Why You Shouldn't Resolve To Lose Weight This Year

I started the year with two goals: lose weight and floss more. What? Dental hygiene is very important! I should have known that if weight loss and flossing embodied the height of my 2014 ambitions, I was going to be looking at a seriously boring 12 months. Good thing that in spite of continuing allegiance to these two ideas, I embraced key other opportunities — ones that allowed me to grow in important and meaningful ways. I like the idea of coming up with New Year's resolutions, and I know that, for a lot of people, they're just the impetus needed for accomplishing goals and projects and making changes.
Yet, I think there's something important to be said about flexibility and opening ourselves up to other projects that maybe we didn't have in mind on the first of the year when we're all in post-party mode. In fact, I bet we all made progress we're forgetting to give ourselves credit for...even if we didn't lose the weight we set out to! As this year comes to a close, let's take a minute to reflect on the ways we've grown and feel grateful for our accomplishments, whether or not we ever labeled them resolutions. My top three are below, and, boy, am I excited to see what 2015 has in store for me!
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Illustrated by Jenny Kraemer.
I Survived Feeling Lonely
On Memorial Day 2014, I found myself alone in my apartment, with no barbecue or beach party to attend. My friends were all with their significant others, and my S.O. was in bed with a terrible cold. The idea of spending a three-day weekend alone left me with an empty and uncomfortable feeling. I was so nervous about the days that loomed large ahead of me that I even found myself irritated with my boyfriend for being sick (so silly, but it's how I felt briefly).
That weekend, I decided to stop wallowing in my misery; I turned off Sex and the City — reruns I'd seen dozens of times — and began listening to The Power of Vulnerability. That’s when it hit me: Feeling alone or faced with the prospect of being alone was a raw and vulnerable emotion for me.
But, rather than try and run away from my loneliness by seeking out friends I hadn't spoken to in a while or joining a group I wouldn't want to belong to once the lonely days passed, I leaned into the awkwardness of it all. Sure, it was challenging in the beginning, but with each passing hour and day I became more comfortable spending time with me. Just little, old me.
I let go of the idea that how much I am loved is measured by how many people are around me. As friends get married, snag crazy-busy jobs, or have babies, they're not always going to be able to show me love by spending time with me when I want them to. I have to be confident in those relationships, and I have to be confident in the relationship I have with myself. Spending time alone, no matter how unfamiliar or unpleasant it feels at first, has taught me a lot about myself and helped me to be more comfortable with who I am — best self-love lesson ever.
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Illustrated by Jenny Kraemer.
I Had Difficult Conversations
I have a habit of not telling people when they have hurt me. I sweep it away, make excuses for them, and make it my responsibility to get over it. Remember, though: It's important to voice when we’ve been wounded by the people we love. This year I finally had a difficult conversation with a friend, and without getting into the dirty details of it all, I can tell you that our relationship is better for it. I was able to share what I needed and why certain things were not okay with me, and I was also able to hear what my friend needed from me. The best part was that both of us immediately made changes to show that the other person's feelings were valid.
I was a little annoyed with myself that I hadn’t approached her about how I was feeling earlier! Most of the conversations I initiated like this weren't too fun, but they were always worth it. In the end, I felt stronger and more confident.
Illustrated by Jenny Kraemer.
I Loved Myself More
I’m notorious for focusing on what I haven't accomplished or what I need to do (lose weight! floss more!), but sometimes looking around and saying, "I've done some good things!" is a difficult but powerful thing. Learning to spend time alone has allowed me to feel better about who I am and become honest with myself about the things I want to change. Now, when I set out to make changes, I come from a loving place, of “CeCe, you can do better” instead of “CeCe, you’re the worst.”
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That mind-set has shown me that success comes in many different forms. I may not have lost as much weight as I wanted to, but I’ve made some awesome plus-size workout videos that inspire healthy curves at every size. I may not have flossed every single night this year, but I’ve created smile-worthy moments for myself, and some of them happened while I was enjoying my time alone.
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