We are all starting the year with different expectations. These expectations probably stem from how things ended last year. We had goals last year to be healthier, to lose weight, to improve our lives. We all made efforts to that end and most of us probably did not accomplish as much as we wanted. In fact, when it comes to weight loss, we rarely meet goals as quickly as we want. That only frustrates us and makes it difficult to keep going. In setting our sights too high, we fail to appreciate our progress.
Last year, if you started your journey to a healthier you, or if you started it again for the umpteenth time, or if you just thought about starting it – you should be proud of yourself. If you lost five pounds or fifty pounds or if you lost nothing but started to change how you think about food, then you should be proud. If you didn’t do anything last year, but are thinking about being healthier this year, good for you. Don’t look back with disappointment, look forward with hope. Right now, in this moment, what matters is what you do in the future. Your past is your past. Be proud of your accomplishments, learn from your mistakes, but most importantly: keep going.
Losing weight is not a one-time event. Once you lose you have to maintain and all of the struggles you deal with while losing weight continue. Seeking after health is a life-long struggle. You have to change more than your outlook on food, you have to change your outlook on yourself. You are fighting against habits, genes, family traditions, fast food restaurants on every corner, emotions, and sometimes even worse things – like past abuse or abandonment. You are doing more than turning a ship around, you are learning how to steer the ship for the very first time. You are deciding for yourself what your habits will be and not allowing outside influences to make decisions for you. You are re-establishing relationships with family and friends, food, and yourself.
Learning all of this, changing so much of ourselves, takes time. Taking long-term control of your health requires consistent effort. Tools – like Weight Watchers – help, but they do not mean certain success. In the end, you are the only one who can change you.
And, just in case you aren’t feeling up to the task, please know that you are.
You have the necessary resilience inside of you to keep going, even after failure and frustration. I believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. You don’t have to do anything more than take the next step. Wherever you are on the journey, just take a step forward, then another, and another.
Let’s resolve to be our healthiest selves in 2018. We can improve our habits this year – we can eat more vegetables, we can walk more, we can reach out to others for support. If we think we have to be a certain size to be successful, we are missing the point. The point isn’t that we get to a certain goal, the point is that we keep trying.
Let’s let 2018 be the year we love ourselves enough to keep marching forward. Let’s let this be the year that we recognize success is not only found on the scale, but also in our outlook, our resolve, and our efforts to change our daily habits. Let this be the year we are not ashamed of the struggle, but optimistic about our future.
Let’s do this together in 2018!