Summer has finally arrived in the Northern Hemisphere! What a wonderful time of year, a time when we naturally are drawn outdoors to enjoy the beauty of this incredible planet, to smell the flowers and witness the incredible growth and abundance of Mother Nature. It is a time when most of us naturally have more energy and feel more positive, where we are grateful for the beauty and abundance that surrounds us. It is a time when we get out and play more often, which is good for the body, mind and soul!
And for some of us, it's that dreaded time of year- time to buy a bathing suit!!! We have been fed via television, radio and print all our lives that slim is in; if we weren't slim, we weren't in! That slim people are the beautiful people, fat people have a problem. With bathing suit shopping comes the awareness for some of us of how we hadn't paid attention to what we ate or how much exercise we did over the winter. And for some of us a barrage of negative self-talk- or hate- showers us. We don't accept the way we are; instead believing we should be something different, like the persons in the magazines. And some of us have given up on ever feeling fit and fabulous again.
"What's the use? I've lost weight only to gain it back time and again, there's no point in even thinking about it- I'll join a gym, go for a bit, then watch the monthly payments come out, my bank account getting slimmer as my waistline expands. Or I'll go, feel great, eat properly, lose my weight, feel on top of the world, and then gain it all back and more and feel even worse! I'll prove myself a failure yet again."
Does that sound like your self-talk? That was mine! For years I had this continuous cycle. I'd gain a few pounds, join a gym or exercise program, work out regularly and eat healthier, and feel great. I'd tell myself I would continue on with eating properly and exercising for life, and gradually go back to my old habits, stop exercising and eating whatever I wanted. I'd gain weight, start feeling really sluggish, get disgusted with myself and join a gym, eat properly and go through the whole cycle again and again, each time gaining a few extra pounds. I got to the point where I didn't think I would ever be anything but fat, and could not see myself being slim again.
Then I realized that getting into great shape meant getting into great shape mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. Before I was taking care of my physical self, which also improved my mental, emotional and spiritual outlook to a point. After a while, it wasn't enough to take care of my negative self-talk, or the emotions I felt, or my faith in myself . Once I realized I needed to care for myself spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally to be healthy, and started doing so, then the weight became an (almost) non-issue.
I could still lose a few pounds, but I feel great and maintain a reasonable weight. I exercise most days and eat healthily, although could eat smaller portions. I know when I neglect to take care of myself in any of the areas, the weight comes back. When I start gaining weight, it's time for me to look at what I haven't been paying attention to and do the work to feel fabulous once again.
Rumer Godden said, "There is an Indian Belief that everyone is in a house of four rooms: A physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete." My challenge to you this week is to take inventory of how you care for yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Is there a room or two that needs some attention? If so, what fun practice could you begin right now?