Friday, December 17, 2010
A dear spark buddy reminded me today that it is often life's hardest struggles that teach us -- and give us -- the most.
It is so, so easy to be envious and bitter about the people who can eat anything they want and never gain an ounce. My SIL & BIL come to mind, altho SIL would tell you she wants to lose weight (and she's pretty tiny).
Then I watch how they eat, and I watch how they feed their kids. Especially how they feed their kids. Let's just say it isn't the healthiest.
And so I am reminded to be thankful for my struggles with weight, because they have led me to an intense interest in nutrition -- and, oddly enough, exercise. I believe that I am far healthier, in the long wrong, BECAUSE I've struggled with my weight. Because rather than just lose the weight at any cost, I've instead made it my mission to be the best me I can be -- mind, body, and spirit.
That means learning how to eat healthy. Learning how to not stress about it when I don't eat healthy. Learning to actually enjoy the feeling of a body in motion. All of this is a work in progress, but they are things I probably would have never learned if I hadn't struggled with my weight.
What about your own struggles with weight makes you thankful?
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?
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