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Eating right is spreading to doing other things right

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I've noticed that I'm getting more like who I was in high school lately. I don't mean that I'm anywhere near 120 pounds (I was actually too thin then anyway) but that I feel like I can do what I set my mind to.

Part of that is being single again. I don't want to get too Jerry Springer here, but I believe very strongly in marriage, and I hung in there well over a decade past when I could have left with a clean conscience.

I developed a terrible vision of myself, then, based on my longing to do things right and dozens, perhaps hundreds, of failed attempts to have a Godly, upstanding, successful family relationship with the outside world in partnership with someone who couldn't or wouldn't.

I absorbed the belief that I couldn't be righteous. I don't mean that in the religious sense, but in the sense of doing things the smart way, of being reliable, of paying bills on time, of being a supporter instead of a weight on others who love me.

Now that I'm in control again of my life and living alone with my kids, I've been repeatedly amazed to rediscover that I'm naturally an organized, capable person. It turns out I *can* keep a clean home when I'm not cleaning up after another adult in addition to the kids. I *can* pay my bills on time when I'm in charge of the budget and am blessed with a job. I *can* enjoy the fruits of doing things right.

I've still felt powerless about food, though, and vaguely guilty about not feeding the kids better. I knew genuinely diving into a better lifestyle would take a lot of energy and commitment. Once I was settled in my new job and home, I knew the time was right. Still, I couldn't seem to muster enough to keep going more than a couple of days after I started. I started over, and over, and over.

Joining SparkPeople finally gave me the support I've needed. I'm using almost exactly the same strategy (sticking to a calorie limit) that had repeatedly failed me, but it's working now. I know this might sound funny coming from someone at the very beginning of a 60-pound weight loss journey, but I already feel like a success because I'm DOING it. I've been on a roll for two weeks and don't feel tempted to slack off. I feel like I'm winning.

And the biggest surprise to me has been that I've been seeing other changes in my life. I'm becoming more goal-oriented and organized in everything from laundry to budgeting my spending money more cautiously.

Feeling capable of achieving my weight goal is giving me a confidence that carries over to other areas of my life. I'm slowly ridding myself of that negative image that took years to seep into my heart. It may not disappear overnight, but I'm obliterating it in tiny increments, with small daily achievements.

Cool, right? I feel so grateful to remember how it felt to be young and capable and proud of my approach to life!
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