Hello hello! Happy 2021 my friends!
Gosh it feels good to be in January, in a New Year. I am a Monday loving, new month loving, fresh start kinda person. It feels like a blank page to write a new part of our story on, you know?
2020 for me, when I look back, was actually really good. I’m choosing to look on the bright side obviously! There was a lot that was really hard and I get angry about, but there was a lot of good. The biggest gift was HEALTH and getting to spend a lot of time with my husband and kids.I truly love being home with them and getting to slow down time for a bit as they are growing up too fast. I know I’ll look back and cherish this time to just be, as a family. It was a gift.
This year we found out where we would be relocated to (got our first pick!), sold a house in a pandemic (which was so hard), bought a new house from afar with about 2 weeks to spare before we moved, moved across the country, and then renovated the new house from top to bottom. This was not easy, but we did it! We also moved near dear friends and got to experience true Fall and snow again, which we missed. I have worked to bloom wherever I am planted, but my soul missed living in a place with 4 seasons. I’ll never take it for granted.
Let’s roll into 3 things to think about this week, shall we?!
1) This time of year is tough with all the diet ads and companies promising happiness if you can just get to the perfect weight/ “get fit,” etc. If there’s one thing I can share is that there is no perfect weight or body that will bring happiness. I promise! I’ve searched for 30+ years to find it and I never found it at any size. There was always something missing that I thought I’d find. Turns out, that something missing was internal and not external.
My goal this year (that I have been working on for almost a year),and I will keep working on, is body kindness. We can’t hate our bodies into happiness and perfection. We have to realize that we are enough as is, even if we aren’t in a comfortable place with how we look. This past year I started to let go of the limiting beliefs of what my body needed to be, as well as years of disordered eating and diet culture bullshit. It’s been a process! I began “allowing” myself to let go of food restriction and pushing myself too hard when it comes to exercise and food rules. Which wasn’t, and isn’t, easy. My body has changed this year and I am allowing it to be what it is, knowing that I’ve had a really messed up view of what I need to be. So that’s what I am doing. I’m allowing myself to be mentally happy and strong, knowing that that my “best body” (which in society view means smaller) does not coincide with my best mental health. I can look back on all these years where I have strived to be a certain weight or size, and how my mental health suffered because of that. How can you allow more body kindness in your life? Can you look at yourself and be grateful for what your body can DO? Can you get to a place where you can say “I may not be comfortable with my body, but I am okay and enough regardless”?
2) Along the lines of body kindness and mental health, I think it is important to find a movement routine that makes you feel good.For me, that is moving my body about 4 days a week. Moving your body doesn’t need to be intense, I love a good walk and pilates, as well as more intense stuff. The important thing is, I always feel better after I am done. By moving my body I move negative energy out and I feel like I have done something positive for myself. I always feel kinder to my body when I focus on what it allows me to do when it comes to movement. The key for me here is, I don’t exercise to change my body. I exercise because it is a gift to me mentally and physically.I prefer to have a routine, so at the beginning of the week I have it in my calendar. Over the years I have learned that keeping my word when it comes to the promises I make to myself are the key to confidence. Can you set a small movement goal for yourself? I encourage to to start small! Maybe it is 5 minutes a day on a treadmill, or 5 squats per day, what you pick is up to you…just make it really small and very achievable, and FUN. The more you keep your word the more confident you will be! I think the biggest mistakes we make is setting huge, drastic goals that are impossible to keep long term. The goal with moving your body is to have fun and do it for a lifetime, so when you set a movement goal ask yourself, ‘is this fun and could I keep it up indefinitely?”
3) The last thing I want to say in this week where resolutions and diet goals are rampant is our culture is, instead of looking at what you can take away from your life, what can you ADD?
Can you add more water?
Can you add more reading?
Can you add a fun hobby to try?
In a world obsessed with how much we can restrict and rely only on willpower (which is designed to fail EVERYONE after awhile), I think it is fun to add more in first. More water each day, more vegetables on your plate, more hugs for our kids and calls to our loved ones. More gratefullness and meditation and journaling. Start small and you might be amazed at how good it feels to not take everything you love away.There truly are NO BAD FOODS, just foods that we choose to have more or less of. When you add more things in and allow yourself to have anything, things start to lose their appeal. I’ve lived a lifetime of severe restriction, followed by binging, and it isn’t good. I was always starved for something, obsessed with things I told myself I couldn’t have. What if I told you, there are no off limit foods? What if you can trust yourself to eat and, if you listen, your body will tell you what it wants.Let’s listen to our bodies more. You know that feeling inside that says “yes” or “not right now? Let’s spend more time listening to it. It won’t fail you, I promise! We have spent a lifetime where diet culture has trained us to ignore our bodies and listen to food rules and “experts,” and it takes some time to adjust, but it is a beautiful place to get to where food is not the enemy anymore. You can trust yourself.
Whew, I can go on and on about all this. I clearly have THOUGHTS about the New Year and the world’s message that willpower, diets, and crazy programs will get you to this magical place of acceptance and happiness. The truth us, the happiness is HERE, right now, we just have to find it and accept ourselves. That doesn’t mean we can’t want to lose weight or have fitness goals, it just means that magical weight or size won’t bring you joy. It is an inside job!