Woke up to the sounds of swaying palm trees and the trickling of the pool in a villa on Phuket Island, Thailand for my first day of 2015. I felt the sun beaming in from the sliding doors, stretched my arms straight overhead and let out a loud exaggerated sigh. Ahhh, another new year….
In some ways the idea of beginning a new year tugs at my anxiety. Am I really in my late 20s? And what the hell am I doing with my life? On the flip side, the notion of a clean slate energizes me and helps me refocus on who I am and what I really want out of this upside down crazy life I’m living.
So I washed my face, stumbled into the kitchen for some coffee and fruit. I took a few peculiar euphoria longana fruits and peeled them to their lychee-like soft fruit and enjoyed them by the pool. I really wanted to indulge in my favorite guilty pleasure: spooning the skippy peanut butter straight of the jar… but I restrained myself. It’s 2015 and I’m going to be in a bathing suit all day for Buddha’s sake. Not to mention I’ve already gained 6 pounds this trip on ramen, pad thai, curries, and every other heavenly food I’ve inhaled on my three week southeast asia adventure. I gathered my self constraint and took my towel to the grass for some quick yoga flow. 2015 I’m so going to own you.
Minutes later I was back in the kitchen to refill my coffee cup …or at least pretend to. My coffee wasn’t even finished, and I really didn’t want any more. I was there for one thing, and one thing only. The peanut butter. My kryptonite.
So I did it. I sat there with my spoon in the jar, standing in the kitchen and for each new bite I took I was riddled with guilt. After eating well over two servings I slinked out of the kitchen and into the bedroom to verbally denounce my lack of self control to Matt. Who in turn let out the same sigh I had from this morning… he’s heard it all before.
Pouting, I plopped myself in a lounge chair and vowed that even though I royally ruined 2015 with the Skippy incident, my resolution would be to only eat organic and practice rigid self control when it comes to what I put in my body. No more alcohol, or sugar, and of course no carbs. Nothing processed. Actually just nothing besides water and some fruit, vegetables and occasional fish or chicken sounds about right.
With my resolution set I strove with purpose back to the kitchen, opened the fridge, went right past the peanut butter and grabbed an even more peculiar fruit, a mangosteen. As I ate it by the pool, feeling proud of my new goal and choices, I watched Matt gingerly grab a cookie to dip in his coffee and I started to chuckle. What was I doing? Peanut butter won’t kill me… but what will is losing my sanity to guilt.
Food guilt is only one of my many shaming vices. I am riddled with self-condemnation over not accomplishing enough, not pushing myself hard enough and this constant dread that I am wasting precious time. You can imagine what kind of life this creates for me – one where I can never just relax because I always feel like I should be doing something more — something to better myself, to advance my career, to carve abs – whatever the damn worry is at the time. And so, I’ve thrown my food resolution out the window with the empty skippy jar. And here is my new New Years Life resolution:
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
This doesn’t just mean food. This year I am going to indulge when I see fit without shame. I want to find myself this year. Discover who I truly am and what kind of life I want to live. I don’t have time to dwell on minute hiccups or stressors. My energy will be focused on the big picture, the things that truly make this life worth living. I don’t want to restrict myself anymore. Actually quite the opposite. I want to push myself to be my best self. This is the year of more. Yes, more writing, more acting gigs, more real estate ventures, more gym, more saying yes… but also more forgiveness, more fun, more indulgence, more namaste and relaxing. But it’s also the year of less. Less worrying, less squandering of time and energy, less negativity and less guilt. It’s not about setting a resolution for me anymore… it’s about letting go of these unrealistic constraints and expectations I put on myself. It’s not that I am going to eat peanut butter out of the jar with abandon every morning, it’s that I’m not going to waste any time even thinking about it. Instead of worrying about restriction, my 2015 resolution is to concern myself withnourishing my mind, body, and soul.
And with that, I wish you a Happy New Year of clarity, self acceptance and guilt free peanut butter indulgence.