Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weight Loss and HAES... an oxymoron?

Lately I have been feeling inspired to lose weight again.  

Even though this is now a health at every size / EDNOS recovery blog, I am going to go ahead with what my gut is telling me to do, and that is to work to lose some weight.

Seriously, I'm feeling inspired to lose weight again.  

This is not because I feel like I should lose weight to fit into society's ideal.  This is not because I believe that I can't be healthy at my current size.  It's not because I don't look great right now, at this size.  And this is not because I "feel fat".

It is because I felt better physically when I was smaller.  I have become a runner this year, and I honestly believe that running will be easier at 165 pounds (goal weight) than it is at 218 pounds (what I weighed 3 weeks ago at a doctor's appointment - I think I'm about the same size now).  I want to run longer distances faster.  I'm training for a half marathon right now, and it is so much fun, and I am super proud of myself.

There are a few things that make this time different than my previous weight loss experiences.

One is that I'm still working on recovery for my EDNOS.  I'm not going to do anything to lose this weight that will suck me back into disordered eating.  I'm going to practice affirmations, self love, and healthy habits.

Another thing is that I don't hate my body at all right now.  Nope, I actually love it.  I think that it looks pretty good most of the time, and I have been wearing short shorts and tiny tank tops all summer long, despite weighing so much more than I did last summer.  A couple of years ago, I would have NEVER worn summer clothes while weighing this much;  I would have been more worried with looking fat than with feeling comfortable.  How sad for me.

I won't love my body any more at 165 pounds than I do at 218 pounds.

Finally, and most importantly, I have no unrealistic dreams about weight loss solving all of my problems.  Leah at 165 won't suddenly be happy, successful, fun, or awesome.  If I am not those things at 218, I won't be those things at 165.  The keys to happiness and success won't be found with losing weight.  Happiness comes from within, and success (for me) comes from hard work in school.  Success will be when I graduate next May.  Happiness will be when Stacey and I get married and move to New York.  Success will be getting a job that utilizes my degree and fulfills me.

And this should go without saying, but I'm already fun and awesome.  ;-)

me at 165,
my goal weight
May 2012

I feel great about this decision to lose weight again.  It feels like a powerful decision, one that has been made at exactly the right time.

I will continue to blog about body acceptance, HAES, and EDNOS recovery while also blogging about my personal weight loss progress.  Does that make this blog oxymoronic?  I don't think so.

Anyway... I will blog again soon about the "how" but I thought that I would start with the "why".

I hope that you all are having spectacular days.

Me, I'm learning to live with the pain of losing Mom.  Every day it's gets a little bit easier to live with the pain, which I suppose is the best that I can hope for right now.

me now - 218 pounds

Have you ever struggled with the line between HAES and losing weight?  
Where do you draw the line?


Asia K. said...

Absolutely, I've had nearly the same struggle. This is why I don't fully embrace HAES. I constantly vascillate between wanting to practice intuitive eating and pursue binge eating disorder recovery and wanting to lose weight. Pretty much everywhere I look, everyone says these goals are not compatible (that you can't pursue both recovery and weight loss at the same time). It's beyond frustrating, but I can see the reasoning behind it. There are a few exceptions (Josie Spinardi and her book are one example that I like, focusing on IE and weight loss, but I don't like her emphasis on appearance.) I'm probably similar sized as you, and I'm a runner, so I get that too. I am also at a similar place where the primary reason is just that I feel physically better in a smaller body, in practical ways, not in terms of appearance. But I'm going to try to continue the intuitive eating route for now because I honestly don't think that any other route will work for me ... at least not in my current stage of ED. So ... with that said, I'll be really curious to hear your "how" as you said you'd be discussing in a future post. I really like your new blog makeover :)

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

@Asia- It's been tough for me, because I do embrace HAES even though I want to lose weight. I don't think that they have to exclude each other, because not everyone is healthy while obese just like not everyone is healthy at a "normal" weight. If I'm being healthy, I weight less. That's not true for everyone, so I believe in HAES. :-)

I love how similar our experiences are, you really inspire me. I also like Spinardi's take on IE.

Asia K. said...

That's similar to how I feel. Actually, I think health is possible at every size for SOME people. I think I'm unfortunately not one of those people! Regardless of how healthy my eating, exercise, lifestyle, etc., are, my weight is still going to cause problems for me (such as knees and feet as a direct result of the weight they carry, as well as minor problems like chafing, too much sweating, etc.). I expect that I'll eventually lose some weight through continuing IE but probably not as much as I want to, so I may be looking at other options then down the road. Or maybe I'll accept where I am, I dunno. :) Trying to just focus on the present - it's so hard for me, but so necessary, I think! Anyway, thanks for being one of the few sane voices out there on the Internet who realize that when it comes to health, fitness, eating disorders (etc.), not everything is black and white. :)

MW said...

Love the new hair!

I'm glad to read that you feel empowered to do this again. I've had many ups, downs, and f-that moments the past few weeks. I don't know why we let/use to let food control everything.

I'm so glad you post :) it gives me inspiration and hope to do better and focus each day.

Shannon Tatlock said...

I love your comment, happiness doesn't come from weight loss, it comes from within. I look forward to reading your blog, no matter what it's contents. :)

Mariebop said...

Bathroom selfie! Everyone has one. Love the pic.

You know I'll read anything you write about. :D As long as you're there mentally, do whatever is best for you.

Leah: Not Otherwise Specified said...

@MW- Thanks! I am loving how long it is getting, too. I'm glad that I inspire you. :-) That makes me feel so good.

@Shannon- Thanks for the support!

@Mariebop- I have way too many bathroom selfies. LOL