The Best Version
I am going to be very upfront in stating that I am borrowing the idea from one of my very favorite blogs – The Clothes Make the Girl. If you haven’t checked this blog out yet, you really should. She has fantastic recipes but mostly I go back for her thought-provoking posts. My post today is based on one of her entries that she made at the beginning of 2012 – The Best Version of Us For 2012
This post hit home because I think I am finally getting it. I want to be the best version of me… not who others think I am or how I think I should look. Just me. I am not quite there yet, but I find myself being more transparent. I do not fake the smile as much as I used to for people I do not care about. I try very hard not to say I am sorry when I am not. I have decided to no longer laugh at my boss’s stupid jokes. These are hard things because I am a people-pleaser. I always wanted to fit in, but for some reason I always felt different.
I blame a lot of my difference on my odd body imagine. I have memories of being young… like 3rd or 4th grade, and having some friends that were twins (at bit older than me) that were blonde and thin. I was never fat but just a little chubby. I remember wanting to look like them. Then, in the 5th or 6th grade I apparently grew and was the tallest in my class. And the heaviest… I was 5’5″ and 118 pounds (yes, I do remember) and felt like an amazon. The girls laughed because I weighed more than 100 lbs. Most of them were very small.
This is about the same time I decided I wanted to be a model. My awesome parents supported me and I took modeling classes. The fine instructors told me I would have to lose weight. (yes, still 118 pounds). My idol was Cindy Crawford (still is… have you seen her on this month’s cover of Shape Magazine!)
In high school I, for some unknown reason, wanted to join the military. At 135 pounds I was too heavy. I ran and ran and dieted and dieted. I remember Dad getting up with me at the crack of dawn before school to get my run in. I decided not to join.
Years and years go by… a women’s only gym (I wore leotards and leg warmers to aerobic class!), step aerobics, Jane Fonda, Susan Powter, Kathy Smith, Billy Blanks, running…. countless videos and DVD’s. Hundreds of dollars spent on gym equipment. This doesn’t even count the diet books and programs…. Weight Watchers (a few times), Low fat, vegetarian, vegan, juicing, shakes.
Despite all these efforts I got heavier and heavier. I couldn’t stop the vicious cycle of starving myself on diets and binge eating when the diet ended. When would the madness end?
It ended in 2012. July 2012. This is the month that I legitimately did a Whole 30. Not as a way to lose weight (although that would have been nice… old habits die-hard!) but as a way to just get healthy. I found a quote that said something like “chase health and weight-loss will follow”. I just want to be healthy.
What does that mean? Yes, ultimately it means a healthy weight and that is something that is still in progress. But, it also means about getting cravings and bingeing under control. Not being a slave to the scale and calories. Making good choices because they feel good, not because the diet told me to. In the past I kept TRYING to be better. What if I just am better? Like my inspirational blogger, Melissa Joulwan, asked “what if I just behave like the best version of myself?”
I like it. Stop talking about eating healthy and TRYING to eat healthy and just eat healthy.
I think it works. I still struggle… there are a lot of food demons to conquer. When I get very stressed I still think about potato chips (and sometimes I still eat them). I like to drink wine after a hard day. The difference now I that I recognize when I am going down the slippery slope and adjust quickly.
So, here is what the best version of me does:
She is happy and grateful and enjoys all the small things in life. She doesn’t pass up opportunities to celebrate with friends and family but also knows that everyday is not a reason to indulge in special treats. She can distinguish between a special treat (Mom’s homemade cheesecake vs. store-bought, even if it is gluten-free). She makes goals but does not put the rest of her life on hold. She works out hard but rests harder. She uses her friends and family for support and knows she doesn’t have to do everything herself. She breaths deeply and let’s go when she needs to.
- Posted in: Uncategorized