I am indeed starting on a journey. This journey is different than any I’ve taken before. My journey is about developing an acceptance, love and appreciation for my body through hard work that is not attached to appearance. This is different than your typical “eat well and exercise” regimen. While the work is physical, it's much more than that. It’s mental and emotional, and I’m finally ready to tackle it!
In my last post I talked about how much I was equating my self-worth with my appearance and was beginning to truly recognize the damage that internal dialogue was doing to my overall well-being. In an effort to stay accountable, I’m going to continue to write as I work through some of these issues. I hope you’ll join me in the journey and be inspired to share your journey as well.
During the editing process of writing “Separating Self Worth and Appearance” I read it aloud to my husband…and cried like a baby. Seriously… like a baby. I mean I knew that these thoughts of inadequacy and discord were running through my head and sure, I knew that it was driving me a little crazy but it wasn’t until I shared those thoughts and feelings aloud that I realized just how much they had been affecting my daily life and the way I was approaching my own health.
Since coming home from vacation in June, I have made a real conscious effort to change the conversation in my head. I’m going to be honest with you, IT IS NOT EASY! Those first few weeks were spent redirecting a constant barrage of negative statements. I’ve had to be really diligent about stopping them IMMEDIATELY and telling myself something else that is actually true, even if I’m still working on believing it. An example? If I find myself thinking something along the lines of, ‘Ugh, I look awful! Maybe I should just stay home.’ I would stop the thought in its tracks and remind myself, ‘I am enough. My friends love me for ME, not for how I look in my clothes. Go out and ENJOY yourself!’ You know what? It totally helps. I can’t say that every redirection is always a perfect reflection of my current belief. There are times that I have to say things that I don’t quite believe YET but hope to soon, such as, ‘I am beautiful’. That’s a TOUGH one, but I’m working on believing it, and I will NOT give up on trying.
Now that I find myself at the beginning of another challenge and needing to set goals for the next 8 weeks, I’ve decided to share my entire journey with you in hopes that as I work through these mental/emotional obstacles, it will help you as well. Quick disclaimer: You may end up coming to know me far more than you have ever cared to…and I’m human and imperfect. I know, shocker, right?
Here goes nothing… on Day 1 of this challenge, I weighed nearly the same as I did when I delivered my last baby… 5 YEARS AGO! Prior to that pregnancy, I had reached my healthy goal weight of 140 and felt great physically, but still had a lot of work to do emotionally (clearly).
I had lost all but 10 pounds of the baby weight then this, that and some other things as well as some disappointing setbacks in website growth and development happened, and I fell. Hard. I will say that most of my weight gain has actually occurred over the last 6 months in response to life struggles I’ve faced this past year. My goal is to not focus so heavily on the number on the scale but more the message in my heart. I want to leave behind my need for approval from others, and I’d like to see how that affects me physically as well.
Now, in order to track all changes, I’ve tentatively decided to share my “Right Now” pictures and stats. For someone who is inherently a people pleaser, seeks the approval of others, and has a great desire to not disappoint others (to a fault) this is a really BIG, SCARY DEAL!! But, ultimately, I’ve decided that it’s kind of silly to wait to share my WHOLE journey until I’ve completed it because… well… it will never be done….not completely anyway. I can't say that I'll never reach my goal weight again. I know there will be maintenance of the physical and more importantly the EMOTIONAL side of this journey. If I were to wait to share, who knows how long that might take? So, lucky you! You get to see the good, the bad and the ugly of my journey.
Here we go!
Oh, my goodness! You have no idea how challenging it is to lay it all out there. Thought redirection central is happening RIGHT NOW! Repeating internally, 'The numbers don't matter. Your heart, your hope, your direction matter. You matter, not what others may think.' See? It can be done. I'm going to breathe and try not to freak out too bad. ;)
Last week (since we’re now one week into the challenge), I focused on getting my workbook filled out and making a clear plan for ME. I also made sure to get ALL of my habit points because consistency is important! This really helped me pinpoint what I wanted to accomplish over the next 8 weeks and truly evaluate my "WHY".
What's my "why"?
1. To care for the body I've been blessed with.
2. To feel good despite any physical limitations.
3. To stay emotionally stable.
4. To be an example for my family of the benefits of caring for oneself.
5. To love myself from the inside out.
This week, I will be focusing on:
1. Using my food journal to take an HONEST look at my food intake while watching how my emotions affect my choices.
2. Taking time each day to write in my regular journal (which is coated in dust).
3. Staying consistent by getting ALL of my habit points.
4. Read books about overcoming emotional eating.
I invite you to take some time to examine your own inner dialgue. Is it time to change the conversation? Have you had a breakthrough?
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