I did something that I thought I would never do: I made a New Year's Resolution. In February. It's a typical one.
This year, I said to myself, I'm really going to start thinking about my weight and what I can do to become a healthier person.
I've never made a "real" New Year's Resolution before, especially as late as February first. I've always long forgotten about them and settled into a state of complacency with comfort food and general winter lethargy that comes with Post-Christmas snow and cold. While warmth worshipers are counting the days until the Equinox and the buds on the trees, I'm relishing in the general hibernation that comes with January, February and early March. With this state of mind, I must say that the state of my pants cutting off my circulation became a clear reality. I bought some new pants with a bit of shame and resignation, and told no one that I'd graduated into another size of plus.
I didn't tell my therapist, which went against my general rule of sharing everything with her. I felt like the grade-schooler that hid and ate crackers out of my parents' eyes or the teen that made a sandwich and then secretly fed it to the dog while harboring a case of anorexia that lead to rapid weight loss between my junior and senior year of high school. Everyone was so proud of the weight that I'd lost then. What an accomplishment, they said. The weight crept back on, and the difficulties crept back up: the back aches, the knee aches, the trouble climbing the stairs without being winded, the inability to find clothes that fit my frame...the list goes on ad nauseum. Now weighing more than I'd ever weighed in my life, the "secret" was clearly out in every photo, scale, and shirt I tried.
I read a book in January, "The Four Agreements," by don Miguel Ruiz. Each Agreement is simple and succinct:
1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
2. Don't Take Anything Personally
3. Don't Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best
Each Agreement, too, weighed heavy on my heart as I tried to incorporate them into my everyday life. Each stuck with me and still does, but...Always Do Your Best. What was my best?
What I was doing with my life wasn't my best.
With this realization, came what seemed like a chance to change my life. I guess it's so much more than a resolution, but a complete paradigm shift that started with my relationship with food and exercise. It also became a very public shift that added a sense of accountability that I'd never had before. I decided to stop living to eat and start eating to live. I made the decision to move my body and really...fight for my life.
It's only been a month, but the changes are great and my body is really starting to catch up with my mind and for once, I feel like I can do this. I can stop making excuses and share my thinly-veiled secrets.
My paradigm can be reborn.