Here we are, over a week into the New Year, and I haven’t made a single resolution. In fact, I don’t do New Years resolutions. At all. Ever.
Call it lazy…complacent…unmotivated. Call it what you will, but in the immortal words of Popeye, “I yam what I yam.”
So then why, you may rightly ask, am I writing a blog post…in January…as in, shortly after the New Year…about losing weight?! I’m so glad you asked!!
Because, while I would absolutely love to blink my eyes, twitch my nose, and click my heels three times to magically have Jennifer Lawrence’s figure, it ain’t gonna happen. And while I still struggle every day to accept my body as it is in its current state, I am coming to realize that it’s not necessarily my body that needs to change. See, I have a sneaking suspicion that what really needs to change about me is between my ears.
So, what is it that’s gotta give? How can I lose some “weight” this year in order to make some other, possibly more significant, gains?
Losing “Weight” Like a BOSS
Confession time: I am at my highest weight ever. And according to that raging B of a BMI calculator, I am solidly in the overweight category, less than 2 points away from the label OBESE. Now, let’s just get one thing clear right here and right now.
THAT IS TOTAL CRAP.
I am healthy. I am active. I’m a size 12/14. If that makes me overweight, so be it! Because you know what? There are so many worse things I could be. So many weights I need to lose from my life more than the pounds it would take to drop me back to a number on a scale.
This year, I want to lose the weight of comparison. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” or so says Teddy Roosevelt, and I agree 100%. The number of times I have spent comparing my appearance to this or that thinner, fitter woman is embarrassing. It’s ridiculous, really. And it makes me so sad to think about the joy I might have missed because I was consumed with envy or jealousy of something superficial.
…the weight of guilty eating. For crying out loud, I should be able to put actual sugar in my tea or eat a damn cookie (or three) without feeling like I am letting someone down. Do you know how many people actually give a rat’s patoot if I eat more than two pieces of pizza or sneak some ice cream after the kids go to bed? ZERO. That’s right. Nobody.
…the weight of unrealistic expectations. Way back when I had one baby, was 25 years old, and a worked a full-time job, I weighed 145 pounds and was a size 8. At this point in my life, I have 4 very active big kids, a part-time job, a love of cooking and baking I didn’t think possible, and I’m a perimenopausal 40-year-old. Why in heaven’s name do I think I should look like I did all those years ago?! What good does it do me have a picture in my head that simply isn’t feasible anymore? It’s crazy cakes, I tell you!
…the weight of faulty pictures in my head. It’s true that the woman I envision in my head and the woman I see in the mirror or in photographs are two different things. That doesn’t mean that one is bad and one is good, one right and one wrong, or one beautiful and one ugly. They’re just me and that’s enough.
…the weight of anxiety, of pressure to be perfect, of low self-esteem, of negative self talk. For real. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Not when there is so much more to gain that is waiting for me.
Now, I’m no scientist or anything, but I’m pretty sure there’s a law about how matter can neither be created nor destroyed, just transformed. (Seriously, don’t quote me on that. Just go with me, here.) I’m pretty sure the same goes for brain power and emotional effort. So, if I am serious about losing all of that “weight”, doesn’t it stand to reason that something needs to be gained in its place?
This year, I want to gain a better awareness of the blessings in my life. Seriously, there is so, so much good. How much happier I would be if I paid more attention to that and less to the aforementioned crap-o-la?
…a firmer belief in my own worth as a daughter of God. Jesus doesn’t care what size my jeans are. The Holy Spirit cares about the state of my soul, not the number on the scale. And God has declared me fearfully and wonderfully made. What more could I want?
…confidence! There is exactly one person in this world (besides me) whose opinion on my appearance should carry any weight. And do you know what he has told me time and again he finds sexiest? Yep. Confidence. Gotta dig deep and tap into that more often, for sure!
…healthier eating habits. Because, in all honesty, the amount of carbs and sugar I eat really could go down. And I do feel better when I eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, etc., etc. So there’s that.
…a more active lifestyle. Notice I said more active. Not busier. There is a definite difference! Of course, being busier (ahem…see prior point about having four big kids and a job) makes it harder to be more active in the exercise arena. There are only so many hours in a day! But, just like I feel better when I eat better, moving my body more keeps it happier and healthier, too.
Being Resolute Without Resolutions
So, you see? No resolutions. There is no end game, no specific goal to be attained. No quantitative, objective data will be able to be gathered to see how this whole experiment turned out. And I have a feeling these are going to be things that I’ll be working on for a long, long time. But here’s the thing…
They are worth losing. They’re worth gaining. I’m worth the work. AND SO ARE YOU!
Now, friends, please PLEASE don’t think that just because I wrote all of this mumbo jumbo, I actually know what I’m talking about. I don’t! I am just as screwed up as the next girl when it comes to things like this. Some days are better than others, some habits are harder to break than others.
And when times get hard and our resolve falters, when we feel ourselves sliding backwards and the weight is getting too heavy, let’s lean on this inspiration, shall we?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
I praise you (Lord) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Best of luck and abundant blessings to you, friend, as your year unfolds. Whatever journey you are on, however you desire to grow, may you be resolute and strong and always know that you are loved.