My voice hasn’t been present here for a few reasons, one being the sudden and wretched loss of my computer. I still await its return and use a feeble hobbling old computer for limited online activity.

To tell you another reason involves reluctantly revealing the fact that I am on a diet. Yes, for me, a dreaded reality because I have tried to avoid succumbing to behaviors that I do not think are healthy – such as focusing on deprivation and being skinny. I have spent years now trying to undo the mind-warping concepts of women’s beauty in our culture and trying to accept myself unconditionally. The inner critic given the opportunity will try to drown out all semblances of self-acceptance. I have tried to focus on building healthy habits in terms of exercise, eating and stress-management. To some degree it feels like a failure to be “on a diet.”

However, being overweight developed from 10 plus years of health problems and injuries. Once you end up on that road it becomes a downward cycle, especially when you have a hard time getting the proper diagnoses and treatment. Then just as I reached a certain level of wellness and tried to get back to actively exercising, I developed a chronic foot injury after which my weight gain doubled. There was tons of stress which also helps you to store fat and ironically more fat produces more stress hormones so on it goes. When I was on vacation, the extra walking and standing aggravated my foot injury. With my return to work and school, I realized that adequate focus on healthy cooking wasn’t realistic. In order to be able to increase my exercise, I would need to make some significant progress on getting my weight back down to normal.

Years ago I read about the low-glycemic approach of Nutrisystem and thought that if I did decide to diet again, I would give it a try. So that’s what I’m doing. So far so good. I’ve set a conservative weight-loss goal because as I get closer to my normal weight I would like to transition to focusing on basic healthy living and enjoying being more active. One thing I like about Nutrisystem is that it is not about counting or deprivation. It also focuses on the types of eating habits that I prefer like eating whole grains and more protein. It just organizes it all for me and makes it easy. I know that as time goes on the unhealthy cycle with reverse, I will be able to exercise more, my stress levels will go down, and I will have more energy. Maintaining a healthy weight will be easier and I will have less chronic pain – perhaps even rare or none!

Ironically, the diet is relatively easy for me. I’m not someone who likes to think about food a lot or gets a lot of cravings. (I know people assume you are like that when you are overweight.) Because of my health problems and limited physical activity, my body just ended up turning into a fat-storing machine. I can feel the difference already and yes, I’m losing weight. Just don’t expect regular reports of how much I have lost. I’m doing enough of that on the Nutrisystem forums. And it is not about how much I weigh, but how healthy I feel. My soul wants to dance and be well.