Show Up!

by Moira on July 27, 2014

(This is the third in a series of posts honoring Angeles Arrien, and the lessons I learned from her.  The second is here.)

The task of the warrior is to show up, to be visible and empower others through example and intention.

— Angeles Arrien

This blog post has been weeks, even months, in the making.  And still, after numerous coaching sessions with different coaches, it doesn’t come easy.  This Showing Up, being visible, is a challenge for me, perhaps because for over 50 years, I have used my weight to hide, to be invisible.  But here goes…

The past year or so has been a time of profound change for me in my personal journey of shifting my relationship with food, and to a lesser extent, my relationship with my body.  About a year ago, I wrote about my experiences of playing the DietBet game.  There was a lot that didn’t work for me in that experience.  What did work is that it reconnected me with a willingness to look again at some of the choices I was making.

One of the teachings learned from Angie was the rule of three:  if an idea comes up once, it can be safely ignored.  The second time it comes up, from a different source, you would do well to pay attention.  If it comes up three times from different sources, ignore it at your peril.

There is a lot of Type 2 Diabetes in my family.  Somewhat remarkably, I think, I don’t have it.  Yet. And I did have the idea that I was a ticking time bomb.  This was sort of niggling at me  (that’s 1).

About that time, my good friend and colleague, Susan Freeman over at QiCoach, invited me to do a nutritional assessment as a practice client for a nutritional training she was taking.  I listened to her recommendations (that’s 2) and began incorporating some of them.  And then,  from the daily TED talk list, this talk by Peter Attia got my attention.  He asks some very provocative questions, like “What if some of our fundamental ideas about obesity are just wrong?”  (that’s 3 – ok.  got it).

After years of practicing my conscious eating guidelines, I wasn’t about to go back to the land of forbidden foods, and a strict “eat this, don’t eat that” food identity.  I was willing to gradually shift my food choices and experiment with a different balance.  I emphasized willingness over willpower, and paid attention to how I felt.  And I was slowly dropping pounds.  This is not my primary goal; however, I don’t deny that I feel some satisfaction at this side effect.

In January, I felt willing to do a 30-day structured program.  I marveled that I experienced no struggle about it – only clarity, intention and commitment.  And at the end of the 30 days, I was done with the structured program.  How is this different than a diet?  Because I experienced no deprivation, there was no resulting binge.  Just a few different choices.  I  had lost more weight  and weighed less than I had in over 30 years.  But there was no “bounce back”.  Not a single pound.  That, to me, is indicator enough that this is different.  That this weight loss was just a result of my body healing and moving back into balance.

“How does it feel?” I am asked.  Honestly, not that different, physically.  Which has been part of my reluctance to talk or write about it.  I’ve lost forty pounds in a little over a year, and I’m down eighty from my all time high, and that’s an accomplishment to be celebrated.  But more than the numbers, I celebrate my willingness to take the journey, to be an experiment of one, and to learn what works for me on all four levels:  physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

That is the warrior that I am, the example I want to set and  what I empower other people to do.