Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just Relaaaaaaax.

Several years ago, a friend and I drove down to Venus Bay to frolic along the shore for New Year's Weekend. I adored swimming, my friend was more interested in hanging on the beach and drinking with the others. Leaving her to flirt and giggle, I shucked off my clothes and dove into the crashing waves. Bliss! The water was the perfect temperature for swimming, and the waves were big, but not huge. I swam back and forth along the shore for awhile, sported amongst the waves, and growing a little bored eventually, I looked back to shore to see whether anyone else was coming in with me.

Now, aged ten, I was swept along the beach a couple hundred metres when I didn't know about current, and panicked completely when I looked up and couldn't see my family anywhere. This look back at the beach carried with it that similar kick-to-the-gut feeling. But today, I hadn't been swept along, I'd been pulled out. The tide had turned and I was being inexorably coaxed out to sea. My ignorance this time was due to only having swum in bay beaches before, never along the coast. I'd assumed Venus Bay was also in a bay. No, the bay was there, but the water that the town faced on was coastal. Very different creature to bay waters let me assure you!

I turned my head to shore and swam as hard as I could. No lifeguards. My friend and our new acquaintances getting tipsy up on shore. No one looking out for me...and I wasn't going anywhere. Now, I'd had training as a pool lifeguard and been a competitive swimmer, and could be classified as a strong swimmer. Against the ocean that day, it was as though I was the puniest thing to ever venture a toe forth into water.

I admit, I panicked there for a bit. I felt like a cartoon character, arms and legs just a blur as I tried my utmost to attain my goal. To no avail. So I stopped. I tried body surfing in on the waves, but without flippers, I was now too exhausted to stay atop the waves and I'd roll off their backs like they were ducks and I was the annoying water droplets.

My guess is that I'd been out in the water for well over half an hour now...and still no one had looked to see where I was. Stuck out there, without the power to do more than thrash about uselessly, I realised that I could die. And my only hope of rescue was up there on the beach clueless as to my plight. I ceased all movement except what was necessary to tread water. I looked at the sky, I looked at the water, I looked back at the beach and I came to a decision.

Swimming, thrashing, panicking or any and all attempts to help myself had failed. All that was left to do was relax and accept my fate. Either I'd be swept even farther out to sea, or through the action of the waves, I'd be tumbled into shore, eventually. I can't say that I felt at peace, but I did feel that for the first time in my life I'd completely surrendered to my intuition, and to fate.

End over end I was tumbled. I didn't know which way was up or down at several points in time. There were some moments when I don't know where I dragged the last ounce of will power to hold my breath those few seconds longer to enable my head to break water and gasp another quick gulp of air before being turned arse over tit again. Through it all I hoped that I was being pushed closer to shore and not out into the wide blue yonder. I don't remember if I was afraid of sharks at this point or not, but I do know that out meant death and in meant life.

In was where I ended up.

That point out in the water where it was relax or thrash, hope or fear, live or die, is where I am right in this moment in regards to losing weight. All this thrashing about and gnashing of teeth and wailing that I've been doing this last week or so, is because I've realised that I am losing weight. I've been so afraid of this for so long. So many fears both open and hidden about losing weight are rearing their ugly heads. Led by my major fear of how easy this has all been recently. The other week I had it all together. I was breaking down my creative blocks, I was eating intuitively every meal, I was exercising regularly, and I was seeing visual progress in the mirror, seeing it on the scales, and feeling it in my clothes. And I panicked.

I haven't been out of the house in five days. I've hidden behind books and food, and haven't done any of my artist's way exercises for week three. In short, I've been thrashing about trying to get away from my fate. This morning it hit me, all that thrashing is getting me nowhere except exhausted. And just like that moment out in the water I've decided to relax, and see where my intuition and fate take me. I've fought for ten long years to hide behind my fat, and I'm tired. So very, very tired of hiding my true self. Tired of pretending to be less than I am. Tired of being afraid. Tired of being fat. And so, brought to a halt by all my useless thrashing about, I'm now ready to let myself go with the flow.

Here's hoping I end up back at shore.

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