By now you might be totally sold on the concept that taking better care of yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically will help you lose weight and keep it off. But then, right when you could be/should be doing that very thing, a nasty little thought pops into your mind, completely derailing you, throwing you off course, and taking away your enthusiasm to cultivate your health. Ugh! Well, girlfriend, you are not alone. I’m going to give you a peek into my mind today and give you some weapons to clean up the talk in your head so that you are giving yourself the thoughts that are going to fuel your change.
This happened to me just the other day. I really needed to sit down and use the massage chair. I had been folding multiple loads of laundry. You know how that feels, right? In between my shoulder blades the muscles had gotten so tight they were painful. It was a pain I had been pushing through for hours, had taken Tylenol, and kept saying I would sit down and rest as soon as I finished the last load. Then the last load finished right as I needed to start dinner.
I needed fifteen minutes but in my brain all I heard was, “Oh, no, you have to start dinner preparations. It’s a casserole and if you don’t get it put together within the next fifteen minutes and put it in the oven then dinner will be late. You can’t stop now. You have to do dinner.
I almost felt like crying, because dinner prep starts the ball rolling on all my other evening chores like dishes, tidying the house, and Micaela’s cares. And, what if dinner is late because I’m being all lazy in the chair? That is just wrong.
A few years ago I would have shoved my hand into the candy bowl and then forced myself to keep going. But, not this day, this day I closed my eyes and prayed out the feeling of fear and frustration that filled my heart. Then I sat myself down in that chair with my eyes closed for fifteen minutes. Dinner was fifteen minutes late. Nobody noticed and I hadn’t spent the rest of the evening in pain while gorging myself with candy that I actually don’t even like.
We all have multiple thoughts that will bounce through our head whenever we need to take care of ourselves. I really want to talk to you about them because it can be scary at first to invest time in yourself and the enemy takes complete advantage of that fear and does his best to keep us from health and peace. I’m going to break down some of these common, nasty little thoughts, that keep us from taking care of ourselves.
“This is not fun.”
In one hand we have putting on our workout clothes and sweating out our frustrations and in the other hand we have a loaded double fudge sundae to soothe our frustrations. Which one sounds like the most fun? A very tired and toddler-like part of your brain can easily throw a mini tantrum at this point, insisting that going for a jog is not fun and you need fun! So, fight back with some truth. Exercising will make everything else more fun. We’ll have a body that is healthier and has more energy and a mind that is more clear and ready to handle the stressors of life. That ice cream sundae will be fun for about five minutes, end of story, and I’ll need something else or something more to help me with my frustrations right away.
“My family is going to resent me.”
Laying down for a nap means that I won’t be mopping the floor, paying the bills, or sitting down for a game of UNO. They’ll resent me doing something when our family and home needs me to do so much. My family will be frustrated and angry that I’m not on-duty. That is what I hear in my head, but then I give myself a reality-check. Literally everyone in our family gets to take time for themselves. The girls play with their toys and animals and chat with friends the bulk of the day. My husband takes breaks and meets up with others to hang out. It’s NORMAL, girlfriend. You’re the only abnormal one if you think taking a nap means you aren’t living up to everyone else’s expectations. And, if they do for some reason get upset, then expectations need to be adjusted so that you and everyone else recognizes that you are a human being, not an appliance.
“I’m so selfish”
Exactly how is it selfish to make sure that you, the one that shows up emotionally and physically for so many people in your life invest whatever it takes to help you have a body, brain, and heart that is ready to smile and serve with love. Ask your kids, spouse, or coworkers which version they want showing up: the overworked frazzled version who can work an extra thirty minutes because they didn’t exercise or shower today or the clean, composed, version who meditated on scripture and took a bubble bath last night. Yeah, not to be snarky, but I would pick the version that is actually pleasant to be around. Right now it is summer and my family gets me 24/7 and it is worth investing in the version that everyone enjoys including me.
“I shouldn’t have to do this to be healthy.”
In my opinion, this is the worst one of all. We think we shouldn’t have to try so hard to be healthy and happy. We remember other seasons when it was easier or we have friends that don’t need alone time or a nap. God says that it is in our weaknesses that He shows His strength. I have experienced more grace and love from my Heavenly Father when I honor my human needs than when I have tried to bully through because I shouldn’t need that TLC. If you had a disease or condition that needed medicine or therapy, you would take it, right? I think that there is a fear that by caring for ourselves we’ll become less resilient or lazy. But, I believe that when we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we’ll learn the times to work and the times to rest. I know that I need my quiet time in the morning to fill my soul before the day begins. I know I need water to function at my best physically. And, I know that when my body and soul needs rest, and God has provided the opportunity, then I can accept that blessing and trust HIM with my life.
So, here is a fun practice for you. Try writing down one thing you are going to do for yourself today when you have the opportunity. Maybe it is going for a walk outside or calling your best friend. THen, when the opportunity comes and you start to back out of your commitment, pay attention to your thoughts? Are they right, pure, loving, and in line with God’s truth? Ask God to show you what He thinks about your precious soul.
You are loved, my dear. The battlefield does happen in the brain. With God, you’ve got this. All my love. Until next week! Bye for now.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.