What happens if I give up?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been your typical oldest daughter: the overachiever who would stop at nothing short of perfection.
For the most part this has served me well: I am a functional, contributing member of society and I have no debt. Adulting, ftw!
When I was in college this never ending quest for perfection took a bit of a wrong turn when I developed a full blown eating disorder, but even that struggle further fueled my success. I’ve been in recovery for 6 years and am quite proud of myself for it. Yay, me!
Recovery doesn’t mean that I never have bad days, and lately those days have been more frequent. I’m not doing any of the dangerous physical things that plagued me during my 10 years of treatment, but I have fallen back into some of the negative mental frameworks, and those can be even more exhausting.
Yesterday, while staring at myself in the mirror and going through my itemized list of all the things wrong with my body, I had a thought.
What if I stopped trying?
What if instead of waiting for the day that I have my “perfect body” and the heavens open and angels sing, I just accepted myself as I am now?
What would that feel like?
What if I could go to dinner with my friends without turning it into a 10 min negotiation with myself about how long I’ll spend in the gym tomorrow to compensate? Going to dinner would simply be eating food with people I enjoy instead of a personal attack on my goals.
How would things change?
I wouldn’t constantly be looking forward to that “someday” when I achieve my perfect body and my life magically becomes perfect. (because, obviously this is how the world works)
Giving up comes with a lot of negative connotations, but what if in this case, it actually makes things better?
For as long as I can remember I have used my own self criticism as a coping mechanism: if I tell myself all these negative things then I’ll be super aware of them and never become those things. But at what cost?
I am not totally present because I’m always looking forward to my mythical “someday”. I am in a constant state of dissatisfaction because I am never good enough. I put things off because I’m saving them for P-day; the day I achieve perfection.
Starting today, I give up.
I give up feeling like crap about myself because my butt doesn’t look the same in my jeans as it did when I was 22. I give up feeling bad about ordering take out on the couch with my best friend while visiting her in Chicago because god forbid I eat carbs after 8pm. I give up putting my life on hold until I hit this imaginary line I’ve drawn in the sand for myself. (A line that keeps moving farther away even when I’ve hit what I thought was the goal.)
I’m done with #goals. I’m done with fitspiration.
Today, I am proud to give up.