the rules of contraction…

For all of my food and body related hang-ups (and there are a lot), and totally disordered mindset around eating, I’ve never been one for yo-yo dieting.  To be honest, I don’t really diet as such.

Even when I was younger and prone to reading about “lose a dress size by Saturday” or “Bikini brave by Sunday”, I was never really tempted to give any of them a good hard shot.

I don’t have the discipline to diet. I don’t believe in diets. My quest for twigginess is more of a quest for healthy habits and moderation and a departure from my usual control to chaos see-saw.

My weight has always been of the general creeping up variety. At present I weigh a smidgen under the most I have ever weighed- and that is because last month I weighed the most I have ever weighed!

Over the years there have been a number of mini corrections- almost like emotional detoxes. A few kilos here and there, enough to keep me centred for a bit longer before apathy sends me back into the chaos of mindless consumption.

Although I eat to fill gaps, and drink to dull feeling, I’ve never been one to eat for actual pain relief, so major emotional disappointments of heart breaks will send me away from food completely. And trust me, you don’t need to break up with someone to have this shit happen.

Twice in my life I’ve dropped a reasonable amount of weight. On neither of these occasions did I actually diet.

20kgs in ‘91/92

I went from 78kgs to 58kgs.

It started because I was living with the worst flatmate in the history of flatmates.

I started going to the gym in the morning so that I could get a hot shower- the Canberra winter is no time to be faced with a blast of icy water.

At the time I was dating the man who would be my husband. Aside from weekend soccer, he played sports most nights- indoor cricket, indoor soccer, etc at the sports centre where my gym was.

To avoid going home, I got in the habit of going to the gym when he played sports.

The weight started to drop.

At about the 10kg mark I got serious and started watching calories.

The weight dropped faster.

Then I got obsessive.

I was the size I had always wanted to be, but I’d lost my boobs, my bum and my sense of humour along with the weight.

I remember going for a workout on Christmas Day because I was convinced that 20kgs would magically appear back on my body if I didn’t.

Soon after that I stopped.

Two years later I was 65kgs on my wedding day.  I looked great and I felt the best about my body I think I have ever felt.

10kgs in 2007

I went from 85kgs to 75kgs in just a couple of months.

I was hurt badly by someone I loved and trusted, was feeling as restless as a cat on a hot tin roof, and had a heap of crap happening at work. I wasn’t able to talk about any of it, so it all gathered in my chest.

I trained like mad to try and escape it, but it was all still there.

I had problems swallowing and couldn’t stomach any more than very small amounts of food.

I was at the gym at 5am each morning, and exercised each lunchtime. Only the responsibilities of domestic life and the whole being a wife and mother thing kept me from escaping back there each night.

The weight started to drop.

Once the people who were causing the angst removed themselves from my life, the butterflies left my chest and I could function again…then I started to eat to fill the gaps- but that’s another story entirely!

Looking back, both of these events were the outcomes of transits.

The first was the transit of Saturn through my 12th house and later across my Ascendant.

The 12th house is the place of self undoing.

My habits had been out of control- lots of drinking, lots of eating junk food. Essentially I was eating the same as my boyfriend, but he was exercising most days of the week and I wasn’t. The ultimate in contented cow syndrome…or sexually transmitted weight gain.

I’d been building to this since leaving home 2 years earlier. The sudden removal of structure and boundaries and rules had left me in freefall. I was loving it, but my body was on a very unhealthy outward spiral.

Saturn transits always come down hard on unhealthy habits, so his transit through the 12th tends to put a clamp on this type of behaviour- in some way or another.

Saturn transits of the Ascendant are the same- the 1st house is your body and Saturn is about contraction, restriction and limitations. As such Saturn crossing the Ascendant is the ultimate skinny transit.

2007 was a different story.

Saturn was moving through my 6th house and highlighting all of my unhealthy habits.

This one is usually also a skinny transit, as it’s an opportunity to recalibrate. It can also bring home the consequences of those habits in the form of health issues from the years when you haven’t been doing the right thing.

In fact, when I look back, most of the “corrections” I’d had over the years coincided with Saturn transits of some description.

Saturn’s like the fun cop that comes in when you’re having the time of your life and says something like “young lady, I think it’s time you went home.”

At the time you might go all teenager about it and wail things like “it’s so not fair…you’re ruining my life,” but ultimately, as painful and hard as it is, it’s for your own good.

Categories: Habits, My Journey, Training

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