This year for Christmas, I only wanted — or rather needed — one thing. It couldn’t be wrapped in a box or with a bow, and no one else but me could offer it as a present.
It was to forgive myself for my mistakes. To stop calling them mistakes and see them as lessons. To stop looking at the past six months as a failure in my healthy-living plan, and remember that there’s no one way. Even if one path was right for me before, I’m free to choose a new avenue.
To start where I am and move forward with optimism.
Yes, my exercising has been sporadic. My eating mostly good but amiss during the holidays. My sleep inconsistent and my stress levels higher than usual. I returned to a few of my old habits: the workaholic, the emotional eater, the bored eater, the TV fanatic.
They were roles or habits I thought I needed to soothe me, ones that I said, I’ll just do this for a short while, just until life settles down. But I know how that goes from past transgressions: a few days becomes weeks becomes months becomes years. And then one day you wake up overweight and stressed out and sad that you don’t feel you’re living the life you envisioned.
Last week, I had a conversation with Sara Bown, who shared her weight-loss story in our May 2013 issue. We discussed the pivotal moment for her when she prayed for weight loss. She asked that she wake up the next day thin. It was that moment, when she felt so low, that she realized that the way to a healthier life won’t just happen by wishing for it — she needed to take action.
So if you’re like Sara and me, wishing for a different future, remember that you have the power to see it through. Don’t look back with guilt or shame; let’s all do ourselves a favor and let it go. Know what has worked and what hasn’t, and be willing to try something new. Be willing to go outside of your comfort zone.
Take a deep breathe with me today and embrace the beauty of change.