Day 1 – I Am Inspired To Be Happy
Here I am, December 1st and signing on for another demanding, emotionally draining – but seriously beneficial project: 20 Days of Inspiration.
The focus is on inspiration and not motivation, because let’s face it: motivation is temporary. No matter how geared up to go we are at the start of a new weight loss plan, many of us find ourselves searching for the new plan in a few months. We curse the book, the nutritionist or the trainer…but perhaps we’re misplaced the blame.
What gets us all excited and able to start a new plan in the first place is motivation – then it deserts us. It leaves us just when we need it most: when things get hard.
But what do we expect? Motivation usually comes from getting fed up. We get tired of feeling sluggish. We get tired of how our jeans fit. We get tired of looking in the mirror feeling disappointed. We get fed up and we decide to make a change.
Don’t get me wrong, this part feels really good – we feel like change is possible if we can put in the work. The next day we exercise and we eat well. We drink water and feel happy about what’s to come. Then we get tired again, we get bored, our cravings get the best of us or we simply get distracted with life. Now we have yet one more failure to show us that having a body we love is out of reach.
So before we fault the last diet or exercise regimen – and before we fault ourselves – let’s consider the source: motivation. That motivation that came and went, originally came from fear. The fear that maybe this is as good as it gets. Our reaction to this is, “Um, hell no!”, and we abruptly make a change.
We’ve all done it, yet we fall for it time and time again. That rush of motivation comes over us and we jump in head first. Well I’m not falling for it this time. This time I want to be inspired.
Inspiration has deeper meaning than, “I hate the way these pants feel around my waist”. And inspiration has a lot more stamina than motivation. So what inspires you? I think I finally know what inspires me.
If I learned anything from the Gratitude Project it was how good it felt to feel good. Facing my body image issues head on (and publicly no less!) showed me just how many days of my life I’ve spent wanting to change this or that about my body. No wonder I’m tired! All that self destructive thought is exhausting.
Last month, despite how busy I was and how much extra writing this project entailed, I’ve never been happier. And my boyfriend (wonderful person that he is) said I’ve never been more beautiful to him. Now I didn’t lose any weight last month, in fact I may have gained a pound or two (honestly I didn’t weigh myself as it felt counter to the whole feeling of the project), but somehow I ended up more attractive and happier – and that’s inspiring.
I felt happy being in control of all those negative thoughts about my current body as I worked towards an even better one. Although this coming month is wrought with travel and holiday craziness, I wanted to write daily again because I craved how good I felt when I did this before. Every day I drudged up the crummiest feeling I could find about myself and looked it dead in the eye. Then I kicked its ass.
Those nasty thoughts still pop up – man they are relentless! But now I don’t let them ruin my day – they can steal a couple minutes here or there, but that’s about it. In fact, over Thanksgiving we were in a quirky hotel in Great Falls Montana (by quirky I mean 1950s motif and mermaids in the bar- see below) that was for some reason ripe with mirrors. I was getting out of the shower one morning and I was cornered – literally – between two mirrors and there was no escaping that I have some cellulite on my booty. I didn’t much care for it and I’d like to rid myself of it, but I didn’t lose my mind over it. Most importantly, I didn’t obsess over it. I didn’t let myself feel anxious and distracted all day only to feel guilty come day’s end- because while I was busy feeling fat I wasn’t enjoying time with my family.
I dealt with the dimpled reflection by putting lotion on my legs and instead of berating myself for not having flawless thighs, I tried to return to the loving feelings I’d cultivated over the past month. Slowly, with layers of lotion, it happened.
I am inspired to have a body that I love and feel happy about every day…not just when I’ve finally crafted it, but happy every day until then.
And now some pics from the Sip N’ Dip and the fun I did not miss out on worrying about my cellulite: