Sunday, July 15, 2012

avoiding pitfalls

weight watchers prompted me to take a survey to assess my potential pitfalls and how to be aware of them and how to avoid them. it was a timely "to do" in my weight watchers tool box as i had fallen off the wagon and started to feel like i was spinning in a downward cycle.

so i took the 5 page or so assessment, and wasn't all that surprised by the results. i guess in the back of my mind, i always knew that i am my worst enemy and the biggest road block to my success.

according to this survey, my top three areas of potential disaster and top three areas for greatest gain all involve how i treat myself. i've always known that i've been too hard on myself, that i get into negative thought cycles and that i never spend the time i need to spend to actually take care of me. but didn't i really ever see the three coming together and preventing me from being a happier and healthier version of me? not really. i guess somehow i thought i could make do without all of these, or maybe focus only on one and hope that it outweighs the negative balance from the other two.

no matter how i try and justify not paying attention to these factors, they keep coming back to smack me in the face. clearly, treating yourself in a good way is part of healthy living.

but how the hell can i do this when all i've ever known and done is this cycle of not feeling like i should or deserve to really take care of me?

awareness is always the first step. and then acceptance. i think i've always been aware, but accepting is a totally different beast. i think i feel beat down enough to where i am finally accepting how my current state of thinking about myself is preventing me from the self i want to be. 

i like the summary that weight watchers put together above, on how to avoid or be preventative against my biggest pitfalls. all of them will be hard, no doubt, because they are so ingrained into who i am right now. but if i can pick just a few, small things to work on, it's a step in the right direction.

managing my thoughts: when i have a negative thought, i am going to try and picture it on a big, fluffy white cloud and send that cloud far, far away. (this is a visualization i stole from my best friend amy) trying to remove the negative seems like a good baby step, instead of immediately trying to replace it with something positive.

managing my feelings: how i am going to do this, i don't know, but i think the best way to start is to look at my cravings and ask myself if there's an emotional charge that's driving the need to feed. i think the other way to do it is be proactive in how i'm going to deal with stress or other feelings. the moment i start to feel something, i should make a mental plan with how i will deal with it, even if i can't deal with it right away. for instance, if something makes me mad at work, i will plan on working out that aggression on a run or workout later in the evening (or a walk if i can take one immediately). focus the energy elsewhere and make a mental plan to focus it elsewhere, that way i can't try to remedy my feelings with something edible.

take care of yourself: i do this the least... and i know it. awareness is the biggest step, right? i am lucky that my boyfriend encourages me to take care of myself. its important that we both do what we need to do for ourselves, we recognize it as critical to being happy individuals and happy in a relationship. he is trying to push me to take time to do things i enjoy doing, by myself. i will continue to ask for his encouragement to make "me" time, as i really need support from others to make this happen. even if its just an hour or two each week, i need to find the time and make it a priority.

being healthy is so much more than what i eat or my physical condition. the mental/emotion/spiritual side of healthy is something i'm just starting to explore, but i know i need all of those things in sync in order to acheive a full being of health and happiness. this weight watchers survey confirmed what i knew in my heart all along, it's just a helpful nudge in the right direction on my quest for a fulfilling and long life :)

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