I ran across a great blog post last week about before and after photos. ‘Tis the season for starting fresh, and making plans about being more: more healthy, more conscious, more, more, more. Social media is full of posts about people eating better, and exercising more. When I speak with my patients though, it seems that most of us don’t have room for more.
We are all overflowing with things we “should” be doing. Things that will make our lives better in some shape or form. Yet, this is a season when we should be resting, restoring, hibernating so we can burst out in the spring. This is not the season for more. This is the season for less doing. It is the season for restoration.
Back to the blog post. The post was written about a fitness blogger and Instagramer Jessica Pack @plankingforpizza who posted before and after pictures of herself on Instagram. They look very different, yet were taken 30 seconds apart.
Pack did this to remind us that what we are seeing on social media is not always the whole story. It is a clip, a shot, a brief moment of perfection, but then life happens, things change, we relax our stomach muscles and our six pack sinks into a two pack. That’s life, ever changing, and 3 dimensional.
Author Geneen Roth wrote that the only thing that changes when you weigh yourself is how you feel about yourself. Lost a pound? Woo hoo! You are amazing! Gained a pound? You’ve fallen lower than pond scum, though a few minutes earlier you could have been rejoicing in your body’s ability to complete a challenging workout.
I’m a goal setter by nature and I love imagining what is next. This journey we are all on needs a map sometimes, and goals can help lead us on our way, but not at the expense of the now, and not if they are set based on someone else’s social media persona. My goals are very different from others’ goals because I know what I need for me, and only me.
Rebel this season by loving yourself enough to change your perception and allowing yourself to be perfect as you are RIGHT NOW. It’s okay to make changes, but do it with your eyes wide open to the fact that in this moment you are as lovely as you have ever been or ever will be. Look beyond the perfect moments on social media and remember that those awesome accomplishments people are making are great for them, but may not be what is right for you. Settle into this season of cold and comfort and S-L-O-W down. Take time to reflect on what guideposts you want to set on your journey. The Whole 30 will be here in the spring, CrossFit gyms will still be accepting new members, the YMCA’s pool will still be heated. Take a minute, rejoice in all you have and all that you are, right now.
My New Year’s Resolution this year? To be a rebel, relax a little, and love my before, after, and right this moment pictures.