2018 Resolution: Love Yourself

As the new year begins, I reflect upon the person I am and the person I want to become. Am I living my best life?  How can I do things better?

Before the ball dropped in Times Square, I set to finishing one last book for the year.  I chose to read “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life,” by Jen Sincero.  I wanted to go into 2018 kicking and screaming: THIS IS MY YEAR!

One common theme throughout the book, at the end of every chapter, Sincero tells us, “Love Yourself.”  If you want to live the best life, you have to learn to love yourself enough to go out and make the things you dream of doing happen.  You have to love yourself enough to get healthy, lose weight, earn more money, work hard for your dreams, and do the scary things that will help you accomplish your goals.  There must be enough love in there for yourself to be the person you dream of being.

We can make the usual resolutions, but we will not accomplish those goals unless we love ourselves enough to see it through.

I Made a Bet to Lose 75 pounds by New Year’s Eve 2018

I made a bet with my brother that we could lose 75 pounds by the end of 2018.  He was a little reluctant to make the bet (he still is), but I went ahead and made the bet legit through the Healthy Wage app.

If I lose the 75 pounds by the end of the year, I stand to win $2,500 through the app.  That’s a nice little vacation or a new wardrobe (or both) after I reach my goal.  In other words, I would be getting paid to lose weight.  That is what that means.

[If you click through the link above and join the Healthy Wage challenge with me, they’ll add an extra $40 at the end if you meet your goal.]

Losing a lot of weight like that is not easy, especially when I know how difficult it has been for the last 20 years to drop the PTSD weight.  Or rather, was that just an excuse?

I Lost 10 Pounds in One Month

Last year, for the first time, I learned that maybe there was a way to lose the weight.  I attempted the Whole 30 diet two times.

After the first month, I dropped 10 pounds.  I learned the science behind what food was doing to my body.  All of those chemicals we put into our bodies are making us sick.  Our bodies do not know how to process the ingredients, so it gets buried away in our fat cells.

Carbs + stress = cancer.  Reading how carbs and stress cause tumors in our bodies was a huge wake up call for me.  My last tumor was in a hormonal gland.  To think it was carbs that caused it…wouldn’t you want to change your diet?  I did.

It was a harsh realization that what I was putting into my body was making me sick and stagnating the weight loss.  Hence, it was not how much I was eating.

A Little Change Can Do Some Good

I am not a big fan of sugar.  When I have my sugar cravings, I eat a little sugar and that’s it.  I prefer salty and sour.  One thing that surprised me on the Whole 30 diet was just how much sugar is in everything we eat.  It’s in everything!

Sugar loves fat cells.  It sticks to those babies and doesn’t let go.  Whole 30 takes sugar out of your diet (you can get your sugar from fruit), and forces your body to get the sugar from your fat stores.  Instead of feeding your body sugar when it signals for it (through cravings), you are forcing your body to use what it has been socking away for a rainy day.

Yes, there is a process of detox through this month away from bad foods, but during that time you start to learn…OMG, I can lose weight if I change the way I eat.  You are what you eat is a truer statement than you will ever realize.  It is more about what you put into your body, not how much you workout, that will determine how healthy you are.

For the foods you love, you can find new ways to eat.  I am a huge fan of vegetable noodles.  Last year, I upgraded to a bigger spiralizer to crank out zucchini noodles faster.

I can’t tell you how much the spiralizer has helped me to see vegetables differently.  As a result of this great invention, I changed the way I eat noodles.  I mean…I LOVE NOODLES!!!  To switch my beloved spaghetti or rice noodles with zucchini noodles was terrifying [aka what am I going to eat now?]…until I tried it and did an OMG!  It was so much better than the regular noodles.

Switching from rice to cauliflower rice was also a positive switch.  I could not tell the difference.

These little changes in how I eat my favorite foods not only helped me to lose 10 pounds for the first time in 20 years, but it also made me feel better.

It was losing those 10 pounds that I realized that I could lose weight.  I just had to change the way I did things.

I Love Myself Enough to Change

While there is a body positive movement going on, I applaud everyone that says they love every single thing about themselves.  It takes a lot of strength to stand up and say you love yourself just the way you are.

Not all of us are that way though.  We battle our own internal demons.  Over a decade ago, I was used to being in front of the camera.  Then one day, I got behind the camera and didn’t think twice about getting back in front of the camera again.

Like most people, there are parts of my body I never want anyone to see.  I hate my mother’s legs, so guess what I got?  Genetics.

As time goes on and our bodies age, we start to think back to when we actually loved our bodies.  For me, like many others, it was in my teenage years.

I am at the weight I am now because of PTSD.  I was sexually assaulted and harassed my freshman year in college.  I thought, if I had been fat and ugly, this never would have happened to me.  So my body responded with its self defense mechanism and the weight came on and refused to come off.

As I got older, I discovered that it did not matter what I looked like.  Sexual assault does not discriminate.  It can and does happen to people, no matter what they look like on the outside.

The Inner Demons that Keep Us Down

Sometimes the demons of our past can haunt us for the rest of our lives.  We blame ourselves.  We belittle ourselves.  The horrible things the people we loved said to us echoes in the back of our mind.  We perpetuate the hurtful truths onto ourselves and put it on repeat until we believe we are that horrible person.

The person we really need to stop from making us into a victim over and over again is ourselves.  I am honestly tired of telling myself how unhappy I am with letting myself become this way.  It’s not just weight.  I am talking about the life I live, the decisions I make, the constant fear of success (so I sabotage myself).

The reason why I am this way is because of unhappiness, fear and not loving myself enough to know better.  The feelings of not being good enough to succeed are angry words I tell myself all of the time.  I am ready to turn off that sad song playing in my head.  Rather than victimize ourselves over and over again, each and every single day, we need to change our tune.

This Year’s Resolution

I made several resolutions this year regarding reading, losing weight, going on vacation (with Matthew Lucifer), finances, and making my dreams come true.  The success of those resolutions go back to one central theme.  I have to love myself enough to go out there and make those changes so that I can be happy with my life and who I am.

I am done with being too afraid to take the next step to be the person I dream of being, because I hear in the back of my head, “You will never amount to much.”  Instead, I choose to love myself enough to believe that I deserve the best life possible.  I choose to make my dreams come true by loving myself enough to go after each and every single one of them.

All it takes is believing in myself enough to take that first step.

The Love Yourself Challenge

This year, I will be sharing my journey.  On Instagram, you’ll find the daily meals, including the books I’m reading.  On the blog, I’ll be sharing recipes, tips and the journey.

I encourage all of you to join me in this journey.  Take some time and sit down to figure out what it is you want out of life.  What will make you happy?  Read “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.  It will help you really take a look at your life and help you develop a plan to live your best life.

After you come up with a plan, how are you going to accomplish it?  Sometimes it takes a village.  So let’s do this together.  Let’s encourage each other, give helpful suggestions and do what it takes to make every single dream come true, because you love yourself enough to live the life you dream of.