Where to even start when it comes to 2020. There’s been lots of grief, lessons learned, silver linings, frustration, worry and even a bit of joy sprinkled in. As we close in on the end of this year, I feel cautiously optimistic about 2021.

Like so many people, I’ve found it challenging to manage my stress during this pandemic. I’m a people person and although I love my solitary time I also draw energy from being around others. One of the things I miss the most right now is hugs.  I knew before this year I loved hugging people but I didn’t realize how much! I definitely won’t ever take those for granted once we get through all of this. As a runner I also really miss racing. The crowds, energy and excitement are hard to beat!

Now as a health coach I’d love to be able to tell you that I sailed through 2020 without any struggles around my eating habits and my weight. Here I am just a steady Eddie crushing it in all things wellness. That story sounds great but it isn’t true.

I started out strong using many of the strategies I know to stay well and they worked. Then as time went on I also intentionally  consumed a quantity of foods that don’t nourish me optimally. I went beyond the occasional and intentional indulgence into sweets as the norm and as a way to comfort myself. Slowly over time I noticed my clothes weren’t fitting so comfortably any more. When I stepped on the scale the number reflected why. It was hard to fight the old patterns of beating myself up and basing my value on the number I saw. Thankfully, I’ve worked hard on this over the years and made a ton of progress. I was able to give myself grace and decide what I wanted to do about it.

For a few months, I did nothing. I understood that I just didn’t have the bandwidth to care or take action. I continued to take care of myself and focus on other things. Then one day, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to feel comfortable in my clothes and I wanted to return to running more miles at a weight that suits me best as an individual. So I returned to a way of eating that works for me and the weight came back off. 

Here’s what I’m not going to do at this moment, I’m not going to share with you what that is. Why? Because I see you. I see at least some of you wondering if what I did could work for you and without pausing, you’ll jump in feet first with the hope that it will be the answer for you. Fueling your body isn’t a one size fits all. It just isn’t. What works for me could be a great fit for you or it could be a disaster. Sorry, but it’s true. 

Sister, here’s what I will share and what I need you to know. Whatever you did to get through 2020 served you in that moment. So for the love, give yourself grace. Many of my friends are sick of the word ‘unprecedented’ but seriously, how many pandemics have you survived in your lifetime?

Whether you ran all the miles, meditated all the hours, barely slept, took all the naps, ate all the chocolate, gave up on house cleaning, cleaned obsessively or something else it’s okay. You’re still a beautiful, worthy and capable human being. 

If you’re in that space of feeling ready to lose some weight, more power to you. Please just do it for reasons beyond the scale.  I can’t say what those reasons would be for you as again it isn’t a one size fits all. What I can say is that self love is a gift you give yourself and I truly wish that for you regardless of what number you see when you step on that scale.


  • Colleen Cleary

    HHC, Founder of The Cleary Method

    Colleen Cleary is a certified holistic health coach, healthy habits expert, and independent rep with Zyia Activewear working in Portland, Oregon. She founded The Cleary Method to give her clients tools and strategies around mindset, healthy habits & nutrition so they can ditch dieting and get results that stick. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Jim, 3 kids Jonathan, Sophie and Maddie, friends and BRFs in the local running group she manages. She also loves running and racing, trying new recipes, camping, traveling, chai tea and dark chocolate. Learn more about Colleen and her coaching practice at colleencleary.net