Happy 2013, Everybody!

I’ve been putting off my new year’s resolutions post, (the irony of which isn’t lost on me). I was hoping to come up with some lofty goals and serious issues to correct, but the truth is, last year was really good to me. So, for a change, I’d like to talk a bit about what worked.

2012 was all about making a serious effort to change my thinking. In years past, I’ve been up and down on every diet and exercise program you can imagine. Some successful, some not so much but the thing they all had in common was the amount of unhealthy expectation and self-loathing that came along for the ride.

For example, journaling is a great way to keep yourself accountable, but I’m probably the worst cheater you’ve ever met. I found I was using it to figure out ways to squeeze in every last treat I could and I was eating when I didn’t really want to just because I still had calories left. If, (ok, when) I overdid it, I’d beat myself up about my big failure and toss out the whole week as ruined.

So the question became, do I deserve junk food or do I deserve to feel good? As self-indulgent as that sounds, it worked for me. I know the diets, I know what a reasonable portion should look like, I know how much water I and exercise I need, I know that when I slow down and pay attention, the body will tell me what it wants. Why was I making it so hard to make smarter choices? When I was starting to go overboard or looking for ways to ditch my workout, my inner Baroness would pipe up and tell me I deserved better.

That said, I’m not knocking the other programs. If journaling is what works for you, by all means, do it! But when you’re as frustrated as I was after a long and honest effort, it’s time for a change.

I don’t have any big weight loss numbers to report, I’m down a little bit, but more importantly, I didn’t bounce back up, even once, last year and I feel great. I tried a lot of new food, a lot of new exercise classes and for the first time in ages, I’m not dodging mirrors or choosing clothing based on what’s easiest to hide behind. It’s amazing what can happen when you stop treating your body like a dumpster.

Yeah, there are things I’ll do differently in the future. After all, who doesn’t have a little room for self improvement? But for now, eating clean, exercising often, feeling good and liking myself are bigger priorities than squashing into some unattainable notion of how I should look.