I freakin’ love New Years.
In fact, I’m pretty much a sucker for anything falling into the “hope” and “NEW!” categories.
On the upside – that means I’m an optimist. I find magic everywhere.
On the downside, I spent a massive chunk of my life falling for every marketing scheme promising to “flatten my belly!” or “lose 10 pounds in 10 days!”
I could NOT find the magic in my belly fat – no sir.
Here’s the deal with my body: all extra pudge heads for my mid-section and cheeks (no, not giving me a cute booty, just a chipmunk face).
I had violent fantasies about cutting off all the bits I hated and I just knew that if I could live in a body I LOVED, that everything else would fall into place.
And I was right…sorta.
My weight would cycle up and down with every juice fast, every new diet, and every new workout program.
And every New Year without fail, “LOSE WEIGHT” was at the top ‘o the list.
When I would, the high would last a few weeks or months before I came back down to earth and the weight returned.
I thought it was a willpower issue.
It was totally true that life became magical when I fell in love with my body…but it had to be the unconditional, I-love-you-whether-or-not-you’ve-lost-the-last-ten-pounds kind of love.
It had to be the kind of love you hope to find in the perfect lover: all encompassing, ridiculously adoring, and having nothing to do with the number on the scale.
And ironically, the sustainable weight loss happened after I decided I didn’t need it to love my body.
Did I think it might backfire?
I figured that if I loved or accepted myself, I’d just plop myself on the couch for endless re-runs of baking bad with a box of Triscuits and a package of cheese at my side.
Wanna know why?
‘Cause that’s not how someone who loves themselves goes about life – THAT’S the secret.
Rewind to New Years a few years back:
I’m sitting on the love seat covered in fluffy blankets (always covered in fluffy blankets) and I realize that as badly as I want my body to change, I’ve been running it around in circles by doing the same thing over and over again: shaming my sweet self.
I envisioned myself twenty years down the road, still trying to lose the weight and still forgoing my bigger dreams until it was done.
I didn’t want that, and I don’t think you do either.
So here’s what I did and here’s what I’ll offer to you:
Imagine that you have that dream body and notice how it FEELS.
Do you feel free? Light? Beautiful? Do you love yourself?
Now here’s the real challenging part: commit to not holding yourself back from that experience. If you’re capable of imagining freedom/beauty/lightness/love NOW then it’s not outside your reach – it just has to be practiced.
Start to ask yourself – what would I do today if I loved myself? What does someone who loves themself do?
Your answers will be different from mine.
Your journey will be different from mine.
What would it look like to love yourself this year?