As you all know, it’s that time of year again. The gyms are packed, shopping carts are filled with healthy food, and there’s lots of talk of New Year’s resolutions. Ahhh New Year’s Resolutions. That thing I never followed through with. EVER.
Things are a little different for me this year. The only resolution I made was to continue doing what I’m doing. That’s because I decided it was crucial that I change my lifestyle back in May. My eating habits were poor, I was hardly exercising, and I wasn’t happy with myself because of it. And because I was unhappy with myself, I “punished myself” by eating poorly and hardly exercising, and the cycle continued on and on until the day I began my journey of becoming a happier, healthier me.
And here I am eight months later.
I recently had my yearly physical. This was one of the only times I can remember that I was actually looking forward to going. As it turns out, for good reason too. My doctor was quite pleased with my progress. My BMI has decreased significantly, as did my blood sugar. I had no idea that I had been pre-diabetic. At 30 years old! WHAT? Not anymore though!
I used to have the mentality that I could only be truly happy with myself if I looked like the women in the media who were labeled as “beautiful.” Now, my happiness comes from striving to be healthy and active – a role model for my very impressionable daughters. My happiness comes from no longer sitting on the sidelines as a spectator in so much of my girls’ lives. Now, I jump right in – whether it be in a bathing suit or a snow suit. I can chase my soon-to-be five year old all over the yard, or hold her hand while skipping down the street, without becoming completely winded.
My happiness comes from watching my daughters scarf down a bowl of salad topped with grilled chicken like it’s a bowl of ice cream. My happiness comes from the energy and feeling of accomplishment that comes from waking up at 4:45 every weekday morning to walk/jog with my neighbor. Or hearing my 2-year-old say, “Look mom. I’m etsersizin like you!” while taking a turn on my elliptical machine in the basement.
One of the best compliments I’ve gotten thus far wasn’t about the weight I’ve lost. It was about the fact that I’ve not only changed my eating habits, but how conscientious I’ve become about what my children put in their bodies. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it when one of my girls asks me, “Is this healthy?” because they legitimately WANT to eat foods that are good for their bodies. THAT, my friends, is my biggest motivator. I want to be the best role model I can to those little girls of mine and I’m so glad I began this journey of getting to be a healthier me while they’re still young.
I’m by no means saying that you need to lose weight, exercise, or eat a certain way in order to be happy. What I am learning is that happiness doesn’t necessarily come from being “perfect,” or from striving for perfection. Instead, perfection comes from finding happiness within yourself and being proud of the person you are becoming. Yes, I said “becoming.” Let’s face it, we will always be a work in progress. We are constantly evolving and there will always be lessons to be learned – about ourselves, others, and the world around us – and I still have a lot to learn!