When first hint of summer comes, it is a day unlike any other. It’s one of the most memorable days of the year. It’s the day we all pull ourselves out of hibernation and shake off the winter blues.
I wake up and instantly feel the warmth of the sun before I even leave my bed. That’s because the sun is shining through my window, but because I’ve been stalking the weather channel app since January in my bouts of winter depression. For me, the first warm day of the year brings an excitement similar to Christmas morning. And the gifts come in the form of sunglasses and flip flops. Because for some reason, everything in my closet is more appealing knowing I will be wearing it with sunglasses and flip-flops.
This past weekend (on the east coast) temperatures reached upwards of 72 degrees. I did what I always do on Saturdays, woke up and slipped on my gym clothes for my 9:00 am barre class. But the difference, I ran out the door with no jacket… instant happiness. After I finished class, not wanting to leave the warmth, I took a couple hours to lay on the grassy field overlooking Manhattan, drinking Starbucks with my husband – pure bliss.
As this perfect day progressed, I made plans that required actual clothes. That’s when the happiness slowly slipped in panic. My mind started racing with visions of my jean shorts tucked neatly under my bed in plastic containers from Target. Will they fit? I obsessively question myself? As I reach under my bed to slide out my summer clothes containers, I break out in a small sweat and reason with myself; if they don’t fit I’d be able to put my plans off long enough to run to Express and grab a new pair.
Why am I so panicked? Because every single summer since I was 12, my summer clothes have been snug and/or didn’t fit the first time I put them on.
Then I did what any rational person would do – I started taking inventory of everything I did good over the winter. I tallied up all the times I went to the gym and all the times I passed up dessert, stacking the odds in my favor of why the jean shorts should fit when I put them on. This building up of myself could also serve as an out if they didn’t. Do other people have this problem I wonder?
Ok here goes; I step in one leg at a time, I suck in and they button. Phew, they button. Even though I may have to wear a flowy top with them for the next couple weeks until they loosen up a bit. The bottom line, they button.
For many of us, there’s only one thing worse than the little red line that will be on our stomachs at the end of the day from our pants digging into our skin. That’s the realization that we are in the same exact position as we were last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Regardless of the fact that this year we swore it would be different.
It took me a long time to realize that eating right and exercising isn’t what’s going to make things different. That’s not what’s going to make the jean shorts fit the first day of the summer. What’s going to make those jean shorts fit is throwing out the deadlines. The first day of summer is a ridiculous deadline. Especially since the minute those shorts are snug we make another deadline. The “being thin for a vacation” deadline. The “being thin for an event” deadline. And even the “being thin by next Friday”… deadline.
I realized I was measuring my life in terms of how long I had before I had to be skinny. These deadlines were becoming the biggest thief in my life. Time kept passing and my weight stayed the same, or worse, I gained.
How many times have we watched these deadlines come and go? And if you did hit your goal for a deadline, how long did you stay there?
Let’s all work together to actually remove these two sentences from our vocabulary
“I need to lose weight for_________” and “I need to lose weight by__________”
They do more harm than good.