Speaking of New Year's resolutions, I do have a few this year. I can't help it, I'm a incorrigible list maker, and there's something about starting 'fresh' that always appeals to me, at least for a few weeks, until the lack of sunlight renders me useless by about the third week of January. So what's on my list? Pretty similar to most people's, I think. Lose weight, Quit smoking, Budget. Although this year I'm trying to be more concrete with my resolutions. For example, I bought some nicotine gum to deal with cravings, a notebook to write down everything I spend, and I've designed a 20 minute workout routine for myself I can do in my living room. So maybe this time I might actually be somewhat successful in keeping them!
Losing weight is always a tricky one. My weight has been an issue since I hit puberty, although it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be, mostly because I was a figure skater, so I was considered 'overweight' even when I was fit. It was the 80s, and there was still this idea that you had to starve yourself as a female athlete, which we now know made absolutely no sense when you are burning hundreds of calories as an athlete, but as they say, those were the days.
I have body issues, which I'm pretty sure 99% of North American women have (I can't comment on Europe, Asia and elsewhere, having not lived there). My issues are a combination of our asshole society and always being told I had to lose weight as a skater. The real issue became my relationship with food- I'm not sure if you would call it abusive, or that we are 'frenemies', but needless to say, it's complicated. Since I turned 40, it does seem to have gotten better. My main issue has been that I was (and still am if I want to be honest with myself) a binge eater, I think because I tried to starve myself into looking a certain way (which never worked-the only time I ever reached the 'correct' weight was in my early 20s, when I lived on black coffee and cigarettes). My binge eating has diminished, and I don't hate myself-or food-the way I used to. I still do hate my body. I think I always will.
What has been frustrating is that despite eating relatively healthy, cutting back on alcohol consumption and being reasonably active, my weight remains stubbornly high. It has dropped slightly since my hypothyroidism is being treated, but I have to realize that I may always be overweight, and unless I can get a job that pays me more and has me work less so I can work out for an hour every day and eat organic kale smoothies, I am simply not going to look the way I want to. And maybe if I could do nothing but work out and eat smoothies all day, barring major plastic surgery, I will never look the way I want to. Period.
Here's the thing. No matter how much I say to myself 'Just be healthy' and 'Love your body' and 'Do it for yourself' and all those mantras about body positivity and even when boys tell me they like how I look, I will never quite believe it. It will never be good enough, because for years, I was told that I wasn't. So how to deal?
I wish I knew, But, here we go again.