Call it what you will. Relaxed. Lazy. Nonchalance. Failure. I call it “time to refocus.”
Living a healthy lifestyle is extraordinarily important to me. I care about the lessons I teach Doodle, about taking care of myself, of putting my health and wellness in front of looks and cravings. For me “healthy” truly is a lifestyle change. It is not simply an act of clicking my heels three times and poof, just like that I am my ideal healthy. Nope, not even a little bit. I have never thought at length about how food and fitness impact my health. In fact I have always beat to my own drum; eating what I want when I want and participating in the activities that I love.
That has been good and well up until now. Now I am in my mid-thirties, I am far less active, I am far more indulgent and I am far more concerned about learning to be the healthiest version of myself. Not only for me to feel my best, but also for my family so that they can have me at my best.
Recently I have lost my way on my healthiest journey. Not just a little bit but quite frankly a lot-a-bit. The kind of lost my way that is persistent in my thoughts and reminds me that negative self-talk occurs when we are not living our best life. I didn’t quite understand how I got here after so many years of being active and focusing on healthy. At any rate, I am here. At the crossroad of “lost my way” and “taking control back.” And I have found that there are a few tactics that one can use to clear the fog and truly re-focus.
- Get honest with yourself in writing – real honest. Journal to yourself, your story, your frustration, your fears. Journal your truth. For so long I allowed myself a pass. A pass from getting real and honest with myself. The fastest way through it is to face it. So I took out a pen and wrote a long note to myself. I wrote about confusion, frustration, fear and how I felt. This writing allowed me to get out of my own way. It cleared space in my head to start thinking through a solution rather than continually focusing on the problem.
- Give yourself space. I sat in the quiet space between journaling my honesty and having an answer. There is no rush in matters of emotion. And as time always does, it worked its way out. I realized in that space that my biggest hurdle to date has been wrestling with what a healthy lifestyle means to me. I realized in that space that I was carrying more anger towards what I was going to sacrifice as a result of becoming healthy, rather than being proud of what I would gain. I realized my focus was entirely on the wrong thing. Mentally I have been perceiving healthy as a problem and a hurdle to happiness rather than the root of happiness.
- Reflect. There is a space and time I am sure that you are most proud of your healthy journey. Mine was a time post baby. I had developed a lot of good habits. I didn’t indulge in sugar (hardly ever quite frankly). I was active regularly (jogs, walks with a stroller and the pups). I didn’t over indulge (I ate what I wanted, but in portion sizes that made sense). Alcohol was limited, in fact nearly non-existent (when you’re a new single mom drinking is simply off the table). I prepared most meals at home (limited funds equals limited meals outside of the house). I took care in getting ready (I was proud of who I was becoming and it reflected in the effort I made on myself every single day as I got ready).
- Make a commitment to yourself, just decide. As a result of my reflection I am able to notice that all the things that made me most healthy then are the things I am struggling with now. It’s time to cut back on the sugar, dessert after every meal needs to become dessert during a special occasion. It’s time to get up and move. I sit all day long at a computer, it’s time I find ways to take an extra step or 30. Getting up earlier to take a quick neighborhood jog, walk during lunch or play in the backyard in the evening – my goal is to move more. I need to reduce portion sizes one meal at a time. Food is fuel, not an endurance activity. I can easily knock out the alcohol. I don’t drink much at all so this one will be easy peasy. Yep, it’s time to get back in my kitchen and prepare my own meals. And I need to take the extra five minutes it takes each morning to feel like I am at my best. A little added attention on myself is never a bad thing.
These tools are simple and they start with getting real honest. Whatever the struggle may be, take a moment to actually be honest. With no one else watching or listening, you might not love what you hear, but you will be able to change anything if you are honest with you.
Here’s to the journeys we struggle with, here’s to me learning to love a healthy lifestyle!