Birthday’s are such a mixed bag of emotions for me.
On the one hand, I love them. Celebrating life, celebrating success and planning for the next year. I love that shit.
However, mentally, I associate birthdays with binging and blowouts and self sabotage. We all love to let our hair down around our birthdays and use it as an excuse to go crazy! And rightly so, celebrate your life! But to be able to do that guilt free is something I’ve never mastered. My birthdays over previous years have always been 3 or 4 day events with meals out, lots (and lots!) of drinks, lots of birthday cake and then lots of feeling guilty by the end of it. I have no regrets around them and I know that I enjoyed them thoroughly but this year needed to be different.
The last time I embarked on a huge weight loss journey, my birthday was the tipping point of losing my motivation and slowly hitting the brakes on the process. So I was nervous coming up to this one, on a similar journey, that I would repeat my history.
With this in mind, in the week running up to the big day, I spent about 15 minutes a night having a little chat with myself. During this time, I would go over what was important to me right now; losing weight, being unendingly happy, continuously growing myself and reaching the 100lb Club. I would then establish why my brain wanted to link birthdays with binging. And I couldn’t find a correlation. Especially seeing as the overeating aspect of things is never going to get me to my Four Important Goals.
Once I’d figured this out, I was able to work past this thought in my brain that I had to eat lots and be drunk to have a good time. All I wanted out of my day was to be happy. So I planned an epic road trip with my housemate and told myself that it was okay to enjoy some treats but that I would still make good choices and I’d harbour no guilt behind anything. After all, it’s only one day!
And, of course, I had the most magical day ever; Jack and I trained in the morning and I did birthday burpees, we enjoyed a gluten free brownie and cider at the base of Waireinga after a bush walk, we explored new places, we played in a kids playground (I winded myself! Dangerous places playgrounds!), I got to paddle my feet in the sea and we had so much fun. I still made healthy choices (like a salad rather than a burrito) and I let myself have unhealthy options (like an ice cream on the way home).
But those healthy or unhealthy choices won’t be what I remember when I look back over my birthdays in years to come. What I’ll remember will be that for the second year running, I got to celebrate my getting older in New Zealand, it’ll be that I had a smile on my face from the minute I woke up until I went to bed, it’ll be that Jack and I sang to the radio the whole way down to Raglan and back again, it’ll be that he whooped my ass at Spotto and kept drifting round corners, it’ll be how spectacular the weather was and how magnificent the waterfall looked and the beautifully worded messages I got from my friends and how truly happy I felt the whole day long.
That’s what is important.
Not what I ate.