I’m acutely aware of the fact that the year is coming to a close, and with it, my plans on setting a monthly goal for myself. I didn’t get any further than first two or three months, not because it wasn’t a good idea but because my priorities quickly shifted. I had begun with such goals as quit drinking soda (which I actually have for the most part), going to the gym (meh) and climbing the mountain Esja for the first time (which I did). But I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do – the only thing I seemed to be able to use this idea for were fitness and nutrition goals.
And that’s the thing. I started to find those objectives…insignificant, comparatively. By April I had already been in therapy for more than six months, which was much more important to me than exercise, but it felt too personal to discuss here for anyone to read. But how do you write a blog about self-improvement if you can’t describe what you’re going through?
You can’t. And fuck it, I’m tired of pretending to be someone I’m not anyways. So this is what I have to say about exercise and food; I think we are doing it backwards. We think if we go to the gym and eat right we will finally be in the “right” shape, if we only cut out candy and all that we consider bad for us we will be perfect. We will look it, we will feel it, other people will admire us and we will finally be happy. Not stressed or worried, not insecure but content, at ease, we will feel secure in ourselves, like we are just as good as the next person. Let’s not think about the fact that when we do reach our intended goal weight the job isn’t done, since we will have to continue going to the gym x times a week and denying ourselves everything we want food-wise, even then still comparing ourselves to others. So, maybe not so happy after all.
What if we tried something else? What if we started on the inside? What if we took the time to really look at ourselves, to look our fears in the eyes, to be honest with ourselves? Because we lie to ourselves all the time, you know we do. Really looking at ourselves is not easy. It requires being alone, away from our family and friends with few distractions, so we have no other choice than to look within. Maybe we can’t do it by ourselves. We might need professional help, and that’s OK, that’s what they’re there for, there’s no shame in that. But by coming to terms with what frightens us we realize that it isn’t so bad – that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of. Everything will be OK. There is nothing wrong. More importantly, most importantly, there is nothing wrong with you.
Voila. If there is nothing wrong with you, if you are perfectly fine, then you can stop participating in the race. The race that says you have to be skinny, you have to eat healthy, you have give this up, and that up, you have to let go of every single one of your vices. You can go to the gym, if you want. You can have a salad instead of a hamburger, if you prefer it. You can drink less, or quit altogether, if you don’t enjoy it. But you don’t HAVE to. You don’t. You don’t have to feel guilty if you do want that hamburger, or ice cream, or a glass of wine. It is totally up to you. And you just might find that exactly because you are already secure and happy with who you are you no longer have any need for any kind of comfort food.
For me, that, rather than what I started the year with, is what has become my new, much improved, way of life.