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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sandy: Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of you lovely moms out there. 

I gave myself a tremendous gift on Mother’s Day, and I wanted to share a little of my journey with you, to let you know how I got there.  My gift was of self love and acceptance.  I know, that may sound a little weak or hokey when you read it, but if you really give it some thought, it is a very significant gift. 
I’ve been a little quiet lately, and I apologize for that.   You see after many weeks of reflection, I’ve been studying my habits and attitude shifts and I’m seeing a definite pattern of ups and downs that are brought on by emotional stress.  We all have these situations, when life sneaks up and bites you in the rear just when you think you got the ball rolling.

I was getting into a good trend of getting to the gym 5 days a week, even if it was just for 30- 45 minutes, I would get there and I would move.  Then Easter came, and it seemed to knock me off balance.  Also, as the weather gets better my neighborhood friends start getting together once or twice a week, which is GREAT, but….   Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my neighborhood!  The problem is that I’m a social eater, and that puts a big damper on any progress that I’ve made.   I know, I know, everything in moderation.  My logical brain understands all of that, but like potato chips, “Ya can’t have just ONE.”

The problem wasn’t so much the parties… it’s my mentality around it.  I give in and say “Oh what the heck!  I’ve been working hard, I deserve this” or worse, “I’ve been working so hard, with such little result, I might as well enjoy myself and eat if I’m just going to stay the same.  Sometimes I just get forgetful or in complete denial and I just munch away without abandon.  It’s almost like in order to fit in with the party crowd I need to be chewing on the food that everyone brought.  It would be an insult not to, Right?  (Or so my brain tells me.)  The worst part is the way I feel afterwards, heavy, bloated and uncomfortable.  My clothes don’t fit anymore as it is, and after a party, my clothes seem to just cling.  I would berate myself for DAYS and do a lot of negative self talk, which just brings me down emotionally.  Then it dawned on me.  I had to stop beating myself up.  No one is going to judge me if I choose not to eat the seven layer dip with chips.  No one is really going to care if I’m munching on carrots instead of pizza. 

You see, life is a challenge.  You can choose to accept the challenge, and work every day toward your goal, making smart choices, either at meal time, or to get to the gym; or you can just say, who cares, and allow yourself to fall into the pit.  The pit is a very terrible place to be, it’s the place where you give up hope or caring because it just seems like too much work to try, and once you’ve fallen in, it’s very difficult to get out of it.   

The fact is that every little choice that we make works towards the bigger picture.  We can’t forget that one little mistake shouldn’t lead to a complete self destructive onslaught.  Sure, we won’t get the results as quickly if we allow those little mistakes to add up, however the best thing we can do for ourselves is to be forgiving and loving.  Stay aware of what you are doing.  Allow yourself to bend sometimes without beating yourself up because that self torture just leads right back to the pit.

If you miss a day at the gym, don’t let it turn into weeks.  Just keep pushing.  Go for a walk or a quick jog, do some push-ups or stretches, just get your body to move so that it knows that you are still in routine, even though you may not have gotten through the doors of the gym.

This Mother’s Day I decided that I was going to sleep in.  I CHOSE not to feel guilty about it.  I wasn’t going to allow myself to get down because my shorts didn’t fit, or that I hadn’t been to the gym in three days.  I was going to fill myself with love and acceptance.  I put on an outfit that I knew would be comfortable, and I relieved myself of any judgment.  And you know what?  I had an amazing day.  I even allowed myself to have an ice cream, and I enjoyed it! 

My day was filled with an ebb and flow of love.  Everything seemed to go right and flow smoothly.  I am and still remain very thankful.  I woke up to a beautiful day today, and I’m ready to work.  I have my goals set and I know what I need to do to make some forward progress.  

So here are my words of wisdom for the day.  Give yourself the gift of love and acceptance.  Focus on your bigger goals, and just work on Today, anything beyond today can seem too overwhelming.  Listen to your body, and listen to your heart.  You can’t change it all in one day, and if you try to be perfect you will just set yourself up for failure.  Just keep moving toward that bigger goal by making little choices and eventually it will all add up. 

Wishing you all the best. 

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