One of the things I always knew about myself was the fact that I can be an all-or-nothing type of person. It's great in one aspect. I can focus intently and accomplish tasks. But this excellent benefit fails me in the long-term phase of my life. Whereas, if I focus and focus and focus and fail to get results, I can tend to throw it all to the wind and focus on something ELSE that does get results. So if I focus on a diet and fail, I may find myself unconsciously shifting gears and focusing on a new project at work, or developing a new skill unrelated to my health.
Such is the pros and cons of my short-term capabilities vs. my long-term capabilities.
I'm aware of this, and very recently dealt with it on a painful and personal level. As my previous blog mentioned, I was very frustrated. I knew better than to imagine I wouldn't experience any set backs or failures, and I knew better than to quit. But in my heart, I was suffering from the sense of failure... that sense of overwhelming odds crushing my abilities to bring about change.
I had to FIGHT myself every hour of every day to keep on my plans. And I would slip a bit here, slip a bit there, but I kept with it. But my HEART wasn't in it. I didn't feel like I was really making a difference. I was just going through the motions and growing increasingly frustrating and stressed. Anxiety levels have been high.
Considering how I felt, I'm actually rather impressed that I kept my diet log every day except for one afternoon of one day. I think - just maybe - it was the day I was feeling the lowest.
And I turned to a few positive reinforcement resources, including some of these wonderful SP blogs. And a few TV shows, and even yoga/zen living articles. And something struck me that really helped change everything around.
In a completely unrelated blog article, there was a statement that you need to allow yourself to experience everything (good & bad), AND... give yourself the opportunity to do something differently.
It was a key moment. I released those patterns of thought that were frustrating me and harming my progress.
I didn't HAVE to exercise. I was giving myself the opportunities to exercise.
I didn't HAVE to diet. I was giving myself the opportunity to find new meals, better nutrition, and even weight-loss patterns of eating.
It was such a simple twist of the mind, but such a powerful one. I no longer fought myself to do things because I HAD TO. Suddenly... these were opportunities to explore.
I was ALLOWING myself to invest in me. How liberating!!
It took a day for my mind to shift gears. I'm sure I still have some new thought-patterns to learn... but in 24hrs I was feeling the difference.
I was ALLOWING myself to be healthier. So I went grocery shopping for the supplies I would need; and took that opportunity to find a new salad recipe.
I was ALLOWING myself time to exercise. So I pulled out some of my easier stretching programs to help relax the body. Especially after more than a week of very high stress and anxiety. It felt good to work-out for the first time in days. I found myself relaxing and just being in the moment.
I feel liberated from anxiety. And suddenly there are more opportunities for me. I don't feel like I'm taking away from myself because I HAVE to do something.
I plan to continue allowing myself to be a priority, and to find joy in my path to healthier living.
This is now my OPPORTUNITY.
I'm ALLOWING time for myself.
I like being inside my head better when I think like this.