A quick recap of the previous 8 essentials to feeling your best every day.....
1. Breathe deeply
2. Drink Water
3. Sleep Peacefully
4. Eat Nutritiously
5. Enjoy Activity
6. Give and Recieve Love
7. Be forgiving
8. Practice Gratitude
And the Ninth Essential......
"When you develop the ability to identify and accept the circumstances in your life you cannot change, yet strive to make positive changes whenever and wherever you can, you will discover lasting peace and hope."
I think much of the truth of this point is related to #8.....or maybe it is a result of practicing gratitude.
In relation to weight loss, we have to first identify what we cannot change...... In my case, I am short, therefore I will never be able to 'hide' a few extra pounds. I will probably always have to work a little harder than a taller woman to keep from looking overweight. I must accept this - I cannot grow a few inches upward. BUT I do not have to be fat! I CAN change that.
More importantly, as I have discovered, is to accept ME, the way I am - extra pounds and all.
In all my diet and gain lifestyle, hating myself because I was not thin enough or could not keep off the weight I would lose, I just kept struggling.
It took a long time, but over a number of years - and with the help of my hubby - I slowly came to an acceptance of who I am and learned that it had nothing to do with what I looked like. ( At almost 50 years old, it was about time, I'd say.) Oh, I still hated the fat and what it did to me, but I no longer hated ME and no longer beat myself up for all the mistakes I had made over the years.....beginning with never liking the way I looked - even when I only had 25 lbs to lose.
I am convinced that I would never have been able to make lasting changes without this acceptance of who I am right now and what brought me to this place - mistakes and all. I am not talking about making excuses for yourself, just accepting that you did what you did.....NOW it is time to stop doing that and to begin doing something different so you get different results.
I know that I am not exactly a poster girl for weight loss - the lowest weight I have recorded since beginning this journey was down 48 pounds. THAT is a wonderful feeling! I have since gained about 10 pounds of that back.....over 13 months. Thirteen stressful months.
In spite of that, I do not feel out of control.
I do not feel defeated.
I know that a few small changes to my lifestyle will start me on a downward trend again.
I have accepted that I stopped being as careful about my food intake, that I stopped counting how much water I was (not) drinking, that I had not implemented an exercise program into my life, and that I got lazy about recording my food each day. That is what I did. There were reasons.....other things that began to take priority (whether they should have or not).
That is life.
BUT I do notice there are differences in me today from the me of 2 years ago.....I do not reach for the same kinds of foods. I am not easily tempted at the grocery store by the sweet stuff. I drink more water and eat more vegetables. I cook differently....more real food, almost no processed food. I eat more regularly and less at one sitting. Obviously, since I've gained weight, I'm eating more than I should...but there HAVE been lasting changes.
Here is something else I need to accept about myself......I am not naturally a disciplined person - I tend to 'go with the flow' a little too easily. There are positive things about that quality as well as negative. The fact does not make me a bad person, it just means I have to focus a little more on schedules and plans. I know people who never have to look at a clock....they always know exactly what time it is and what needs to be done at that hour. They are never late, never let a phone call or an email distract them from getting into their vehicle and making an appointment. Me? I need to have a clock in every room of the house - plus one on my wrist - AND I need to be constantly looking at the clocks or I am totally unaware of the passage of time. Like I said, there are positive aspects to this part of who I am, but it does not help in the 'stick to the plan' part of my life.
Once I have some momentum, I can implement a plan real well - it is the getting started (or re-started) that is hard for me....the stage that requires discipline.
Do I beat myself up about this?
Not if I want to ever succeed.
Not if I want to live in peace with myself.
I accept the fact and then DO WHAT I CAN to work around those facts or, in some cases, even change the facts. Some things are not written in stone.
My husband has taught me a little sentence that has helped me through many situations where I would tend to bemoan the facts.....or kick myself for a wrong decision.....and just sit in the same place, feeling bad about either myself or a situation.....
"It is what it is"
That is the only starting point. If you cannot accept that 'it is what it is' you will never be able to go forward.
You will never be able to identify what can and what cannot be changed.
You will never be able to begin to change those things that are changeable.
Accept yourself for who you are....inside, first of all.
Accept yourself for what you look like....and the reasons you have gotten to this point.
Accept your shortcomings.
Embrace your good points. (Sit down and make a list of those)
Accept your life situation.
It is what it is.
NOW....sit down and decide what CAN be changed with a little effort. (Or, maybe a lot of effort)
Make a plan to bring about those changes.
Everyday, strive to implement the plan.
NOTICE the positive changes you are making.