It isn’t even December yet and the talk of holiday weight gain and New Year’s resolutions to lose those extra pounds has already begun. It is my least favorite part of the holiday season. Social media, advertisers and brainwashed friends alike spread the message of guilt and fear and self loathing like it is completely normal to belittle ourselves and proclaim out loud that we are not enough. There are some people who simply get an eye roll from me when I hear a passing remark, but there are others who bring me to tears. I spent so many years feeling like the holidays were merely an excuse to be off my diet until January 1st. I frantically ate myself through family get togethers, all the while worried sick about what it would take to undo it all in the New Year. It is a horrible way to live. Even for those without eating disorders, disordered eating or eating with fear is no way to celebrate what you are thankful for and what you wish for the upcoming year.
I have a crazy idea. You will think I have completely lost my mind, but please read on just a little further.
What if we loved ourselves enough to nourish our bodies as well as our minds and our spirits.
What if we had that piece of pie and were fully present while we savored each bite and soaked in the giggles in the background.
What if we listened to what the people around us were saying rather than checking our FitBit.
What if we went for a walk because the sun was shining and there was someone whose hand we were longing to hold and not because we felt like we had to work off that meal.
What if we marked an hour each day on our calendar to practice self care.
What if we began forming habits that we could carry throughout our lives rather than looking for the shortcut to get us through the next six weeks.
What if we looked in the mirror and smiled at the person looking back at us.
What if we were kind to ourselves and said sweet things and cherished every moment with loved ones.
What if we stopped listening to the ads and the messages and started realizing that we are not imperfect beings who need to be fixed, but that we are perfect because of our imperfections!
What if we spoke our truth and applauded others for doing the same.
What if you were you and I was me and that was what was meant to be.