I'm Going on a Diet! But It's Not What You Think.

Today is July 1st. That means the first half of the year is over. How is everyone doing on their New Year's Resolutions? Most of us have forgotten about them, much less accomplished close to half. I shared my New Year's Resolutions with you guys back in January. I'd say I'm doing ok on them. I'm definitely doing better at enjoying the moment I'm in and focusing on the little things. I've been reading a classic each month, although several times it's taken me into the next month to finish (still working on June's Little Women as we speak). That's fine with me. You guys know I absolutely haven't been writing as much as I wanted, and still want. to do. I'll keep working on it. I'm still fighting a writer's block that I can't seem to put my finger on, as well as battling the clock.

Now, the typical one - get healthier/lose weight. I haven't lost any weight this year, and it's been driving me crazy. I haven't exercised but once or twice in the last two months. But, I have been paying attention to a lot of fitness and health-related things. So, I've decided to go on a diet. A very strict, no exceptions allowed kind-of diet. If I mess up, I'll lift my chin, square my shoulders and do something to make up for the mistake I made. There will be no cheat days. No vacations. This diet will be in force every minute of every day, so that it will become my "normal." I will not set aside times to indulge. I know I'll slip up, but I'll get right back on track ASAP. If any of you are like me, you're thinking: that's ridiculous. You can't do a diet like that. You'll quit in a week, 2 tops. If I were talking about food, you'd be right (except that I wouldn't make it 2 weeks, ever.)

I'm going to go on a diet from negativity as it pertains to my body. (Notice I can't give up all negativity. Snark is just too much fun sometimes.) I am going to choose to see the positive. I'm going to love my body. This does mean that I'll make healthy choices, and I'll exercise. But those two things are not my only goal. My goal is to love this body, as is. I do want some physical changes to occur, because I am unhealthy. I believe I will become more physically healthy. More than that, I know that mental changes will occur. Before I spend any more time worrying about my physical health, I'm going to change my mental health. If nothing physical changes, then I'll be better prepared to make physical changes happen.

I'm going to be making a list of things that I like about my body. From the way it looks to the things it does. This body carried and birthed 5 babies. It can help other women to do the same. It can run. It can carry sleepy toddlers up the stairs and to their beds. It can prepare food for my family. It can swim. It nourished all my babies with breastmilk for varying amounts of time. It can hike up mountains. It can do yoga and dance and all sorts of other movements. It can clean the house. It can walk with the dogs. There are so many things it can do that are so much more important than what size pants it can fit into. [You might notice that list is all about what it can do. There aren't many things I like about the way my body looks. I love my hair, but that sorta seems like cheating when we're talking about loving your body. I'm going to change this. I'm going to discover things that I love about my body.]

So, for the next 6 months, I'm committing to speaking and thinking no negativity about my body. Going further, I'm committing to speaking and thinking positive things about my body. If I have a negative thought, I'm going to replace it with a positive one. I'm going to ignore shame-based "fitspiration" stuff like this (there are other, good images on that site, too, like this) and focus on loving my body as is, for what it can do right now (on my FB page I'll share a few other pages I like to follow). Additionally, I'm going to make sure my kids see that I love my body. One of them asked me recently when he would have to start thinking about losing weight. I can't describe how sad that makes me. He thinks that's just something that adults do. I want to model for them a healthy lifestyle, including loving themselves.

Part of loving my body, for me, has to be about making healthy choices. I feel better when I exercise and practice clean eating. That is one method for me to love my body. But, I will make no rules or lists or goals as far as what or how much to eat or exercise. I believe that once I have the freedom to make choices just because I want to, not because I should, that I will make the better choices and not be resentful about it. I may decide to track calories and nutrients at some point, because I don't think I get enough calories most days (any Weight Watchers leader will tell you that it's common among overweight people). For now, the only thing I'm restricting or changing is my perspective.

If you've been with me for awhile, you might have noticed that changing my perspective is sort-of a theme around here. I've been working on changing my perspective for a long time now, from the day I felt God told me "What you dwell on will become your reality," to changing the words I use and even the name of the blog. I've thought about it a lot as it relates to how I see things outside of me. Lately, I've really been convicted about the way I see myself. Now, I'm going to change that too. If someone gave me flowers, I wouldn't dream of saying they were ugly because they had thorns. I wouldn't dream of pointing out the small imperfection on one petal. I would relish their beauty, glossing over the imperfections as part of the beautiful whole. I would celebrate its petals and enjoy the purpose of its thorns. I'm going to give myself the same consideration as the rose. 

Anybody with me? Ready to start a diet for the second half of the year?