Everything every adult ever told me when I was a kid about time was true! I remember hearing over and over again that ‘time goes more quickly with every year’ and it seems they were right. December is here again!
I love to spend some time each year reflecting back on the past year and setting intentions for the year ahead. Last year I shared about my specific New Year’s Day tradition here in this blog post.
This year, as we finish out a whole decade, I’m taking some extra time to reflect back. Not only on 2019, but this entire decade.
And WHOA can a lot change in ten years!
When I rewind to 2009/2010, I am met with a totally different version of myself. There were many wonderful parts of my life then (living in Chicago, in my first apartment with Tim, loving law school, and surrounded by incredibly amazing friends). And, it was also one of the most painful times in my life: I was at my lowest point in my relationship with myself.
I was struggling incessantly with negative inner dialogue, majorly abusing myself with food and exercise, and tied much of my worth to the number on the scale. There were few (if any) moments when I wasn’t thinking about what I should eat next or how I could ‘make up’ for something I ate that was off limits. I was secretly struggling with binge eating. I was pushing my body to her limit with long runs and super sweaty fitness classes twice a day. Anything that caused me to break one of my food or exercise rules was DEVASTATING for me. Everything got tracked – calories, miles, weigh ins. I’d sometimes skip a law school class or social event to run extra miles just to keep myself from feeling the anxiety that came from having to miss something on my plan. I didn’t talk to anyone about the struggle… I just muscled through it quietly alone.
Even just writing this I get a little chocked up. It’s emotional to think back to that time, especially now that things are so different.
As I wrap up 2019, I can say wholeheartedly that I have found true peace in my relationship to food and with my body.
Reflecting back on the past 10 years, I’m so grateful for the years of incremental growth and all the growing pains along the way. It was all worth it for the self-connection, self-compassion, and self-trust I get to experience today walking into this new decade.
I share so much more about those years of growth + growing pains in Letting Go of Leo: How I Broke Up With Perfection.
So for today, I want to focus on one powerful shift that I learned and that I truly believe can help you enter this new decade with more self-connection, compassion, and trust.
One of the most POWERFUL things that allowed me to experience growth in my relationship with myself has been to change the lens through which I viewed my choices.
Ten years ago, I ignored my personal lived experiences and measured everything against what others said I ‘should’ be doing.
When food rules made me feel obsessive, distracted, disconnected, and binge eating a jar of peanut butter I ignored those experiences because the book or the celebrity or the nutritionist told me those rules were the rules I ‘should’ be following. I repeatedly invalidated what was true for me in favor of what someone else recommended or believed. And, each time I did that, I slowly chipped away at my relationship to myself.
Rebuilding that relationship required me to be curious about what my personal experiences were revealing to me.
Once I started to acknowledge, validate, and trust my personal experiences, I was able to grow and change.
So, as you look back over the last year and / or the last decade, I’d love to offer you this helpful lens to look through as you reflect back: your personal experiences matter.
My hope is that this lens will allow you to more deeply know yourself so you can enter this new decade with more self-connection, self-compassion, and self-trust.
As you look back, ask yourself: what did my personal experience reveal about what’s true for me?
i.e. When you tried dieting, how did that go for you? How did it make you feel? What did you experience? Did they make you feel obsessive or fearful about food? Did they lead you to binge? Did they make you more focused on food and less focused on your life? Something else?
Your personal experiences will reveal SO much truth to you.
Reflect on them.
Then, get curious: what opportunities do I have to do things differently moving forward based on these truths?
As we enter this new year + new decade, there will be many voices telling you what you ‘should’ do. But only you know what’s is true for YOU.
Write them down.
Come back to them.
And let your truths guide you.