I gained weight this winter. Not a lot, but enough that most of my pants are a little tight and I can tell by the way I feel and look that I added on some extra insulation during this long, cold winter. I am not unhealthy. I am not, dare I even say the word, fat. My body has simply changed. I became more sedentary and paid less attention to what and how much I was eating as the temperatures plunged into the freezing range and snowstorms kept hitting in what felt like rapid succession. This is not going to be a post about losing weight, diet, or exercise. This is about me reframing what initially felt devastating and initiated a knee-jerk reaction of, “I must lose weight now!” My gaining a little extra weight is not the end of the world. It does not make me a better or worse person. It just makes my pants fit a little differently (let’s be real, I mostly wear skirts and dresses so no big deal) and gives my old insecurities a stupid reason to start plotting against me. I have decided to take charge of making positive changes that would be necessary even if I hadn’t gained an ounce of winter weight.
I am forcing myself to be really honest…with myself. I do not want my life to revolve around body image issues. I admit, with summer just months away I want to look good in a bathing suit, but I want it to be about far more than that. I won’t be weighing myself. I don’t own a scale. I won’t be obsessively trying on the pants that have become too tight to see if they are fitting more like they once did. I am going to focus on how I feel. I want to feel strong, flexible, and grounded. I want to feel less aches and pains, especially in my back and hips. These are all things that naturally occur when I am physically active every day. I want to fall into a regular routine of taking yoga classes weekly and pushing myself to try new yoga classes that I have been a little fearful of taking. I want to go for long walks. I want to dance. I want to move my body daily. I want to really listen to what my body is craving for nourishment. My body naturally craved starchier and fatter foods when it was cold, and in larger proportions. As the weather begins to warm the seasonal local vegetables and fruits will change giving me lead way to experiment with new recipes and the opportunity for my body to recalibrate what sustenance it needs. I am going to pay more attention to portion control and honoring when I am honestly full. I am not going to deny myself anything that I genuinely enjoy eating or drinking. I am simply going to practice being more mindful regarding what I put in my body. Above all else I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. I want to focus on what my body can do as opposed to what it looks like.
I am going to start by focusing on the fact that my body was strong enough to walk from my apartment to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens yesterday. My body was strong enough to do this: