Birthday Blog, part II
This morning I woke up with a full heart instead of a full stomach. I can’t remember the last birthday celebration where I woke up feeling lighter. Not because I was dieting, but because I didn’t feel guilty. In my opinion, if I could get rid of any one feeling that weighs one down the most, it is guilt. Guilt is often found in the “should” and “shouldn’t.” The labeling of foods as bad or wrong. The using workouts as punishment. Or the moodiness because you won’t let yourself have what you want. How will we ever be able to accept ourselves if we are always thinking I should have done this workout or I shouldn’t have eaten that? It has driven me crazy for a decade. It still drives me crazy. Sometimes.
Let’s backtrack for a second. In the past, I have either been restricting my food so much that I could not truly enjoy my birthday celebrations, OR, I would have used my birthday as an excuse to binge for a week. So many years I lose weight after the new year and by the time my birthday comes along, I feel like I have thrown it all away. I have so much to say about that mindset, but I will save that for another blog.
Today, I’m appreciating the growth I’m trying to achieve. My life is not perfect and neither am I. However, I did neither of those extreme behaviors THIS birthday. I also would have added in extra workouts and cardio as a way to make room for birthday food or even worse, as a way to try to rid myself of the things I “shouldn’t” have eaten. There is nothing less enjoyable than doing a workout because you feel like you have to punish yourself or erase the fun you had last night!
This year, there is nothing I want to erase about my birthday. Let’s see… I had my favorite meal at the chophouse – steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli. When the waiter came back he asked if there was anything else he could get us… coffee, dessert, another steak, lol. Yes, he really asked me that. I actually decided not to get dessert and I was totally ok with that! Who was I?? I was really looking forward to my birthday tart my sister was making for Saturday night, which has got to be one of the top three desserts she has ever made. I loved it so much I had it for breakfast this morning. Sometimes I enjoy dessert for breakfast. It was after my morning cardio/treadmill walk and every single bite was satisfying along with my glass of milk. No diet plan would “allow” that except for one, and there’s no way I could have figured out the macros for that plate of decadence! Carbs? Too many. Protein? Not much. Fat? That’s up there. But the cool thing was that once I ate that, my mind was off of food for a few hours. I didn’t obsess over the idea of the food I couldn’t have. I was satisfied and went on to clean my house for two hours. I can’t tell you how many times I would eat what I SHOULD and I’d still just keep thinking about what I really wanted, every minute. This was actually a relief and I was much more focused on everything I had to get done on this gorgeous, sunny day. Do not mistake this for me saying go ahead and eat junk food all day. I’m saying, I balanced the food that makes my body feel good with the food that made my mind feel good. I also didn’t “throw in the towel” because I ate something I “shouldn’t” for breakfast.
I also didn’t add in an extra workout or cardio yesterday and I didn’t do that today to punish myself for eating my dessert either, like I normally would have done to try to negate some of what I ate. It isn’t easy, I’ve been in those habits for years. Either punishing or completely not taking care of myself. It still isn’t easy sometimes. It’s a process to try to change the thinking that is so deeply engrained my brain and maybe even in yours too. It may not be about food or body image for you, but it is for me, so I am sharing it with you. It will take many more days like this weekend to overcome those thoughts.
But this morning the sun was shining, I had my cake and ate it too, and I spent the afternoon in the sunshine with my nephew and walking him to see my dad at baseball practice. Am I going to weigh more tomorrow because of it? I’ll never know. I have quit the scale since New Years. And right now I don’t care. That is my choice as a way to get through this obsession of dieting my way to a better body, and more importantly, a better mind. I still believe in a healthy body, but without a healthy mind, what’s it really worth?
This special occasion was totally special. It wasn’t clouded by guilt and next year i hope I won’t have to write about my stressful birthday plans as a rigid dieter or a free for all binger because food will be an afterthought. I wouldn’t trade the memories made this week with my family and friends for a “better” body, after all, I did win our game of bowling. 😉
** If you find yourself relating to any of these struggles, please don’t hesitate to message me. I’d love to talk to you.