So you lose weight and you’ve completely revamped your health. You have drastically changed your habits and eat well most of the time. You don’t eat out at restaurants more meals than you prepare at home, you don’t keep chips in the house, frozen boxed meals are a thing of the past, you read labels and have reduced your consumption of preservatives. But suddenly it isn’t enough…you need to eat all organic, you need to make your own almond milk, you need to eat all local grass fed and pastured meat, you need to grow your own food, make your own mayo.
You move every day some and you feel best when you are outside walking/hiking/gardening. That doesn’t feel like it’s enough. What else should I be doing to move? Maybe you need to run. Maybe you need to train for a half or full marathon or do some sort of crazy obstacle course event. You should really do a more intense workout. You should try something new. I should do more…what I enjoy and makes me feel good just isn’t enough.
That’s just the pieces related to how you eat and move. Do you feel like you aren’t doing enough at work to succeed and improve? What about parenting…are you doing all that you could to be the best parent and give your child every advantage? Are you charitable enough…have you given of your income and time so that you are helping humanity? The earth needs you to be greener and recycle more and have less of a carbon footprint. And on, and on, and on….
Can you relate? Have you had similar feelings to this? It’s just never enough is it?? At least that is how I feel some days.
I’m on this personal health journey just like many of you and it is about way, way more than physical appearance. In fact the majority of my improvements in health are much more introspective…in my thinking, and most importantly in how I think about myself. One big weakness of mine that I’ve uncovered is always comparing. This when-is-enough-enough thing I’m talking about is really a by-product of constantly comparing. Since I’ve finally identified that comparing leads me down a really nasty rabbit-hole I’ve been building some skills to help me stop that cycle.
Stop taking in so much info. My first instinct for improvement was always to get more information–books, magazines. downloadables, webinars. The more I knew, the more I could apply, and therefore the better I would be. That is not at all how it worked out for me. In fact, when I take in too much information, from too many experts, that ultimately all recommend a different approach as the best, I get frustrated and confused. Yes, you need to find information to help you, but too much is NOT a good thing. Find one book or article and implement ONE thing that makes sense and feels right to you. Work on just that for a little bit, let the dust settle, and see what happens. Then tackle the next thing.
Curtail social media. Social media is the ultimate highlight reel. Nobody posts about their kids meltdowns being so ferocious that doors are kicked and punched (trust me…this is WAY more common than you think!). Nobody posts about how you lost it as a parent and totally yelled as loud as you possibly could because you’ve been sleep deprived and so frustrated you can’t think straight. Nobody posts about how crappy of a day they had at work/with family/in life. While it’s true we don’t need to broadcast all of our woes to every person in our feed (because in actuality we don’t want to read all that crap!), you have to remind yourself that life isn’t rosey-posey all the time…for ANYONE! Comparing is one of the worst by-products of social media. Go on to your accounts less, unfollow people if you end up feeling icky reading their stuff, and unfriend those that truly upset you. I have more people unfollowed in my feed than I look at. I love knowing what current and old friends are up to, but because I live my life very differently than most of the people I know it becomes a kick to the psyche to see what everyone is doing that I am not–so I don’t look anymore. Simple as that.
Learn yourself and where to spend your energy so YOU feel happy. If you are in a place of contentment with your body, your home, your lifestyle, your finances, then to hell with reaching for more. I’m not talking about giving up and throwing in the towel. *shaking my head* Uhn-uh! I’m talking about: do you feel good and satisfied and fulfilled with your place of health/finances/house/parenting/etc right now. I’m talking about: have you improved and changed things in a particular area of your life and now want to put your energy elsewhere. Just because you see other people pressing further or our culture pummels you with the “do more” message does not mean you need to take the bait. Think! Learn yourself! Trust yourself! Find #WWFY! Be content for awhile! Decide where you spend your energy!
Curtail your TV watching time, particularly news and talk shows. I vividly remember watching a talk show after I had my second child. I was at home, had my oldest (The Bear) at preschool and I had some time to just flop on the couch because the baby (The Bean) was napping. It was a totally indulgent mom moment. I can’t recall what show it was, but they had a segment about all the toxins and mold that accumulate in your car. They were saying you MUST clean your car once weekly…and not just the vacuum it out, but clean out all the vents with a Q-tip kind of clean. Wash, wipe, sanitize, get all the dust out, and vacuum weekly…and don’t ever eat in your car either! My thoughts were pretty close to this: WTF? Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to add a weekly deep clean of my car to the list of priorities?? Are you insane? I’m done listening to all you “experts” tell me what I have to do. Doesn’t make sense in my life! To my point… The news and talk shows have segments meant to educate and the impetus is a good thing. The people doing the segments are all experts in their field…what they are telling you is their personal passion/platform. The information is good, maybe even great, but it doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it or make it your priority.
Ultimately, the heart of your health is learning to trust who you are! I’m not saying you stop trying to improve, that’s not it at all…growth is always good. What I’m saying is that what you choose (or not!) is entirely up to you and those choices are not wrong or unworthy or not enough. What you choose is absolutely enough–trust yourself!