Somebody at one of my retreats said once, “I get a gold star for choosing this.” But the thing is that there is no one in the sky giving gold stars. Nobody’s giving you a gold star for doing it right.
The binge way of life, therefore, comes to this: “Ah, what the hell. I’ll just relax the whole thing.” In my mind it used to be that, if I wasn’t dieting, I was just laying around my house in pink sponge rollers. And watching soap operas and then eating bon bons all day long. So, it was like diet, binge, diet, binge, and so on. And that’s what we often think about.
So, what’s in the middle between diet and binge? It’s making a decision about how you want to be and live your life. What do you want more than anything? Because wanting to be thin is not an answer. What is it you think it would get you, if you got what you thought you wanted? If you lost weight? If you didn’t have an eating issue?
For me, when it came it to my husband Matt, I wanted to stop being as reactive as I was. I wanted to feel closer to him. I wanted to listen to him. So, there were different parts of my life in which I really wanted something, and I was acting in a habitual way. I’d walk in. I’d sit down. He’d talk to me. I’d talk to him. And it was nice. And our relationship is lovely. It’s a great relationship. But I knew I could have more with this man. I knew I didn’t have to go rushing around in my life.
I heard this thing (and she’s not my role model) about Anna Wintour, who is the editor of Vogue. Somebody said about her that no matter how early they ever get to a meeting with Anna, she’s there first. And they’ve tried getting there at different points. Fifteen minutes early. Half an hour early. Five minutes early. Forty-five minutes early. She’s always there first. And that really impressed me. And it impressed me because I kept saying to myself, what is she getting out of being there first? What is she getting out of sitting there? And then I understood. Oh, she’s getting to sit in her own power. She gets to sit. And that’s why we ask you to come ten minutes early. She gets to sit and settle. Be calm and in herself. Feel empowered before the meeting starts.
Nobody’s telling Anna Wintour to do that. Nobody’s asking her to do that. She’s not on a diet about that. She’s not on a binge about that. And what happened with me is when I started arriving everywhere early, I saw how late everybody else was. I was late, so I never them the chance to be late. Then I saw, oh, people are late. Five minutes. Ten minutes. And there’s always a good excuse. But I was completely fine sitting there waiting for them, because I got to sit and read and write and look around and orient and ground and center myself. Because I wanted ease.
What do you want? Because if you’re going to stop at five on the hunger scale, instead of going over to seven, there has to be something you want more than those couple of more bites of food. You want to be in your power. You want to be in the center of your own life.
And what I want to say about this process that we’re all engaged in is that it takes grit. It takes some degree of fierceness. Of loyalty to what it is you want.
So, it’s that. It’s that line between allowing what is and understanding that there’s more, knowing that the heart is endless. That your capacity to love, to be open, to take in, never ends. Ever. And then, when you stop wanting to go to the very depths of yourself, then it’s a different life. It’s the wanting of the life that you have a glimmer of, and some of you have a big taste of, which then motivates you to do the work.
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- Feeling hopeless about ever being free from your obsession with food, eating, or your weight
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