Remember that New Year’s Resolution?
Find out why I don’t make them anymore and how I am the happiest living each day as I am, and not holding myself back from doing the things I love because of an arbitrary number on a scale.
So let’s start at the beginning, just like every year…
So what was your New Year’s resolution?
Come on… think hard! Let me guess, lose 10, 20, 100 pounds? Get a six-pack, thigh gap, fit back into those high school/ before baby jeans?
How are those goals going for you? Beating yourself up?
I used to.
Why can’t I stop eating so much?
How come I don’t have any self-control?
No one is going to look at a fat cow like me.
I will DIE if anyone sees my stomach now.
This self-talk led me to a point where I didn’t wear a bathing suit for 3 years. I kept saying… I will learn how to ski, go to the beach, and be happy once I get to my perfect size.
What are you putting off doing because you are waiting for being the perfect size or shape?
Once I moved to Saudi Arabia from China, I just decided to stop yo-yo dieting and get real about my health. Which meant trying to get healthy in the body I had. With acceptance, slowly doors opened up for me that I might have otherwise missed.
I have transitioned out of my full-time teaching job to fulfill my dream in facilitating healing in others with bodywork. I started studying with a yoga teacher who believes in the exploration of the body and not the final pose. It’s an beautiful practice of discovery, stillness and really going slow and just being in your body. Then, I took up paddle boarding and fell in LOVE with being on the water in the Persian Gulf or in the reservoirs of Colorado.
I crossed off bucket list items I dreamed for YEARS of doing. I took my first ski class. I became Naui certified scuba diver, even though I never found a wetsuit to fit me while I was taking the course. That didn’t stop me because I was dealing with what was, what my body could do. Not some cookie cutter image that left me paralyzed for years and kept me from living my dreams.
I have tried running again on and off, went trekking in the highlands of Ethiopia (pictured above), done yoga by myself on the beach. I completed two Tri-for-the-Cure sprint triathlons with my son watching me cross the finish line both times.
All of this was while I was a size 16/18 US. Yep! You heard that right. I just starting doing all the things I kept saying I would do when I lost weight.
You know what the best thing is? My son has watched or joined me in doing these milestones. What better example can I show him than LIVING LIFE TO YOUR FULLEST right now?
Now this is not some before & after story. There are no “skinny" popular consumption pictures of me to gaze upon while I embarrassedly post my OLD FAT pictures to “internet shame-dom” for comparison. I am still a size 16/18 US and I am STILL living my life to the fullest. I feel NO shame in posting my pictures into the universe because they are just evidence of a life well lived.
Does that mean that my journey hasn’t helped my health? I wouldn’t say that. I healed my plantar fasciitis, my gut and pelvis issues are much less of a problem and I am more aware of what might be causing be any imbalances. My joints feel great. I have more mobility, even though I still have a hard time touching my toes after 3 years of regular yoga practice. I am exploring my body and hearing her messages. I cook more, organic garden, help organize a local organic CSA for delivery in my small compound. My circle of support and community I have intentionally cultivated is amazing. This is all because I started honoring my body just the way it was.
My life is full, rich and diverse. It’s certainly NEVER boring.
Geneen Roth in Women, Food & God mentions, "And although I've never me anyone -not one person- for whom warring with their bodies led to long lasting change, we continue to believe that with a little more self-disgust, we'll prevail."
That self-disgust is no longer serving you or me. Though it's not an easy process to renew my daily commitment to acceptance, it's so worth the effort. I have less pain, more fun, dance daily, and exude excitement. Most of all there is much more contentment and self-love within me compared to when I was waiting for my body to be “better”.
So I urge you! Begin your life today because ladies:
We are all a work in progress!
Explore that process to it’s fullest, notice it, cherish it and honor it.
My body and I are still dialoguing about what path is best in this moment for nutrition, movement, stillness and fun. It doesn’t stay the same, but I trust that as long as I am willing to hold space and listen to what she tells me, I will continue to reclaim territory I had seceded in self-hate.
I now look at the moon in wonder and note my own natural rhythms with awe instead of scorn. I embrace my ancestors, genetics, and history that delivered this body to the present, the way it stands before you. Scarred, curvy, energetic and interesting. I am so glad it’s not airbrushed because this existence feels SO alive. You can start living your dreams and feeling ON FIRE by embracing all that is you in your body NOW.
Start. Where. You. Are. Now.
So throw out those New Year’s Resolutions and come with me on a never-ending journey of self-love and discovery. Surround yourself with a community who will honor and support you. Join our community below because I have found that you can't do this alone.