A friend of mine put me in the direction of this fascinating article:
It got me thinking about a lot of things, part of which is what I do in my day....and what I used to do. So I decided to share with you all my musings on that part.
There's a fine line in my mind about nurturing and indulging, and it takes a great deal of thinking initially to differentiate between the two. I think basically, nurturing helps me to grow and build and to be responsible for myself. Indulging encourages me to stagnate and avoid consequences and responsibilites...just because I can.
I USED to think nurturing myself was eating a block (or two)of chocolate, followed by wine when I felt bad about myself, which was a lot of the time. Poor self image, two teenage daughters, looking fat and flobby all just fed into a more and more negative view of myself. Everything I did I thought was all wrong and I was completely worthless. In fact I was so far down I couldn't see a way up and I was falling fast...sick, depressed, hopeless. Of COURSE chocolate and wine would make that all better. My life revolved around what time tv shows were on so I could escape my life for a while.
Then I did the Michelle Bridges 12WBT, lost the weight, found I could do amazing things and that I liked working out. I started lifting weights and keeping food diaries, conscientiously marking down what my macros were, exactly what and how much I ate and drank, how many calories, how much I burned off in each gym session. I felt good, I looked good and I felt focused. My life now revolved around what time I could get to gym 6 days a week.
Now, reading those two opposites, you would think the second option was better. After all, I lost weight, gained confidence and new skills, life was no longer stagnant. But, in my own fantastic all or nothing way, I had gone too far and my determination in working out could be construed as damaging as sitting doing nothing on the couch. Both actions were driven by the same nagging voice in my head " You aren't good enough', the same poor self image, just dressed up in a different way. Where it was once fear and worry about being 'good enough' or being 'normal' now transferred to doing it 'right' and not slipping back to what I once was. It may have started as nurturing my body back to health but became indulging my drive, my all or nothing approach.
Would I change the past? No way, but I am gradually now learning that happiness and health lie in the middle of the two. A 12 week program is just that, a 12 WEEK program. When you do it as a 12 MONTH program (or more), your body and mind will feel the effects, and not always in a positive way. It was time to re think, re boot and re set.
I still believe working out is important and so part of me nurturing myself still includes that component. But instead of 6 days a week, I do 5 days. Instead of killing myself during every workout to the point of exhaustion, I am following a slower yet just as effective program set for me by my PT husband (got to be some perks in it) I am doing what I love and what I like, and not what I think I 'should' be doing in case I don't measure up.....and I'm still getting results.
But more importantly, I am looking at food differently. Instead of being so focused and worried about my calories and macros, I focus on eating healthy. If I am out with my family and everyone has an icecream cone, I have one and enjoy it and ( most imprtantly) don't stress about how it will affect my calorie count and my macro percentages. Conversely, when it is the end of the day and I'm feeling very blah and tired about myself making me think I want to reach out for a tub of icecream, I
stop and evaluate the whys... Why do I feel like this? Why do I think eating icecream will solve this?
In other words, I ask....is what I am about to put in my mouth to nurture my body or am I indulging it? Is what I am about to do to my body nurturing or indulging?
I am slowly getting to the point of balancing, much like as a kid when you stand in the middle of the see saw and see if you can get it to just balance, without tipping.
And I always thought I was the most awesome person in the world when I could do it...TAKE THAT GRAVITY!!!!
I am finding my balance point and letting go of the fear and worry that feed that negative self image, taking a step back and looking at things objectively. Finding a balance point can be tricky and I have no doubt I will fall either side of it often before I can know what it feels like. But that's what mistakes are for, to show me what it isn't and to learn from it.