If you want to loose weight this year, I’m with you.
I know. It’s so uncouth. The Body Positivity and Female Empowerment movements would have my head. It’s not about weight! Love the skin your in! I’ve seen social media plastered with these messages for the last couple of weeks.
And I agree. It’s not all about weight, and we should love the skin we are in, AND it’s ok to want to have a body that reflects a healthier self. And a healthier self is so much more than weight, but for me, weight is the canary in the coal mine. I don’t think we should spend time shaming our bodies, or hating what we look like, but I also think that our bodies gives us physical queues to our emotional and spiritual well-being. We don’t have to restrict and punish ourselves because we are heavier than we want to be, but we can also confidently love our bodies AND want to treat them in a way that results in it looking physically different.
Because trauma, and family disfunction, and grief over what’s happened, and survivors guilt over what didn’t, and sleep deprivation, and depression, and confusion, and worry, and so.much.anger, result in a lot of lifestyle choices, voluntary and more often not, that are just plain and simple unhealthy. And thus, we gain weight.
Losing weight, is about more than some vain attempt to be skinny or some warped belief I am more worthy if I weigh less. I know I’m worthy. Period. And…I could use to fit in to my clothing that over the last year has all gotten tighter and tighter. For practical reasons like: who wants to buy all new clothes, or reasons like: they don’t fit because I’ve eaten more frozen pizza in 2019 than I did in the entire decade prior. But also for all the symbolic reasons that come with weight gain, my body is not being taken care of like a temple housing the most holy. It is being strung along like I am dragging it behind and freight train. No wonder it looks worn.
So why a resolution to “Loose Weight”?
Losing weight means: going to the gym consistently and going to the gym consistently means Beau is healthy enough to be attending school and I’m back in a rhythm that gives me a measurable boost in mental health. It means that I am dropping him at school in the morning and not picking him up until 3 pm, because his body is strong enough to last the entire day and as such, I have hours to fill on things like spin class and yoga.
Losing weight means: being at peace while I cook nutritious family dinners. So when Beau complains of a headache, instead of panicking, sitting on the kitchen floor and googling “leukemia relapse symptoms”, forgetting about and then burning dinner, I offer him a big glass of water and keep cooking. It means I haven’t been bulldozed by PTSD and am able to serve a healthy meal and not MORE frozen pizza. (Oh 2019, you were the year of frozen pizza).
Losing weight means: more quality sleep which means that Beau isn’t up crying over leg pain that makes me worry that neuropathy, that nasty chemo side effect, has finally taken hold. It means going to bed on time, which means not having a bed time routine filled with pills and shots and needles, and crying.
Losing weight means: I’m not eating half my meals in the car, going to or from a doctor appointment. Which either means we have less appointments or I have more head space to bring healthy food along. It means not relying on the cafeteria at Children’s Hospital for snacks. It means not being so grief stricken driving home from clinic that a shake from Chik-Fil-A feels supportive.
Loosing weight means: eating a good breakfast, instead of drinking coffee until noon because the night before I noticed bruises on my two-year-old’s legs at bedtime, so I was up way too late researching the likelihood of siblings having leukemia.
Loosing weight means: taking the time to support my adrenals that have been drug through the mud in 2019 while I lived in survival mode for too long. It means getting up before the rest of my house, like I was in the habit of doing before diagnosis and drinking warm lemon water upon rising. It means saying “no” to social events that will drain me and feeling ok about it, rather than saying “yes” to social events that will drain me because I want to grasp tightly to “normal life.”
Losing weight means: saying “yes” to the family hike instead of feeling like getting off the couch is an impossible task, the mental fatigue of cancer debilitating. It means saying “no” to screen time more often than I say “yes,” which didn’t happen, couldn’t happen, as I trudged though the emotional quicksand of our first Christmas since diagnosis.
Losing weight means: I not only notice, but care that my clothes don’t fit me and that sweatpants every day isn’t how I actually want to dress. It means that I shower more often than just when I start to smell, and that I actually put myself together to leave the house- not because it makes me worthy, but because I am worthy.
I already am worthy.
This is the tip of the iceberg of why my New Year’s Resolution includes, “loose some weight.”
So if someone’s only New Year’s Resolution is to “loose some weight”, don’t go at them with all the reasons they should love their body. Perhaps, like me, they DO love their body. And 2019 was a year when their love for their body did not match up with how they actually treated their body, because all they could do was get through it. And so the only way their tired, traumatized, healing and recovering, just glad to make it to the New Year, self can communicate their hopes for 2020 is to say “I want to loose some weight.”
What’s your hope for the New Year? I would really love to know. Comment below!