Losing weight, getting fit, eating healthier, drinking alcohol moderately, stopping smoking -- whatever it is that you need to do to feel and look better -- do it first and foremost FOR YOURSELF.
Whenever we feel pressured to look 'that' part of whatever we feel someone(s) ELSE wants us to be -- whether it's our parent(s) or spouse or group of friends we're trying to impress or for anyone else OTHER than ourselves, it can really undermine and frustrate our goal AND the journey to get to our goal. If you feel people 'watching', it can create anxiety, if not paranoia. It's awful. It can DRIVE you to overeat, veg out, drink, smoke like a chimney, and pig out -- when no one is looking, of course! And THAT CAN create a whole new set of problems and obstacles to overcome -- guilt, self-loathing, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, eating disorders,manic behaviours -- and make, what started out as a challenging, but,fairly straightforward issue (ie -- getting in shape, getting fit, curbing your alcohol intake, stopping smoking, etc.), extremely complex and difficult to overcome.
For many years, I felt the pressure to be not JUST fit, but super slim. I thought my patients and their families, the doctors and nurses, and especially all the medical students needed me to be THAT. I thought, somehow, I'd be more credible and they would take nutrition more seriously if they saw that I was this perfectly thin and toned person. The problem was -- I accomplished my 'leanness' by just eating less and, actually, not enough for my long-term needs. I probably ate enough energy-yielding macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, protein) to give me my MINIMAL daily functional doses, but not what I needed to STORE and develop. I was toned because, basically, I was young! But, I really wasn't building muscle tone -- I was just eliciting the natural tone I had because of being genetically blessed. I also was not practicing the lifestyle of making exercise and a fitness regime a part of a healthy lifestyle life. I used diet alone to get and stay thin -- too thin. Because, eventually, when I came to a point when I no longer was in the medical community 'eye' every day, all day and often, night -- I started to drift back into the horrible behaviours I had as an obese child and teenager -- binging. Thankfully, I never became anorexic or bulimic, but it was extremely dysfunctional. All the knowledge and example of me -- the 'uber-nutritionist' -- completely out the window.
It took years for me to finally come to the 'truth' of my body. I need to CORRECTLY PRACTICE all my knowledge of healthy,BALANCED diet and I DO -- it's a part of me, BUT,I MUST incorporate a REGULAR fitness regime and DAILY exercise. This translates to a body that is NOT skinny, but curvaceous and toned. And that's ME -- at my best! And whoever thinks I need to be thinner or flatter or skinny -- well -- that's THEIR issue -- not mine. What I've also found is that when people who are 'watching' make remarks and critique negatively someone who is really and truly living 'truth' -- it often is out of their own frustration on that very issue or something similar. People project their own failures onto others. This insidious dynamic is so destructive -- for the recipient and the protagonist.
In other words -- no one is really 'watching' ME -- it is themselves they are 'watching'
Peace is a wonderful thing == let it BEGIN TODAY for you! That's what I pray for you for the upcoming holidays and your NEW YOU NEW YEAR! Shalom! Vredeschap!