Just before the New Year, I wrote a post called 10 Body Acceptance and Anti-Diet New Year’s Resolutions for 2020.
True story: I accidentally published that post well before it was ready. I was still learning the ins and outs of scheduling posts on WordPress, and I *meant* to schedule it for Jan 1, 2020, but what I actually did was publish it dated Jan 1, 2019, which meant it instantly went live but looked like it was old. Ugh.
So anyway I just went with it even though it wasn’t polished.
Anxiety and perfectionism progress?
Given all that, and since I’m in a body image head space these days, I thought I’d do a little update on how my (accidentally impulsive) “resolutions” are going.
First a quick recap.
These were the resolutions
- I will not track or restrict calories.
- I will not eliminate food groups.
- I will not fast or follow rigid feed/fast schedules.
- I will not track or hack macros. (I can think about roughly how much protein I’d like to get in a day, because powerlifting, but I will not obsess over it, because in the long run that always backfires.)
- I will not have “cheat days” or “cheat meals” because I don’t want to feel like it’s “now or never” with certain foods.
- I will not weigh myself. (One area this might become challenging in is if I decide to try a powerlifting meet. There are weight classes in meets. I don’t know how I would navigate that one yet.)
- I will not measure myself. I don’t do this often, and when I do it’s usually in my low moments. And does measuring improve those low moments? NO. Never. So why?
- I will not take “before” shots or “progress” photos, or think of my body as a “before” body or “work in progress” body. I will just think of my body as “alive.” And “human.” (Radical, I know.)
- I will stop waiting to feel like my body is good enough. Whose permission am I waiting for, anyway?
- I will stop believing the bad things I think about my body.
So how’s that working out for ya?
I’ve been following the resolutions.
Except I don’t feel good.
You see, I’m all or nothing when it comes to a lot of things. (My husband will certainly attest to this at length if prompted.) So now, instead of being all-in on tracking and counting and planning and measuring, I’m just… all-in on not doing any of it.
- I’m not prioritizing protein intake (for powerlifting) at all.
- I’m only powerlifting once a week, because my trainer’s availability has changed and I’m struggling to lift without him. (More on my powerlifting story here!) This is becoming problematic because now I’m losing strength and my lower back is hurting A LOT after each session. Partly my struggles are due to gym anxiety, and partly they’re due to a fear of getting “sucked back in” to a fitness frenzy.
- I’m not really paying attention to what I’m eating at all. I’m trying to listen to my body but, look, my tongue is part of my body, right, and
sometimesalways my tongue wants fruit gummies and cake.
And that would all be fine if I felt fine, but I don’t. I miss feeling strong and feeling good in my clothes.
But this is the cycle I get trapped in:
- Go hard on exercise and nutrition regimen for a while. (Fitness frenzy.)
- Get results and feel good about my body. (FITNESS IS LIIIIIIFE/GAINZZZZZ BEEEEEITCH!!!!)
- Burn out and realize that I was being extremely obsessive. (How the hell have I eaten so many protein bars this month? Protein bars taste like flavoured sidewalk.)
- Completely swing the other way and drop all former habits. (COUUUUCH. PYJAAAAMAAAS. CAAAAAAAKE.)
- Feel liberated. Embrace intuitive eating and body acceptance as the new key to happiness. (I WILL NOT BE CONTROLLED BY SOCIETY’S EXPECTATIONS OF BEAUTY!!!!! THIS IS WHO I WAS MEANT TO BE!!!! I KNOW MY TRUTH!!!! MY TRUTH IS CAAAAAAKE!!!!)
- After a while, feel blah and not so good and not so strong. (Oh god. I’m so aware of my tummy rolls right now.)
- Repeat 1-6. Ad infinitum. (Tears.)
It’s like this:
Why does this keep happening?
The problem with my body acceptance and anti-diet resolutions is that I make them when I am feeling “good” about my body—because I’m still in stage 1 and 2, and I don’t yet accept that I’m going overboard.
It’s easy to make all those resolutions when I’m riding a neurotic fitness and restrictive eating high.
It’s a whole lot harder when I’m in stage 6 (like now), and feeling like my resolutions were bullshit and I am a body positivity fraud.
Okay, self, let’s get these negative thoughts under control
What would kind, compassionate Sadie say to the Sadie who is calling herself a fraud?
She would say:
- Progress over perfection = even the intuitive eating gurus you follow have hard days/periods
- Try to avoid all-or-nothing thinking = it’s not a case of EITHER you feel amazing about your resolutions and your body OR you’re a bullshitting fraudster
- Give yourself a break, lady = you are way too hard on yourself and damn you can be self-mean
- Look at what you HAVE accomplished = you’re not tracking calories, you’re not measuring yourself, you know the signs of returning to restrictive/obsessive patterns and you’re watching for them and trying to figure this out
- You’re doing the best you can
In other words
I’m still human. Still an overthinker. Still trying to figure out this whole “how to take good care of my body without being a crazy lady about it” thing.
But doing an okay job at keeping things in perspective for a change. I think? Yeah. Yeah.
Will I ever get past only feeling attractive when I feel thin?
Will I ever get past only feeling confident when I feel pretty?
Will I ever untangle my self-worth from my appearance?
Questions that can’t be answered today but that shouldn’t be stuffed down and forgotten.
Thanks for reading, you. 🙂
P.S. I’m so flippin’ happy I finally got to use that cat in a feature image. (It’s from Canva Pro’s image library.)