Reasons to be Cheerful
March 12, 2014
The scales continue to show a steady descent. This is a reason to be cheerful. Another pair of trousers is now too big to wear so has been consigned to the “patchwork fabric” box.
I’ve made a few adjustments to my eating plan (I’m cutting out wheat and dairy for a week as I think it may have something to do with my stomach looking bloated) and some of the alternatives I’ve picked up on my weekly shop have been very tasty indeed. This is a reason to be cheerful.
The sun is shining. This is definitely a reason to be cheerful. Even more of a reason was the fact that I got to dine “al fresco”; a simple salad supper in the early spring sun was definitely a reason to be cheerful. It made me feel like the whole day isn’t ‘work then darkness’ and the blue skies and fluffy white clouds definitely improved my mood.
And my mood is a huge contributor to my weight loss journey.
You know I’m a comfort eater. It’s a habit I’m trying hard to break and I’m happy that it’s far more under control than it ever used to be, but I worry that it is still my “default setting” when my mood is low. So keeping my mood “up” is really important to me, and it’s amazing what I’ve discovered about what makes me feel happy and makes my heart sing.
Sunshine has to be top of the list. I really am not a winter person, as much as love stews and hotpots and casseroles. The fact that I’m eating them when it’s dark is always a source of disappointment to me. Give me a sunny day, a fresh crisp selection of salad vegetables and a really juicy chicken breast or tuna steak and the world is better place.
Words... they are also important to me. I eat as a distraction or when I’m bored, so when I have deadline to meet, or a new project to get my teeth into I can go for hours without even considering food.
My brain is occupied, the cogs are whirring, and food falls down my list of priorities.
Time out - if I get the chance to sit with my patchwork I’m always amazed how time passes without me even being aware of it. I get completely absorbed in the tiny stitching that is required to make sure that a completely hand-stitched king-sized bedspread is able to withstand the rigours of being used every day. And my patchwork is a great analogy for my weight loss journey.
When I start a new quilt it always seems like such a huge takes. My favourite template is a hexagon which is only six centimetres wide. It takes an awful lot of “six centimetres” to cover a king-sized bed and have a floor-length drape on three sides. But that is what I believe a patchwork quilt should be. It is the goal I aim for and anything else would be a compromise. When I stitch the first two patches together it is a statement of intent, and then as I slowly add the next and the next and the next. It is a confirmation of my commitment to the task I have embarked on.
Sometimes it’s hard. My fingers get blistered. I make a mistake with positioning and have to backtrack and unpick whatever has gone wrong, but that’s okay. It’s all part of the process. I repair the damage and am proud of myself when I get back on track. I hold up the sewn-together patches and it is a reason to be cheerful. It is taking shape and form and I can see the potential of what it can be.
Weight loss is fundamentally about “eat less, move more”, but is more than that.
What goes on in your head can have a huge impact on what goes on with the scales. Your mood can instantly change your perspective on any given situation. It can make you feel that nothing is possible or that anything and everything is possible.
It’s really important that as well as concentrating on the food and exercise part you also make time to focus on the mental aspect of your journey. Find those things that are mood enhancers; those things which you know are “stress busters”. Those things that you do just for you which make your heart sing and take you a great place. It could be running; it could be singing loudly and proudly along to the radio; it could painting or writing or needlework or knitting or painting your nails. Anything which takes you to a good place where your perspective on life, the universe and everything is bright and positive and where anything is possible.
The forecast for the rest of the week is early spring sunshine. Why not see if twenty minutes of quiet time with a cup of tea, a blue sky and time for yourself isn’t a reason to be cheerful? It’s amazing how the smallest of things can make the biggest differences.
So whatever your day has in store for you… try to make time to make your heart sing and find a reason to be cheerful.
With a happy hug