I love fitness; I love to work out, to lift heavy weights and feel sore for days. I enjoy the power and the struggle and the triumphs. I have goals that I am always trying to reach, big and small, and they matter to me. Yet, most of the time, I still hate my body. My body is amazing, it’s survived years of starvation, healed from all of the wounds it’s endured thanks to my clumsiness and my self-destructive tendencies. It’s grown and birthed a beautiful, healthy, 8 lbs baby. It’s earned it’s stripes for sure. Still, I hate those stripes. I look at each wrinkle, each dimple, each sagging area and I feel frustrated and betrayed. I can’t see myself clearly, because I ALWAYS see myself. Worse is that I feel guilt. I feel guit when I have pizza, or eat cereal for dinner. Like a failure for those cookies I demolished before lunch. Awful for the lunch I skipped for two days. Eating right is the most important part of fitness if you want to see results, but I have a problem with food. A problem with eating enough and eating clean and eating responsibly… it’s a pit of unhappiness and avoidance.
My friend said to me, “I love Christmas but I HATE the holidays.” How many of us feel the same way? Stress and worry and guilt and indulgence, all things that make us feel bad yet it’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year. All we hear is how we should have more self control, or how to shed those “holiday pounds”. What if we didn’t worry about that? What if we didn’t go into the holiday’s dreading the aftermath? What if we have that cookie or that extra piece of pie and what if we laugh instead of grimace?
That’s what I am going to do. I am going to eat without guilt, I am going to adjust my point of view and forget about those resolutions and the processed sugars. I’m going to teach my daughter to eat icing and laugh until her stomach hurts and then I’m going to lie next to her on the couch, cuddling while we come down from our sugar highs. And when I say Happy Holidays, I am going to mean it. While my goals might be a six pack and a 10 minute mile, I am not a failure for setting aside some time to indulge. In food, in family, in happiness; these are the things that matter. I don’t want to teach Emi to look to December with dread and her own body with distaste. I want to teach her to eat cookies in December and to still love herself come January.