Day 19 – I Am Grateful I’ve Stopped Living Until

November 19, 2010

For nearly as long as I can remember, I’ve thought “when my body looks like blah blah blah I’ll be so happy!” Then I’ll buy those jeans, that bikini, go on that trip, talk to that person, apply for that job, step out and do that thing that scares me. Until then though…. When we’re living until, we’re miserable! We miss out on life. How many times have we stayed at home cuz we felt too fat and frumpy to go out? How many times have we been close to tears in front of a dressing room mirror? How many happy occasions did we not enjoy because we were worried and anxious about the food we were eating there? How many times have we berated ourselves for missing so many workouts – letting things turn from firm to squishy? How many times have we looked back at a week of meals and wondered how we got so very far off track? Whether it’s feeling fat in a pair of jeans or wishing the tummy was a little flatter, I know I’ve let my hang-ups keep me from fully engaging in life on more than one occasion. I tend to get anxious just thinking about weekends away or a vacation. I start thinking, “Am I going to lose all the progress I’ve made? What will I find to eat? What if I want to have a drink? I mean, I want to have fun, but I don’t want to blow it.” And the funniest part is – I know the answers to all those questions! I can make smart choices, I can find a way to exercise and I know one drink won’t be the end of me. So why all the drama? I’ve got a better handle on this part now, but in the past I’ve been guilty of missing a friend’s birthday happy hour because I didn’t want to drink and didn’t know how to be social, stick on my plan and feel good about it. I’ve felt anxious and opted out of events like a friend’s book party because I felt like I didn’t look good enough to hang with that crowd. And when I was at Bastyr – experiencing  complete hormonal haywire – there was more than one occasion when my breakouts were so bad that I’d stay home, feeling too hideous to go out. Now the truth is, any one of my friends or family would’ve assured me I looked great and that the important thing was that they get to spend time with me. Perhaps even more important was that I let this one dimension of myself – the way I look – dictate my whole social calendar, my whole life really.  Worse, living “until” puts us in a really depressing place – we’re stuck.  We’re stuck not being able to enjoy many aspects of our lives, sort of punishing ourselves for not looking better. This brings us back to a recent post where I described what this project is supposed to help us do: want more for ourselves, want to get our bodies into tip top shape, want to be health and look amazing – but not having to feel bad “until” we get there. So if any of you have ever stayed home on a Friday night because you felt fat, stopped yourself from going up to a cutie at the the coffee shop thinking “they will never like me”, lived in your sweat pants for too many days, let the intimacy in your relationship wane because you felt insecure, or didn’t do anything else that your heart desired because you were feeling badly about your body – stop living until!   Working to improve ourselves and our physique is a worthwhile endeavor, but life is too short to feel like crap “until” we get there. You’ll find when you stop living until and start living now, your ability to make choices that get you closer to your goal gets easier – it’s no longer out there, it’s more a part of who are now. Today – eat well, go to the gym, feel good about your body (even if it’s not perfect yet) and do something that you would’ve been afraid to do yesterday. Life’s too short to live “until”.

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