Lately I am feeling very excited for myself because I am feeling GOOD! I am always looking for THE BEST way to do things, whether it's homeschooling or diet and exercise. I am finally learning that while it is wonderful to get some good ideas from out there in the world, ultimately I need to just get to know my own dear self and figure out what works best for ME. It has been quite a journey for me, and I am still learning all the time. These are some of my more recent discoveries:
I am not particularly motivated by a goal of weight loss. If I start out on a mission to develop healthier habits telling myself I am trying to lose weight, I will not succeed. It is the surest way for me to fail. Maybe I'm not all that worried about getting back into a bikini, not particularly concerned about appearance, or maybe I have just gotten a little too good at living in the moment to be motivated by such a long-term goal. I don't know! But what I notice is that I do far better if I pay attention to what is going on this very day. How do I feel today if I eat this food? How do I feel today if I get some exercise? How do these actions affect my body now? What can I do for myself today to feel my very best? Committing to doing my very best for a day sounds completely doable and I reap the rewards immediately.
If I find exercise I truly love to do, I will do it. And if I am told to do something that is good for me, but I do not love it, it isn't going to happen. I am a quiet, peaceful girl. I don't like noisy, crowded gyms. I definitely do not want to part with my money in order to exercise. Surely exercise can be free. I don't want to own a whole lot of special equipment either. I don't have room for it! So, with all of that in mind, I set out to find exercise that I can love. I have discovered that I love to hike. I love to be in nature with my family. I get excited about exploring new places in this way. I also love to take a morning walk in my neighborhood before the rest of my family is awake. I love to walk around and look at all the flowers, listen to the birds and be alone with my thoughts for a little while. And I love, love, love yoga and pilates. I'm not a big fan of exercise videos typically because I enjoy quiet while I exercise, but I found a book that is truly perfect for me. Yes, I had to spend $.37 to get this book used at Amazon, but I have decided it was worth every penny and then some. So exercise is now fun for me and something I look forward to. I am so excited about this! And I am just beginning to feel more fit and strong, which is exciting too.
Taking care of myself cannot be optional. I cannot put it off until everything else is done. It has to be a priority or it will not happen. Eating healthy and exercise are now my #1 priority. I do both everyday. Not after I have taken care of everyone else first. I can take better care of everyone else if I take care of myself and feel good. In fact, I consider this part of taking care of everyone else. The best way for my kids to understand that healthy habits are important is for me to show them that I consider them to be important by doing it. So, I'm doing it.
Finding balance will help me maintain my good habits. I know how to follow a plan perfectly and I know how to have fun. I would like to bring all that together and learn how to both take good care of myself and have some fun all at the same time. Not too much perfection, not too much fun. Then I will both enjoy the benefits of my good habits and also not get burned out and give up.