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The Ordeal Masters Didn't Want an Ordeal

A couple of months ago I saw a discussion on FetLife about approaching weight loss as an ordeal. Since I'm very interested in ordeals I found this intriguing, a possible way to help add an emotional/spiritual dimension to my efforts, hopefully helping to keep me focused and on track.

It didn't work out that way.

My idea was that I would undertake healthier eating habits and a dedicated program of exercise as a devotional path, offering whatever hardships and struggle I experienced to the honor and service of my patron. Doing it for myself had never been a sufficient motivation for weight loss, so I needed an external focus.

I was rather taken aback when I presented the idea to Ereshkigal and She declined to accept it as an offering. Nope. Not interested, was the gist of Her response. While certainly She is interested in my well-being, She has other, higher priorities for me to focus on in my work with Her.

Okay. . .

So I approached Lohain about it. He was always a vigorous man who loved working out. He always found me sexy and beautiful, no matter what my size, but also enjoyed seeing me work out and getting stronger. He also enjoys seeing me challenge my boundaries. But he too declined to become involved in this effort. I don't remember the reason he gave.

Their responses surprised and stymied me. How could these two, who took such pleasure in challenge, in transformation, in pushing me, not be interested in this??

It took a while before I understood that they didn't want me to approach this process as an ordeal. There were a couple of reasons for this. First, there's been more than enough pain and struggle in my life for the past few years. They saw no reason to have me undertake more at this time. Second, while an ordeal can be long and grueling on its own terms, the duration of my weight loss is going to be measured in months rather than hours -- or even days. That's far too long for an "ordeal."

This is a process I was to undertake from a perspective of pleasure, not pain. Finding the Nia class was the first step in understanding that. I'm to be embracing healthy habits that make me feel good, not gritting my teeth to endure another round of sacrifice.

How is it going? I joined SparkPeople just over a month ago, have lost 9 pounds, am eating better and exercising more -- including dancing -- and enjoying it.

Ereshkigal and Lohain understood what I needed far better than I did.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 16th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
The quickest way to fail something like dieting, quitting smoking, etc, is to look on it as depriving yourself of something. At least, that's what I found. :-) In six months, though I haven't kept up my Sparkpeople membership, I have lost almost a stone, through changing my diet a bit at a time, and exercising more. It seems to be working, and I still get to eat cake, crisps etc in moderation. Simple things like walking more (I wear my pedometer all day long and aim for it to read at least 10,000 steps by the end of the day), swapping my Dr Pepper for sparkling mineral water, and swapping ordinary cake and the occasional dessert for Weightwatcher options all help. I also realised that I was eating too much pasta/rice/potato at one sitting, and I weigh out amounts now, so I don't overeat. Little changes, without simply doing without, really work. :-)

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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