It’s not because I have the perfect body, figured out the perfect secret to lose weight in the last year, or am completely comfortable in my own skin.
From as far back as I remember every year as January 1st approached I’d make the ever-popular fitness/diet resolution. I’d change it slightly per year depending on my previous year’s activities. Varying from the general “Lose Weight” to “Lose 30lbs” to “Lose 30lbs by summer” and even more recently changing it up to make it seems less vain into “Be more active” “Workout in the mornings…for mental clarity” “Be able to do pullups to teach my kids how to do the monkey bars” but always with the undertone that HOPEFULLY weight loss would accompany it.
This year throughout the summer as I pulled on my shorts or bared my arms uncomfortably in tank tops I subtly longed for fall so I could cover up a bit. One thing had changed slightly though…I was pushing through feeling uncomfortable with my arms and taking photos of my outfits to post on Instagram. Because why not? Because I was a Stay at Home Mom looking for a little something out of my regular routine to be excited about. Because I enjoyed clothes and for so long after my babies were born said “I’ll dress nice again once I lose the weight” or “I’ll buy clothes when I’m down a size.” Well, that day was looking like it wasn’t coming. So I decided why am I going to wait, why not dress how I want to dress with the body I have now? So since I was buying the clothes anyways, I figured why not post a photo now and then? Something my teenage self would never ever do, but along with age also seems to come much more “why do I care? I’m just going to be me.”
So as Fall approached and I got to dress for my favorite season I here and there posted a photo and looked back at it once in a while to read the few sweet comments I received. With each photo, I let go of a little more concern for what people might think. Several times I would skip the post to Facebook button, because what would all those people think? Most of them have known me since high school, or college. What do they think of this midsize (sometimes plus size) mom posting how she actually got dressed (or sometimes didn’t and wanted to show off my comfy leggings or slippers) for the day? The more and more I posted the more and more I let go of a little more of what others thought. Not because I was getting hundreds of likes or affirmative comments from strangers on the internet, and not because all of a sudden I had the unbelievable confidence I always wanted. But because of the single comments here and there of a mom like me, who didn’t have time to do her hair every day and appreciated me mentioning the dry shampoo I use in a horribly produced tutorial while my kids fought over an LOL in the background because it was real. Or needed to see someone that is a size 12 wear the same jeans more than twice before wanting to spend their hard-earned money on them.
So you’re probably wondering where the new year’s resolutions come in. I hadn’t thought much about it on New Year’s Eve because I have kids…so I, of course, was watching Minions, or Trolls and filling up milk cups. But once New Year’s Day had passed I realized I hadn’t told myself I was going to stop eating chocolate or vowed to set a lofty weight loss goal, or told myself in my head I would only eat quinoa and egg whites. The miraculous part was as I thought about that it never once entered my mind to figure out what resolution to make. Instead, the thought left my brain as quickly as it came in…and I didn’t care about it. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make goals to better yourself. I have made several in regards to other areas of my life…and I don’t think that making fitness and diet goals are bad either. I have learned for myself those things have to come naturally. For instance when I spend my time on something I love doing I don’t obsess about when my next enjoyment (ie. snack) will be.
When I don’t put any food off-limits I happily indulge in it without guilt which leads to less over-indulging.
When I don’t place a time on how much activity I need to get for the day, I enjoy my active time outdoors, doing chores, or even more planned exercise. When I stop planning my life and how much more I’ll be able to enjoy it when I’m thinner, I actually, surprise surprise enjoy it.
So I encourage all you mamas out there, not to just somehow miraculously be confident with who you are now, or just get past it, or fake it til you make it. Instead, put less pressure on yourself. It’s amazing how much you can show up for yourself, enjoy your days, and be happy when you are less restricted, less planned, and more FREE.