New Year’s Resolution: I’m NOT Losing Weight! What? Why aren’t you losing weight? I lost both of my parents in 2015. In September of that year, when we were planning my Dad’s funeral, I went to my closet to find an appropriate outfit to wear. NOTHING FIT. You see, all summer, while caring for my Dad, I had been wearing some very forgiving Ann Taylor shorts as my “go to the hospital uniform”. These were not appropriate for a funeral!
I’m Not Losing Weight
Through the stress of that year, I gained 15 pounds. Hospital visits where I chain-ate chocolate like some people chain-smoke cigarettes, twice daily stops at Starbucks for coffee and a treat to keep me going, eating out and just not paying attention, had resulted in this weight gain.
After the funeral, I immersed myself in self-care. Part of taking care of myself was making an appointment with Sally Twellman, who is a Life Coach and Nutritionist, to see what I could do to get this “weight issue” under control!
Losing Weight – What Would Change?
One of the first things Sally asked me was “How would your life change if you lost weight?” All I could really tell her was that it might be easier to go shopping for clothes and to find clothes that look good.
Other than that, I couldn’t think of one thing that would change.
I would still be me – wife, mother, grandmother, friend. I would have the same gifts and talents. I would still be loved by God, my friends and family. Losing weight would not really change anything that is all that important to me.
Nevertheless, I wanted A PLAN. The magic bullet, the eating list, the calorie count that THIS TIME would work. So, she gave me one. Sally gave me a number of calories to eat per day and a list of foods to avoid. Information, which after all the years of diet plans, books, Weight Watchers, low carb, low fat, Paleo and Whole 30 I already knew and really didn’t need to pay someone to tell me. THE PLAN lasted about 2 days and I quit.
When I met with Sally again, she said knew this would happen but also knew I needed to figure that out for myself. Then she had a novel idea. She asked me, “What if you ate in a way that nourished your body that came from a place of self-love and care instead of hating your body and what you look like?” I know what to eat to take care of myself and what makes me feel good. Fresh food. Staying away from processed food and a lot of sugar. Eating when I am hungry and stopping when I’m full. When I do those things, I feel good. I feel nourished. I feel happy.
Look at Yourself Naked
Then she gave me a tough assignment. Look at yourself naked in the mirror every day for a week. Gross. But I did it. The first couple of days, I started at the top and it was ok until I got down to my stomach. Then I had to look away. I carry most of my excess weight in my stomach and hips. It grossed me out. Then on day 3 I said to myself “Ok, what are you looking at here that is so disgusting to you? It is fat. Fat. A substance that everyone has on their body somewhere if they are healthy. Yours just happens to pool in this particular place. It is not the end of the world.”
“It does not change who you are one bit. Not your character, personality, love for others, how your friends and family feel about you, your ability to serve others…not one darn thing. And besides there is not one person in this world (that matters anyway) who is looking at your fat, evaluating your fat, hating your fat, spending precious time and money trying to get rid of your fat but YOU. So let it go”.
By my calculations, I had been focusing on weight and fat in some form or fashion since my youngest child was born – 28 YEARS AGO. That’s a long time. And I weigh more than I ever have.
I am 58 years old. If I live as long as my Mom did and die at 82, I have 24 more years left. Do I want to spend the next 24 years obsessing over weight and fat like I have the last 28? Heck no.
Not Losing Weight: The Shift – No more Diets/Plans/Challenges
So this year marks a new beginning. A place where I love myself where I am now. Where I take care of myself by eating food that nourishes me, exercising because it feels good and I enjoy it, resting when I am tired, and saying no to things that I don’t really want to do. Being happy. Not stressing over “good and bad food” or turning down invitations to go out to eat with friends because I might not be “allowed” to eat the food that is on the menu.
No more diets, food plans or challenges.
No more discussing how fat I am or the latest diet or “I just have to get this weight off” with my friends. My goodness, what a boring topic.
No more commenting on other people’s weight with phrases such as:
“Oh you look so skinny – have you lost weight?”
“She looks great – she has lost a lot of weight.”
“I am so proud of you for losing all that weight.”
“I hate you for losing all that weight.”
Are you all as sick of this as I am?
For me, the new year is the year of self-love and self-care. Of being kind to myself. Because I know that out of that, care and love for others will flow. And that is what is important to me.
How do you practice self-love and care? How can you be more kind to yourself?