Well, it is that time of year again – the time for new beginnings, big ideas, promises to finally lose weight, stop smoking, work less (or perhaps more), spend more time with family, read more, write more, meditate, start a yoga practice, etc., etc., etc. Lofty dreams, exciting pursuits, the time to start fresh, change your life, turn it all around. It’s January!!!!
January 1st holds so much promise, so much excitement, but so much pressure. How long will it take to screw it up this time? To break my own promise? To have to admit to myself that I have, yet again, failed to keep another New Year’s resolution? Self-pity then kicks in, and I find myself going right back to old habits, falling back into old, self-defeating patterns. The winter bears on mercilessly, I stop counting calories, I neglect the gym – until December comes again and I look back at another disappointing year.
Like so many people, I have resolved year after year to lose weight. Most of the time, it is just an idea with virtually no concrete steps taken. If I’m lucky, I make the old college try for a couple of months – I watch what I eat (mostly), I get to the gym (sometimes), and I even step on the scale periodically to track my progress. However, in case you haven’t noticed, January is cold here in New England – it is the time of year that can be chock-full of snowstorms, icy roads, bone-chilling temperatures, and worst of all, little sun. It’s the lack of light that ultimately gets me, that crushes my soul and calls me back to bed. I resort to comfort eating, I stop going to the gym, I become a couch potato. Worst of all, I just give up on caring. Soon, summer is knocking on my door and the magazines boast skinny, under-fed, photo-shopped supermodels urging women to lose “those winter pounds” and get “bikini-ready.” UGH. Back to bed with a pint of ice cream I go.
I am the type of person who likes lists and goals and dreams. Despite my past failures, I am annually urged to try again. This year is no different. I am truly looking forward to 2012. It feels like a “big year,” which I know sounds corny. Yet, this is a feeling I absolutely cannot shake. So, I will take advantage of it. So, here is the deal: I do need to lose weight – I actually need to lose a LOT of weight – at least 100 pounds, to be exact. Yes, that is an overwhelming number. When I think about it terms of the ultimate goal, I want to give up before I even start. However, I am thinking about this differently this year. Instead of making my goal “to lose weight,” I am thinking about this process more holistically. I will not lose weight. Instead, I will heal my body.
Some may say this is semantics – that weight loss is still the ultimate goal. Well, yes, that is correct. However, re-framing this goal will hopefully make a difference for me. You see, I have always known HOW to lose weight. I have always known that I need to eat less and move more. The hard part is figuring out WHY I am so overweight in the first place. This is not twenty pounds we are talking about here, people – this is over one HUNDRED pounds. How could I allow myself to get to this point? Like so many people before me have done, I need to submit to the soul-searching, terrifying process that is peeling away the layers to the real me – to bare my soul and pain to the world, to say out loud that THIS IS NOT ME. I need to take the time, as painful as it will undoubtedly be, to face my demons and be willing to experience pain in order to get to the root of the problem.
I am a healthy, vibrant person in a fat suit. I look in the mirror and do not recognize myself. It pains me to realize that this is the person facing the world – this is the person everyone sees. I want to scream to the world that what you see is NOT what you get. There is so much more to me than this overweight body. I wear this extra padding as protection, and now it is time to be rid of it forever.
What I need to work on now is HOW exactly I do this. As the old saying goes, “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” Ok, message received. What I don’t quite get yet is what exactly do I do differently? I am on a mission to figure this out. I will be using this blog to document my journey. I am not sure how much detail I will be sharing at this point – I am considering this to be an ongoing process, and I anticipate much growth on my part.
I would love to read your comments (hopefully supportive) as I shed layers and pounds, and as I heal my body. Thanks for reading. 🙂