I know there have already been 10 Commandments given to the masses to live by.
But I think I'd like to add one:
How many times do we have a plan, announce it to our families, our readers, or even just ourselves and then get told that that plan will never work? That we're concentrating too much on X when we should really be thinking about Y. Like, you're eating too many calories or you're not eating enough calories. You shouldn't be thinking about carbs, but about fat grams instead.
I don't know what's going around the blog-o-sphere, but from reading lots and lots of blogs, it seems like there are a lot of people who are simply not trusting themselves.
If you can't trust yourself, who can you trust? When you doubt your own course of action, it's my belief that you're actually doubting you. Do it often enough and you'll end up doubting yourself at every turn. Or at least, that's what has happened to me in my life.
Here's what I know for sure: YOU ARE TRUSTWORTHY.
At the end of the day, commenters are usually random people over the world who don't know you. They don't know what it's like to be you. So, their opinion shouldn't count more than yours. I know...we all mean well (I've definitely dished out my share of advice in comments whether it was asked for or not). But really? Who would know what is good for you more than YOU do?
I challenge you to look inside yourself and ask yourself these three questions:
1) Do you honestly want to have a healthier lifestyle?
There are times in my life when I knew that I should have a healthier lifestyle, but when I was honest with myself I knew that that's not what I wanted right then. It does no good to continually recommit yourself to something when you have already internally decided that the benefits of being heavier/unhealthier outweigh the possibility of being healthy. If you don't REALLY want to change, all you're going to do is beat yourself up week after week, weigh in after weigh in when you don't achieve whatever goal you proclaimed you would. Who wants to live their life like that? Your life is worth more than that. YOU are worth more than that, no matter what your weight.
2) Do you have an idea of what has worked for you in the past?
Maybe what worked is weekly weigh ins at a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Why did that work? Was it the support? Was it the accountability? Was it the money investment?
Maybe what worked was counting calories, fat grams, protein grams, or carbs. Why did that work? Because you felt great? Because you felt in control? Because you liked to track something?
Maybe you work best with just measuring everything you eat...you want to eat the same stuff, just less than what you have been eating. Why did that work? Because you didn't feel deprived? Because you felt in control? Because that fit better with your traveling lifestyle?
Whatever those reasons are, write them down and then try to plan something that incorporates those base reasons for success. For instance, if you know you like to have something where you have a weekly weigh in, there are many ways and programs that do that - ranging from free to pretty pricey. If you know that you feel better with a restrictive diet type situation, look for a plan that restricts things in a healthy way. Sketch out what that plan would be for YOU.
3) Look at your plan and ask yourself if it's doable for you right now...is it?
If not, tweak it until it is. You may know that you felt your best when you were running 10 miles a day...but can you do that now? If not, work your way up to that goal. If it feels like too much, it is a-okay to back down and do something that you can and will succeed with.
Maybe you feel like you did your best when you cooked every meal for yourself...but now that you're married and traveling all the time, it just isn't possible. Can you bring a cooler to each city to have your own food? Can you limit your food to certain restaurants? Can you stay at a place where you have access to a kitchenette? Can you take your clients out for drinks or ball games instead of dinners?
In the end, if you have a plan that works for you and is healthy, who cares what anyone else thinks, feels, or says? I'm not saying you should go out and do something absolutely crazy that no doctor would recommend. Be healthy. You're worth that too.
But as you blog (or read others blogs) and you see that someone else is doing something that is different than your approach, remember that you already went through an internal journey to help you decide the right thing for you. Remember that YOU know what is best for you. Remember that what you are experiencing or have experienced is valid, even if no one else seems to share your point of view.
Your opinion and thoughts are gifts - ones that are given to you to help decide what is right for you...just as you decide what color your hair should be or what shoes are most comfortable. You get to choose.
And if, by doing all of this, you reach a plateau eventually, it's okay to re-evaluate then too.
I guess what I'm saying is this: It's okay to change your mind.
Believe that you are trustworthy. KNOW that you are trustworthy. And you know what? I bet you'll start behaving like you're trustworthy.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
You don't have to live in fear of what others will say, write, or think about you or your journey to get healthier. You don't have to listen to what everyone else says is right.
Listen to yourself.
Learn from past experiences.
and if you can, love yourself.
I promise you, you're worth it.
You may stumble, you may fall. But if what you're learning to do is to trust yourself to take care of YOU, you will get back up.