I remembered.

I have been spread VERY thin lately.
I am not really sure if I have been coming or going.
I have been barely hanging on at times.
But one thing is for sure, in all the rushing and doing and fixing and arranging and scheduling and homework checking and bill paying and being in six places at once, something got lost.


I have been so disconnected. So sad. So lonely. And so mean to myself.

One day last week on my drive to La Follette to round I listened to Bella Donna. The entire album. Over. And over. And over.

And I just cried.

I cried for the 45 minutes it took to drive there and the 45 minutes it took to drive back.

Big, ugly, gulping sobs.

I have NO idea why I was crying. Or exactly why I was sad. But I am guessing that I needed a good cry.
I never really cry for myself.
I never really have any compassion for myself.

My friends? Yes. My patients? ALWAYS. My kid? It goes without saying.

But not for myself.

But one little voice inside has decided it really needs to remind me that I need to caretake me. Even when care taking everyone and everything else, I have to remember i need it too.

Tonight I arrived at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula.
It is the first night of my fall retreat and it is a special session for those of us who have been coming a while.

As I sat in the huge hall and heard the waves crashing all around and the wind blowing and howling and the redwoods creaking and sighing. I realized there will always be things banging to get in.

And as I sat there and we started our evening meditation I got a warm glow deep in my chest. It was full and rich and comforting and it brought tears to my eyes. I felt surrounded by these women who have known my darkest secrets and most frightening fears and loved and supported me through everything.

They know me better than just about anyone on the planet. They make it safe to be vulnerable and powerful all at the same time.

And in that first sweet breath this evening, I was completely overwhelmed with comfort.
With a feeling that absolutely everything is going to be alright.
That there is nothing wrong.
That I have everything I need.
That I am strong enough and vulnerable enough to find a way.

And when the wolf is at the door and fear seems to make even the smallest step toward change insurmountable, that breath says no.

No we will not be held back.
No we will not be made to believe we are less than.
No we will not be convinced we are not worth it.
No we will not sit quietly by and accept so much less than we deserve.

And in that moment I know it is simple.
…but not easy.

I know it is all about allowing myself to have what I deserve.
And I deserve the good.

I don’t always know it.
I usually deny it.
But I can be aware and allow it.


Sleeping in the Forrest
Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

Time to pump the brakes.

Even when that person is you.

I have been in my head for the last 4 days.

And it is scary.

I have been eating and numbing and avoiding.

It has been an E ticket, wild, downward spiral ride.

So today I decided it was time to shut this shit down.

If I have been allowing it, then i can stop allowing it.

Today I had a buddy call and my dear, sweet friend said, “What is the kindest thing you can do for yourself today?”

So I decided.

Coming back here always allows me to check in, stop being sucked into the bullshit, low budget horror movies that are my stories and refocus on the fact that I am just fine.

There is nothing wrong.

There is nothing wrong.

There is nothing wrong.

I will continue to say this and one day I will start saying this…

Why do I fear being thinner?

This has been an incredibly difficult post to write. It has taken me over a week to write. And it is still really uncomfortable hitting the publish button. Which is usually a pretty good sign that I need to share this. So here ya go…

Some time ago Geneen wrote her book Women Food and God. It is her book about the retreats and her students and how the work, well, works.

It got into Oprah’s hands and she read it and wanted her on the show. But she also wanted some of her students on the show. So Judy (the supreme organizer of all things Roth) contacted a few of us Geneen suggested and asked if we would be ok with possibly going on the show.

And that’s when shit got real.

The producer in charge of Oprah’s Book Club contacted us all and spoke with us. It was a fun conversation and I was pretty pleased with that opportunity alone. And she was a very neat person to talk to. At one point in the conversation I said to her, “Look, I think it is important for you to know, a lot of us are not thin. The work isn’t about the weight. It’s not NOT about the weight, but the process is slower for some than others. And let’s be honest, we need to sell the WORK so if you wanna pick examples to reach the masses, pick the thin ones first.”

I think that was the plan anyway. It’s TV. It’s marketing. It’s cool. I was more than fine with it. And really proud of and happy for the women who were chosen.

Two of my very favorite people from retreat went on the Oprah show. They have each lost over 100lbs and represent the work beautifully. They are amazing and kind and open and phenomenal women. And I am super proud to call them friends.

What I was not prepared for was the emotional tsunami “The Oprah Effect” had on our group.

I have always been aware of shaudenfreud (and guilty of it at times.) Reveling in the misfortune of those who have wronged you is a thing. It even has a term. And this cool meme. And feels a lot like Karma. But what I did not consciously recognize was that people aren’t too happy when you do well either.

And they get mean.

But I didn’t know this had a name too until I started writing this post.

So gluckschmerz.

Since the show was taped to air later, it actually aired while we were on retreat. Geneen brought in a TV and we all watched it together in the place where we share all our deepest darkest fears and vulnerabilities. We were together. Geneen had just hit the mother lode and we were all together to celebrate it.

Let me be clear, this was a really big deal for our little group. Most of our retreats contained 75-100 people. The retreat after “The Oprah Effect” blossomed to 400+ and had to be moved away from our beloved retreat space to a large conference center. Basically, we had to change. And change isn’t always fun. Or pleasant.

So during the retreat when we watched Oprah, I noticed things begin to shift.

There was this low level hum of, well, discontent. We discussed and processed and discussed and processed the effect it had on us. Some of the people who weren’t interviewed at all wanted to know why their names weren’t sent to the Oprah people. Some who had been interviewed were really upset that they were not chosen for the show. Some had the idea that only the “skinny young” women were chosen. I later learned that one of my friends who was on the show was on a shuttle to the retreat and overheard another participant say that “only the skinny young women got chosen.”

The retreat was a shit storm. The rifts were forming and people were pissed. Everyone was in their shit more than usual. And it was palpable.

In one of our small group gatherings, we were talking about how some people were hurt and offended not to be chosen. Some people commented about the comment on the shuttle. Others defended it.

I kind of lost my shit.

I couldn’t breathe, my chest tightened and I was trying not to cry. They kept going. And finally I raised my hand and became an emotional bulimic. Everything in my head tumbled out with snot and tears and ugly crying.

Essentially, I said, “So what I am getting from all of this is that the red hot second I become all bright and shiny and beautiful and the world notices, people will turn on me. MY people. The very people I have relied on to hold me up. The people I have trusted with my insecurities.”

I was a mess. I had no idea this was a thing for me, at least not on a conscious level. And I certainly had no idea it was this MUCH of a thing for me.

I have never had a problem sharing, being vulnerable, being honest, or allowing myself to go to bits in this group. After all, this was my circle. These were my people. These ladies were there to hold the space and make it safe for me to be vulnerable.

Except this time it didn’t quite go that way.

It turns out that the woman who made the comment on the shuttle was in my small group. So was the woman it was said about, the one who went on the show. And my reaction to the comment must have set up a reaction and defensiveness in the commenter because she was pissed. And not just pissed. Pissed at me. Our teacher stepped in and disconnected her reaction from my reaction, helped her work through my feelings in that moment, helped her do the same and in the end, it all ended up being very cathartic in a way, and that woman and I are fine now.

But the whole incident, the realization that there were these amazing, bright, committed, loving women deeply rooted in this work who were indeed furious at the success of others.

I am sure there was a healthy dose of projection from everyone who had a reaction. I am sure everyone had to deal with memories of a time they didn’t get “picked” and all that got played out at this retreat.

Again, it was a shit show.

I should also point out that those two women who were on the show, all beautiful and bright and shiny? Yeah, they no longer come to retreat.

And this whole thing reinforced that indeed, when you get all bright and shiny and the world notices, people get pissed.

This all occurred five years ago. I had all but forgotten about it consciously, and if HCL hadn’t started the whole “What does success look like to you and why are you so afraid of it” conversation this might never have triggered this memory. But now that I am typing this and spent time during the in between with the fear I have around succeeding (being beautiful and trim) I realize what a very profound effect it had on me. It brought to the surface one of my greatest fears.

I believe, deep deep deep down, that the more you shine, the more they go after you.

Even when they are the people who you thought were your greatest support.

And that hurt like a mother fucker.

And scared the shit out of me.

And at some level, deep down, convinced me that it probably isn’t completely safe to be thin. Definitely not all sunshine and unicorn farts. And at some level, that registered in a very deep and very profound way. Kind of at the level of survival.

And when does our survival instinct develop? At birth? In childhood?

As a child my survival depended on keeping my parents happy. Flying below the radar. Not being a problem. The first time I realized what a disconnect looked like was when I lost weight and got thin. And EVERYONE noticed. And my mom noticed that everyone noticed.

She called me a slut. A whore. She shamed what I wore and how I wore it.

It is very hard for me to write this because it is so fucked up. But I need to write it again.

I got punished because I lost weight just like my mom told me to for my whole childhood and then she destroyed me for it. I don’t know if it was because it felt like a threat to her or because I was 17 and she was 40. I don’t know and I don’t really care why. But it burned into my memory.

Another reason not to be thin. People turn on you.

And I just realized how I got involved with the married man.

I started med school at 265 lbs. Half way through my first year I lost about 90 lbs. He noticed. He showered me with praise and adoration. Told me how beautiful I was. Told me he always knew I was a “diamond in the rough” and decided he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The first 3 months he would show up at my apartment in the middle of the night and bang on my door. He would call and leave messages. He told me I was his soul mate. Funny this never occurred to him 90 lbs ago. Over the next 8 years I gained most of the weight back and he told me he would never have a fat wife. But the weight loss and my hourglass figure is what caught his eye. I wrote too much about him in the early days of this blog I don’t really wanna spend another word on him. But it just occurred to me, my thinner body caught his eye and put me right in the path of a speeding train with NO skill set to handle it.

So what did I learn there? When I look sexy and curvy and beautiful, I might be put in a situation where I can’t protect myself. And I might make poor choices.

So when you start to realize that your definition of success is achieving a body that represents your outside as beautifully as you know yourself to be on the inside, you might start to panic. Especially when you realize that your mom turned on you when you first realized that amazing and beautiful body. AND that a large part of your support structure is made up of women who want the same thing. AND you have had an experience where two of your ranks are no longer in your ranks because they, well, succeeded and got thrown to the wolves for it. AND a married man sees your curvy, voluptuous form and decides you are exactly what his ego needs and you are not able to extricate yourself from the first poor choice.

A wee bit of negative reinforcement.

I am crystal clear what success means to me.

Looking beautiful outside and being a reflection of my inside.

And before we get side tracked, I do not NEED to be beautiful outside in order to be beautiful inside. I know, deep down, the part of me that never dies, the part of me that shows up to comfort and care for the scared parts…she is stunning.

And now I am very consciously aware that embodying that sexy, voluptuous, curvy, strong and attractive body she deserves involves risk and fear and loss to me.

So now I need to be Brave. And Fierce. And Trust the process.

And lose this weight.

And take the risk.

And stop giving a shit if it fucks up the plans of others.

Or makes people leave.

Or makes insecure assholes hit on me because they like a shiny wrapper but have no idea how to savor the delicate, rich, unique piece of chocolate inside.

(no, I actually have a sign for that…)

And allow myself to be beautiful.
For me.
Because I deserve it.
No matter how many people have tried to take it away or soil it or minimize it or scandalize it, I know it is meant to be.
I need to be true to myself and stop letting the bullshit of others affect my decisions and ultimately what I allow in my life.

I listened to this song on repeat when I left Dallas. I was moving to Nashville. Little did I know that i was leaving behind one life for another. And now that I think about it, I weighed 250 lbs when I left Dallas. I went on an 18 month man fast after that. I met my husband in the 19th month and I weighed 178 lb. And he loved my mind first. We met and talked through email. Then he saw my body and loved it. But he also loved me at 265 lbs the day I delivered our daughter. And when I started this path with HCL at 228 lbs. He pretty much thinks my body is beautiful because he loves me. But he loves me most when I love myself. When I am confident and clear and comfortable in my skin, no matter what the size.

So I will take the fork in the road that leads me down the path of risk.

The road that leads me to find the body I deserve instead of the one I hide in. The road that leads me to a place where I can be all kinds of shiny and sparkly and glittery for all the world to see.

I will allow myself to succeed.

I will allow my outside to look like my inside.

I will be radiant.

But most of all, I will find out who I am supposed to be. I will slowly and deliberately stop piling shit on that other people laid at my feet. I will stop wearing the weight of the experiences and disappointments of those who let me down. I will peel away the layers and the numbness and i will allow myself to come through as it is meant to be, not as I have been told to be.

I owe it to myself to weigh in on this appearance thing and stop listening to all the people who have ever had a comment about my weight, my appearance and my worth.

As scary as this all is, and it is plenty scary, it is scarier to me not to change.


Tonight I went to a retirement dinner for our chief administrator. He has been with us for 35 years and we love him.

But it’s a Thursday. I’m tired. I’m sick. I want to go home and take my bra off.

I really did not want to go.

At all.

But I really like this administrator so I went.

And when I arrived, I realized an old partner was also there.

This partner spent the better part of fifteen years making my life a living hell. He came after me while I was pregnant, made up lies about me and once actually called me white trash.

For real. White trash.

I am a little more than ashamed to admit that I hate this man. And hate takes energy. I do not have energy to waste on him. I had actually thought I had a better handle on these feelings. His departure from our practice was less than amicable and he hung on with everything he had. And right up to the end he was trying to throw me under the bus.

So it was not pleasant having to look at him.

It was a party for a beloved administrator. It was not about me. But it took everything I had to keep my feelings down. And I did what I could to make sure I felt safe and surrounded by friends.

I was at a table with my people and I love my people. They all know what he has done.

I did not go out of my way to say hello to him nor him to me.

What I did notice was my resistance to letting this go. Letting go of this hate. Letting go of this grudge. Letting go of this story. Letting go of this man having power over my life.

AND my intense desire to eat through this.

Of course there was a meal. The party was at a local restaurant that has great food. I did all that I could to be with myself and keep trying to bring myself back to my body.

I found myself sitting with well over half a plate of food left when I realized my hunger was at a 4. I got so angry. So upset. I wanted to eat away the anger and frustration and upset. I wanted to numb.

Instead, I pulled out my phone and posted almost exactly that in my small group support group on FB. We have been very active since the in between and are noticing what a difference it is making. So I put it out there.

Immediately I got a text from my buddy from that group C asking me where I was in my body. I was shocked. I texted back, “You saw my post?” She said no, she was just thinking about me and texted.

During the in between I noticed that whenever she would ask me where i am in my body, I would come back and disengage from whatever mental wrestling I was going through. So before I left, I asked her to text me a few times during the day at random times to help me check in and stay focused on being fierce about my commitment.

And right when I needed it most, she texted me.

I kept breathing and checking in. I was sitting next to my best friend, at a table with most of my favorite people and it occurred to me, I was the one who kept bringing HIM to the table. And if I hated him so much I probably should stop bringing him up.

That thought was so radical and different to my previous patterns, it caught me totally off guard. At that moment, the waitress came around and asked if we were done. I wanted to grab the plate and keep it but I let it go.

I was at a 4. And that was non negotiable.

And I felt a little bit of mourning. I was sad that i could not hide in food. Couldn’t hide in the numbness. Couldn’t do my usual shtick.

I didn’t want to give up my food.

The same way I didn’t want to give up the grudge I have against this man who is no longer in my life. But today I took a step in that direction. I acted as if he weren’t there. I did not go out of my way to be fake. Right there in between the waitress taking my plate away and pouring my coffee, I decided to enjoy myself right where I was.

With my people. With my best friend. Finding some stellar humor in the oddest places. Enjoying a really good cup of coffee.

And letting go of a little tiny piece of the past.

Life happens…

And sometimes it is scary as shit.

Today I was having a pretty good day. I had a small group support call and was focusing on being aware and present and noticing all the shit that comes up when I focus on eating to a four.

Also known as Tuesday.

My hunger was pretty big because I planned on making a favorite dish of my daughters ad it is rich and delicious and takes a little while to prepare. It is a grit crust quiche with bacon and cheddar and green onions.

I am also trying to cook more because it soothes and centers me.

So imagine my surprise when my husband called to tell me he went to pick up our daughter at her after school activity and she wasn’t there. Never met up for the car pool. The teacher had no idea. No one knew anything. She hadn’t called me. She hadn’t called Jerry.

She was MIA.

And I froze.

The fear was like nothing I have ever felt before, but more on that later.

I opened my computer to email her cello teacher that we might be late and I saw an iMessage from her 90 minutes earlier. I don’t use iMessage a lot, she never carries her phone, so of course she used this!

The relief was insane. She was safe, she was healthy, she was a little spacey (she totally forgot about her after school activity) and a lot embarrassed. I reassured her, told her not to worry because all that mattered was that she was safe and we need to make sure she carries her phone from now on since it is a whole new schedule and we’re still trying to figure it out.

And then it all hit me.

I could not stop the pounding heart beat. I could not stop the panic. I could not stop catastrophizing.

And then I could not stop wanting to eat.

It seemed overwhelming.

Every time I turned around, I caught myself reaching for food. I kept focusing on bringing myself back, feeling into the panic, finding where I was in my body, putting the food down, checking in to my hunger. I would take a deep breath and get all zen and shit and then I would notice a piece of bacon halfway to my mouth.

It was two hours of stopping behavior.

But I did it. And I tried to focus on what kept coming up.

What I realized during this time was how wedded I am to catastrophe.

While I was convinced my child had been abducted and I would have to call the police and file an Amber Alert, my husband said, “I’m sure she’s fine.” Initially, I was in too much of a panic to react, but I know myself well enough to know i would have liked to rip his throat out and project every horror in my head onto his screen.

But I didn’t.

And I’m not even pissed now about it. I am really acutely aware of my willingness to always assume the worst first. To expect bad things to happen. To refuse to accept that nothing is wrong. That it isn’t  disaster.

This goes hand in hand with accepting beauty into my life. And how much trouble I have with this. And how resistant I am to letting it go. But today I feel like I took a small step in the direction of that. Every time I thought about it and was drawn to the terror, I redirected that she was fine, nothing was wrong. Every time I reached for food to numb myself to the fear, I told myself, we don’t need to numb anything because nothing is wrong. Every time I noticed, I told myself (outlaid sometimes) that nothing is wrong.

I hope to move on from “nothing is wrong,” to “everything is fine.”

But let’s not get crazy.

And when it came time to eat, I was starving. But I ate slowly and put my fork down. I taste the food and noticed my hunger. I stopped at a 4.

Because to do otherwise was not an option. I was fierce, even though I was terrified and then anxious and then confused and all around relieved.

I stuck with my commitment. I stayed true to myself and I paid attention.

And nothing was wrong.


Today went really well.

I was present with food and stopped eating at a 4 each time. But I don’t think I ate enough. So I picked my daughter up at school and planned on being at the rink for about an hour and then heading to Whole Foods to pick up fish and things for dinner. I was looking forward to cooking. I was feeling good about being present with my food and allowing myself to be fierce even though I was exhausted. And I was hungry. Perfect

And then life happened.

I was driving home and pulling into my neighborhood and got called in on an emergent consult. And I panicked.

I went inside, got the rice started and told mu husband to start the fire in 30 minutes but I was hungry. Like, really hungry. And I started to overthink everything.

I managed to put my hand on my chest, breath into my belly but I kept racing back to what am I going to eat???

I had a lot of fruit and fresh grapes from my CSA and figs I brought back from the in between. So I decided to have 2 figs with a little bit of good blue cheese.

I went in, still aware I was at low level freak out, I did the consult and arranged for the  things that needed to be done and headed home. I was still aware of this low level anger, anxiety, panic and well, unease.

In the middle of all this, out of the blue, HCL texted me to ask how my commitment was going, fucking little ninja. And I told her. It helped. A little.

I left the hospital and got in my car. The buzz was still there.

I went home and started to put together a salad, slice up squash and onions from the CSA and sauté them and season the rice.

The feeling was still there.

So I did something radical.

I turned off the tv. I sat down and really tried to feel into it. And that is when it hit me. I was scared. I was scared because it wasn’t easy. I was scared because I thought I would mess up. I was scared I was too hungry to be present (and I was really hungry, but more on that in another post.) I was afraid I would blow right though my meal and eat past a hunger level of 4.

I realized I was afraid.

And I wasn’t exactly sure what to do. I mean, I have a whole arsenal of what to do, but in the moment, I was frozen. What I would normally do is over think WHY I was afraid. Where the fear came from.

And judge myself. Why would I fear THIS and keep commenting on that in my head.

Instead, I texted HCL.

She said, “So slow down and pay attention.”

I was REALLY wanting to argue with he, tell her it wasn’t that easy, explain to her why that doesn’t work for me. The idea of engaging in that argument comforted me and what I did instead terrified me.

I ratted myself out.

I told her what I wanted to do, but what I would do is pay attention, eat slowly and do my best.

And so I did.

It wasn’t pretty. I kept noticing my pounding heart and my anxiety and I kept putting my fork down because it is way to tempting to eat through that. And about bite 5 I realized slowing down helped. A lot. And that frightened me.

Because that was a change.

And then I started to overthink everything. I hung on and stopped eating when I thought I was a 4 and put all the dishes up. I took two more bites of salad after clearing because I could NOT tell my hunger level and sometimes taking a bite helps.

It didn’t.

So I just stopped.

About an hour later, I was back at a three. So I ate an apple. A really tasty tart/sweet apple.

And now I’m going to sleep because, well, I’m tired.

Making changes is exhausting. Oh and that pesky little redeye didn’t help.

But I kept true to my commitment today.

Even though I was scared.


I just realized I was in Tiburon for less than 48 hours. But what I got out of it was intense and rich and jarring.

Like good espresso.

So the red eye is not my idea of a fun filled trip but fortunately, last night/this morning I was graced with a new plane, an exit row, two Advil PM, a blanket and a seat that reclined more than any I have experienced before.

And I actually slept.

Not the sleep of the angels, but sleep none the less.

So this morning when the landing woke me (I do NOT recommend this, it is jarring and disorienting and leaves the taste of trouble in your mouth. Very fight or flight, no pun intended) I gathered my things and I got off the plane. I realized I have two hours before my flight to Knoxville departed and I had to make it from A terminal to D terminal.

During the trek from A to D, I slowly began to shake off the fatigue and I was a little shocked to notice I was hungry. I am rarely hungry in the mornings…ever. So as I stood in line for coffee I grabbed a Yoplait greek yogurt and my strong coffee and went to my gate.

My usual pattern, when returning from in between or retreat, is to over think EVERYTHING having to do with food.




This morning I could not have put a charge on that yogurt with a lightening bolt. I just ate it.

I sat down, checking that my hunger was about a 2 1/2-3, ate the yogurt (which is delicious by the way) and checked in after 2-3 bites. Ate the last bite and was at a level just around a 4.

And I was fine. No charge. No over thinking.

I now find myself engaged in a wee bit of fantastical thinking that “OOOOOH! Maybe I’m fixed!” Um, yeah. Not broken. So nothing to fix. And being tired and a wee bit jet lagged I could not put even half my ass into the story of being fixed so I sat down and went back to my book.

I have now had 5 meals since starting this commitment. That feels a little bit like “Bless me father for I have sinned, it has been 7 years since my last confession.” Catholic habits die hard. Each one of the meals stopped at a 4 and each had its own challenges.

I guess I am really doing this.

I think I expected to have to prepare, be ready, have the right notebooks, have a meal plan, have  a fitness plan, have a time line. But no. I just gotta jump in. I did just jump in.

I can’t say I am scared right now but i have a lot of doubt and uncertainty around this. And in the middle of some of the meals, fear.

To be honest, it scares me to death to stop eating a meal when I am satisfied and there is still 3/4 of the food left on my plate. GOOD food. DELICIOUS food.

(I had a moment writing that sentence where a voice in my head said “Jesus fucking Christ, there are people dying of cancer and you are scared of over eating? Give me a fucking break.”)

Eat me.

Back to what I was saying.

If I give it some space, allow the fear and don’t eat through it, I know I will be ok. I just have to do it. And everything will be alright.

Yeah, there’s that too.


Sitting in the airport is always incredibly soothing to me.

Odd, because it is a place of transition. A place of change. Not a destination.

And in my life i rage against those places.

But airports, I like.

I am getting ready to board the redeye to come home.

I have eaten 3 meals and a snack. All mindfully. None past satisfied.

This is usually where I deal with some fear of reentry into my day to day life.

I have a lot of nets in place. I have check in buddies and reminders. I have a plan. I have a desire. I have the promise to myself to be fierce. I have committed to changing so that I can allow beauty, success, authenticity to enter my life.

I am committed to get the fuck out of my own way.

And before I step on the plane home, I am, of course, filled with a little bit of dread and fear and doubt.

I will allow it some space but I won’t let it drive.

It’s time for me to enter this path and start steppin’.

And I will use this space to keep myself aware and open and honest.

And not alone.

Time to ride

So this is where the rubber hits the road.

I want to make this more complicated than it is.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s hard. But it’s not complicated. Stop at satisfied.

I am noticing a desire to make this a really complicated and intricate plan.

But it isn’t.

Stop at satisfied. Non-negotiable. Be fierce about it. Scream if you have to.

I realized this morning why that comment was so hurtful.

“Ask her how that’s working for her?”

Because it is what I scream at myself all day long in a subconscious and insidious way. It is the strong undercurrent that makes me not even question eating past satisfied. Eating past enough.

It hurts because I am not doing what I need to do to get where I want to be.

And if I focus on why what she said hurt me so much I realize it is because there was a kernel of truth in there.

Not about the non surgical way not working, that’s bullshit. It works for sure.

But about the fact the it isn’t working for me because I am phoning it in. I am giving lip service to the work.

And now I need, fiercely need, to get on and ride.

Because I need to allow the beauty of my natural body, my natural weight, my voluptuous form, to come into her form. I can’t explain why. But deep down I know it is important.

I once had a therapist tell me, “If you wanna know why you’re fat, lose the weight and you’ll know pretty damn quickly.”

The voices are railing against this act. They don’t want me to pay attention. They want me to keep eating in oblivion.

But I need to see what is under there.

I need to allow myself to embrace the beauty of my body as I know it’s meant to be. My natural form. There’s probably no number on the scale or size tag that lets me know when I get there. And I know it is in there. I know it like I know my eyes are blue.

I know it’s there because when I lost weight two years ago and I started to see what I really looked like, I LOVED looking at my body and dressing my body and moving my body and challenging my body.

And it obviously scared the shit out of somebody in there, because I stopped.

And sitting here writing this, I have so much panic and fear coming up around challenging the eating. And I am so tempted to delve into the WHY of the panic, the WHY of the fear, the WHY of the resistance, the WHY of the avoidance, the WHY I stopped taking care of myself, and WHY I eat past full and WHY there is so much comfort in being fat.

Asking why hasn’t worked for me so far. So I just refuse to engage.


And that is a change. And change is uncomfortable. And painful. And scary.

But change is also promise and hope and bravery and strength and optimism.

And now I will change. Fiercely. One meal at a time.

It’s time to do.

And since HCL sent me this today after I told her about my new fierce commitment, I am going to leave this here for me to enjoy…

And I want beauty.

Be fierce.

Yesterday Geneen talked about fierceness. Every single time she said the word, I felt something click. At first just a little, then more and more.

She has always talked about being kind and gentle and compassionate with the parts of you that are damaged. The parts that were broken and mistreated. The parts that protect you with whatever your food shtick is. But she rarely talked about the eating behavior itself.

About 2 years ago, at one of the retreats, she spoke about action. We always talk about awareness and accepting what is. However, we don’t talk about what to DO with that. She started to talk about aims. Goals. Setting your mind to something and sticking with it.

Yesterday it all came together.

She was pretty adamant about it, fierce about it, as a matter of fact.

She spoke of being fierce about your goal and protecting yourself from anything that gets in the way.

Usually your old patterns and habits. For her, it is all about saying no to the part that encourages the old patterns and behaviors.

Just no.

You have to say no to your old choices, old behaviors, old habits that keep you stuck before you can say yes to allowing yourself to become who you truly are.

That sounds like such bullshit gibberish.

I know that the part of me that makes fun of shit like this is the exact same part of me that is terrified of me changing. Is terrified of me stopping it from keeping me stuck. Getting in my way.

This is the part of me I must be fierce about saying no to.

I know before the weekend is over, Geneen is going to ask us to pick one thing to be fierce around.

And I know what I need to do. I know exactly where to start.

And it terrifies me.

My heart is pounding and my mouth is dry and my neck is all hot and prickly and there is a voice in my head mocking this whole entire process.

Probably a very good clue that  have just hit the mother load.

That voice is not only making fun of me for wanting to do it, it is telling me I CAN’T do it.

But I must.

Geneen spoke yesterday morning about asking ourself if we were willing to change, really willing. Sounds like a stupid question considering every one of us spent a pretty penny to be here and even more to do the retreats, but it is a valid question.

If you are “doing” the work, and nothing is changing, what the fuck is going on?

Which is also why that cruel comment the other day bothered me so much.

Because to be honest, the voice in my head keeps asking me, “Um, how’s that all working for you?” every time I sign up for the next retreat. I say it to myself all the time. In a mocking, cruel, biting way.

It chose mockery because my mother used it. Biting, sarcastic, cold, shrew like mockery. I respond to it by folding inward. It looks like I get all big and fierce and mean and warrior princess when someone talks to me like that, but inside I die a little each time. Part of me whole heartedly believes that voice.

And when I am numb or distracted, I believe it even more. Food numbs and distracts me. Not just eating. Eating past the point of satisfaction, past the point of full, on to the level of discomfort.

So to the task at hand.

One thing that has worked incredibly well to keep me present and honest and loving to myself around food is stopping when I get just satisfied. On the hunger scale, it is at a 4 or 4 1/2. And I know when I hit it immediately. And then the circus begins. ALL the countries heard from. All the little deprived kids in my head beg me to just ignore that signal and forge on! The harpy, biting, judgmental voice sneering “you cannot do this so you might as well eat the whole fucking plate” shows up. The grandmother is in there too. “Oh sweet girl, you have been through so much and worked so hard and come so far, just let yourself have this plate and maybe some pudding and it won’t hurt you.” (This is a little odd because I never had food triggers or over ate at my grandmothers house because I was allowed to have whatever I wanted so I didn’t need to shovel it in.) And whatever other voice has a vested interest in me not stopping this behavior weighs in at EVERY meal.

And I let them. I have spent a whole lot of money and a whole lot of years trying to tease out each and every one of these voices and find where they came from and how they impact me and why they are there. I have cried so many tears over these wounds that I have folded into myself that they have found new life in my head and they are stronger than they ever were when they were spoken by others. I have given them power.

Every moment I spend on them makes them stronger.

So if I can make those voices strong, I have the ability to make other voices strong too. And they are in there.

There is a voice, a part of me, that knows exactly what I need and exactly when to stop eating. And I need to spend some time focusing on her.

Because she is fierce, but quiet. She is stalwart.
(I LOVE that word, and it is so applicable)

And I have to stop bitching and whining and complaining.

In order to be fierce with my intention I need to say NO! to the part that tells me to eat past satisfied, eat past a four.

And of course, the voices inside my head mocking me and screaming with cruel laughter that I cannot do this are on 10 right now.

But I will write on.

I texted HCL in the middle of this post, my heart pounding and the volume WAY up on the naysayers in my head, to tell her I needed a food commitment. And it needed a time frame.

My commitment is to eat to a 4 at every meal for the next three days.

And there it is.

Nobody died.

My head didn’t explode.

And the voices sort of got quiet.

If I put one tenth the amount of attention to my hunger and stopping that I put into analyzing the voices, we are golden.

And it has worked before.

Which is probably what terrifies that part of me.

It is very elegant, actually. And a tricky little plan. Because it does not tell me what to eat or not to eat. I can eat whatever the fuck I think I want. I just have to stop when I hit that sweet spot.

And I get to practice at every.fucking.meal.

The pushback and resistance I am getting from the peanut gallery in my head is epic. The mockery is palpable and painful. My heart is pounding out of my chest. My mouth is dry. I have a RAGER of a headache. And that tells me everything I need to know.

I hit pay dirt.

So I will start.

No grand plan. No 21 day fix diet. No eat this don’t eat that.

I will just be fierce about stopping at a four every.single.time. I eat.




And now I am tearful.

I know there will be a lot of angst and pain and tears and bargaining and shame and fear and loathing and cajoling and bargaining. But I will be brave. I will be fierce. I will say no.

I will act.

PS. I’m a bit terrified.