Can you believe we’re in the last full week of January? It’s crazy, right? This year for me is about building on the great stuff that happened in 2016. I’m eager to make this a banner year, but if I just get another year like last year, I’m doing pretty good.
So, how’s your year going? How are you sitting with the intentions you set 21 days ago?
I know, it’s hard. Last week marked the week when most of us give up on our resolutions. We’ve been working out every day since Jan. 1 and aren’t seeing any differences and we’re getting bored with eating salads. This is when we feel like we’re never going to get that promotion so we should just stop going to the extra effort and it’s so much better to lie on the couch with takeout and a glass of wine anyway.
Don’t give up just yet.
I’ve got two reasons not to give up. One, perhaps it’s time to shift gears. Don’t bully yourself into your resolutions. Treat yourself with lovingkindness and care and embrace your intentions. Be gentle and kind with yourself. So often we’re thinking we’re not enough. We’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough.So, we better stop messing around and do something to make it better. Right? Doesn’t that sound familiar?
What if instead of hating yourself into dropping twenty/thirty/forty pounds, you love yourself there? What if you love yourself enough to want your joints to be healthier, your cardiovascular health to improve, your stamina to increase, your clothes to fit better, sleep to come effortlessly, your skin to glow and most importantly, your brain to be sharp and capable of managing your emotions?
What if instead of punishing yourself with workouts and food you barely tolerate you love yourself enough to reward yourself with a workout that makes you antsy to get up in the morning so you can get to the gym? Maybe find new, healthier foods that make you excited for dinner, instead of forcing yourself to eat things you don’t like, but have convinced yourself you need to eat? Don’t like kale? You’re a grown-up, don’t eat kale. I promise, it’s okay. Find healthy foods that you can’t get enough of and eat those. Then you can slowly introduce some others, maybe even kale.
The second reason not to give up? Cause you’re most of the way through the hardest part. If you’ve been working out for the last three weeks and just can’t make yourself go to the gym one more time. Do it anyway. Cause you’re at the place where your body is about to shift. Last night I was taking my coat off and putting my bags down and my boyfriend came into the room and exclaimed, “You look great!” I gave him a weird look, because one, I was wearing the same pants and a very similar shirt to the one he’d seen me in the day before, but two, because I think I look the same.
This morning as I was getting in the shower, I stood in front of the mirror in my sleep shorts and tee shirt and noticed that I am seeing some of the benefits of my new workouts. I’d been working out fairly consistently, but I’ve recently mixed it up, working my abs more to support my arthritic back and getting my loosey-goosey hips stronger.
I took my clothes off and stood naked in front of the mirror. You know what?n He was right! There are subtle changes happening in my body! Now, if I were doing the workouts just to drop weight cause I SHOULD, I might have quit already, but I’m looking to drop weight cause my arthritis really needs me to. I’m learning how to retrain my muscles. Some of them are doing more work than they should and some aren’t firing at all and it’s creating instability in my body. Cultivating stability in my body is going to kick arthritis’ butt.
I’ve found that when I do that, when I workout for the health of my body and not for my ego, I leave my workouts feeling really great. I feel more whole, my body feels more integrated, like everyone is working together to propel Melissa through this world. I feel strong and energetic.
It takes about 21 days to create a new habit. We’re all a little different, but if you’ve been working on something new in your life since Jan 1, don’t quit, cause you’re there! You’re at the place, or very close to the place where that new behavior is going to become habit. You have to love the new behavior, though. If you’re punishing yourself, you’re going to drop the new behavior no matter how committed you are to your goal. If you’re doing something that isn’t good for you, like limiting yourself to 700 calories a day or something equally crazy, you’re going to quit. That may be a good thing.
I encourage you to get really honest with yourself. Get on the mat, listen to your body, meditate and listen to your heart, journal and get quiet with your thoughts. Notice how you’re feeling, body/mind/spirit., You may be accomplishing far more than you think you are.
I’m teaching BreatheOnline, a self-study course for anxiety and depression. Next week we’re focusing on self-care, the ultimate act of self-love. How do you love yourself? Not the moments you steal for yourself, but the time you carve out of your week just for you. Does just thinking about it make you uncomfortable? This week is about getting clear about how you’re feeling, next week is about embracing self-care. Just whatever you do, DON’t give up.
You got this!
If you’d like to join BreatheOnline, it’s a self-study group that also gets support and encouragement through a private FB group. You can still join us and not feel behind. Here’s the link, check it out and feel free to email or call with any questions. http://bit.ly/1TKsxq8