Hi, I’m Lorrie Jones and I used to weigh over 300 pounds. I also used to weigh 60 pounds. In fact, I have gained and lost a total of 1,900 pounds during a decade of my younger life.
I remember the day: I stepped on the scales to see if I had lost weight. I had worked so hard, eating salads when I wanted dinner, exercising to the point of exhaustion.
As the number displayed on the metal altar beneath my feet, I felt panic. Not one pound less. I had failed again. I was still fat. The words “I hate myself” screamed their familiar torment. Warm tears rolled down my face.
I weighed 68 pounds. Tomorrow it will be 67.
It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder. This means that eight million others, and I, know the emotional pain of feeling physically unacceptable and have experienced how debilitating such shame can feel. Here’s what I find particularly horrific: In our country:
- Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
- 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 perceive themselves as overweight
- 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight
Dieting is a 60 billion dollar a year industry in the United States – could something be terribly wrong?
Our culture has indoctrinated most of us, particularly women, to believe media-defined thinness and beauty will bring happiness, bliss and self-love. Unfortunately, this is not true.
How did I heal? One moment at a time. Mindfulness became my ally against the Goddess of thinness who ruled with compulsion, shame and promised perfection.
I learned to let go of the desire to “fix” myself with thinness. I began to meditate – to invite stillness into my life on a regular basis. I took a yoga class and stuck with it. I faced my shame and feelings of inadequacy and gradually accepted all of myself.
Mindfulness meditation was my ally throughout healing. A simple yet profound healing practice: Mindfulness Meditation is the practice of cultivating skills for becoming wakeful and calm in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. Through daily mindful practices, I began to live my life with compassion and forgiveness, not only healing my own relationship with food, but transforming my entire life.
Healthy eating behavior is not a food issue but a relationship issue-with ourselves and how well we love the person we are and have always been. Mindfulness is the light that illuminates the tunnel of healing. Three minutes a day can be enough to establish a practice that changes the brain, cultivates wisdom behavior and gives us our lives back.
By cultivating this ancient and time-honored discipline, we can change our lives. As we transform our habit of seeking answers or solutions from somewhere outside of ourselves to living mindfully, we not only gain our lives back, but we become a healing presence for ourselves, our relationships and our world.
To learn more, I invite you to check out the free resources I’ve hand-selected for you.