New Year. New me. Really?
I heard this exchange recently at my local spin class. And frankly, I am tired. Tired that every time January rears its frigid head, we woman (mostly) dig deep and vow to lose that weight and transform our butts, thighs, arms and abs into chiseled works of art. I am tired of EVERY magazine and blog post informing me on how I can wake up skinny, or at least skinnier, if I eat like this or that. KETO anyone? If we can do this, if we can shape shift into our skinny alter ego, finally fit into those skinny jeans at size 4, 6, 8, 10—whatever is your magic number, then we will at last be enough. And then we can rest. Until next year, when will gear up for another bout of transformation, because turns out we came up a little short of our goal. We brunched on the weekend saying yes to another glass of Prosecco and then yes to two or three more. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and holidays with decadent desserts and well, more wine. We went on vacations, and stay-cations and long weekends to lovely locals where we ate and drank with merriment and cavorted with friends old and new, not the least bit worried that by year end we may be right back where we started—rounder, plumper, less fit, and feeling less enough. And no doubt at some point in the year, we also dealt with sorrow and loss, which again sent some of us right into the kitchen, leaning on ice cream and brownies for support. Sigh.
I don’t entirely disagree with this approach—this goal of using the new year to start again, grow some, learn some and then learn some more. It is a worthy endeavor and all GRRRLS should aim to set goals and then smash the hell out of them. But we all know that true transformation is an inside job. It starts in your head before you even walk into Equinox, or your sweatbox of choice. Yes, Orange Theory is awesome, truly one of the best workouts I have ever had, but it is not the source of transformation. I say this year lets vow to transform the way we think about ourselves and our bodies. Here are some tips:
Spend more time thinking of what your body can do as opposed to how good it does or doesn’t look. The human body is truly an incredible machine and that it can run, dance and sing on command is a daily minor miracle. Don’t take it for granted. Aim to move daily—walk, run, skip, jump rope. The heart is grateful for it all and, if you are lucky, will reward you with a long and lengthy life.
Aging is real. Look, looking and feeling fab at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and beyond is a worthy goal. And some of us are rocking middle age in the most incredible ways. Can you say Magnificent Angela Bassett? That woman is looking strong, fit and beautiful at 60. No doubt I want that too. Even so, the clock always moves forward, not back. Don’t chase your 30-year-old self or body. You really don’t want her—she’s not nearly as fabulous and wise as the woman you have become. Cherish who you are today.
Don’t let your quest for transformation keep you from the beauty of today. You are enough. Right now. Right here. Maybe you can use a bit of a tune up, some polish and no you don’t have to end every meal with a trip to Starbucks for a sugar laden, 400 calorie latte. Just enjoy the journey. You only get to make it once.
Happy New Year to the old you. Here’s to making her wiser and stronger and wishing her the best on her MAGnificent journey into 2019 and beyond.