New year’s resolutions are usually left behind in a drawer, with all the books you promised to read the previous year, the gym membership card you haven’t used in ages and all these, close to the phone you promised not to touch that much and not waste precious time you know it can be better invested in yourself.
I have been there, MANY TIMES! It is not easy to break the vicious circle of letting yourself out of bed (or chair), put your shoes on and go to the gym, plus stop eating junk food just because it’s there for your convenience.
I come from a family with high rates of overweight and obesity. Since infancy, round cheeks and chubby belly were synonyms of health and life was always meant to happen around food and food only. I know this sounds like the typical story, but this was definitely mine also. All the bad habits started to change when I wasn’t feeling good and confident with my body image anymore. All my friends were skinny and apparently happy; I was “happy” but not comfortable with my own skin.
Before graduating from high school, I took care of my food choices a little bit better in order to become an amateur dancer. After that, I got into Uni to study Nutrition and Dietetics and thought to myself “How can a nutritionist be overweight and set the right example?”
What helped me back then?
- To love the image I saw in the mirror: “All of your actions, feelings, habits, and even your abilities, will always be consistent with your self-image”. If you are struggling with this, go and find help. It sounds funny but I always tend to see myself slimmer in the mirror.
- Get in touch with a Nutritionist/Dietitian: I did that when I first started my career. She showed me what I was doing just by habit without being mindful about my decisions. I learnt how to eat, what to eat and when to eat it; It was a matter of portion control, not just to get into the typical diet.
- To exercise more: I know it sounds trivial, but it worked. I used to play Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis during my childhood, but then at Uni I took Physical Activity and Conditioning as subjects to be “forced” to exercise more. I also parked far from my school to walk more. Every little thing sums to the total equation, so don’t be a potato couch and move more!
- No supplements at all: I stopped thinking about those miraculous shakes, pills, sachets or similar that promise to help you burn calories and look better. I started to be responsible for my actions without obsessions, without feeling guilt about my weight and my family’s weight background. Do a favour to your pockets and don’t invest in products you don’t need. Keep it simple, it is more achievable this way.
- I learned to be free! Yes, I freed myself from those harming feelings. I started to get to know my happy weight, I started to listen to my body and be happy with it.
Believe me, I know it’s not easy: I sometimes still struggle when wearing bath suits because of the social pressure while dreaming of the “easy fix” to the things that I don’t like – or used to dislike. But I can say that now I exercise more, I eat healthy, I take care of my family and friends – specially my children – so they don’t need to withstand the same feelings I had during my youth.
If you are reading this, you may have probably been on the same boat as me, and this is ok! It is actually a good thing that you’re making yourself aware of the issues you face every day and are ready to to find help to achieve your New year’s resolutions.