a new day in 2016Okay. Here I am at the beginning. The beginning? A new year. Is it really a beginning though? Isn’t it just a continuation? Isn’t it just a new day in 2016? I’ve always put so much import on the NEW YEAR moment. An opportunity to start fresh. A way to leave the past behind as if it doesn’t matter so much. Erase it. Start over. But I don’t think that’s true. It all matters. The places I’ve been, the choices I’ve made.

For the last 10 days, I’ve given myself permission to enjoy. To eat, to taste. To not be on a diet. I didn’t binge, I didn’t overeat….(well, maybe a bit on New Year’s Eve…peach pie with vanilla ice cream. 2 servings.) I ate. I also thought a lot about how hard all of this is. It’s hard. I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from the Weight Watchers meetings. Counting points has been helpful. Weighing and measuring has been helpful. It’s given me insight into how much I’d been eating before I began. As much as Weight Watchers says that theirs is a program of lifestyle change, it still feels like a diet to me. I love the support, and the camaraderie. I don’t want to be on a diet. I want to eat like a sane person. I want to be active. To exercise, to play. That’s what I want for myself. I know which foods are good for me and which foods send me over the edge.

There’s something about being on a diet that pushes all of my buttons. I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s the message that I’m not good enough just the way I am. That I’ll love myself more when my body is different. I know that’s not true. My body has been different. Very, very different. I didn’t love myself more. I was still insecure, frightened, super-critical of me. That didn’t go away with weight loss. I have a lot of shame about the way my body is now. When I’m around people socially, especially at parties where food is involved, I experience all kinds of shame. I either choose not to eat at all, because I’m so embarrassed, or I eat…and I make a point of acknowledging to other people that I’m fat (as if they need me to tell them) or I find a way to let them know that I haven’t always been this way. That I looked like them once. That I was once a very fit, trim yoga teacher. As if that somehow makes me more worthy of their attention and approval. Then I feel shitty about myself. I need to trust myself, and love myself just the way I am. Without that piece, this just feels like a form of subtle punishment. I have to be kind with me. To know that making good food and exercise choices is because I love myself. If that results in a thinner body, okay. If it doesn’t, could that be okay with me too? I’m not sure. If I just end up healthier and stronger? Could I love myself fat? Time to stop needing other people’s approval to validate my existence. That’s my real job.

I will say that this time of year is valuable to me. I took some time to look at how I want the next block of days to look. I made a list of things I want to do and learn:

  • Today I will love myself, no matter what the scale says. Say that every day. As many times as I need to say it.
  • Take a class to learn how to take good photos with my fancy camera. I’m signed up.
  • Write. Writing for this blog has been so good for me. I have stories to tell. Tell them.
  • Take a writing course. I’m signed up. Starts in February.
  • Swim. Walk. Say yes to hiking, being active. Learn to kayak.
  • Take a class to improve my drawing skills.
  • Stop spending so much money. Save some for my dotage. Trust that I’m going to be here when I’m an old lady.
  • Keep being brave.
  • Expand my knowledge of web design.
  • Eat healthy. Know when enough is enough.

That’s enough for now. Plenty.

It’s a NEW DAY. A day to wake up, get out of bed and start again.

  • Nina Shengold
    Posted at 23:10h, 03 January Reply

    “When I tell the truth I grow the most.” BINGO! And bravissima!

  • Betty MacDonald
    Posted at 17:09h, 02 January Reply

    You have such stories to tell…

    • thelifeofnan
      Posted at 18:51h, 02 January Reply

      Betty, Thanks for reading. I’m enjoying telling my stories. xoxox

  • Juliet Harrison
    Posted at 12:55h, 02 January Reply

    You know that everything you said touches my “sore spots” too. I love your list. For me I have to add….surround myself with less stuff and more simple beauty. Let’s be sure to visit soon. Just us.

  • Ellen Zerkin
    Posted at 10:53h, 02 January Reply

    Now I really, REALLY can’t wait to see you. So much to talk about. I am the older version of you!!! xo

    • thelifeofnan
      Posted at 11:26h, 02 January Reply

      Me too! I’m so excited about finally spending some time with you! And we’ll eat!

  • Ann Hutton
    Posted at 10:22h, 02 January Reply

    Brava! “I need to trust myself, and love myself just the way I am.” This is key, for me anyway. Your writing is so candid. Thank you for sharing.

    • thelifeofnan
      Posted at 10:28h, 02 January Reply

      Thanks Ann. I’m trying to be honest. When I’m in a tough spot, my first impulse is to hide. Then I think that this is the moment when I need to come out about my feelings. It’s hard. When I tell the truth I grow the most. Having witnesses is great for me. I’m so appreciative of the feedback. Let’s go for a walk!

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