“Mom, you look like you have another baby in your belly”.
Innocent words from the mouth of my 6-year-old son. This was followed shortly thereafter about how he loves how squishy I am. I know I’m not alone in hearing these words from my children. And I know that my son didn’t say them with anything but love. Yes, love. He remembers my being pregnant with my daughter as a happy time. He was present for her birth – quietly playing trains on the bed while watching “Thomas the Train” while I labored in the pool. He still talks about her birth (he was almost 3 at the time). And the squishy? Well, my kids love to cuddle, and let’s face it, soft trumps hard in those moments.
But alas, I am not expecting another baby. The changes that my son is seeing in my is the result of 2016 on my body. I’m not blaming the year – yes, it was rough for me as it seems it was for many people. And I’m not blaming myself. Am I happy with how I look right now. Not particularly. Sure, it saddens me to see that extra fluff around the middle when I thought I would finally conquer it this year. Yes, it’s frustrating to see my body changing in ways I’d rather avoid. But then I have to remind myself that my body is a reflection of how I am living, and if I don’t like what I see, or more importantly, if I don’t like how I FEEL, it’s up to me to make the changes necessary to correct this.
A few years ago I would have been tempted to run out and start a new diet and exercise plan. I would get the supplements, shakes, maybe even look into some of the MLM programs out there (because they are tempting). I would cut my calories, track my every bite, and obsess about whether I could get to the gym or not. And then I would be mad at myself for not being successful and still having a body that I don’t like and feel like crap, despite my efforts. But this year I’m seeing things differently.
This year I’m expecting more of myself. In 2016, I finally accepted the fact that my health and happiness is 100% on me. It’s directly corresponds to the daily decisions that I make. How I move throughout the day. What I choose to eat. How I choose to reward myself. If I choose to listen to the message my body is sending me about what works. I’m expecting to heed those message and put them into action. I’m expecting to own every decision I make regarding my health goals and not beating myself up if maybe they don’t always fit into my plan. I’m expecting to be kind to myself and be patient in the process, because that it what’s going to lead to lasting change.
My resolutions for 2016 include:
1. Move More. Not exercise, not train, but MOVE. I don’t want to continue to fall into this habit of working out for 30-60 minutes and then feeling that I have earned the right to sit on my butt. Because that’s not how it works! You body is like a block of clay – every little thing you do in your day molds it into the image you are. It’s not enough to just focus on your dedicated training time. You also have to make a commitment to moving throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be much – a change in position, a casual walk after dinner, yoga before bed. Just make a choice not to sit on your rear for the majority of the day. Me? I’m going to play with my kids.
2. Restore. This is 2-fold for me. At my training week at Nutritious Movement last November, I learned that my my current habits and training techniques have left me with some severe imbalances – specifically in my hamstrings and shoulders. I am planning on making my movement and restorative practice the foundation of my efforts this year. In addition, I need to restore my gut. I’ve suffered from IBS for years, and have never been ready to truly explore the treatment of it as I need to. So I’m going to restore my digestive systems through changes to how I eat. I’ll be doing a lot of Functional Nutrition education this next year, and so it’s a great time to tackle this.
3. Connect. There is a disconnect with me. I am disconnected from a sense of community, from my family at time, and even from myself. Everything I write about I believe 110%, however I’ll admit that I’m not putting it into action in my own life. In 2017 I want to reconnect with friends. I don’t have a group of girlfriends who live near me, and that needs to change. We have had many women losing the battle with postpartum depression near me, and while that is not where I’m at, I can understand their loneliness. Regardless of the persona that we emit to others, I know that inside I am a very lonely person. That has to change. But, I can’t sit around waiting for someone else to make that first move, and so it’s me. I’m not sure what this will look like, but if you’re in CO, please be on the look out for more movement-based opportunities to get out with me and other women. I also plan on beginning a meditation and yoga practice to help reconnect with myself. I do want to feel joy again, and the only way to get it back is to explore why it’s missing straight on.
I apologize that this is not the motivating resolution post that so many of us are used to seeing, but I needed to get real. I needed to step out of the messages to start a detox, at 30-Day plank challenge, and the like, and instead really explore the reasons we’re drawn to these promises of “New Year, New You” in the traditional sense. At least I needed this, and I’m assuming maybe a few of you all did too. I still think we can do the New Year, New You, but let’s focus that “New You” on the total being and getting unstuck in our lives, rather than simply translating it to the image we see in the mirror.