With the vast expanse of a new year ahead, a list of resolutions is bound to be in tow. The subliminal messaging of TV ads and Facebook articles campaigning for “New Year New You” or preparation for bikini bods are more than abundant. Every year, my resolution list begins with one thing: lose weight. Even this year, I harbor a secret desire to be skinnier.
Now I’ve been around the block enough times to know that there is no magical fix. As much as I’d like to believe in the miracle of Garcinia Extract or Slimfast, I can guarantee you that it’s a load of absolute crap. The only true way to lose weight is through diet and exercise, and even at that, our genes play a major role in the whole process.
The truth is, I am never going to look exactly the way I want to. Even if I did manage to be the skinniest of skinny, it wouldn’t be healthy. Not to mention the fact that I someday want to have cute, chunky babies. And with those come stretch marks, cellulite, and baby weight.
Over the years, I have wasted so much time trying to conform to the image in my head. How much of my time have I spent worrying about my weight? Too much, and I am not alone. How clever of the enemy to decommission half of the population by stealing all their time and energy away with shame and unworthiness.
I recently had a friend confide in me that she wasn’t looking forward to New Year’s Eve dress shopping. She is struggling to lose some baby weight, and she wasn’t feeling the most confident. Now this was a major surprise to me. Why? Because she is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. The things she has conquered are the stuff of nightmares. She is fierce. She is an incredible mother, and I have seen her change lives.
But this woman whom I deeply respect felt self-conscious. It blew my mind. When she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see the woman I see. She sees physical flaws. She sees blemishes, and that kills me because I see the same things when I look in the mirror.
Then I got to thinking. When I look at her, I think of the lessons she has taught me, the ways she has inspired me, and how much she has encouraged me. I have never once thought of her as anything but sublime. And if that is the impression she has left on me, how could I be any different. Why would I want to be anything different?
The truth is we are a lot harder on ourselves than the world is. Those images in magazines are just the bait. Your body is your own, and it has bigger things to worry about than slipping into a size zero pair of skinny jeans.
I know it’s easier said than done. I know that I may still look in the mirror tomorrow and wish for thinner thighs and toned arms, but I want to challenge you, as well as myself, to look for more than just the imperfections tomorrow. Look for your kindness, for your intelligence, for your boldness. There’s more in the mirror than meets the eye.
This New Year, my resolution will be different. This year, I resolve to change the world. I will not be one more voice of self-destruction. I will be an encourager. I will be a spreader of positivity. I will be healthy – not merely physically, but mentally. I will take back my mind and energy from the enemy, and I will challenge others to do the same.
What will your resolution be?