Health Magazine

If You Can’t Be the One You Love; Love the One You Are

By Healthhungry @Healthhungry

As I settle into my late 30′s, I notice that my perspective on many life issues is changing.  When I reflect back on the goals of my naive 20-year-old-self, I realize how much time I’ve wasted dreaming of things, and feeling disappointed when those hopes continue to elude me.  The time has come to seriously re-frame my goals, and redefine what actually matters to me.

I gave up the dream of being a bikini model – or anything close to that, when I hit 30.  However, as I ‘ve mentioned in past posts – I catch myself being obsessed with losing a , or being a certain size, and this obsession is robbing me of my life.  I am postponing so many things for, “when I lose weight”.  In the mean time, I am caught in the same gain/lose cycle I’ve been in for nearly 8 years now…

Some evidence of my flawed thinking became more clear to me when I was asked why I stop going to  yoga.  I LOVE yoga, and I NEVER regret going, ever.  Ironically, I usually go for a couple of months – and then I stop.(Much like eating well – I do well for a couple of months, then I return to horrible habits)

Here are the reasons I came up with:

  1. I’m afraid of what people will think of me.  They all look so “healthy” in there cute yoga outfits, and I am at least double the size of most people in the room.  I’m ashamed of how I look.
  2. Yoga is not cheap, and I always struggle to find the money.  Ironically, I never struggle to find the money to buy food – just like I never struggled to find the money to buy cigarettes.  Why is it harder to justify spending money on self-care, than self-destruction?  The opposite needs to be true!
  3. I also make the statement (to myself) that I’ll do yoga at home, and I’ll join a center when I reach a certain number on the scale.  Basically, that is like telling myself that this body doesn’t deserve good nurturing care – only a body of a certain size does… that’s not true.

I made the decision that I will pay the money, and go to yoga twice a week this summer.  It is medicine for my body, mind, and soul – and I deserve it.  Do you know how many times I’ve justified eating crap food because of those very same words?  I deserve to go out to eat – it’s a celebration, I deserve to eat fast-food because I’ve had a hard week, I deserve this sugary snack because I’m PMSing… etc.  What if I changed my language to this; I deserve to go to yoga because I’ve had a tough week, It’s a celebration so I’m going to make something nourishing for everyone, I deserve a longer walk because I’m PMSing… etc.  Those statements are so much more true!  I deserve to take care of myself in the best way possible.

I am also the queen of joining the gym, and never going. (Where’s my crown for that?!)  I currently have a gym membership and I avoid going like the plague.  When I signed up I had every intention of using it – but making myself face that reality has been tough.  I go through similar self-talk… I am so afraid of being judged, and looked at.  For any of you who say that doesn’t happen; try my reality for just one day and I promise you – you’ll feel differently.  People do stare; I am not just overweight – I am the can’t fit in chairs, airplane seats, and booths-kind-of-size.  I am usually the biggest person in the room, I am heavier than most people on the “Biggest Loser”.  That doesn’t come without people noticing, and judging me for it every single day. 

My goal, however, is to stop allowing other people’s perceptions, or my fear of their judgment seep into my own thoughts of myself.  I know that I am a smart, funny, capable, energetic, creative, kind, loving woman who just happens to have a life-long struggle with binge eating.  Everyone has their struggles, unfortunately mine have consequences that everyone can see.  None of this means that I don’t deserve respect and compassion.  None of it.

All of that being said, compassion starts with me first.  I need to love myself and start to respect this body – or no one else will.  I can’t expect strangers to be compassionate when I don’t even give myself compassion!  I can’t expect others to believe in my potential if I don’t.  What are you telling others about how they should treat you?  Are you good to yourself?  Do you truly nourish your body?

Giving up on some of my 20-year-old-self goals is not giving up, it is letting go of the unrealistic expectations that have kept me locked in a cycle of self-loathing.  Who I want to be today is better than who I wanted to be 17 years ago.  I see many many women around me who have been thin and good-looking for years, but they are anything but healthy – and their lives are anything but peaceful.  Beauty truly does come from within, and those who can’t see that are the ones who suffer in the long run.

If you can’t be the perfect ideal of who you’ve always dreamed of being, perhaps it’s time to love who you are right now.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow – today is the day to shine!


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