This year is going to be different. No, seriously, it really will. I feel like a different person after my body lift surgery. Not only did the surgery change my body, it changed the way I think about food and my body. I can honestly say that I am quickly learning to love my body. I no longer feel ashamed and disgusted by how I look. I look in the mirror before I shower and marvel at my body- imperfections and all. I know that some people might think it is crazy that I had to have surgery to achieve this, but those who have had masses of excess skin might understand how I felt.
So now that I am loving my body for the first time in my life, I feel a strong urge to treat it kindly and fill it with nutritious foods that make it feel strong and healthy-- even fruit and legumes, which my old carb conscious self would never eat. The urgency to diet and lose weight has gone and it just feels natural to me now to eat well. I look at the foods in the chart below and want to eat them so that my body will feel good and look good (let's not forget that I am still vain!). That doesn't mean I don't still want to eat pizza and ice cream sometimes, I just don't feel the need to eat it all of the time.
It is the same with exercise, now that I don't think of exercise only as a torturous way to lose weight, it doesn't seem quite so awful. With the excess skin gone I can see how exercise changes my body, so it makes me want to do toning exercises to see the muscles in my body and get a tight bum! Being able to see and enjoy the results of exercise makes it seem worthwhile. Not to mention that filling my body with nutritious food makes exercising much easier, I have more energy to get up in the morning and workout.
This change in thinking doesn't mean that I have gone to the other extreme and become an exercise and healthy eating machine. I want the changes I am making to be sustainable and for me that means they have to suit my lifestyle and be enjoyable. So I am back to getting up and doing a quick 20-30 minute toning session in the morning before work with stretching, weights, bands and floor exercises (the exercise ball too once my back swelling goes down). Then (weather and time permitting) I will walk part way to and from work, which is 2.2 km each way. Mix this up with walking my brother's dog in the evenings occasionally and I have enough exercise to keep me fit and healthy, without it having to be a chore and ultimately something I will give up.
So far this all feels quite natural and I am enjoying it, but I am aware that it might get harder once the excitement of my new body dies down and I start picking new flaws or once winter sets in or once I start getting sick of quinoa... Not to mention that I have 32 years of disordered eating to contend with so I know it won't always be this easy but I am committed to treating my body with love and kindness.