I had a really sedentary winter, and now I’m making some changes with the spring. Changes like moving more, doing my yoga every morning, and eating less sugar and fat. It didn’t all happen this winter, either. Over the last few years I’ve put on weight, probably partly as a result of getting older (that slowing metabolism thing), and also in response to the stress of changing my whole lifestyle, starting a business, and struggling to pay the bills while I do so.
I’m ready to let my inner work of the past couple of years shine through. Yet one thing I’ve noticed is that, even now that I’ve upped my self-love quotient, I’ve fallen back into a pattern of self-judgement as I begin the process of change.
It goes something like this. Creating change is a slow process, and there are still times when I don’t make good choices, or I act out of habit. While I know this, I still hear an old voice surfacing to chide me:
“I shouldn’t have eaten that ice cream.” “I slept in too late, now I won’t have time for yoga.” “I look terrible. I’ll never lose all this weight.”
Yikes. What’s with that?
How can I make changes without some dissatisfaction with the way things are? How can I make choices that are useful in the long term but maybe less pleasurable in the short term, without bullying myself into it? OK, well, I have those tools. As I understand it, the key is awareness. Dwell in the moment as much as possible. Choose love and compassion.
Gratitude helps, too. There’s always a bright side. Even “mistakes” have positives. I enjoyed laughing over dessert with my family. I got some extra sleep and enjoyed interesting dreams. My body is healthy and strong, and I feel well most of the time. See?
Also, I’ve done it before. In 2005, I lost a bunch of weight that I’d accumulated after a stressful period of time – hmm, in the big picture, maybe getting rid of comfort food as a coping mechanism would be a good idea, too. Anyway, it wasn’t that hard to get fit again. I can do this.
Here’s my checklist:
- Focus on adding healthy habits rather than just letting go of old ones. Encourage my daily yoga routine, eat fresh greens from the garden, take more hikes.
- Have compassion when I fail. Learn from my mistakes.
- Express my gratitude daily.
- Use my healthy coping mechanisms when things go wrong: art, meditation, getting outside, reading, music.
- Practice being mindful.
You know, change, without all the icky self-judgement.