It’s the New Year.
The gyms are full.
Promises are being made.
Goals are being set.
I have been trying to lose weight for as long as I can remember. I look at pictures of when I was much younger and thinner and I think, “What was I thinking?”
When I was pregnant with my second son, I had major gall bladder attacks throughout my entire pregnancy beginning at six weeks. Because of it, I had to go on a strict fat free diet. I remember asking the doctor, what can’t I eat. And he said something like, “Pretty much, stay away from anything that tastes good.” At first I felt miserable. I was pregnant, and I had to say no to many cravings. It got to the point that one potato chip could trigger another attack.
My choices then became actions of love for myself because they were choices that kept me from suffering. I weighed 197 on my first visit. And 190 at my last visit. I lost 40 pounds in nine months.
This blog isn’t about a fat free diet. It’s not about any other kind of diet either. It’s not about making anyone think they are far from perfect. I believe that the first step to healing and to taking care of ourselves is to realize our worth.
About one or two years ago while again trying to lose weight during an afternoon walk, I had a word repeat in my thoughts. It was the word, “gluttony.” I knew what gluttony meant. At least that’s what I thought. But the thought of it made me want to look it up. And I did.
I learned that gluttony means habitual greed.
And that’s when it hit me. I thought to myself, “Greed?” That’s not me. It’s not who I am. I am a generous person. Greed sounded selfish.
It sounded hurtful.
And then I realized that losing weight for me wasn’t about becoming someone who I am not. Eating healthy is what I do because of who I am. And losing weight in the process is just a bonus to being who I already am.
And so today, I will not make another promise to myself or to anyone else. Today, I choose to say, “I’m sorry” to the person closest to me. Me. Before I can love others, I need to learn to love myself. And when I start loving myself, I can make better choices for my body.
Loving myself starts with saying I’m sorry and meaning it. The following apology was made with YOU in mind. If you’re dreading another resolution and the stress and weight that comes along with it, maybe you can start with me by starting the year with an apology.
Dear Body, I’m sorry.
I read somewhere that cancer and other diseases have a lot to do with obesity. I’m sorry for putting you at risk.
I’m sorry for eating like a glutton. You are a generous person. Gluttony is not who you are.
I’m sorry for the insults. I’m sorry for the times I’ve looked at you in the mirror and thought you looked awful. I’m sorry for pointing out the areas that looked imperfect and for saying cruel things that hurt.
I’m sorry for the negative words like “sick and tired.” They are not true.
I’m sorry for listening to others who put you down as if their words mattered more. And I’m sorry for believing them.
I’m sorry for standing too long and not resting. That hurt your feet and legs, didn’t it?
I’m sorry for complaining about you.
I’m sorry for the extra weight. It’s hard to carry, isn’t it?
I’m sorry for comparing you to others. I realize you are unique and made in the image of God.
I’m sorry for the parts that define my gender that I’ve disrespected. They are perfect.
I’m sorry for at times looking at stretchmarks as a defect instead of as an honor. Stretch marks are signs of accelerated growth. I’m sorry for not seeing them as the tools that made room for me to hold life.
I’m sorry for the name calling. I know you are not fat. You are not a pig. You are not ugly. You are not a mess.
I’m sorry for criticizing you.
I’m sorry for eating when I’m full and making you feel sick.
I’m sorry for entertaining the thoughts of starvation even if they weren’t my own.
I’m sorry for choosing sugar over better choices like vegetables and fruit.
I’m sorry for blaming you.
Today, I want to fall in love with you just the way you are. In doing that, I can treat you like you deserve to be treated.
The passion is in the process, and I LOVE YOU. I LOVE ME.