Happy New Year: A New Year, A New You

Doesn’t that seem to be the mantra that every magazine, morning news show and everything in between seem to say at the beginning of every January?

It feels as though January has become Body Awareness Month.   “Happy Body Awareness Month everyone!”  As if the other eleven months don’t offer enough reminders to eat less, look younger and to lust after the figure of a pubescent girl. 

Look, I’m not angry.  It’s just an observation.  It’s the culture we live in.  But each year at the beginning of January, we are forced to reflect on how we view our bodies.  Do we need to lose weight?  Firm up or just eat healthier?

I for one, could stand to do all of the above.  After losing close to 100 lbs (I weighed about 240 on the day I delivered my eldest son) three years ago, I have been really struggling not to gain it all back.

I don’t have six days to work out anymore.  My kids require my taxi driving services far too much during the day to fit in a workout.  I could do it at 8:00pm after they go to bed, but who wants to do that?  I still work out when I can, just not six days.

So I just have to be careful about what I put in my mouth and keep my body image feelings in check.  I can’t call myself a cow if I eat a cookie or say, “well you’re going to gain all that weight back again”.

I am a firm believer in what you believe,  you become.  Notice I said what you believe.  Thinking and believing are two different things.  I keep thinking, someday I will win the lotto and never have to worry about money again.  But do I believe it in my soul? Eh- I’m a little wishy washy. Not to mention I would have to play the lotto a little more often. 🙂

It was really interesting how I was viewed after I lost all my weight.  My family was really worried that I was losing too much weight.  But when you come from an overweight family, what is “normal” can get a little skewed.

People who didn’t know me when I was fat, just assumed that I was always this size.  The funny thing is, they viewed me as the “skinny bitch” now.  Me, the girl who used to shop in what my girlfriend endearingly called “the big girls section”.

So that starts to mess with your mind a little.  You start apologizing, no, no, I’m just like you.  Look, I’m starting to gain all the weight back.  And then I did.  I’ve gained about 10lbs (maybe more- I was afraid to weigh myself today at the gym after all the terrible things I ate and drank over the holiday.) 

At what point do I just say, it’s ok.  Stay at the weight that makes me feel comfortable in my own skin?

I’m working on it.  Oprah had an interesting show yesterday talking about this very subject and her frustration with her own weight.  She says that she eats to fill a void.

I would agree with that statement.  Eating makes me feel good sometimes.  If I’m feeling anxious I might nibble on something.  If I want to celebrate, I like to go out to dinner or have a cocktail.

I’m not sure there is any good answer on body image, except to take care of the one you live in.  You wouldn’t fill your house with a bunch of trash and expect to feel comfortable would you?  How would you get around in your house if it were piled up with trash?

I think I will remind myself of this analogy when I want to eat to fill a void.  According to Oprah, I need to then ask myself what is the void that I am trying to fill?  That’s a heady question- and one that I would rather try to avoid.

All this analization of our bodies is just too much.  I’ve made a resolution this year to focus on my relationships with others instead.  I want to connect with someone everyday.  Even if it’s just an e-mail that says “Hi”.

Maybe then I will be more focused on what truly makes me happy instead of finding an artificial replacement.  At least that’s what Oprah says will happen.

So what do you think?  I really want to have a conversation about this.  What do you struggle with and how are you resolving to make it better this year?

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7 Comments

Filed under Aging, Beauty, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit

7 responses to “Happy New Year: A New Year, A New You

  1. Good story… wow, I havent been small for SO MANY years. But now, the eating to fill a void. Yes, that is how we are trained and also trained to live like our dominant parent…
    You are an inspiration to me!

  2. Great post, Sensei. First of all…congratulations on your impressive weight loss. Wow!

    I struggle with my body image daily. I know that I should exercise more…but I hate it and don’t make the time. I eat like a bird, yet still struggle to maintain the weight I feel comfortable with. Hubby says I look fabulous, but when I look in the mirror, I see old and saggy. I think this is something that all women struggle with.

    I’m looking forward to more of your posts that will help all of us with our body image. I believe that knowing our bodies and feeling comfortable with our bodies is a big step. I also feel that you, as Fashion Sensei can help us a great deal. No matter our size, if we can don an outfit that complements us, we feel fabulous! I’m looking forward to finding what clothes are best for my figure, age and budget!

  3. Amy

    I too gained a few holiday pounds. I have finally worked regular exercise into my schedule. I eat reasonably. I have a sensible attitude about how my body should look and a healthy lifestyle. I spent a few days away from home and come back to jeans that are too tight!!! Where is the justice in that? I am learning that as we age, we don’t get to have time away from exercise or calorie awareness. My girlfriend had the epiphany that we have to do this the rest of our lives! So I guess it really isn’t about setting goals but more about truly changing how you live. Damn, I really wanted to find a one step solution. Now I am going to find out how many calories are in the most heavenly beer we discovered last weekend. I think I will find the kleenex first.

  4. Thanks for the comment and compliment Cricket! What an interesting point you brought up about the dominant parent. I hadn’t really thought about that, but you are absolutely right.

    *Ladies, if you haven’t noticed, we have a celebrity amongst us. Cricket is revolutionizing the garment industry so that we can shop and actually find clothes that fit our bodies instead of the other way around.

    To see more of what I mean click the link on the end for a post I wrote about her when she was featured in the Wall Street Journal. https://fashionsensei.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/a-fit-revolution/

    and check out this link to see an interview she did on the Today Show last April: http://www.fitlogic.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=41&Itemid=41

  5. Thanks Nothing Fancy. I appreciate your input. It seems like we are indoctrinated with self loathing. So much so, that if we said that we love our body, people would think that we were a dilluted narcissist and needed to be knocked down a peg or two.

    I agree with your observation, that a first step in accepting ones ,is to be aware of what works for us and to be comfortable in our own skin. Thanks for the Fashion Sensei love and I’ll do my best not to disappoint you. 🙂

  6. I want to know what beer it is that you found. I’ll supply the Kleenex. 🙂

    Thanks for your wisdom Amy!

  7. Amy

    Leinenkugels’s Fireside Nut Brown, delicious!!! Other comparable beers had about 175-200 calories per 12 ounces, maybe my 4 extra lbs had help from other salty sources?

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