I am definitely a story teller, as any of my friends would attest, but while I retell the past often, I don’t think I tend to live in it. At least not in a harmful manner or magnitude. Perhaps that’s a thin line. I’m not really sure. BUT, I am purposely taking a look back right now at this blog.
It’s very interesting to me, with the M.E.A.L.S. group starting up this Sunday, to look back at when I started the blog and review how I did it, why I did it, what I did, why it was easy for me, and most of all to me is how interesting it is to see how different a person I was then.
Those early posts bring up clear memories of the pain I was in, and the fear I was suffering from. I distinctly recall the embarrassment I felt on that flight to Canada I described. The utter shame at having to go in to the bathroom at the bookstore in Canada and dry off because I was quite literally soaked with sweat. (Also interesting is why that was embarrassing to me. It was all in my mind...all had to do with how I saw myself, and fear of how others saw me. If the same thing happened today, I wouldn't be embarrassed because I see myself differently now. That's perhaps a whole other blog post one day!)
I marvel, still, at how easily I managed to lose weight. I had lost nearly half the weight just in the first few months, which is both testament to how large I was (I think you tend to notice faster loss when you are larger), and to how fast your body responds when you stop filling it with toxins. And make no mistake…fast food, candy, and soda are TOXIC.
But the most interesting thing to me is seeing where I was at mentally, as opposed to now. It’s hard not to chuckle at myself. I read posts where I talked about some of the self-helpy books I was reading, or a couple of the apps I was using, and I’m aware of how silly they seem to me now. This isn’t to say that self-help books and apps are silly…I think they serve a valuable purpose, and for sure were a huge part of what led me to where I am today. What I mean is….well, it’s kind of like an analogy I use quite a lot about the knowledge of a house.
When you walk up to the front gate of a house you've never visited, you can see the front yard. And that’s the only knowledge of that house that you might have. Then once you walk in the front door you become familiar with the foyer. You still know what the front yard was like, but now have knowledge of the foyer. And eventually you are familiar with the rooms of the first floor, but you still haven’t explored the second floor. If you never venture upstairs, you don't even know it's there. Your scope of understanding is limited.
It’s like that. I look back now at what I believed in and thought I knew about life back then, and I’m amazed at how differently I view things now that I’m familiar with other parts of the house. And who knows…presumably, as times go on, I will look back and be similarly surprised at what I understand now, when I’m looking back at it from down the road.
My deepest wish for the Mindful Eating And Living Sangha is that I will be able to help someone else explore parts of their “house” that they weren’t yet familiar with. Help them reach a vantage point that allows them to look back and see that when they thought they couldn’t do it, they just hadn’t “explored the house” enough to learn that they could!
I live and eat mindfully every day now, sometimes more so than others. But, too, even as I undertake this re-dedication to mindful eating, I see that little shadow of fear that it won’t work for them as it did for me. To that little fear…I invite you in. I see you. I welcome you here and care about you. But please stay seated over there, out of my way, while I do this. And, whenever you're ready, I invite you to leave. I’m watching you, Mara!