Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trade Guilt For Trust: Surviving the Holidays

     The holidays used to be rough on my waistline as well as my mental health. This holiday season has truly been a test for me. Last November I made a promise to myself that I would STOP punishing my body. I would stop hating my body. I would learn to love my body before it fails me.  It was not easy - I had to retrain myself. I started with baby steps. I started by promising I would go for a walk every day, not for losing weight but to promote mental health. Guilt is a powerful emotion, and I was done with feeling it. The holidays are great for bringing around a nice big helping of guilt.  

     How do I maintain a healthy body image, indulge, and balance the scale? This holiday season I got my answer. I stopped worrying about it. I put my scale away. I allowed myself the treats. I felt my pants get tighter and I reminded myself that it is okay, I will not wake up 300 pounds again. I know what to do. I know how to eat healthy. I work out 5-6 days a week. This will not erase my normal healthy life style. I trust myself...I trust myself. That was a difficult achievement and the one I'm proud of the most. From previous experiences I learned to NOT trust myself. After all, no one was shoving the food in my face, I was.  

     I have maintained my weight for 6 years now.  I have become the woman I always wanted to be. That is my proof to myself. That is my proof to people in my life that have been sitting and waiting for the weight to come back. It is safe to say that I get it now. I CAN trust myself to do what needs to be done and I CAN indulge without fear. My healthy eating is no longer my diet, it is my life style.  The cookies, the cakes, and other treats are not a part of my everyday eating. I do not keep that stuff in the house. Come January 1st, it will all be gone, and I will be back on track. 

     I understand those on their journey to lose weight and the fear of treats. During my first few holiday seasons I worked out for HOURS and barely touched the sweets. I was terrified of gaining even a few ounces.  If the scale moved in the wrong direction I felt like I had failed. For those feeling fear and guilt, it is ok. You too will learn to trust yourself and your abilities to care for your body. I learned to embraces a "fluffier" figure during the holidays.  I no longer hate my body. I understand that my body will fluctuate in weight and size for my entire life for various reasons. I am not a battle field and food is not my enemy.  I know that I will never give up on myself , I know I will never go back to processed boxed food, and I know I still love myself even when I have to jump into my jeans (and avoid washing them for as long as I can.) 

     This way of thinking did not happen overnight. It has taken me several years to accept my body and what my version of healthy is.  Enjoy the holidays, let go of guilt, and trust yourself.  If you struggle to trust yourself, start with baby steps. Every journey has a beginning. 

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