Last week I asked you to think about leaving your New Year's resolutions behind for the sake of sanity, and self love. This week, I am trying to take my own advice. I sailed into New Year's Eve weekend feeling strong, and confident in my ability to fight the cultural pull of eating better, or exercising more in 2017, but then reality set in.
I started this blog as a personal project; an outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and anxieties on my continuing journey toward finding sanity in today's crazy, body image obsessed world. I feel my own experiences, plus my professional background, allow me a voice in the larger discussion. I sometimes forget, however, that Finding Normal didn't completely solve my struggles; that in fact, bad food anxiety days still occur, and some days the body I see in the mirror appears in contrast to reality.
I traveled home for New Year's (it has been over a year since stepping inside my parent's house). I see my parents every 6-10 weeks when they visit us or my grandparents who live close by - not because I go home; sorry Mom and Dad! Making the 3-hour trip was the right choice and I thoroughly enjoyed spending two days in my pajamas, taking morning exercise walks, sibling yoga, leisurely sipping a few cups of coffee while attempting crosswords, and finally signing up for a Costco membership, my life's dream.
Going home, however, always leaves me struggling against my innermost food and body image demons. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but I strongly believe home maintains an especially strong grasp on my struggles; my struggles started at home, so it only makes sense it would be one of the last active battlefields. In my own condo, out to eat with friends, and at work, my progress toward food sanity shines (just this past week I noticed David's breakfast cereal sitting on the counter no longer bothers me), but back in the comforts of Yorktown, VA, things seemingly fall apart. I grab handfuls of chocolate covered almonds, continue snacking way past feeling full, and beat myself into feelings of deep guilt and failure.
So despite telling everyone around me to let go of their own resolutions, I was ready to jump into one myself. Luckily, the realistic part of my brain pushed back, but 48-hours later, I am still reeling with conflict, and self-doubt; it's time to take my own advice.
For those of you who have been following since the beginning (thank you!), you know I am a fan of writing self-affirmations, or positive statements as a starting point for turning around a negative moment:
Weather you want to just take a few moments to close your eyes, and take some deep breaths, or try something more vigorous like yoga, relaxing your physical body calms your mental body. Today, I took time for an at-home yoga practice. Give it a try.
Do Something to Feel Productive
I don't know about you, but sometimes the best way to turn my mood around is simply taking my mind off of the current situation; even better if I can accomplish something in the process. Nothing complicated for today's list: grocery shopping, laundry, and going through emails made me feel productive, and ready to go for the week ahead. I wrote down a list of all my To Do items, and crossed each one out as it was completed. The physical action of my pen scraping across the paper provided an added boost of success. Maybe grocery shopping and laundry don't feel like a good match for you, but pick a few easy and attainable tasks to get you started down an endorphin frenzy.
Thanks for listening today. We all experience tough days and I am no different. I suspect my entire life will have ups and downs in terms of my relationship with food and my own body, but I am happy to say the day is ending better than it started.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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