Earlier this week, I posted to FB a little bible verse snippet that I've been carrying around in my planner for some time. I work in a non-profit that is faith based and every now and then I find time to attend the chapel that is held at work each Wednesday. A few weeks ago, probably close to 2 months, Chapel included each person selecting a slip of paper with a verse on it and reading it aloud. I couldn't tell you now what the message of the chapel was- but I felt compelled to keep the verse.
I noticed it again on Monday during an atrociously long meeting. I snapped that pic and posted it as a way to pass the time.
But it means more to me than that. You see- like everyone- I have a couple notable parts of myself that I would like to change.
- I'd like to be healthier. I'm not overweight by any means, I'm 5'6" at 137lbs as of this morning. But, this spring I started a 90 day challenge and got down to 130, with some just-beginning-to-be-noticeable results in my tone and shape. Then I just quit. I have no excuses why. My motivation slowly slipped away and I just stopped doing it. I went from watching what I ate and exercising every day to just eating whatever whenever and exercising none.
- Which leads to another thing I'd like to change. I've been having some significant pain in my thigh whenever I sit down. Being that I'm a Graphic Designer/Web Developer by day and a blogger by night... I sit down pretty much all the time. At first the pain only came on after sitting, and went away within 20 minutes or so of standing up. That was 3 months ago when it started. I went to the doctor (I know- that should be an indication of how much it was bothering me- I NEVER go to the doctor!) and he said it might be nerve related and to exercise. I haven't. Not even a little bit. And for the first time this morning- I woke up with the pain. Its almost constant now and I've no one to blame but myself.
- Finally, I've got some long-term compulsion issues I've been trying to get in check for some time. I even see a real bona-fide Psychologist for it. Without getting into details I don't handle stress well, and I over groom in reponse. So much that its painful and I pick the imaginary pimples on my face until I look awful.
So- why am I sharing this with you? Well, a couple reasons. Firstly, I want you to know who I am. Why? Because I'm not ashamed of it.
A few weeks ago my Psychologist said something to me that really stuck. The gist was that the first step to changing my behavior is to forgive myself for it. That's a hell of a lot harder to do than it sounds. When I look in the mirror and I see those abs I worked so hard for are totally gone- its easy to get down and hate myself for letting that happen. When my face hurts from my own picking and no amount of makeup will cover the redness- its REALLY easy to be angry at myself for how I look, and then to feel sorry for myself.
Lesson 1: I need to just forgive myself.
Yeah- I stopped paying attention to what I eat. But I've not been binging and I'm still not over weight. I'm human. And for a while there I needed the freedom to stop counting calories- it enhanced my quality of life. I need to forgive myself for that.
And yeah, I've been lazy and I haven't been doing the exercises the doctor recommended. It sucks but hopefully there's no permanent damage done. Its in the past anyway, hating myself isn't going to make it any better.
And- finally- so, I've picked at my face. Its embarrassing, and for a while I looked awful. But I'm looking pretty great today and so I need to leave that moment in the past where it belongs and love who I am right now, not hate who I was at that time.
This is where the bible verse comes in. Forgiving myself is hard, but its easier when I know that God can do it. He forgives me for my shortfalls, and he loves me anyway. Why should I be less merciful to myself than he is?
The other half of what my Psycologist said was:
Lesson 2: All I can do each day is make a decision that is good for me.
I don't know about you but, mind=blown. Instead of fretting over poor decisions I've made in the past, or stressing over how difficult its going to be to eat right, exercise, and stop over-grooming- just make the decision in front of me a good one. Eating lunch? Only 1 slice of pizza. Nice day out? Walk to work. Really wanna sit in from of that mirror and micro inspect my skin? Walk away. Turn on TV. Do something else.
Suddenly all of these huge looming clouds become managable. Each day, make decisions that are good for me. That's a lot easier to swallow than the "CHANGE YOUR LIFE NOW!" voice that screams at me now and again.
So, forgive myself for what I've done wrong- and do right every day. What do you think? I think I can do it. And I'm starting today. If you want, maybe I'll blog about it to keep you all in the loop. But for now- at least you know a little more about who I am, and who I want to be.