Challenges

For the past two weeks, I’ve been in a really good place. I started logging my food again, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. However, I definitely have to remind my self to keep up the positive self-talk.

I haven’t been posting my Little Love Notes to myself, but I have thought of a few more that just need to get from my head to my computer. And even the few that I have up so far have been really helpful. I am truly seeing myself differently again.

And then…. We go on vacation. Warmer weather equals different clothing. That is, bathing suits, shorter pants, no layering with structured cardigans and jackets. Deep breath. It gets really rough. I try not to look at what is and instead focus on my vision of who I truly am and who I want to be. But when the image in the mirror is staring back at you, it gets difficult.

I’m not sure just what to do about it. I want to enjoy my vacation, which also means enjoying food. Well, really, I always want to enjoy food. That doesn’t mean eating only junk. Healthy food can taste great, too. So I’m trying to pay attention to what I’m eating. I’ll try to keep logging – if only so that I don’t get out of the habit. And here I am, writing about it to try to help smooth out this process.

Remember: I am beautiful (my 3-year-old tells me that all the time!). I am lovable. I am worthy.

And then remember the little love notes. Focus on the things you already really love about yourself. I truly believe that is the key.

Advertisements

What is the key?

For months now, I’ve been so frustrated with sliding back – and back up the scale. Why does this always seem to happen? When I started losing weight at the beginning of 2014, I was extraordinarily positive. There was absolutely a shift. I said, it’s going to be different this time. And I truly felt it. But then something changed. For one thing, I started letting fear creep in. I started doubting myself. So how do I really do this and make it stick???

Here’s what I think. The reason everything felt so different that time, is because I was truly seeing myself differently. I was absolutely appreciating my body – all of my body. Even my belly. But over time, as I logged calories and played the math game to hit my target (a slightly smaller portion here, a few more minutes of exercise there), I went back to my old ways. I forgot to focus on appreciating – on loving – ME. Just as I was. I got carried away by the wonderful sensation of feeling thin. I got addicted to the compliments. But then as people got used to me being more slender, the compliments stopped coming. And I started doubting. The old voice of the critic in my head started getting stronger.

I hadn’t really changed my feeling. I hadn’t changed the way I felt about myself. I allowed the mirror to tell me how to feel. But that mirror is no good.

The absolute, without-a-doubt, most important thing I can do is LOVE MYSELF.

If I lose sight of that, then I will never be able to achieve this goal of being a more slender me – and thereby also a healthier me.

It’s such a tricky thing, I think: I have to love me now, even though I want to change. How does one do that? Practice. Practice loving myself exactly as I am. Every little bit of me. And that’s why my Little Love Notes to myself are so important.

At this point, I’m trying the logging thing again. If only to make myself more aware. And if I’m willing to put the time into logging my food on My Fitness Pal, then I am more than capable of finding time each and every day to write a little love note to myself. It absolutely MUST be part of the equation.

Little Love Notes #3

I love my sensitivity.

Growing up, I was often chided for being too sensitive. But in recent years, I have come to not only accept my sensitivity, but to appreciate it and even celebrate it.

My sensitivity presents itself in many ways.

My physical senses are quite strong. I could work for the perfume companies, I think, with my strong sense of smell. It can get in the way at time. For example, I can’t bear even a hint of spice in food, because it overpowers me. But I also greatly enjoy the variety flavors in the foods that I do like to eat.

I cry easily. Weddings – forget it. Doesn’t even matter if I really know the bride or groom 🙂 TV shows, movies, even Hallmark ads (you know, the long ones they put on during the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies) – they can all do me in. In fact, when my mom and I get weepy about these things, we created the term “Hallmarking” for it. “I was Hallmarking all over the place,” I’ll say to her 🙂 But then, I rather enjoy a good cry now and then!

I have recently become more sensitive about my body. I notice things more. I pay attention to its messages (hence my love of Louise Hay’s work). I have always had a high tolerance for pain, and yet I am increasingly sensitive. I had to have a root canal last week. The procedure was fine enough, but the recovery was long and painful. At first, I felt like a baby for complaining so much. But later, my dentist told me it can heal in a matter of days or may take more than a month! So I felt a bit vindicated. But then I realized it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. The plain fact is, I was in pain. Perhaps I felt it more because I am more sensitive to my body these days. I don’t think that is a particularly bad thing.

And so, I embrace my sensitivity and celebrate it as one of my finest qualities!

Little Love Notes #2

I love my hands.

I have always thought that I had rather graceful, delicate-looking hands. They are neither too big, nor too small. And I have beautiful nails at the ends of my fingers. The tips of the nails are so white, I hardly need do more than put a coat of clear polish on them to give the effect of a French manicure.

And yet these lovely hands are also strong, resilient, flexible.

These hands take care of myself and those I love. They held my babies. And now the hug and caress and tickle my little boys. These hands cook and type and draw and crochet and play the piano. They hold the steering wheel of the car. They do a thousand things every day – so many seemingly mundane things, that I can’t even think of more!

I am grateful for these beautiful, strong hands.

Little Love Notes #1

I love my big, expressive eyes.

My dad has always told me how much he loves my big eyes. I didn’t always take the compliment, but now I have to agree.

They get big with surprise. They twinkle with excitement – maybe even a bit of mischief sometimes. They are bright with laughter. They are soft with love.

I love to make “big eyes” with my 3-year-old son. I think his get even bigger than mine! We make our big eyes at each other and then laugh and laugh.

Little Bits of Love this February

I’ve been a big fan of Louise Hay for many years now. Last year, I discovered her page-a-day calendar and loved it. So guess what everyone got for Christmas this year? Yup. The new 2016 version of the tear-off calendar. I love getting a new affirmation every day. She even has an extra page to begin each month. Here is what she has to say for February:

Love is the nourishment that we humans need to fulfill our greatness. As I learn to love myself more, I learn to love everyone more. Together we tenderly cultivate an even more beautiful world.

I am in the process of changing some pretty deep-rooted beliefs (but that’s another post or two….). So I was inspired by this affirmation to focus a little love on myself each day this month. I thought I would post one thing each day that I love about myself, be it part of my physical appearance, a character trait, whatever! It feels a little conceited, I have to admit. But then, that’s something else I’m trying to change: my perspective on myself. It’s okay to proud of who I am. It’s okay to be happy with who I am. It’s okay to celebrate who I am!! So here goes….

One, Two, Three

Short and sweet, I feel I have three things to focus on as I move forward, if I want to achieve my goals of being healthier and shedding the weight I no longer need.

  1. Loving myself.  I believe this is the most important element if long-term weight-loss is to be achieved. Other things factor in, like diet and exercise, but nothing *real* can happen if I don’t love myself – including my body – including my body right now.
  2. Appreciating.  It’s time to take credit for all that I have accomplished! My weight may be fluctuating. It is still less than it was two years ago. And along the way, I have done some serious emotion purging of old beliefs, judgments, and fears. I also believe it is important to appreciate the extraordinary life I have – my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my home, my work, my growth, my support…. The list goes on and on. And that’s not to mention the beauty in nature all around us, a song that uplifts me, soft sheets on the bed, spotting a hawk soaring above, a delicious chocolate chip cookie – on and on and on – all the big and little things that make life so sweet!
  3. Letting go of Control.  This is a big one for me. It’s time to hold the reigns a little less tightly. In ALL areas of my life, including my need to lose weight. My 2-year-old son’s favorite song is “Let it Go” from Frozen. I love to listen to it over and over almost as much as he does, because it reminds me to let go 🙂

And one final note about loving myself. At the risk of sounding arrogant (which I do not think I am), I had a thought about my fears of people judging me: seriously, I think that all the people in my life – family, friends, fellow parents at school – would actually say I’m pretty darned amazing! I don’t know who I think is out there judging me so harshly! The only one doing that is ME. And it’s time to stop.