As children/teens we have all experienced those moments when a friend, parent or sibling was dramatically concerned about their weight or cursed themselves for having that delicious piece of chocolate cake, pecan pie, ice cream, cookie..etc. And how many of us in our adult lives have been been completely annoyed by the thin and perfectly fit men and women in commercials, videos, films?
And today I rant.
I rant because I am tired, T – I – R – E – D of feeling that I am committing some mortal sin because I eat, and I enjoy it.
And the subsequent feeling that in my lowest moments I am not ‘allowed’ by some societal judge/s to indulge or gain a bit of weight because I perhaps am self medicating with too much chocolate/candy/steak (not at the same time though, that would just be uncouth!).
[Calling all authors of Webster’s and Oxford’s dictionaries! Now hear this!] I say we throw the word D I E T out of the dictionary… It is an evil word.
DIET is no longer a word, nor a slang! Let’s replace that nasty word with eating for health, healthy eating, and consumption of fuel that sustains my brain function, heart, and allows my body to create the chemical reactions it needs to maintain my best health. And yes, sometimes that includes cookies!!!!
[Keyword – sometimes.]
And another word to be thrown out – D E P R I V A T I O N – why are we so convinced that deprivation is the key to our weight loss/happiness/confidence? Again, let us be honest with ourselves. How many of us have ever been successful at completely eliminating something we enjoy from our menus?
At the end of the day it all comes down to feeling at home in our own skin, this shell we inhabit for the span of our lives. If we allow ourselves (women and men) to give in to the subjugation of the overly processed, airbrushed, commercialization of the male and female form we will never truly BE happy WITHIN ourselves. Each of us in inherently unique physically, mentally, and emotionally – BE with YOUR individuality. CELEBRATE what makes YOU unique. Our children, nieces/nephews, grandchildren, students, look to the adults in their lives to see that it is possible to be happy with ones individuality – and when we give in to what we believe others want to see in us we are no longer staying true to our individuality. And we wonder why our children have difficulty BE-ing happy with themselves.
To BE happy with ourselves means having the courage to indulge in self-reflection, being honest about what we see physically and emotionally.
It is my belief that we are able to look inwards when we get our bodies moving in ways that bring us JOY. Walking, running, playing, cycling, gardening, dancing, skating, skiing…whatever the form of movement, it brings us physiological and emotional joy. When we feel this joy we make healthier choices and decisions. We are able to indulge ourselves and enjoy the moment in its fullness — and then move on rather than dwell in the guilt of it.
Disclaimer: This author has struggled with this for at least the past 30 years of life. None of us is going to get it right each and every single day, but every morning we can get up and try our hardest to do our best to BE happy with our SELVES. Allow yourself the indulgence of imperfection.