A couple years ago as it came time for New Year’s goals, I realized that I had made the same goal every year since I was thirteen—I would lose some weight (five pounds or ten or twenty–depending on the year and how much I hated what the scale said).
It made for a lot of miserable Januarys and a few miserable Decembers since I’d justify eating extra even if I wasn’t hungry because the food was delicious and available. And throughout the year, I’d continue this pattern—as the seasons changed, when big family events occurred, when I started blaming the dryer for shrinking my clothes–until I realized that I was living my life in two speeds: dieting and preparing to diet.
It was so much a part of my life, one that didn’t necessarily make me happy or fulfilled, but something I felt like I had to do.
So, for 2012, I vowed not to diet for a whole year. A year would give me time to really see what happened to my body. If I gained a million pounds, I gave myself permission to reassess at the end of the year. I had lived in one of those gears for so long, I really had no idea what would happen.
The first two weeks of January were awesome. It felt so freeing and strange not to be starving at that time of year.
But, then, I had to really work. The holidays had brought a few extra pounds as they always do, and I wanted those off. But, I wasn’t going to diet anymore or exercise for the sole purpose of loosing weight so I had to work to be ok with that extra weight. I also had to do a few other things…
I quit weighing myself. In fact, now, I hate to see those numbers at the doctor’s office because it’ll send me into a tailspin for a couple days—just because of a stupid number that’s a good ten pounds more than I thought I wanted to weigh.
I got rid of my skinny clothes. It was time. I could fit into those skinny clothes about 1 month (total) of every year. The rest of the time, I just obsessed about how great it would feel to put them on.
I enjoy food. This is the best part of my resolution. I’m happy when it’s lunch time (it’s my favorite meal of the day because I make exactly what I want because my family is doing their own thing at school and work). I feel relief at nearly every meal when I’m not choosing what I shouldn’t eat but instead eating until I feel full.
With this anti-dieting way of life, I find I’m a couple pounds heavier than I’d like but I don’t get to the anxiety-provoking numbers on my scale anymore. And, I actually have an average weight, not a weight range that spans 15 to 20 pounds. And, all the clothes in my closet fit all. the. time.
One of the most surprising discoveries was how much time I have freed up that was devoted to meal planning and calorie counting. And, I realized that I was also devoting time and emotional energy in dieting. It was no fun.
I’ve found that I’ve been able to fill my life with new projects and ideas that used to be crowded out by my dieting. Sometimes, it’s still work for me. Some evenings I go out with my size 0 and size 2 friends and feel lazy or fat or both, but overall, I feel like I’m starting to develop a better relationship with food and one I hope to pass onto my children.
And, it makes Januarys much more enjoyable.
What’s the best New Year’s Resolution you’ve ever made?