January 5, 2020

Losing Weight in 2020

It’s January. The holiday season is over, and it’s the time of year many of us try to atone for the excess of the holiday season. I know I’m lugging around weight I don’t need, and I’m not happy about it. I can do better.

In order to lighten up, I started by doing some reading and reflecting. As a result, I came up with a personalized plan. Now, we’re all different, and what works for me may not work for you, but I’m sharing six strategies from my plan in case you find them helpful.

However, before I do this, I need to clarify one thing: I’m not talking about losing pounds. How much you or I weigh is no one’s business. In fact, all I’ll say about physical weight loss is that I like Michael Pollan’s mantra: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

What I’m actually talking about is losing habits that weigh me down. By following this plan, I expect to feel lighter, freer and more joyful.

So here we go, Heather’s six strategies for losing weight in 2020.

I’ll stop trying to please everyone. I always tended to be a people pleaser but it never got me anywhere. The lovers will love, the haters will hate, and if you care too much, you’ll wind up burned out and resentful. I don’t plan to get all selfish and self-centered, but I’m going to focus a bit more on pleasing myself and affording others the same right. It’s not my job, or yours, to make everyone happy.

I’ll make fewer commitments. I don’t get in over my head as much as I used to, but I still have room for improvement. I have a full-time job. I write this blog, go to the gym, and continue to work on my memoir. This is a lot when you consider all the other things I need to do just because I’m alive. I imagine you’re the same. So this year, I’m focusing on personal priorities, and although I’ll still do some socializing and extend a hand where needed, I plan to turn down a lot of invitations and opportunities. Blame it on my introverted nature, but I don’t have the energy to be on the go all the time.

I’ll give up resentments. I’ve been hurt by people, and I’ve hurt people too. Not only does carrying resentment hurt you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, it’s a heavy weight you don’t need to take to your death bed. Your father was a moron. I get it. However, it doesn’t mean you have to hold a grudge for the rest of your life. If you do, you’re digging an early grave, literally and metaphorically.

I’ll complain less. Even though I can’t stand whiners, I’ve done my fair share of whining over the years. Life can be tough. It can also be wonderful. Things go wrong every day. Many more things go right. If you focus on the negative all the time, you’ll end up being a bitter and twisted knob everyone tries to avoid. Every time I complain about something this year, I’m going to shift my attitude by also listing five things I’m grateful for.

I won’t try to control everything. One thing I learned at work is that the higher in the ranks I rose, the less I could control things around me. It was a hard lesson for a detail-oriented perfectionist like me. I realize now that I can’t control what others do or say. Good heavens, half the time, it’s hard enough to control myself. So to lighten my load, I’ll focus on what I need to do and leave others to do the same. I’ll deal with the consequences of my actions and let others deal with theirs.

I’ll lose the weight of expectations. In this case, I’m talking about others and my own. I’m going to take it easier on myself and limit the number of goals I set. I don’t need to be constantly improving or achieving. I’m pretty good the way I am, and I don’t always have to be in pursuit of something. I’m also going to work on ignoring what others might think about how I look, what I say or what I do. When someone offers unsolicited comments, I’ll be more apt to say, “I don’t recall asking your opinion, but thanks for sharing.” And then I’ll change the subject.

The year is new, but I can already feel the pounds melting away. The best thing? I don’t even have to give up my weekly chocolate. I know that my weight loss plan may not make my pants looser, but it will certainly make me feel lighter. I hope you try a couple of these strategies and see if you end up feeling the same way.

Happy New Year, friends. Here’s to the 20’s!