I gave up New Year’s Resolutions a couple new years’ ago (this is probably my 5th or 6th year without a New Year’s Resolution).

I had – for many years – one, unchanging New Year’s Resolution;

“LOSE WEIGHT!!!”

There was a time in my life a couple of years ago when “losing weight” was the one thing that I continually obsessed about – year after year after year.  I obsessed about food, I obsessed about diets, I obsessed about the number on my scale, I obsessed about the size of my body.

That obsession leaked – like noxious poison – into every area of my life.  It infected me like a disease.  It affected the way I saw myself, the way I parented, the way I dressed (the main goal was to hide)… it affected my self-confidence… it placed itself at the forefront of every dream or desire.

“Lose weight” became my primary goal – as though my worth – as a person – was based only on my external appearance.  In my mind, the equation was simple:

FAT =  bad, loser, weak, pathetic, stupid, incompetent, worthless, undisciplined, unkempt, unlovable, failure.

THIN = good, winner, strong, determined, in-control, diligent, worthy, disciplined, respectable, valuable, lovable.

So… for as long as I was “fat”, I believed I was worthless and wanting.

And only when I became “thin” (which in my mind meant 58 kilograms and not a gram more)…  THEN… and ONLY THEN… could I be considered good… strong… lovable… valuable.

My god, I was such a twisted mess.  I cringe… I wince… recalling my dark obsession back then.

Of course – I am now older, wiser and no longer obsessed with diets, food and scales (last scale I owned was deliberately smashed to smithereens a couple of years ago)… and – as an older and wiser person, I now UNDERSTAND a few things – that I wish my younger-self could have grasped and embraced.

 

dec1986

This is 13-year-old-me (in the brown). I was miserable because my mother had confiscated my “fat-hiding” sarong. I spent that holiday self-conscious and hiding – refusing to swim in the company of others… already – utterly OBSESSED with diets & weight. Of course, it only spiralled downhill from there.  The more I obsessed about weight and fatness, the shittier I felt about myself and the more I found comfort in chocolate fudge and cheese toasties (and – inevitably – the more weight I put on – and the cycle continued…)

If I could go back in time and deliver some valid truths to my younger self (not that she’d listen, stubborn little shit)… here’s what I’d tell her:
  1. Your weight does not determine your worth Repeat this every single day.  The toxic society in which you live will try to tell you the opposite.  They will try to make you believe your worth and your value – especially as a woman – is based primarily on what you LOOK like.  Do NOT buy in to this bullshittery!  Turn off the TV adverts, throw out all the glossy women’s magazines and turn a deaf ear to well-meaning relatives tut-tutting about the size of your bum.  Your WEIGHT does NOT determine your worth.  You are valuable – and worthy of love – exactly as you are.
  2. Don’t fear food.  The thing you fear is the thing that owns you.  Fear breeds obsession… and it’s all downhill from there. Life becomes really… small… when all you can think about is food, diets and the size of your body.  There are far more important things in life.  Trust me.
  3. Food is fuel.  Eat when you’re hungry.  Stop when you’re satisfied (not stuffed).  Listen to your own body.  YOU are the Master of your body… not some distant diet-expert (regardless of how famous they are or how many diet books they’ve sold).   YOU know what your body needs and what it doesn’t need.  Just listen to it!  Don’t force-feed it when it’s not hungry… even if the force-feeding entails vile-diet-food.  You don’t have to eat a half-a-grapefruit in the morning… just as you don’t have to glug down a pot of chocolate fudge.
  4. Stop shaming your body!  Quit bullying yourself all the time and telling yourself repeatedly how pathetic, weak and useless you supposedly are.  I need you to really understand this one life-changing, important truth:  You can not SHAME yourself in to change.  It doesn’t work like that.  It has NEVER worked like that.  All you are doing is worsening the situation.  The more you shame yourself, the shittier you feel about yourself – and the more you visit the fridge for comfort.  Try doing the opposite.  Try learning to love and accept yourself unconditionally – exactly as you are (trust me on this!)…
  5. Life does not begin on the One-Magical-Day when you’re finally “thin”.  Life is HERE… NOW!!!  Life is to be lived… dreams are to be chased… right here – right now!  Do not WASTE your one, beautiful, precious life…. waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting… to be “thin” before you’re able to finally LIVE!  Live now!  Enjoy everything that life has to offer NOW!  Wear what you want!  Go dancing!  Go swimming!  Stop HIDING!  – and for pities sake… stop with the predictable New-Year’s-Guilt-Tripping-Shame-Inducing-Resolutions to “Lose Weight”.  Your only resolution (which should be a daily commitment – not one that’s only called upon once a year)… is this:  Embrace your beautiful unique’ness, chase your crazy-dreams and LIVE!!