I had met a Tibetan Woman who had given me beads of compassion to give to my father to help him on the next leg of his journey after he passed. She said to me something that stuck, not just for my dad, but for myself and my body love journey as well. She said, “His body is just a rental house. When he comes back he will move into the next house. And so it will be until he attains enlightenment. ”
It was the rental house thing that got me. That coupled with the fact that for what ever reason when my mum came to help me clean up dads house in the evenings to decompress we decided to watch a show called Humans which was essentially a story about sentient robots who happened to live in a electronic body. My partner and I then continued watching it when I got home and he said something that intrigued me as well. He said, “You know. Our bodies are just biological robots anyway. Highly sophisticated but essentially we are run by electricity just as a robot is.”
It is true. When the energy left my father. He ceased breathing. Just like a vacuum that has been unplugged and you hear it power down. Same thing happened with him. His body had finally given up serving him and his spirit checked out…and if you were to believe the Tibetan woman it was to find a new home until he reached enlightenment.
So how did I take all of this experiential information. Honestly I numbed it. With my drug of choice. I put on over 5kg from the stress and the comfort eating.
When I returned home, I took a deep breath, forgave myself for neglecting my body during that time of stress and patted myself on the back for returning to my healthier care of my rental house. There was no self flagellation, just an acknowledgement of the number on the scale and a desire to clean house literally and figuratively.
I realized that the compulsive eating is a checking out. A numbing. A disruption to my sacral chakra…but when I reground. When I get back to base and really touch ground and ground myself out then boom sanity returns.
So my paradigm has shifted. My ego and my mind and my “tracks” in my thinking…will especially during times of stress lead me to donuts and Ben and Jerry’s. But new healthier tracks are being laid and when I switch from control and ego to coming from a place of self compassion…the eating cleans itself up. The rental house is tended. A deeper comfort is felt here than in the comfort eating. But it is a long held mental construct in my head that is so easy to default too…but each day is getting better the deeper I ground. The more balanced I become the less likely I am to self sooth in a way that harms. This is progress. Each day a bit more compassionate. Each day the world becomes a bit more peaceful. What I have come to believe, is that the only way to heal the world is to actively take action to heal ourselves and to check back into life deeply and with presence. When that action begins to spread by example more and more people will start being kind to themselves and then kinder in their communities, and then ultimately kinder to the earth. It is honestly our planets only hope.