2016 has started. We’re four days into the new year. I see a lot of the ‘New Year, New You’ mantras on social media, in ads, and being said. I’m not new. It is still me. There is not an old me and a new me. There is a me that is still in progress. Each day, week, month, and year, I am working on being a bit better. I am in progress.
I am taking off the pressure this year to feel as if I have to make life-changing actions in the shortest time possible, or give up as a failure. All the changes I am making are to be part of a healthy lifestyle, something I can live every day. I refuse to hurry or rush. I refuse to wallow in frustration because I am not seeing results fast enough, or I was not perfect today or this week or this month. I am not a ‘drill sergeant’ or a ‘prison warden’. I don’t need that . There may some people who find that works for them. Good for them.
I have lost weight before, eaten healthier, and exercised regularly for over 1.5 years. And then I stopped. I gained weight, got out of shape, and ate foods that were not as healthy, despite the ’21 days will make a habit’ rule. When there were changes in my life, I didn’t have the tools to handle them. So, I fell back to old habits that were ingrained for more than the 1.5 years of my new changes. On one hand, they kept me sane during a hard period in my life, but now they are in the way. Habits are like that.
Now, I am focused on being there for myself by creating a healthy lifestyle that goes beyond weight loss, eating habits, and exercise. I need a lifestyle that provides comfort and support when life gets tough. I need tools, resources, and good people in my life that are encouraging daily. I need to be my 24/7 support system and have my back this year.
I’m not just a body. I’m a whole person with emotional, mental, energetic / spiritual, and physical needs to be met. By focusing on just the physical, it leaves me without assistance in so many areas of my life. I tend to comfort eat and overeat when I am stressed. By merely changing my eating habits without supplying myself with alternate options for comfort, I am sabotaging not only my weight but also my emotional needs.
Some ways for me to get comfort other than food are:
- listening to soothing music
- friends and family
- social media friends and support groups
- physically self-soothing: deep breaths, rocking myself back and forth, hugging myself
- talking aloud when I am alone, so that I can process verbally some of the emotions/stress
- exercising: yoga, cardio
- allowing myself to eat a small amount of comfort foods (not on an empty stomach)
These are just a few things/resources. I know that I’ll add as the year goes on.
Most important for me is not to reject the ‘old me’ or the mistakes I made or any current situation I am in. This is a new year. I need to approach as a whole year, 366 days. It’s not what happens just in one day or week. It’s not short-term. It’s setting myself up for a lifestyle that supports all of me. I am a whole person, not just a weight on a scale, a size of a dress, the amount of exercise I did or didn’t do today.
I promise to have patience with myself, never give up on myself, and get back on track as many times as needed.
What about you? What’s your take on the new year?