I struggle with putting myself first. I struggle with choosing me. Last month my mantra was "choose you". I tried really hard to choose me over the Oreos, to choose me over playing games on my phone for hours, to choose me instead of feeling obliged to meet friends for dinner somewhere I would be tempted to make poor choices.
Choosing me - sounds pretty simple. It was hard. I think the hardest part was not joining the gang at every opportunity I was asked. When everyone was getting together at the neighborhood pizza sports bar, I passed and watched the game at home. When a friend asked me out to a favorite Italian restaurant, I asked to go somewhere else. When my son wanted to go the the Pizza Ranch, I said no, let's pick somewhere healthier. I made some good choices, so what's wrong?
Guilt. When I passed on going out with the gang, I felt guilty. I should be there. When I asked my friend to change the restaurant, I felt guilty. When I told my son to choose another restaurant other than the Pizza Ranch, I felt guilty. What is up with that? I felt guilty for choosing to stay on my path towards a healthier lifestyle. Really, that is nothing to feel guilty about - but I DID!
I felt guilty asking them to change or saying no. I felt bad that I couldn't be included and make good choices - so I chose to stay home. I felt like I was forcing my friend to change the restaurant of choice because I was too weak to make healthy choices for myself. I felt bad that I wouldn't treat my son to his favorite place because I couldn't control myself. I felt guilt. I felt shame. I felt embarrassed. I felt weak.
Yep, losing weight is so much more than counting calories. Each time I had to reinforce my mantra "choose you". It's ok to "choose me". It's ok to know my limitations and have boundaries with food. It's ok to say no.
So this month - my mantra is "You are not selfish for putting yourself first". Yep, It's ok to choose me and it's ok to put myself first - because when I don't, I begin that fall down the rabbit hole.
I feel that my guilt is a form of self sabotage. It stirs up all the negative feelings. I am trying to feel good about these things - not guilty or ashamed. I am working on constant reinforcement to change my thought pattern. I know my limitations and it is ok to have boundaries when doing something is going to take me somewhere I don't want to go. Maybe there will be a day when I can make healthy choices in a restaurant - but that day is not today! So for today, I am saying no most of the time.
It's ok Barb. It's ok to say no. It's ok to put yourself first. It's ok to choose you!