Guest post by Jen of Little Miss Mocha.
Jen and I have been great Twitter friends for years. I finally got to meet her in real life at BlogHer and now we’re “real” friends (hah!). Jen’s post about her focus on gaining in the new year instead of losing really resonated with me (I even wrote my own post) so I asked her to guest post. Here’s a little about my friend “I’m Jen, and I have well earned the Little Miss Mocha title. Fueled by laughable amounts of chocolate and coffee, I’m a writer, entrepreneur, wife and mom to two beautiful kids.” Definitely head over to Little Miss Mocha and visit Jen!
A little while ago, Merry was kind enough to link to a post I wrote called “This year, I’m hoping to GAIN…” I’m visiting here on Merry with Children while Merry soaks up a little sun in Mexico, and we thought I could share a little more about why on earth I am thinking about gaining at a time of year when everyone else we know is trying to lose?
Tell me something, when January rolls around and everyone starts talking about resolutions and losing weight, how do you feel? Like you’ve been there before only to be disappointed or perhaps while we say “happy new year” we really mean “happy new guilt?” Don’t get me wrong, I have as many vices or bad habits as the next person, and I know there are things that I should improve if I’m really honest with myself. But is the language we want to use all about losing, cutting, doing without?
In my own experience, telling myself I’m quitting something only makes me want it more. Planning to do without something I really like for an extended period of time really only makes me want to count the days until I have it back. And while I’m certainly not wasting away, wouldn’t it be nicer to think about how much better I could feel than calculating how many pounds I should consider losing?
So I sat down and thought, this year, I don’t want to focus on not eating, or doing without good food. I love food, and I’m not willing to walk around hungry or unhappy. My outlook this year is a more gentle “what can I add?” rather than what I can gain.
I am adding fresh, wholesome food to my meals. I am taking the time to make myself a proper lunch rather than skip it while busy. I am adding good foods like butter and avocado where I want them, knowing that when I feel full and satisfied, I don’t reach for sweets and coffee through the afternoon. I am making more green smoothies, knowing that my kids and I are taking in handfuls of fresh fruit and spinach with every sip. (I called them dinosaur smoothies and served them up with a smile – my seven year old budding paleontologist never knew what hit him.) I have added back a comforting ritual of tea in the afternoon and evening, knowing that while that hot cup is in my hands, I am less likely to reach for something I should avoid.
It didn’t stop there. I started adding more exercise to my days, knowing that the combination of good foods and more activity would make me feel stronger, more vibrant. I joined a program I wouldn’t have dared to before, all full of wisdom and information about sugar and how to reduce sugar cravings. And yet again, the approach is adding, upgrading, learning, satisfying rather than just giving up.
And here we are, six weeks into a new year, and I don’t feel guilty or disappointed. I don’t feel deprived, or like I’m waiting for something to be over so I can just indulge already. Instead, I’m looking back on the last few weeks and feeling proud that I’ve been taking care of myself. I’m pleased with new habits, and find that my days and plates and cups are so full of good things I’m trying that there really hasn’t been time to miss what I have left behind.
And get this – last week I got sick with strep throat, and while I have been happy to have had a good groove going so I keep up with eating and drinking good things, I have been missing working out. Yes, me, the person who didn’t work out from October to December because she was too busy. Dear cold germs, get lost, my elliptical is waiting.
(Oh, about the butter and avocado thing, if you are sorely tempted to tell me they are fattening and I shouldn’t be eating them, I’m ready to nod and smile. Then I’ll slip on my jeans, and do up my belt to one hole smaller than I did in December, and thank you for your opinion. And maybe go eat another avocado.)
Kind thanks to Merry for welcoming me to Merry with Children!
You’re very welcome! Come back soon!