I’m on vacation this week in California so I’m re-publishing a series of body image posts from the HealthyGirl.org archives. This one is originally ran in July.
We like to talk about little victories here at HealthyGirl.org—but I’ve realized a victory lately that is anything but little. (At least it seems that way to me!) Here it is: I am 13 pounds heavier now than I was a year ago. And instead of falling into bad body image, feeling unsatisfied, being tempted to go on a crash diet, or being otherwise obsessive, I’m simply…OK with it.In fact, this little weight bump seems totally expected and perfectly natural considering what the last year has held for me. I got married last May, spent nights and weekends writing my book from January through June, and then promptly started a new (very busy) job. All of that means that my husband and I have too busy to cook and have been ordering in constantly; I’ve been giving in to that feeling of “I’m so busy, I deserve this cookie/chocolate/second helping!” And last, but not least, I haven’t been making the time to move my body. Most days, I’d rather just drag myself home from work and park on the couch with a streaming Netflix movie than stop at the gym.
The best thing about all this is that I’m just accepting it. I don’t feel guilty, or bad, or wrong. I just am. My life just is. My body just is. And now that things are settling down for me a bit, I’ve started making my usual, healthier decisions (cooking at home, making time for working out) again. I know that the better I feed myself and the more I move, the stronger, more clear-headed, and happier I feel.
Getting back to my usual healthy behaviors will likely also trigger yet some other body changes—which brings me to my main point: Our bodies, just like our minds and our lives, are constantly changing. They don’t ever stay the same, and part of our journey toward food- and body- sanity is getting OK with that.
Rebecca Radcliffe, a women’s health and self-esteem expert I interviewed for my book, pointed out to me once that women’s bodies don’t just change over months and years, they change every 28 days! Every week, we’re at a different point in our cycle with different hormone levels that can dictate or at least affect everything from our energy levels, our mood (and, of course, our bloat).
I was so pleased to realize that I’ve finally gotten OK with a thing that used to scare the hell out of me: CHANGE. Part of that has been getting OK with physical changes and natural weight ups and downs. What a revelation!
How have you dealt with weight and body changes in the past? Do they really shake you up? Or are you learning to accept them as natural? xo…Sunny