The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Pushy, aggressive people have been known to say:
“Lead, follow or get out of the way.” I say that is a big crock.
How much better is it to “march to your own drummer” in the parade of life?
Last month I said we would share a few insights about Valentine month and some good healthy LOVE. Of course loving one another, loving your neighbor and loving your faith are of huge importance. But loving yourself is right up there of equal value. Self-love is about loving who you are and it is NOT the same as self-ISH.
Caring for YOU is such an important component of living a healthy life style. I have said many times that each of us should be in charge of our own lovely selves and, of course, I do not mean this to be to the detriment of everyone else. Loving yourself and being a mom, spouse, friend, helper and so forth, are not by any means mutually exclusive. In fact, they are very much interwoven. Thinking of yourself as a lovable person means you are probably also a loved person.
Self-image, accepting one’s body, looks and demeanor is a big part of living your best. These days, life seems to make it difficult to not label ourselves. I am not tall. I am not wafer thin, I have wrinkles, gray hairs and a bad knee. My label could be “old bat,” but I am not going to listen to that voice. I am also a good writer. I do hours of volunteer, charity and church work. I love these pieces of me. I like people, too, and I have dear friends. I would rather be who I am than anybody else. I am not unique in these feelings. I know many people who, contrary to popular belief, are very comfortable with themselves, and not only like themselves, but like and do for others as well. So, old labels and new labels, positive labels and negative labels all have their place but should never be a total definition of who you are and should never be considered permanent.
Speaking of labels, I think a big part of being healthy is what you say to and about yourself. I hate to quote Dr. Phil, but I feel I have to attribute this term to him: “Self talk.” (I do not know if he coined this term first, but I first read about the concept in one of his books.) Don’t say you don’t talk to yourself because we all do. We say bad things about ourselves sometimes, too. We say we are too fat. We say, “I can’t.” We say we are not good enough. Sometimes we condemn ourselves into not trying strictly with our own words to ourselves. I read a story about a woman whose doctor told her she had to lose 90 pounds or face serious health consequences. She sobbed and sobbed until the doctor asked her if she could lose 10 pounds. Well, it turned out that she had lost 10 pounds many times and was not afraid to try that. To make a long story short, she self talked herself into losing 10 pounds nine times. Get it? It is all in how you think about what you can do.
Another self talk trick I learned from a friend has really helped me. He said it was perfectly legal and acceptable to re-name and re-frame. By that, I mean it is all right to think about something differently that you have done before. Really, it is OK to change your mind. In fact, it may be a great thing. For example, change your mind about processed foods. I certainly have. My doctor told me that processed foods, with a two-inch list of unpronounceable ingredients, are really bad for your health. It took me a while, but I know he is right and I have incorporated more whole foods into my life style. Once I “talked myself into it” the rest was so much easier than I ever imagined.
Another example of re-framing/re-naming is looking back on an unhappy or hurtful event. This is not simple but try to think about a bad time as a learning moment. Something happened to you/me/anybody that left a scar. Perhaps a scar cannot be covered up, but it certainly can become a lesson. Reminders and lessons in life are all we have to chart future courses. Try to use that icky boyfriend experience to make you a little more cautious next time in a good way. Maybe an argument with a friend can be used to build an even stronger relationship. Also, ladies, look at that failed diet not as “Oh s#%t, I failed again,” but a path not to follow in the next attempt…and there should always be that next attempt, by the way. Here is my valentine to you this month: Expect to succeed. Prepare to win. See yourself as wonderful!
Tune in next month to find out some of the reasons why living a healthy lifestyle is worth it big time! And, learn some easy tricks to make life more simple food wise.