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The Shortcut to Getting Fit

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

I need to track my progress. I’ve been searching for a One-Step Fix for a decade only to find that if I click my sparkly red heels 3 times and belt out “There’s no place like home,” I’d be exactly where I need to be.

The real “easy way out” is not as advertised.

It’s not a committed gym workout.

It’s not a strict diet plan.

It’s not a pill.

It’s hiding under the covers, asleep in your mind’s wiring.

—If you just replace the “y” with an “e” —

“Ease is the way out”

The journey— the months of reprogramming your brain to bring ease into your day to day, into your first-resort interpretation of the potentially hard-to-swallow moments—

that’s what bestows the magic upon your sparkly red heels – one size fits all.

If you give yourself a little compassion, the belts keeping you intact, the tight shirts and stubborn rules pressuring you, loosen around you. It’s okay to unzip your pants after you eat.

My Before & After Shot might as well look the same — it was never about my body.

It was about my mind not accepting my body.

It was about my mind not accepting itself until it accepted my body.

If you could see into my head throughout my life,

you’d see a 3-year-old looking into the mirror thinking she’s ugly but knowing something I’ve forgotten since: beauty is not my premise. My confidence has nothing to do with my physical features.

You’d see the same 3-year-old looking into that mirror & thinking,

I’m a good person.

That’s not a modest thought.

Modesty is a good quality.

I want to be modest.

I don’t like myself.

Okay, good I grounded my ego – now I’m good again.

No, I just did it again.

I hate myself.


You’d see a 10-year-old who like so many people in different walks of life, saw her friends’ struggles as an outside experience and not quite understanding how to deal with them, did her best. This 10-year-old tried to make her fat friend feel better about herself by settling for solidarity.

“Look, I’m fat too,” she said, squeezing together her skin.

You’d see that 10-year-old loving that when she lay on her bed sideways, her stomach would fall inwards instead of spilling out onto the bed.

After a shower she hated because she didn’t know how to properly shampoo or get the soap out of her hair, she’d strut on her bed in circles, singing and smiling at herself in the mirror, being genuinely energetic and content.

You’d see a 13-year-old having blueberry & chocolate chip Eggo waffle-eating contests with her childhood best friend, winning, and feeling the pressure to live up to this new stigma that she eats a lot because her best friend told a few kids of this competition.

You’d see her stuffing her tiny body even when her brain begged her to stop, all in the name of not being a hypocrite.

You’d see her be the first to notice a bump in her belly—something she never identified with.

You’d see her discipline herself into an oral fixation and compulsive eating habits.

You’d see a 14-year-old feel self-conscious in a bathing suit at a trip to Costa Rica she’s begged her parents to join half a year prior, because of her butt cellulite and thighs so thick that they bulge inward and scrape against each other.

You’d see her introducing herself with a bubbly “hi, I’m weird. What are you like?” and attracting the type of friends that were not her kind of weird until she couldn’t even recognize herself anymore.

At 14, I started running in place [on the treadmill].

At 15, I started swimming.

At 19, bikram yoga & hot power yoga & Body Pump.

I think I’ve binged throughout my teen years, eating compulsively for half a week, and starving myself the next half — I’ve never been diagnosed with an eating disorder & feared invalidating someone else’s reality by validating mine. Because I wasn’t that bad. Because I wasn’t that big.

I volunteered for a Binge Eating Experiment Group only to be told I wasn’t sick enough for anyone to want to help me.

I have to get worse? You can’t just help me where I am?

I went through phases of wanting people to see me for everything that I am so I’d show my goofy side, my depth, and everything in between in one sitting, so that they saw none of me.

And I went through phases where I was so traumatized of making myself vulnerable and not being accepted that I backed into my cave & shut myself down.

I escaped into tastes & textures of food & filled myself up until I was heavy & needed a break from that too. It’s as if I’ve been coming up for air just to go back under.

I don’t want to go through my life feeling heavy & numb & dulled out & oversaturated & repressed.

Every time I would be good for a week, I’d tell myself

I’m truly free — The worst is behind me; I’m never going back to overeating and not fitting into my clothes and not feeling content with myself again!

I would fall back into the same loop.

This is the first time my mentality around my progress is different- I’m not running away from the cage.

I don’t know what my eating habits will become. I’m fluid. But I’ll deal with it with ease.

Alan Watts wrote a philosophical book, “Become Who You Are” which I was too prideful to read for a while because I feared he agreed with my thought process too closely that my stances would be attributed to him in other people’s eyes. I swallowed my ego since then and am ready to share a phenomenon he describes all too well:

“The doctrine is like a finger pointing at the moon, and one must take care not to mistake the finger for the moon. Too many of us, I fear, suck the pointing finger of religion for comfort, instead of looking where it points.”

I need to track my progress because humans are fluid & I’m so aware of my own tendency to focus so much on my pointing finger I forget to focus on the moon.

So key parts of my journey:

1. When I started talking to my nutritional therapist, I anxiously wanted to text her before dinner to ask her what to eat or how to think of what to order when I was out with my sister at a Turkish Restaurant. I told myself, “you’re accountable to Limor. You have to eat right.” And then my ex’s words echoed in my head, “Every decision is a good decision.” So, I just ordered something. I let myself enjoy my sister. And then I enjoyed the food when it arrived.

2. I realized I would NEVER talk to someone else how I talk to myself. We all suffer from the same condition of being so wholly imperfectly human.

3. I started catching myself mid-self-deprecating thought, & saying “No. It’s okay, I’m a good person.” I can’t always say “You meant well” because some flashbacks are in reference to a symptom of the human condition where my actions stemmed from desperation and selfishness.

4. I stripped in my friend’s bathroom, ready to go shower. We had just had lunch and I felt bloated. I was avoiding looking in the mirror because of my negative self-talk about my stomach. Then, I just looked down. And I changed my focus. I started with “I have a chubby body” – and then, I stopped myself halfway through to remove the interpretation. “I have a body.” I HAVE A BODY! This is so cool. I have fingers and I can go through my hair; I have arms and I can hug people I care about and fee l their closeness through it; I can climb up a tree with my legs and hands! I can’t get back down, but I can get up it! I can do so much with my limbs.

5. Limor told me something I have told myself and my family has told me countless times, and somehow it clicked coming from someone else with a different relationship: “Let it go.” I can just eat, and then let go of my attachment to the idea of food. I can just breathe and refocus my attention on the next activity or the current conversation or inwards or anywhere.

6. One Friday while setting the table, I decided to make origami cranes out of the napkins. I was watching and rewatching parts of a Youtube Video to get the steps down right for 6 napkins. The first 3 took me an uncharacteristically long time, but all of a sudden, as I was In The Zone, I unconsciously started knocking out the last 3 on autopilot. My thoughts stopped pounding with “it has to be perfect!” and “will it be good enough?” and before I knew it, there was quiet. I felt this stillness in my brain and my heart bubbling with excitement, happiness, pride, and contentment from the inside. I didn’t seek it, but I started feeling all the love and excitement I would to my best friend toward myself! It was such a profound moment for me. My focus wasn’t on the destination – I was naturally enjoying the journey and meditating into that task. The pride came from doing what I wanted to do. From doing something for the sake of doing it. I don’t know the last time I felt this way.

7. When I pass a mirror and see my body and face, instead of dwelling on my appearance, I’m intentionally changing my habit. I can see a protruding stomach and wink and snap my fingers at my reflection, say “you’re cute,” and move on.

8. I got a job. I started being excited about my tasks; I wasn’t running away to food, spending extra time in the meal. I stopped eating for the sake of eating and not being able to stop myself from quenching the oral fixation and sentimentality to the tastes and textures.

I just ate a pizza right now for breakfast AND it was the most normal thing in the world.

My Before pics are the symptoms of my past mentality.

My After pics are the bonus of my current mentality.

In the past, when I’d feel heavy, the symptoms would weigh on me.

As of now, when I feel good, I wonder if I focus so much on the bonus I’ve identified with for so long and don’t practice mindfulness, I would be blinded from the moon, bringing me back further than the symptoms to the root of the problem.

I spent so much time taking myself apart that

I have so much time to piece myself back together.

“I have a stomach” is visualized as “I have a big stomach”.

I wanted to rip my stomach out of me as if it wasn’t meant to be part of me.

Well, my big stomach and I are a cute teddy bear and we’re taking ourselves out of this unwelcoming mental space. We accept each other – and that’s more than enough.

I don’t believe in #effyourtbeautystandards – while the movement has good intentions, I believe they’ve focused on the finger rather than the moon. When you say “everyone is beautiful,” you’re still keeping the focus on beauty – and beauty should not be our premise. 3-year-old Odellya knew that before she was tainted by what the world told her to think.

It’s great to feel pretty and to appreciate things that are appealing to the eye, but not everyone’s pretty, and that’s okay. We have merits to strive for. We don’t all need to be pretty.

I never cared for the compliment “you’re so pretty”

But I just recently stopped seeking for it to be true.

A friend told me he called me strong to his friends when he was talking about me, and that was such an ego boost. Yes! I’m strong! I love to lift. This is my hobby. And I enjoy feeling capable.

What else am I to uncover about myself when I strip this need to accept myself through my outside layer?

#bodyimage #effyourbeautystandards #healthyhabits #donteffyourhealthstandards #onestepfix #magicpill #slowandsteady #diet #weightloss #bingeeating #eatingdisorder #rehabilitate #healing #heal #lifestyleblog #selfcare #blog #adulting

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