Thursday, December 16, 2010
Do you have a fun house mirror in your house? You know, you look in it and all you see is the you 30 or 50 or more pounds ago?
Or maybe you look at yourself and all you see are the things you have always defined yourself by: your big thighs, you big stomach, your big butt . . . "big" seems to play a big role in our lives.
It can take a long time for our vision to catch up with the reality. The reality is those big thighs aren't so big anymore (ditto everything else big you've ever called yourself). Mentally, you may realize this, but psychologically, we're just stuck in the past.
Looking at yourself in the mirror isn't narcissistic -- in fact, it's a downright necessity. Only by looking at ourselves with kind eyes can we play catch up. Studying ourselves with no guilt allows us to see the changes our hard work has wrought -- or even the ones our slacking may have, for that fact.
It's important to see yourself as you are, right now, with no judgment. Turn off the video player in your mind. You might just surprise yourself and wonder who that person in the photo is -- you knew her/him once, it's on the tip of your tongue, only to realize it's yourself.
Remember that you are a perfect YOU, not anyone else. That we are all unique, and beautiful, and put here for a reason.
Throw out that fun house mirror today.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Yesterday was one of those days where really all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and watch tv all day. The temps struggled to get to 20 (not sure it ever made it -- and it will be a repeat today). Woke up to a couple of inches of snow on the ground.
But I just did it -- I went out and did my food shopping, and I stopped at Target to pick up a few things. After lunch, I walked some very reluctant dogs (they detest having to wear coats, and aren't all that fond of the snow, either).
I shoveled the parts of the driveway DH didn't get to (my side, of course, but he did do the majority of it) and the front walk & steps. And then I REALLY didn't feel like finishing off with a little exercise, but I knew I hadn't really gotten all that much plus I hadn't hit my 10,000 steps for the day yet either.
So I just did it. And I was rewarded by the sight of the sun going down behind our pine trees as I stopped and enjoyed some tea. It was like God's little gift to me.
When we do the things we know we should, even when we really don't want to, we are rewarded in so many ways. With a feeling of peace, with a feeling of self confidence, with the gift of better sleep, with a body that makes us happy, with the energy to do more than we think we can . . . the list goes on and on.
What rewards are you receiving?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Reframing is a tool recommended by WW. Basically, it's taking negative thoughts and turning them into positive thoughts.
An article I read this morning had a very interesting take on this. The author talked about how she reframed depression into down time -- into peacefullness. Restoring, renewing.
I have often thought of this time of year as a time to go into ourselves. We forget with our bright lights and our computers that people used to go to sleep when the sun went down (what else was there to do with virtually no light?) and got up when the sun came up.
I don't think of it as a time to hibernate, altho I admit there are days when that's really tempting. But I think it should be a time to recharge our batteries. I'll also admit that it's easier for me to say, because basically, my holiday duties are now pretty much over. I know yours are probably revving into high gear.
But the next time I feel as tho I'm not accomplishing enough -- daily, it seems -- I will tell myself that rest & renewal are important, too. Necessary, in fact. A candle that burns too bright soon burns out.
If you're feeling down this holiday season for whatever reason, tell yourself it's ok. Tell yourself you are simply finding some peace for yourself. Remember that you are recharging your batteries so you will have the energy to get thru your days. Realize that some peace in your life is a very restorative thing.
And don't forget to reframe whatever negative thoughts that may be creeping into your life!
Monday, December 13, 2010
It seems like a good time of year to reflect on how far you've come. It's another good chance to focus on the positives, not the negatives, too. Cause we never come as far as we'd hoped to -- rarely, anyway.
I was always known as the baker. The one that made the rich, decadent desserts. The one that started baking Christmas cookies in August (despite not being Christian!). The one that has a particular weakness for cookies, too.
And as I baked a couple of batches of cookies yesterday, I reflected on how far I've come. Not just over the last couple of years, but over the last 20 or so.
I baked 2 types of cookies (both vegan, from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which is excellent) -- chocolate crackle cookies and big, soft, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I tasted a little bit of the batter -- but not much. Yes, I had one cookie from each batch -- but that was it. The rest, except a few I kept for my Dad, cause God forbid there's nothing sweet after a meal, went in with DH to work -- with strict instructions to leave all cookies behind!
There was a time I probably would have made myself sick eating cookies. In fact, I can tell how far I've come -- just the little bit of batter I tasted on an empty stomach make me mildly sick. Headache, slightly nauseous -- but does that stop me? No, haven't evolved that far yet. And oddly enough, they really made me crave water. Almost as if my body were demanding healthy stuff to replace the sugar.
I will also admit to being sad to see them go. I would love to be able to eat a couple of cookies every single day, but I know I just can't. Sugar is not my friend. I do believe everyone needs a bit of sugar in their lives now and again, but most of us indulge way too often (myself included).
I am not the same person I was 20 years ago, and that's as it should be. We should never stop growing, experimenting, and learning.
So how far have you come, and what have you learned on your journey to a healthier you?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
About yourself, that is?
I know some of you are sitting there and grumbling to yourself that nothing about you amazes you. But there's always something -- you just have been taught to downplay your own strengths and you've probably put yourself on the back burner as well.
It's definitely time to take center stage!
So what brought on this blog? I was looking at my neck in the mirror the other day.
For the longest time I thought I didn't have much of a neck. And quite frankly, at almost 50, it isn't my most attractive feature.
But I have discovered that while I'm certainly no Audrey Hepburn, my neck is a lot longer than I imagined. In fact, I'm noticing that a lot lately. I look at that photo of me before my first 5k. At the time, all I could focus on was that little bitty muffin top. Now I look at it, and I see slender legs and arms. Lookin' good, as they say.
Yeah, it's a narcisstic blog, but in a good way. When you notice the good stuff about yourself -- your looks, your abilities, your strengths, what have you -- you FEEL good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, you're motivated to take better care of yourself. You're sparked!
And on a totally different subject, there are all sorts of eating plans floating around out there (for a price) on the Internet. They all say they'll refund your money, no questions asked, within a certain time period. The gimmick being that what have you got to lose (pun intended).
I've tried a few. The latest one, "Cheat Your Way Thin", wasn't for me. As I mentioned, I've taken some ideas from it, but in the end, it was just too complicated for me and I wasn't losing much weight either.
I must say I was impressed -- yes, I got my refund, no questions asked, within 24 hours. I'm sure there are unscrupulous plans and sites out there -- this one happened to be recommended by a source I trust, but it's the first time I've asked for my money back and I was really expecting questions. There weren't any. Just sayin'.
So what amazes you about yourself?
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