Every year I see everyone making jokes about their New Years Resolutions. For many years I was one of them. I’d make a resolution more than half way knowing I’d never achieve it. All my life I found it so exciting to sit down and write down all of the things I’d like to accomplish in the new year. As soon as I hit 11, that included losing weight. I know, how sad right? Like 11 year old me sitting with my diary saying I’d like to be smaller. I was already tiny. Like 80 lbs tiny. So small I couldn’t wear the preteen clothes I wanted to wear at the Limited Too. But I wasn’t 70 lbs and that was how big the girls they used for “flyers” in cheer leading were. It looked to me like the smaller and lighter I was the more value I would have.
Last year I was no better off in my self talk than I was in 6th grade. If anything I was much worse. I would look in the mirror and think, if only I lost 20 lbs I would be so much happier. At the top of my list of resolutions was “lose the remaining baby weight” and “get fit” a long with a endless list of other things that I didn’t even really want but felt I SHOULD want. Things for my failing business and things about my failing self. Here was my list. It’s not horrible, in fact it’s fairly typical.
Knowing those goals, I signed up for a diet my friend was selling. It promised fast results and had worked for a number of my friends. You ate 5 of these snack like options during the day, and ate one lean and green meal. As in just meat and veggies. I tried it, every day I’d wake up and be like today I’ll be PERFECT. Today is the day I’ll become thin and worthy. And without a doubt by midday I was starving and hangry and upset. Yes it was good to not be eating so much sugar. I probably did need to learn portion control. But this diet had me obsessing. It was in my New Year New Me plan! I needed to get it right! I said over and over again to myself “I needed to be perfect.”
By the third week I was so upset by my lack of perfection I told my husband I was done. I wanted to eat regular food again. He made us dinner and it was taco bowls instead of tacos and I broke down. I started screaming and sobbing “You think I’m fat, that I shouldn’t be allowed tacos. I CAN’T EAT ANYTHING! I CAN’T EVEN HAVE THIS. I NEED TO STOP EATING. I AM NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT. I CAN’T HAVE ANYTHING AND BE PERFECT. YOU THINK I’M DISGUSTING!”. I sobbed and threw myself to the floor like a goddamn toddler. I tore at my hair and cried and cried while he stood shell shocked from my behavior.
I said over and over again to myself “I needed to be perfect.”
My husband didn’t think I was disgusting, he just actually enjoys a carb free dinner. He’s a very healthy eater naturally, and he needs a lot of protein since he works out near constantly. But I was beyond making sense. I hadn’t eaten any of the snacks for two days, so I was subsisting on around 600 calories. I hated the diet and I hated myself.
That day was the beginning of the end of diets for me. If you look at all the studies they say “diets” especially fad diets, don’t work long term for most people. I decided to unfollow all the healthy eating and living blogs. Their picture perfect meals and bodies made me hate myself.
Instead I started following body positivity blogs like Meg Boggs who writes about focusing on health and not size. I read blogs and followed pages that wrote about their lives and finding their true selves like Megan Baca. I decided join in the unlearn challenge and tell myself that I would throw my book of resolutions out the fucking window. I didn’t actually throw it away. But I stopped obsessing about how I looked, how my life looked and started thinking about how I felt.
That day was the beginning of the end of diets for me.
This last year I accomplished a lot. It’s been filled with incredibly low lows and soaring highs. I’m certain that they felt that much higher because of how low I felt at the beginning. I was struggling as a mother and a business woman at the beginning of 2018. I was also hiding it from everyone except a very small circle of people. In the past year I didn’t accomplish my resolutions but I did accomplish things that made me a hell of a lot happier.
Here’s my list of things I did that were never on the list.
- I made new friendships.
- I closed and sold my business.
- I started writing weekly.
- I got a job as a contributor for OC Moms Blog
- I started doing pole dancing
- I played more gigs than I ever really wanted to but actually loved.
- I traveled more.
- I took social media breaks.
- I came out out of the closet for the second time in my life (Hey friends if you didn’t know I’m BISEXUAL!)
- I didn’t lose weight but I gained strength.
- I started saying no, and asked my husband to back me up so I don’t give up when I’m pressured.
- I put my child’s needs, my husbands needs and my own in equal importance in our lives.
- I put my mental and physical health high up on the to do list and started individual therapy.
- I accepted myself. My curves, scars, and battle wounds.
- I stopped telling myself I don’t deserve things. Because I do.
- My self happiness is not hinged on my weight or what I ate. My happiness is internal and doesn’t have to wait until I’m a certain size or have a certain number of followers. I’m busy unlearning the mean things I’ve told myself over the years.
So I’m not making a resolution. I’m just going to keep going. Keep building myself back up. Keep saying no to things that don’t make me happy. Keep doing the things that bring me joy. Because I’m doing a fucking fantastic job of being myself and I don’t really need to change a goddamn thing.