Historically, I’ve gained anywhere between 10 to 15 pounds every winter. I’m a short person, so this amount makes a huge difference in my appearance.
In the fair weather months, I love to walk about 3 miles a day, and I work on our farm, sometimes from morning until night. So, by around July of every year, the weight is off and I feel great about myself. But, come December, our schedule, the weather, and 5 p.m. darkness make outdoor exercise pretty much impossible. So, my activity level plummets, but, my eating habits remain the same, and even worsen around the holidays.
To put it lightly, this weight roller coaster is total crap. I don’t like the way it makes me look, and I hate the way it makes me feel (sluggish and lightheaded).
At the end of the farm season, in 2018 (around the beginning of November), I was at the weight that makes me feel good and also comfortable in my own skin. I resolved that this would be the year I didn’t go through the physical and emotional toll of winter weight gain. I’ll go into it in more detail in another post soon, but, basically, I ate almost exclusively foods I prepared (thanks to the budget lockdown, eating out wasn’t an option); I ate dark chocolate in place of other sweets; I continued brewing/drinking kombucha; and I went to bed at a reasonable hour almost every night. And whenever possible, I went for an enjoyable walk. To my amazement, in a winter when I actually had less exercise than past winters, I did not gain weight. The difference this has made in my life this spring! I’ve felt energetic and strong, jumping right back into farm work with no issue.
Okay, so how does all this relate to shopping? Well, normally this time of year, I’d get a strong urge to go spring and summer clothes shopping. Since I have a decent closet, the only explanation I can come up with is that my negative body image made me want to compensate for my looks with new clothes. The urge to shop just isn’t there this season.
The desire to shop may also be tamped down by a recent closet purge and organize session. (I’m a huge Marie Kondo fan. Seriously, read her book, watch her show, fold your socks, and change your life. The woman is a genius.)
Rather than being caught in an unhealthy decisions loop, I feel like I’m on a healthy choices zipline, zooming from one positive change to another. A year is too short to spend half of it feeling like a version of myself that I don’t want.