Week 1 of 30lbs in 30 weeks.

“Feel your legs. Feel your body. Someday you will want to remember how it feels to be young and beautiful in New York City.”
I wrote the above in my journal when I was 25. I was unemployed, completely broke, and going through a contentious divorce. I didn’t even have an apartment and was sleeping on friend’s couches. I was also probably the happiest I had ever been. I have been trying to recapture the feeling I had those couple years ever since.

a younger Karen
Someday you will want to remember how it feels to be young and beautiful in New York City.

I felt truly free. I was listening to my heart and my body and I imposed very few rules on myself. If it felt good, I did it. It was a time of great exploration for me. I was single for the first time as an adult (I got married at 19), I was in New York City, and the world of possibility was open before me. I was willing to try almost anything once. I didn’t berate myself for mistakes and was completely unafraid of failure. I refused to indulge in negative thoughts, feelings of guilt and I took the word “should” out of my vocabulary. To be a little cliche, I was living “in the now.”

My inner satisfaction seemed to have ripple effects in other areas of my life. As I mentioned before, my divorce was quite ugly and I could easily have focused on the negativity surrounding that process. Instead, each dick move my ex made, I reminded myself how lucky I was to be (nearly) free of him.

My dating life went great, mostly because I just wanted to have fun. Because I was not looking for husband #2, I did not have any preconceived ideas about my perspective dates. I didn’t care much about his age, I didn’t take his bad habits personally, I didn’t try to change him. As long as he was kind, I enjoyed his company and there was attraction, I didn’t care about his career, his background, his hobbies or future goals. I met a lot of great guys with whom I am still friends with. I also met the man would become husband #2.

During this time, I was also in great shape. Despite the fact that I had started drinking, did not have a gym membership and was not counting calories, I managed to stay trim and active. I believe it had something to do with my state of mind. I was listening to my body, I felt energetic and sexy and all this translated to how I treated food and exercise. It likely also manifested itself in other ways that are known to influence our weight – stress, sleep, hormones, mood.

In the past, weight loss was always the goal. It was as if I was going to wake up one day and be at that perfect weight, that perfect size, and suddenly everything would be great. I’d have a steamy sex life, all my clothes would be awesome and fashionable, I’d have more friends, I’d be athletic. I am re-framing my thinking. Weight-loss is no longer my goal. It is a by-product, a benefit of my happiness goal.

To learn more about my project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, follow my weekly posts here.

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Karen Propp is an artsy-fartsy digital geek who sees beauty in a different way. She chronicles the pursuit of happiness and  her weight loss project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, in a weekly feature. You can read the introduction here and follow her journey here. You can also follow Karen on twitter @karen_propp.

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