New Year’s resolutions are downright dangerous! Once made, without a plan in place, they are often doomed to fail. We usually feel so terrible by the end of the holidays that making a statement like “this year, I am going to lose 20 pounds” seems within reach. The trouble is that by now our holiday glow has long worn off, our regular lives have kicked us in the head and the waistline remains the same. (Which is often 2 or 3 pounds larger than the year before.) Then we feel even worse. Why do we do this to ourselves?
As a nutritionist, I see an uptick in activity in January and often see the same clients year upon year. Oh, they were successful alright last year, but they kind of slid backward into their old ways. I don’t judge, I just advise them again and we go back to the same principals. Humans need some accountability to make it all make sense. What if that accountability was right there within us?
Losing weight makes a lot of sense but it isn’t everything. Studies show that losing just 10% has a positive impact on your health risk markers no matter where you are starting from. That’s a good thing to know. After that, I think the rest is a head game. The rest of how we feel is played out in the words we say to ourselves in silence. It is the “bleck, I hate you muffin top” and the “ewww, you are ugly cancles” that do more damage to how we feel each and every day. It’s not the 5 extra pounds, you see, it’s the mean girl in your mind that’s gotta go!
Think about it, is five pounds really going to change your life? How about 10? You will still have to live with who you are to yourself no matter what size you are. It’s the thoughts that you think in your head every day that need to change. And changing them is easier when you are moving in the right direction. Going for a walk with your favorite music in your ears, committing to a pal for a spinning class, giving the dog two extra blocks every day are all things that can make you feel good on many levels. You are accountable to something outside your self, you are doing something physical that you don’t perceive as punishment and you are creating endorphins that will help beat the crap out of that mean girl.
Of course, there are bad habits you can drop that only let you down anyway. Things like: avoiding deep fried foods, never skipping breakfast, stopping at just one glass of wine, cutting back on caffeine so you aren’t so jittery. All of these things will contribute to your health, yes, but the bigger picture is that you KNOW that they are the right thing to do. When you do them, you love yourself just a tiny titch more.
Today I challenge you to look in the mirror and find something that you like. Say it in your head or out loud no matter how stupid it feels. Say it again tomorrow and add a new thing. Say it again the next day as if your child is saying it to you. Your kids wouldn’t say “ewww, ugly mommy” and you would never say it to them. They say things like “pretty hair”, “reliable mommy”, “she’s smiling at me!” at least until they are teenagers. Eventually, you will learn to love who you are and accept the responsibility of taking care of yourself. Now THAT is a resolution.
Author: Theresa Albert