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So, I notice that I start to get antsy about my weight (which is within a normal range but I could certainly stand to lose a few pounds, being honest) when other things are troubling me and my life feels out of control. My childhood obesity became a real control issue when I decided to super diet to be “perfect” and complete my mastery of the world at 14 years old, taking control of my body and believing that through will power alone, I could be the master of my fate.

Now I’m 24, and I know I’m not in control, and never was. Sometimes, I’m even wise enough not to want to be.

I notice also that jeez, I know everything I need to be healthy, and for the most part, don’t have problems regulating my behavior (a little craziness can be healthy sometimes!), and food seems to have too special a place in my heart. Food is how I talk to myself. Food is how I say, “Thank you for a pulling an all-nighter on that paper you didn’t even want to write!” “OMG, he never should have said that, that was mean,” “No, you’ll never be one of those skinny girls at yoga, come on, have a cookie, it’s ok, that’s just not who you are, you are probably better than them in some other way anyway,” “Maybe if you pick which cookie you want, you’ll figure out what to do with your life!” and most significantly, “Let yourself be! Accept yourself! Eat this candy bar, follow your impulses, follow your bliss, maybe if you let yourself eat junk food, you will love yourself!” And on and on. Those are just some recent snapshots, there could be many more on that theme.

There are a lot of things that are weighing me down and cause me to reach for the figurative cookie jar (no, I don’t keep cookies in the house because that would be inviting trouble). Although I will continue to develop alternate coping strategies and reach beyond the cookie jar into myself and do some yoga maybe instead, I think it is important to recognize these issues. I may not be able to “deal with them,” aka solve them using my analytical mind, at the moment, but at least I can come to grips with them and ask for them to be resolved in time.

1. Let go of needing to be right all the time. Stop trying to prove yourself right, particularly predictions about how poorly you will do.

2. Let go of the need to be perfect on the first time. You haven’t done this before, and you never will again in the same way. It’s ok to be a beginner at life. If you aren’t learning and making mistakes, you aren’t trying!

3. Let go of the need to be better than other people/ feel worse in comparison to other people. Let go of flipping comparing to other people in the first place! Honey (yup, condescending wise lady voice) you know how much of your distress comes from this. It’s time to give this racket up. You ain’t no better than any body else and nobody is better than you either, or ever will be. You are not on the same road! Don’t try to figure out how far along you are by looking at other people’s paths!

4. Let go of lying to yourself about your feelings, especially when you are unhappy. It’s ok to admit things aren’t ok. You don’t need to always put on a brave face. It’s ok to have problems you can’t quite “solve,” right now. It’s ok to feel down from time to time, don’t judge it.

5. Trying your best doesn’t mean you have to be “optimal” all the time. Do your best, but accept your energy levels as they are. If they are low, figure out why. Admit that you are only human and sometimes you just flake out and mess up. The only thing you can do is resolve to be better next time.

6. You don’t have to be the perfect role model you never were and always thought you should be for your little sisters. You don’t have to please people all the time. Mommy is proud of you somehow anyway and you are the luckiest girl in the world. But you deserve their love, good girl or not. You don’t have to be the perfect, well-behaved child all the time.  Only when you aren’t feeling naughty 😉

7. Relax! Would you please take a chill pill? You are stressing me out all the time. What’s worse is your stressing and feeling guilty when you aren’t stressing and planning and feeling guilty and trying to control everylittle thing and be a perfect robot. Relax, it’ll be ok. Hakuna Matata. Your anxiety literally will ruin your life if you let it. You can’t fight a storm but you can dance in the rain. Don’t be ruled by your fears. Let love conquer all, just LET IT BE! And go pray the Serenity prayer.

8. You don’t have to know what’s coming next! You don’t have to have a plan! You CAN change your plan once you have one! You can ALWAYS make a u-turn! Don’t worry, you are not trapped anywhere doing anything, you are not a slave. You are responsible for doing your best, BUT YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR RESULT. You are more than your reseume, you are more than time and effort, you are more than risk and return, cost and benefit. There’s so much more to you than that and I won’t let you be so shortsighted. It’s ok not to have  aplan; it’s ok not to achieve desired results; it’s ok to let go and let God a little- it only makes you more responsible. As long as you listen to him!

9. You are wonderful, you are worthy, God put you on this earth for a reason. You cannot fail when your life is given to God! And it’s not about where you get to – it’s about the person you are becoming. And honey, you are more fabulous than I EVER expected. I’m more proud of you than if you were a CEO of a company right now- You have towed a long and often obfuscated road for too long and you know what, you can relax. You are worthy of loving yourself uncodnitionally, faithfully, and in conjunction with god’s will.

In any event MJ, there’s a lot you can do to feel better about yoursef. You deserve much more than cookies, or to test the guy who loves you by becoming fat, or repelling partners because I’m too big! And taking a criisicrisis posiion th leatter bcause is rehuage. Just relax. God loves you.