The year is coming to a close, and like most people I have done my fair share of indulging over the holidays and looking forward to next week. Like minutes after stepping out of a confessional – January first will come, all of my poor diet/exercise decisions will be forgiven and I will start with a clean slate. That’s how it works, right?
This year has been particularly hard on the body and emotions as I had my second c-section and also moved out of a city I loved and away from all of my friends. To say I have been a little blue about it is kind of an understatement. I am infinitely grateful to have family around and an amazing job that allows me to work from home, but the move/ childbirth recovery/ figuring out how to exercise with two kids in tow has taken a toll on my figure. And for someone who has spent so many years of her life obsessing over her figure – it has not been easy.
I know I would feel physically better if I lost weight – and I plan on doing that. But I also know that weight loss doesn’t just melt away a rut. I need to make some actual changes that don’t involve shaming myself into starting a diet next week because I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, wrote this on her Facebook page today:
Now when I decide to go on a diet, I say it to myself: “Great, honey. How much are you hoping to gain?”
I was able to successfully put on weight on book tour by eating room service meals in a gobbly trance in 13 different hotels. So that was exhilarating, to make myself feel like Jabba the Hut.
And then I accidentally forgot to starve myself in December, or to go back to the gym, which I’ve been meaning to do since I had a child, 24 years ago…
I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough self-esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act…
It’s really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It’s okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. It’s an inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.
Won’t you join me in not starting a diet next week? I think it would be a great way to ring in the new year.
(photo: Getty Images)