I have this friend (for real, it's not one of those random scenarios where it's really me)... And this friend has a medical diagnosis that is debilitating. It's very possible that someday she may be in a wheelchair. A lot of people who have MS (multiple sclerosis) end up wheelchair bound. Eventually people become so debilitated they are stuck in bed. Eventually, like any of us, they die - sadly for many it's what most of us would consider far too soon. I've seen it first hand (working with those diagnosed with MS). I hope that those hard days don't come for my friend - I hope there is a cure by then. Here's a link to the MS Society for those of you who may not be aware.
Here's the thing about my friend... She's amazing. Total rocks tar status. She doesn't let her diagnosis get the best of her. Recently she mentioned that she has been involved in on-line groups that she's struggled to belong to. Why? Because other group members have lost their positivity. From what I gather from her words, they dwell on the bad things. They complain. They only see their limitations. They view their future as bleak. She is the complete opposite. She's positive. She seeks ways to try to, naturally, enhance her life. She does her research about how various products effect her body. She eats healthy, real foods. It sounds as though the majority of her foods are organic, non-GMO, nourishing foods. She takes care of herself.
So... What's your excuse? Where's your positivity? Why aren't you caring for your body?
Life really is what you make it.
I can sit here right now and be like "I've gained so much weight over the last couple years," "I'm so disappointed in myself," or "how did I let this happen?" But guess what... Negative self-talk will get you no where good. It'll make you feel even worse about yourself which, for many of us, really kills motivation. If you want to change your body, your health, or anything else in life you need to start by being nice to yourself. You need to take care of your body. It's the same as it is with my friend. She could sit there and say "I have MS....I can't do that." But she's not. She's not using it as an excuse. She's using her diagnosis as a way to keep her body healthy and to fight back. She's raising awareness. She is a living example of how to treat yourself well.
And really, if you're not going to be nice to you, why should anyone else? No one likes to be around a Debbie Downer that they constantly have to reassure and compliment. Eventually they'll tire of it.
If you're going to accept negative self-talk, what will you take from others? The second you're mean to yourself is the same second you open the door for others to be mean to you.
Yeah, it takes work to lose weight or live healthy. It's work I'm willing to do though. I love myself enough to nourish it with (mostly) healthy foods and to give it the exercise it craves. I'm not really watching the scale so much right now (that totally messes with my head) but I know that by changing the bad habits I had fallen into, I will lose weight. Slow weight loss and living healthy needs to be the priority for me. I get a little crazy when the scale is too involved. I allow the numbers to dictate how I feel about myself; to set the tone for my day; and that just opens up doors to allow me to be an asshole to myself. I don't need that in my life.
So what am I doing?
I'm exercising. Daily. Even on busy days when I have strange gaps that aren't long enough to do a full workout, I'm fitting it in. I've been doing a lot of 30 minute periods of yoga or pilates in my office. Some days I get to do that twice a day. Or I do a more intense morning workout and then fit one of those sessions in later in the day, whenever I have time. I'm on a decent streak right now too. I've done a workout daily for 11 days. My "rest" days are active rest days where I do something lower intensity, like pilates or walking, or I workout for a shorter length of time. I'm not doing major cardio or strenuous exercise daily because I know that my body needs a break.
I'm eating healthy. For the last two weeks I've done meal prep for the week. It certainly makes life easier on busy days. Some nights I see clients until 7:30. I don't want to go home and cook a meal at that time. Instead it's all ready for me and I just have to warm it up. It's easy. That's what I need on those days. If I don't cook ahead of time, what's the easy alternative? Crappy food - fast food; snack foods from the gas station...Nothing GOOD for me. I'm also sneaking in a late afternoon healthy, protein rich snack to help me make it through the evening. Otherwise, I'd overeat from being so hungry. Yeah, you can overeat healthy foods too.
Water. I think that, by now, we all know that water is good for our bodies. It helps with weight loss. It's the best thing you can drink. Period. I typically drink a lot of water, but there are times when I definitely miss the mark. Winter is hard because, I'd just rather have something hot or nothing at all than drink cold water. Some days it's a struggle. I also fell back into a pop habit for a while. Seriously, I could drink two Diet Pepsis (20 oz) in a weekend day, easily...Sometimes three. I don't even like pop that much but I found myself in that habit. I've kicked that once again. In the last two weeks I have had one pop. I guess it's like junk food... I can't eat it if it's not in my house. And I have to think about it if I go to the store - there's the effort going to the store, right now there's the cold, and then I have time to think about what a waste of money it is too. Yup... That's easy enough.
Social Media. It keeps me accountable. Just like this blog that I'm not posting to nearly enough. I've found Instagram to be a good source to help with accountability. Say what you want, but let's face it, social media is a good bragging platform....And maybe part of my accountability is related to bragging. I'm not too afraid to admit it.... I love posting my gross post-workout pictures because people "like" them and sometimes they comment. There's a reason y'all use those hash tags and you know it. I don't necessarily want a bunch of followers....But it does help when people are liking those pics. It helps me stay accountable. I want them to see my nasty workout pictures all the time. I will post my meal prep or a healthy dinner as well. I also tend to post my dogs and other pictures (usually my goofy boyfriend and I) but it's generally used for all things health and fitness related. Maybe I am bragging about every workout I do (yeah, even if I do three different things in a day), but it helps me stay accountable. Ya gotta find what works for you!
Myself. I'm being nice to myself. I'm treating myself well. Negative self-talk is gone; positive self-talk is in. That's it... I'm just being good to myself. Why? Because I freaking love myself. That's it... Why focus on the things that I'm not doing well or that I don't like about myself? That's not helping anyone. Instead I stay positive and focus on the things I'm doing right.
Other people...Like my friend. She's awesome. I look at what others do and let them inspire me. I read their posts, view their pictures, and remind myself that my health is what matters. I also remind myself that I don't know who I might be inspiring. I want to live a happy, healthy, positive life so that others can see that they can too.
And on the flip side, I'm done letting what other people do and say influence me. I've had people use what I have written on this blog to try to hurt me. They've made up lies that other people have said things about me... Really those people haven't. They've just read my insecurities on this blog and tried to twist what I've said about myself to make me believe that other people have said those things. The thing about that, is that I've never known anyone else to be as mean to me as I've allowed myself to be. I'm secure and confident in who I am... Sure there are things I can work to improve or change. We all have those things in our lives. I'm working on mine.
"What's your excuse?"
I pose that question to myself frequently when I need some extra motivation. I generally find that there's no good excuse that will get me out of working out. Unless I should not be working out for a darn good reason (like a major illness), there's nothing that I should allow to stop me. Excuses are just that - excuses.
Next time you don't want to do your workout or cook a healthy meal...Think of my friend. Think of how she has this stupid diagnosis in her life that she could use an excuse. Then think of how she doesn't let it stop her - she's motivated, she's determined, and she's happy. Who wouldn't want to be happy??