Motivational Monday – Go Ahead, Feel Fabulous!!

Me in my new [larger] capris,
so I can look cute during football season…
even if I have some weight to lose. 🙂
Well, the Healthy Holidays Challenge is off to a good start.  There are about 18 of us participating and everyone has set some really great, realistic goals.  
I’ve decided to try and post something to motivate the group each week and today I’d like to speak on a subject near and dear to my heart.  
Self acceptance. 
Recently, I’m back on the path to re-lose 30 of the 70 pounds I lost a few years ago.  Most of my clothes have fit like sausage casings for weeks now and I’ve been miserable;  determined not to buy new clothes so I don’t get comfortable in them and in turn not take care of this weight issue.  
However, in my miserable state, and realizing fall is coming and I haven’t a decent-fitting thing to wear, I was reminded of the greatest lesson I learned before I ever started this final weight loss journey. 
Short Story:  
Learning to love myself at my current size was the first step towards taking care of myself and the true beginning of my weight loss journey back in 2009.   Upon remembering this lesson recently I decided to go ahead and buy a couple pairs of capris and tops to get me through the autumn.  I decided hating myself in too-tight clothing was doing nothing to help me get back on track and when I went to the high school football game in my new capris last Friday night I felt better than I had in months.  
Long Story: 
The summer before I began this blog (and my final attempt at weight loss) I read an article by Geneen Roth that to this day I believe was the turning point in my life and the true beginning of my journey.  In “Be Good to Yourself” she made the statement, 
  “True kindness is deciding right now that you deserve to feel fabulous — even if you never lose another pound.”

Maybe she asked this question in an interview after her article, or maybe I came up with it myself, but none the less I remember going to my bathroom mirror and asking myself if I loved me just as I was — if I never lost another pound.
I was 220 pounds at that time.  
And my answer was a very honest no.
I remember it made me sad to realize I felt that way because I’d always considered myself a very happy person.  I had a husband, family and friends who loved me as I was and I had come to accept my lot in life was to be the overweight wife, mom and friend.  I didn’t let my weight stop me from enjoying life and was pretty content.  Yet the truth remained I couldn’t imagine being completely happy with myself if I wasn’t a smaller size.
So, I decided that mindset had to change and I made it my goal to learn to love myself just as I was.  I didn’t go on a diet or begin exercising.  I simply began to accept myself for who I was, rolls and all.
Over the next six months I bought some new things, including new clothes for a family trip.  As I made my purchases at the shops for fuller figured women I had fun knowing I was going to look cute and stylish while visiting our family over the holidays…even if I was overweight.  I just didn’t care about the sizes anymore.
I felt great!  Yes, I was aware I was wearing the largest size I’d ever worn, but I felt good about myself. 
In my confident state I also managed to gain 10 more pounds, and soon came to the realization that loving myself didn’t mean letting my health go to pot, but that’s a post for another day. 
Today I want to remind everyone that size should not be the gauge by which you see if you deserve to be happy and feel good about yourself.  
You deserve to love yourself just as you are — a work in progress.  
You may be an older woman who’s metabolism is slowing down or  a woman who body is growing a new baby or a lady stressed beyond belief or someone struggling with food issues.  Whatever situation you find yourself in I urge you to stop hating yourself because you are not a certain size or shape, but instead see that you are beautiful just as you are. 
And if, as was true in my case, you’ll feel better getting some clothes that fit for now, then do it.  
Yes, set some things aside as rewards for reaching goals, but don’t make those things a prize you allow yourself only when you’re “good enough”.  
Accept you are “good enough” right now and give yourself permission to feel fabulous as you are today.
Trust me, it’s the most freeing feeling in the world!  
And, take it from me, when you allow yourself to be happy “if you never lose another pound [or inch]” you’ll want to take care of yourself, because we take care of the things we love.  
Now go have a good week and thanks for stopping by!
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