For some reason 2016 sounds so positive and encouraging. It feels like a year of change and possibility. At the end of 2015, I reflected on why I did not reach my weight loss and exercise goals. In fact why I did not even begin to reach them. And so, with the knowledge of what happened and forgiving myself for what was, it's time to move on.
Based on 'mistakes' made last year, Here are some of my new guidelines for 2016:
1. Learn to live in the grey areas of life. In other words, let go of black and white, all or nothing thinking. It is a set up for failure and making you feel bad about yourself.
2. Baby steps turn into big accomplishments. What is important is to keep moving forward. That has been brought home to me in the walking4fun site introduced to me by a spark friend. I started months ago on a virtual trail, determined to walk at least 5 miles a day. Well, between physical setbacks, down and dark days and (yes I admit it) some days of pure laziness, I did not get near that amount. But... I did move forward every day, sometimes crawled forward, but forward nonetheless. It will (probably) be sometime in January when I finish the trail. And there will be a feeling of accomplishment. This is in stark contrast to my 'pounds off, pounds on' pattern that took me through 2015, resulting in no real remaining weight loss. So I will celebrate every ounce that comes off now and try to keep moving forward. Slow and steady CAN win the race.
3. Eating does not solve emotional issues. It only creates more (low self esteem, depression, self hatred, etc. etc etc.) Somehow this year, I want to 'consciously uncouple' food and my need for comfort. How this will happen, not sure yet. But the willingness to learn this (finally) is there. And so it shall be...
4. Remember why I joined spark people. I joined SP in 2012 and did manage to lose over 100 pounds. And then some events in my life made me lose focus and I regained every single pound... I can't even tell you how sad that makes me feel. But it happened and this is the year of new insights and fresh starts. If I don't learn from my past mistakes, then there really was no point to any of them.
5. Self love. Yes, I know, it sounds so cliche.... But at least for myself, this is a very important lesson to learn. If you have spent most of your adult life finding meaning in taking care of others and not learning to love yourself enough to practice healthy self care, then you may find yourself in the place I am now. It is not a healthy or happy place to be. When most of your self worth is based on what you have done for others, well who will be your champion? And what example am I showing my own family? And the people who love me, while they may appreciate everything I have done, do not want me in this place either.
6. One day at a time. Sometimes that means one hour at a time or one meal at a time. If lunch is 'bad' that doesn't mean I've blown it so can pig out the rest of the day. It also does not mean I need to starve myself at dinner to 'make up' for the extra calories. I will do my best to make every meal as healthy as possible and if I mess up on one meal, well then I will just forgive, forget and move on to the next. My morning will not dictate my evening. Every moment of the day is a chance for a fresh start and healthy choices.
These are some of my resolutions for 2016, although I admit to not really liking that word... So will stick with calling them guidelines.
How am I feeling starting this new year? Honestly?
Humbled, scared, cautiously hopeful but also determined. Determined to make this a better year. And with your help, I can make this happen.