This week marks my two year journey to a healthier me. I can very much say that this journey has been a rollercoaster, often not motivated by myself, but by others around me. I’m still working on myself, but I’ve learned a lot along the way.
I can’t please everyone, so I might as well please myself.
I heard it all the time when I was overweight. “You should be healthier, you should lose some weight,” etc, etc. I started my health journey because my husband had a cholesterol problem. We said enough is enough and got our butts in gear. I was motivated to be healthier, only because he was, and since we’re the same height … we cannot weigh the same! He’s a man after all! We started working with an amazing health coach, and over the course of two years, I’ve lost 60 pounds, work out on a regular basis, and am currently working on fixing a hormone issue, that I always chalked up to “this is just life, I’m going to be tired a lot, I’m a napper, etc.”
Now that I’m healthier, I hear “You don’t need to lose anymore weight, you’re too skinny,” and so on it goes! Apparently, there is no perfect weight or level of healthy that pleases everyone, so I’m just going to please myself. I’m going to workout until it hurts three days a week, I’m going to make and eat healthy meals for myself and for my family, and I’m going to try to eat a low sugar, organic, Paleo diet. I’m also going to eat the cookie cake sometimes, because it pleases me. Skinny, underweight, overweight are all terms I deem useless. There is no mold that we all should fit in, unless it’s the healthy mold. Healthy looks different on everyone, and every BODY!
Listen to my body.
I’m going to eat when I’m hungry and try not to conform to “It’s lunchtime, dinnertime, or being bored.” If I’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that I need to listen to my body. If I am hungry, I should eat. If it is 6:00 and supper time, but I am not hungry, then I should not eat. I have fed my body enough to be full and comfortable, there’s no reason to increase my intake because it is time to eat. Eat when I am hungry, skip a meal or wait a while if I’m not hungry. I’m also going to workout when my body is telling me it is time, but when something hurts, I’m going to take a break to nurture that. The first week of summer, I threw out my back while changing my daughter’s sheets (lame, I know). I spent the first week of summer in the cold plunge, epsom salt baths, and downing Advil. This wasn’t exactly my plan, but I listened to my body, took a break, and healed. Too often we push too hard, ignore all the signs our bodies are giving us, and end up making the problem worse.
Be the best I can be and quit all the comparisons.
I have a major problem when I head to the gym. I spend many of my workouts people watching and comparing myself to other women, or men, in the gym. To the guy next to me in pump class, I lifted more than you today, and why should that matter? It doesn’t. My thoughts should be focused on myself and bettering myself, not what others around me are doing. To the woman in front of me at pump class, who is pregnant, and solidly lifted more than me the whole time … #goals. Instead of this discouraging me, I will be proud that I’ve made a lot of progress, and MY progress will continue. It’s not about where others are or where they are going. I’m not going to compare myself to the “skinny girl” I see on the treadmill. It’s about me, my body, and me being the best I can be. So, I’m going to continue doing me and focus on how far I’ve come.
Having a healthy relationship with myself is not always the easiest thing for me. Taking care of myself makes me a better mom, wife, daughter, and Christ follower. However, I’m quick to neglect myself before neglecting the dishes in the sink or the laundry in the basket. Ultimately, a healthier me should come before so many things we often deem important.