It's All About You…
January 20, 2014
I’ve said it before and I firmly maintain that “you are the only You you have”… you are amazing and unique and wonderful… and worthy of being the very top of your list.
It’s so easy, in the hustle and bustle of “life”, to forget that. So often we find ourselves at the bottom of our own pile, choosing to put the needs and wishes of others before ourselves.
Our capacity to nurture others, to “look after” those we care for; to put others first is one of the great traits of the human species… But sometimes it is okay to put yourself first.
I know that my calorie intake increases in direct proportion to the stress of my everyday life. Stress, for me, isn’t just about myself… it’s about those I love and care for; those that I have a responsibility to; it’s about the day job and paying the bills and… well, you can just add your own items to the list.
Since I began my weight loss journey I’ve learned about my habits concerning food, drink… and life. I’ve realised that my natural tendency is “to make things better”… if someone I care about is facing a difficult situation then I want to make it better; if someone I’m close to is upset… I want to make it better; if I’m having a bad day at the office… I want to make it better.
In the case of the first two examples I find that I become pre-occupied with the problem and spend all my time trying to resolve it or at least make sure I am supporting whoever it is in my inner circle that is facing the difficulty. With the third example, historically my remedy would be to immerse myself in food and drink to distract me from whatever was going on at the office. But in both cases I take the focus off “me” and pin it somewhere else… and that is my downfall.
I have now learned that I am the most use to people and the most effective at dealing with situations when I am focussed and in control. In order to achieve this I have to think about “me”.
It isn’t something which comes naturally to me (and, I suspect, to many others)… but it is something that I have to learn to do. I find that the woes and worries of others can cause me enough concern to put me in a place where I am “off kilter” or “in a tailspin”. I can be a dog with a bone and find that I just keep chewing the same issues over and over and over… expending a lot energy but achieving nothing.
A startling discovery for me was that exercise appears to focus my headspace and concentrate my brain. In the past I have often “parked” my forty-minute workout because I believe that someone or something is more worthy of my time and attention… but the reality is that if I take the “time out” and exercise I find that afterwards I can think with more clarity and focus… and be more use to the people who “need me”.
It also works if I am facing problems of my own. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or gin and tonic (which is a distraction rather than a solution), I have discovered that going for a brisk walk or putting on an exercise dvd for thirty minutes; or spending a quiet hour in the kitchen doing menu planning or preparing meals are all great ways of calming my mind and distracting me from whatever it is that is occupying my brain and making me stressed.
I admit that sometimes, when I take this course of action, I do feel guilty that I am focussing on “me”. It feels self-indulgent and selfish… but the reality is it is time well spent… both for me and those who may need to rely on me for support or action.
The WLR journey is all about changing size and shape and habit - It is about discarding old habits that have not served you well and about learning new habits that will allow you to be the best you absolutely can be. A great habit to get into is to take time out to consider yourself and find ways of making sure that you are in peak form. Sometimes putting yourself first means that those around you benefit by getting the very best of you.
With a Hug