Begin-Again Monday

Today is Begin-Again Monday. This is the first full week of the summer season that hasn’t been completely taken up with trips, events, and other summer activities. It’s the day I designated to begin again to practice the good health habits I’ve developed over the 30+ years I’ve been working on improving my health.

The first thing I did was dig out my food, mood, and exercise logs and find blank spaces on which to write. The second thing I did was find my copy of daughter Elizabeth’s “Couch to 5k” exercise schedule.

I’ve written down all the food and drink I’ve consumed so far today. (Oops! I still need to write down the mini dark chocolate bar I ate after lunch.) And, I went to the gym for my bi-weekly group personal training session. Afterward I used what I call the “gazelle elliptical machine” to get the 20 minutes of exercise recommended in the “Couch to 5k” exercise schedule.

Six Good Health Essentials that have worked for me

  1. Always, always, always keep God as your life and health coach. He’s only a prayer away.
  2. Share your successes, failures, thoughts, and ideas with people who will respect you.
  3. Feed your spirit/soul with empowering and encouraging messages. I choose to study the word of God every morning and watch short, fun or informative YouTube videos while I do the dishes.
  4. Keep food and drink choices and portions reasonable for over-all good health. This will include dessert, treats, and splurges.
  5. Exercise to the point that you feel fulfilled and pleased with yourself, not to the point that you never want to exercise again or that exercising becomes an obsession (no chance of that here!)
  6. Respect yourself. Be as accepting, understanding, and compassionate with yourself, as you would be with a good friend.

I’m SO much happier when I’m taking care of myself!

Thoughts about #6

Speaking of number six, what would you say to a close friend who told you he or she was struggling to maintain healthy habits and feeling hopeless? Would you say, “Wow, you’ve really fallen off the train. You’re such a failure!” You’d never even think it much less say it. So, why do we say this to ourselves?

We need to treat ourselves better than we do.

I need to treat myself better than I do.

The light-colored t-shirts in my closet last longer than the dark and medium colored shirts. What could be the reason for that? Maybe dark color dyes are more corrosive. Maybe brighter colors are more cheerful, so they last longer. Of course, neither of these is the answer.

My light-colored t-shirts last longer because they don’t get used as often. I choose the darker ones because they hide the rolls around my midsection better. I’m hiding myself inside my clothes. Still, after 34 years of adulthood, I’m still self-conscious about being judged as a fat person.

So, the other day, I chose a yellow t-shirt that says “Stand in the Light” right under a picture of the sun. Cheerful, bright, fun shirt, and I was worried about looking fat. I stood over my duffle bag assessing my feelings and my self-esteem-dashing thoughts. I decided to wear the yellow shirt.  I decided to use positive self-talk to push out negative thoughts. I’m going to keep working on being nicer to myself.

Enjoy this lyric music video of Jordan Smith singing “Stand In The Light.” I love the message of self-acceptance.

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