It's that time of the year when everyone is abuzz with New Year's resolutions. They include "lose weight," "exercise more," "get healthy," and a million others in between. I'm not against resolutions, but what I do hate to see is an unrealistic attitude and approach on the losing weight one -- and the biggest offenders are women.
Men look at themselves, pat their bellies, say "yep, gotta lose a few pounds," and do whatever they need to do to accomplish it. They don't lament over the fact that they can't see their feet. They don't obsess at the reflection staring back at them in the mirror, and they sure as hell don't parade in front of their friends asking if "these jeans make their ass look big."
Women, on the other hand, do all of this and more. We will pour our hearts and souls out for an entire meal over the fact that we can't believe we can't shed those last five baby pounds, or the fact that "nothing" in the closet fits anymore. We will starve ourselves, try every diet out there -- sometimes two at a time -- and watch every ounce of food and air that goes into our mouths.
Instead of cutting that ounce of food out of your diet, why not cut yourself an ounce of slack? Instead of looking for the latest yo-yo diet that you're going to drive yourself crazy over in a matter of days, give yourself a pound of positive body image. Why don't you stop stressing out over the fact that you've gained five pounds this year? Why not raise your head tall, and love the person that you are? Throw away all the awful magazines that tell you what you should look like and what the editors consider "normal." Find YOUR normal and embrace it.
Ladies, I hate to tell you but there comes a point in our lives when our body doesn't want to give up those last five pounds of fat. It's holding on to that for a reason. And the harder you fight it, the harder it's going to fight back to stick around. I'm not saying to not get healthy -- we can all use that, but maybe start with simple things. Love soda? Try dropping soda from your diet first. Sugar? Stop eating refined sugar products and grab a piece of fruit instead. If you are a meat-and-potato-loving person, showing up to your body's party with nothing but a salad is just going to end poorly. And you know that I'm right.
Honestly, the only person that notices that you've gained five pounds is YOU. I don't. Your husband doesn't (and if he does, he's smart and won't tell you), and the lady in the checkout stand sure as hell doesn't. Your kids would never notice if you weighed 120 or 170, and I've heard stories where kids didn't really like the new, "non-squishy" mommy. By easing up on your own expectations, not only will you be giving yourself a break, you'll be giving all of us who have to listen to your diet-crying a break.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the role model for a super in-shape person. I'm a size 12. I'm happy as a size 12. The Rooster is happy with me as a size 12. I look GOOD as a size 12. Do I need to eat better? Yes. Do I need to exercise? Yes. But I don't obsess over it, and you should stop, too.
Here's what I want to say to each of you who are wringing your hands over your weight:
I love you. I love the person you are, and I do not see what you're talking about when you start poking and prodding at your body. I choose to be friends with you because you're awesome, you make me laugh, and you put up with my crazy ideas and sense of humor. I really don't want to count calories with you -- I would much rather have a good, healthy meal and an amazing glass of wine, and have the conversation be about ANYTHING other than calories, carb intake, and the benefits of tofu (there are none, in my opinion). And honestly, you bore me to tears when you go on and on about your "fat thighs."
So here's to you getting in better health this year -- but please, don't have a heart attack over it. I love you just the way you are. You should try it -- it feels really good!
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