Although getting ready for it wasn’t. February was a tough month. Way too much snow and below zero days for me. I feel like I spent most of the month trying to get warm, eating things I don’t normally eat, and fighting off the bugs that were going around. Sinus infections and flu bugs and colds, oh my!
When I started going through my closet to find a spring outfit, things didn’t fit like they did at the end of last summer. I kept trying things on, thinking hopefully, “There has got to be a pair of shorts in here somewhere that fit. Or stretch a lot.” Damn yoga pants. I wear them all winter and they just don’t tell me the truth like a pair of cotton shorts do.
This is actually an annual event for me. I get to see how consistent I was over the winter, despite the challenges. I picture all those hours I spent burrowed under two blankets and two schnoodles, trying to get warm. I picture every baked good I ate since November. And that pint of Graeter’s ice cream. (Actually that was really good.)
How many evenings did I choose hibernation over exercise? It seems like on dark winter nights, when there is nothing else to do, working out is a great idea. Then I look outside at the snow and the ice and talk myself out of it.
Well, my shorts are reminding me.
The busiest time at Clear Rock is not in January, like most people think. Yes, gyms get very crowded in January. Anyone who has gone to the community center in the last two months can attest to that. Yes, we do see several new clients join us at Clear Rock in January. But it is nothing like the wave of new people who contact me in the spring.
And I am certain why that is: We’ve pulled the summer wardrobe out from the back of the closet and tried it on.
It can be so disheartening. Every choice and every mistake suddenly feel like they are so big. They had consequences. They are here on my thighs and my belly.
Listen. The most important thing for us to do is to stop beating ourselves up. It is tempting to stand there amidst piles of clothes that we’ve thrown on the floor in frustration, and start hurling insults at ourselves, too.
Never good enough!
Never good enough!
I get it. I felt it come over me while standing in the middle of my closet that evening before the spring party. But shorts fitting me tight through the waist is not remotely the same as never being good enough. They are just tight shorts.
If I decide to berate myself, the likelihood that I start making better choices is low. I am much more likely, from that place of judgment and shame, to make choices from desperation and fear.
The way I make good choices from here, is to love myself. Right here, fat belly and all. Right here, jiggly thighs and all.
I do not have to berate myself. I can change from a place of love.
For some reason, we are programmed to believe that the harder we are on ourselves, the more likely we will be to get on track. Maybe it will work for a day, but we are in this for life. Self-hatred will never be a motivational force for good in our life. Never. We need the power of love to keep going.
Grab every thought as it comes up. Examine it. Hold it up under a bright light. Is it loving? Is it true? Beating yourself up is a sure way to anxiety and sadness. Don’t allow it. We make hundreds of mistakes, and we make them again and again. So what. We’re forgiven again and again. Choose love. Be kind to yourself. And then get to work.