Next I tackled the food addiction, which is ongoing. As far as my daily food choices go, I'm not on any particular program. I've gone back to the commonsense basics we all know: eating less sugar and fewer refined carbs and more fresh, whole foods like fish, spinach, and fruit. But in order not to abuse food, I have to stay fully conscious and aware of every bite, of taking time and chewing slowly. I have to focus on being fully alive, awake, present, and engaged, connected in every area of my life. Right now.
What I've learned this year is that my weight issue isn't about eating less or working out harder, or even about a malfunctioning thyroid. It's about my life being out of balance, with too much work and not enough play, not enough time to calm down. I let the well run dry.
Here's another thing this past year has been trying to teach me: I don't have a weight problem—I have a self-care problem that manifests through weight. As my friend Marianne Williamson shared with me, "Your overweight self doesn't stand before you craving food. She's craving love." Falling off the wagon isn't a weight issue; it's a love issue.
When I stop and ask myself, "What am I really hungry for?" the answer is always "I'm hungry for balance, I'm hungry to do something other than work." If you look at your overscheduled routine and realize, like I did, that you're just going and going and that your work and obligations have become a substitute for life, then you have no one else to blame. Only you can take the reins back.
That's what I'm doing. These days I've put myself back on my own priority list; I try to do at least one hour of exercise five or six days a week. As I work out, eat healthfully, and reorder my life so there's time to replenish my energy, I continue to do the spiritual and emotional work to conquer this battle once and for all.
My goal isn't to be thin. My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold—to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself. My goal is to learn to embrace this body and to be grateful every day for what it has given me.
In 2009, dare I, dare all of us give ourselves all the love and care we need to be healthy, to be well, and to be whole? I know for sure that for each moment of this brand new year, I'm gonna try.
Read more about Oprah's focus for 2009
We Hear You!