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Gratitude for the struggle

Friday, March 08, 2013

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday at work, while eating lunch, my colleague commented on the fact that for the first 30 years of her life, she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain weight. She loved to eat junk food, white flour, bread and butter, chips and dip, etc. Her weight was never an issue until she hit 30. And she explained how difficult she finds it now to have to pay such careful attention to what she eats, exercising, etc. She doesn't really love healthy foods, and would much rather eat whatever she wanted and only work out when she really felt like it. She then went on to say that her close friend from childhood always had to struggle with her weight, so she is now in great shape, loves healthy eating and living, and finds it an easy, normal part of her life.

This was a huge aha moment for me! Renee Stephens (of IOWL) often talks about how we have to find the positive intent in our struggle, the hidden gifts of our struggle, and gratitude for who we are. Whenever I heard her say that, I often felt a bit stumped. What was I grateful for in terms of having to watch my weight since I was about 11 years old (31 years now)?

Well, when my colleague said this to me, I realized that I really do love eating well and exercising and I find it easy to incorporate both behaviors into my life. Exercise is like brushing my teeth for me. I never miss because I love it and it's just part of my day. Eating healthy food is also a normal part of my life and I never struggle with it. In fact, I prefer eating in this way and look forward to my delicious, healthy meals.

This is not to say that I'm doing everything right!! Not at all. In fact, I had a terrible binge yesterday. There was just too much stress due to my husband's health and life and I lost it. But when I binge, it's on healthy foods. Yes, I felt sick to my stomach and gained weight. Yes, I was really upset with myself. But again, my colleague's remarks reminded me that not everyone gets up early everyday to work out no matter what and who has a healthy breakfast and lunch ready in the fridge to take to work. Not everyone easily incorporates healthy living into all aspects of life.

And, while we're on the subject of gratitude, I am sooooo...grateful to everyone in the 5% challenge for the wonderful goodies and messages. They came at a time when I was feeling quite down, and did so much to lift my spirits!! Thank you everyone!! I'm very lucky indeed!

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 3/10/2013 11:23PM

    Having a grateful heart is not an option for me, it's required! I like to live by the words Apostle Paul writes, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:16-18). Thanks for sharing your gratitude. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

Comment edited on: 3/10/2013 11:24:29 PM

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PHOENIX1949 3/8/2013 8:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIANESAV3 3/8/2013 7:54PM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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GLORIAMAJDI 3/8/2013 7:18PM

    I firmly believe in gratitude. I probably whine and complain as much (or more) as anyone, but when I think of my blessings, I just feel so lucky and happy! So I think it is wise to stop and remember how fortunate we are.

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WATERMELLEN 3/8/2013 6:53PM

    That Piglet quote is so precious. What a great blog. You've really persuaded me (and I was sceptical when I read your title!!) that it's possible to b grateful for the struggle!!

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WILSONWR 3/8/2013 3:44PM

    Sounds like you have made healthy living a real habit. Having slips is understandable, especially with what you are going through. But those were just slips along the way - you're still headed down the right path. Congratulations on your overall success!

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LASARRE 3/8/2013 1:06PM

    Great blog. It is amazing what we discover along the way ;)

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HEALTHYBARB1 3/8/2013 11:33AM

    Know that the walk through life can have it's ups and downs. I too agree that the support I have received this week from our team mates has been totally amazing. Thank you for the quotes and the reminder that our attitude can make all of the difference in how our week ends up. My daughter called from college and shared her quote for the week..."let whatever you do today be ENOUGH!!" She said it was written on a wall in one of the Physics classrooms and it reminded her that she needed to do her best each day and leave the rest in God's capable hands. Great reminder for me from my 19 year old!!Keep up the positive attitude and keep reading those quotes...Pooh and Piglet sure are wise guys when it comes to real life!! Smiles and Hugs Barb

Comment edited on: 3/8/2013 11:39:11 AM

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MJREIMERS 3/8/2013 10:50AM

    emoticon attitude!!! Finding the positive in "negatives" isn't always easy, but I love your "ah ha" moment!!!

I watch as the same people, at work, participate in the biggest loser. (I won the challenge two years ago.) I am so happy to see them continue to try, but also saddened by the fact that they can't seem to keep it lose it and/or keep it off. It reminds me of what we in maintenance already know, it's a lifestyle change..NOT a diet. It never stops, but we learn to appreciate the "new food" and how much healthier our bodies are.

I still am not a huge fan of working out. I hate the feeling of lactic acid as it builds up in my muscles, but I LOVE the way I feel when I'm finished with a workout. I will continue to get up early to work out. One more note, I LOVE the way my body is changing into a stronger more balanced and flexible vessel.

emoticon I needed this blog today since I'm getting muscle and the scale is reflecting that fact.

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KA_JUN 3/8/2013 10:50AM

    Great blog! Truly we should cultivate a sense of gratefulness, and I think your point is insightful, about how if people had to struggle with fitness/health/weight it was an easier transition, than if one had it come easy early on.

Thanks for the post! emoticon

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RX_2_RV 3/8/2013 10:43AM

    Great blog! What a wonderful way to start my day! I'm grateful that I stumbled across it.
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