As the holidays approach, so begins the yearly attack we launch on ourselves about our weight. Winter weight in particular is the doozy. The days are shorter and colder, workouts become a little more sporadic. It’s too cold to go to the gym! On top of that, there are so many good snacks around, the festive drinks and the family meals are what the holidays are made of! So here we are trying to figure out, how to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Why do we obsess over this weight fluctuation? It’s because we’re programmed to think that we are all supposed to be androids with 8 pack abs and not an ounce of body fat to spare.
I strangely remember the time I weighed 118 pounds. I must’ve been like 14. For some reason I remember a small terror of being over 120 lbs. I have no idea why. But I do remember always feeling like a couldn’t go above a certain number. As an adult, I always struggled with being the right size. Being the right weight, I just wanted to be skinnier. Then, life got the best of me and through stress and turmoil . I lost 25 pounds and thought I had attained my goal. I was skinny! Finally, I hit my goal, it was the best of times. I was able to wear crop tops and mini skirts without my thighs chafing, it was a brand new world!
Then I saw a picture of myself… whoa! I was skinny alright. I looked gaunt; hungry - look at my knees! My knees are hungry in that picture. Look at them shoulders! This may look like “goals” but to me, it was extreme. That’s when I decided to be strong over skinny. So I started lifting weights. I stopped being afraid of that number on the scale. The stronger I got the more I appreciated the curves of my body. I also think that came at 30. When I hit 30, I stopped caring about the opinions of others and what they believed my body should be.
Remember when heroin chic was in? If you don’t, it was a look that came forward in the fashion industry in the mid 90’s where people looked like they were literally addicted to heroin for an aesthetic! Gaunt, emaciated, pale, sickly bodies was the LEWK! Then JLo and her butt shimmy on to the scene and booties were in. With the help of Shakira and Beyonce, bottoms were at the top. Now? JLo looks like she’s hungry compared to the butts we see these days.
Everything is cyclical.
Once I realized that our body parts/traits aren’t trends; I let go a lot of the societal notions that were doing me no good. I will never for 120 lbs again and I don’t think I should be. Am I at my perfect body goal? Nope? But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying pizza, bbq, all holidays and life in general.
I also started appreciating the female form in other women. I would see women in changing rooms/beaches/gyms etc. and see them embracing their bodies, flaws and all. I would find their soft tummies, tear drop boobs, dimply thighs attractive. Not in a romantic way but in a way that celebrated life. These women lived. They may have had children, they may have had an operation or maybe lost a massive amount of weight. Whatever their journey is/was, it’s etched on their bodies and the stories are beautiful.
So I started to look at my own body. Really look at it. What story is my body telling? What are the things I don’t like? Could I change them in the immediate future? If the answer was yes, I would devise a plan but if not, I would work on accepting it. I can’t make myself taller so embrace being closer to the ground lol, but I can make my butt a little firmer with some squats. I can make my arms a little tighter with some weights. I’ve started to embrace the places where my body has softened.
I see the supreme femininity in it.
Our time with our bodies is limited. Why punish it? Enjoy it!! Enjoy not having a thigh gap. Enjoy your broad shoulders or your big eyes. They are yours. Enjoy all the foods and treats that bring you joy during this time and frankly all year. You don’t have deprive yourself for a number on a scale. If you feel anxiety creeping up on you because you had ALL the carbs, then go for a run or take a spin class. But know that you’re doing it for your mental health. You’re doing it to ease your mental anxiety more than your physical weight. Sometimes you have to quiet the voices in your head and just DO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD.
So how do you gain body confidence? How do you get? How do you have it? Is it just something you’re born with?
Negative. You’ve got to simultaneously care and not give a single fuck. You’ve got to care more about how your body feels, than what others think about it. You can’t let others dictate what you should look like.
So please enjoy all the scrumptious treats the holidays have to offer. The gym will always be there. That’s what Spring is for right?