I’ve been having a profound experience of releasing expectations for the past week.
On Jan. 1, I began participating in a weight release group. Prior to the new year, we had made our plans about how we would begin adjusting our eating and exercise habits in order to honor ourselves and our bodies. Mine had included going back to eating the way that I know works best for me – specifically, no white stuff (potatoes, wheat, sugar, etc.)
I know how my body feels best, but I’ve created a lot of head drama around why I can’t do it. The biggest one is that if I demonstrate restraint in my food choices, people will judge me and they won’t like me. Self-affirming stuff, huh?!?
So I made my food plan and my exercise plan; I built it in incremental steps so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once; I had my support system in place. I was ready to go!
And then I got sick. Really, really sick. Four days later, I’m looking at least another day in bed…maybe two…maybe more (I shudder to even admit that). I haven’t been this sick in a long time and it’s hit me like an 18-wheeler.
And you know what the only things were that I could keep down for several days? White pasta and Saltines. Exactly the things that I said I’d be cutting out of my diet. And what wasn’t I doing? Exercising. Ha! I can barely stand up for more than two minutes at a time, let alone exercise!
Until last week, I might have dreamed happy-place-dreams about having four days to lay in bed and get so much work done! Well, laugh’s on me because I have been able to do exactly nothing – I’m too tired, my eyes are constantly watering, and my brain feels like it’s full of scrambled eggs.
I’ve had to let go of my desire to be perfect and stick to the plan. I’ve had to let go of my fear that if I don’t keep to the original plan, I’ll face certain failure. I’ve had to let go of the idea that my weight release partners might judge me for not holding to the commitments I’d made. I’ve had to let go of my judgment about having to redo my plan and start again. I’ve had to let go of my need to be doing and accomplishing.
In short – I’ve had to let go of my need to be in control, and let my body take the lead. As a result, I’m becoming so much more conscious of the pressure I put on myself.
This morning I had a phone call with my weight release group. They were so supportive and loving, I could have cried.
I’ll be honest – I’m willing to learn the lesson, but I’m also really hoping that God decides I’ve learned it well enough to get the heck out of bed sometime in the next day or so.
But the truth is that…
Today’s miracle: …right now I’m releasing far more than physical weight.
For more about releasing expectations and judgments, check out the book review I just posted for “F**k It Therapy” by John C. Parkin.