You’d think that, at 41 years old, I’d have that whole self-acceptance/body love thing figured out.
Au contraire, mon frère.
I am, however, getting closer. Or at least I’m making wide circles around it, trying to home in on that most elusive of states.
Case in point: This morning, I caught myself in the mirror and thought I looked cute. I was wearing sunglasses and … well, I liked the way I looked.
It occurred to me then that It’s a short step from liking my reflection in that one instance to true self-acceptance … to loving myself just the way I am. After all, I’m not hideously overweight anymore. I don’t hate every photograph of myself. Sometimes I even think I look pretty good.
To hear many experts talk, accepting — and loving — who I am now is the key to changing for good. If I stop beating myself up (and then stuffing my face even more) when I don’t eat according to plan, the weight will come off without stressing so much over food choices.
Am I ready to take that leap? I wish I could say Tuesday’s realization was the breakthrough I’ve been waiting for all my life …
But I went to work and ate two sugar cookies (a few hours apart), then spent most of the evening fantasizing about crap from the vending machine. I also stopped at Safeway on the way home because I was craving something gooey and cheesy (lasagna).
It was totally one of those cases of “I already blew it so I might as well keep eating” — the kind of fatalistic thinking that would (hopefully) fall by the wayside if I stopped stressing about my eats.
How quickly I forgot “If you can’t turn it off, don’t turn it on.”
If I were to leap into self-acceptance this fall, here are some of the ways I’d take care of myself:
— Moving my body more, not because exercise will help me lose weight but because I love doing it. Participating in Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp is a good start (and the prizes are a strong motivator). But I want to rejoin the gym and start taking classes again.
— Viewing food as fuel, not the myriad other purposes food serves.
— Eating foods that make me feel good … and don’t provoke me to binge. For me, that means skipping bread/sugar/carbs. One bite and I go off the deep end.
— Sticking to foods that fill me up and don’t leave me searching for more: the meat, veggies and good fats that are a staple of paleo-land.
— Trying not to stress when I do make a less than optimal food choice. Mel at The Clothes Make the Girl recently did a review of Weeknight Paleo, a cookbook I find intriguing. Mel writes:
Amber shares that she strives for 95% compliance with her paleo habits and spends lots of time in the 85% area. That’s real life and real success, and I like it!
Me, too. I think part of my problem with my diet lately has been expecting perfection — and going totally off the rails when I inevitably fail to achieve it. I’m going to start tracking with my Paleo Viz app every day, aiming for a score of 70 or higher to start.