SGBC: Learning To Love The Journey

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Attention, attention! A delicious bake sale charity auction is going on over at Natalie’s blog until tomorrow!

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Learning To Love The Journey

 

Hello Summer Glow-ers! ;) Are you glowing yet?

As you probably noticed, this week’s theme is ‘It’s All About The Self-Love, Baby!Oh yes.

This week we will be focusing on APPRECIATING our beautiful bodies for the amazing things they are.

Right. this. second.

Not in 10 pounds.

Not on your wedding day.

Not when you go away on your summer vacation.

Not when pigs fly.

Right. this. second.

Take a moment to reflect on some of the thoughts you had about your body today. My guess is that many of them were negative, right? I am guilty of this too, although I am slowly learning how to push out the negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones. It takes time to change our thought processes which are so automatic and ingrained in our heads.

Many of you have probably read about my Road to Health series. They chronicle my entire journey though the bad times and the good times and how I finally stopped obsessing about food and weight.

All too often, we think ‘Only once I get to Point B, will I be happy’ or ‘Once I lose the weight, I will be happy/I will stop snapping at my boyfriend/I will go out and get that dream job’.

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That is not a good way to live our lives! As women, I think we are especially prone to this type of thinking. We often put our own happiness to the side because we think that we aren’t worthy of true happiness and self-love until we have molded ourselves to which society deems is acceptable. I have spoken to so many women who just can’t seem to break out of the mindset that their life doesn’t officially begin until they have shed the weight or transformed their body.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

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Several years ago, when I started to lose weight, I didn’t even stop to reflect or appreciate my hard work. Losing weight is VERY hard work, but often, we get so caught up in our ‘end goal’ that we take all of the pleasure out of those small triumphs that we make, often on a daily or weekly basis.

One of my gripes about many women’s magazines is that they seldom write about all of life’s small pleasures and how we can learn to appreciate small changes we make to our lives on a cosistent basis. All we tend to read is, ‘LOSE 30 POUNDS BY CHRISTMAS’ or ‘FIT INTO YOUR BIKINI BY MEMORIAL DAY’.

What about this:

‘Take a moment at the end of your day to reflect on the good choices we made today!’

I know, it’s not as catchy is it! But, just think about it for a moment…

I didn’t take any time yet today to reflect on some positive choices I made today, but I certainly need to start doing so. I think that things can become such a habit that we forget to appreciate all the great things we do for ourselves each day.

If I were to make a small list, this is what today would read like:

  • I celebrated with a fun green monster today, when I was really tempted to skip it because I was so short on time this morning and just wanted to start baking. Instead, I took some time for my health!
  • I didn’t feel like it, but I did some stretching today to thank my muscles for getting me through 10 miles yesterday.
  • I had some dark chocolate for dessert at lunch today and didn’t let myself feel guilty for doing so. For whatever reason, when I was struggling with disordered eating, indulgences early in the day used to be a big trigger for me and would set me up for over-eating. I didn’t let myself feel guilty today.
  • When I looked in the mirror this morning, I smiled and told my body how it did me proud yesterday! lol…true story! Why not, right?!

I didn’t even realize I had done so many positive things for my health until I listed them just now! I am sure there are others too.

If I could turn back time, I would definitely do more exercises like these when I was losing weight because I will admit, I often did not appreciate the journey. I was so focused on losing the weight that I really forgot about all the changes I have made.

I think it is crucial to stop and reflect each day, a few times a day, or a few times a week. Whatever works for you. Pencil it into your schedule if you have to. The best part of it is that it only takes a few minutes to think about a few positive decisions you made in honour of your health that day.  

SGBC Homework

Yes, we have homework this week!

Once a day for the rest of the week I am asking you to take a few minutes to stop and write down a few positive things that you did in honour of your health on that particular day.

See if it helps you appreciate the journey!

Tonight’s question:

Do you stop enough to reflect on how far you have come? Do you pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments or are you always wanting more, more, more?

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See you tomorrow for a hot topic that made my blood boil today!

Don’t forget to enter the awesome Amazing Grass giveaway! Keep those Green Monster stories coming.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Bree July 20, 2009

awesome :-)

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Pam July 20, 2009

Sometimes I do get caught up into wanting more, but most of the time I do stay positive.

http://www.alovefornewrecipes.blogspot.com

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Lexi July 20, 2009

I dont’ pat myself on the back often enough. Usually it takes someone reminding me of how far I have come. Then I’m like “Wow! I’ve lost 50 lbs! Go me!”
I recently posted a blog about accepting my short stubby legs. I even apologized to them for hurling insults at them :)

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Jen July 20, 2009

Oh Angela this is such a GREAT post!!! I love it and plan to do my homework for sure :) :)

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Brandi C July 20, 2009

Another WONDERFUL post Angie! I’m seems as if I’m ALWAYS wanting more because I’m such a perfectionist. Back Patting Time STARTS NOW!

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Gillian July 20, 2009

I needed this post today. I have gotten into a bad cycle of talking myself down lately and it only digs me deeper into a hole of negative self talk. Reading this helped turn my thoughts around. I’m sick of not living in the moment enough and enjoying the things that make life beautiful. It is so easy to get caught up in my own mind that I forget sometimes.

Thank you for the constant source of inspiration!

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Spotty Prep July 20, 2009

This post could not have come at a better time for me :) Thank you!

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Rebeca July 20, 2009

Ever since SGBC started I’ve really grown to love my body.

It is NOT perfect. I have a long journey ahead of me, but I am excited for the journey. Every day I am better than yesterday. It would be nice to have lived a life with ED running rampant through my adolescence and have those jeans I love fit without a shred of effort on my party but I am SO THANKFUL to have had these struggles. I am a much better person, healthier person, more whole person as a result. Sure, it’s one of the hardest things I have to deal with, every day, but I have learned to LOVE ME and to be better, and do better, because more is required. I can do so much more this week than last- not because I’ve lost some pounds but because I have made it thus far on my journey.

Sure, sometimes I want to throw something at the wall, and cry and scream and wish away my troubles… but hitting the pavement or strapping on my helmet and moving and seeing how powerful and amazing my body is, is a precious gift.

Thanks Ange for always reminding us of this and for remaining so positive… I can’t tell you how much it helps!

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Cait (Cait's Plate) July 20, 2009

I absolutely love this Angela. It’s so true and the exact same advice I often offer to others when they’re struggling with their journey.

I LOVE your posts – you have such great insights into the female psyche :)

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Kim July 20, 2009

What an amazing post!! :) I have really tried to take each day to stop and appreciate what I have, where I have come from & focus on the moment and not so much on what if I did this or that, would I be happier? I am happy now. I am happy with my body (though my mind sometimes tries to tell me different) and I am happy with my life (my kids, hubby & family).

I fed my body today when it asked….I ate what I wanted and treated myself right.

Thanks for posting this!

Kim

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Meghan@traveleatlove July 20, 2009

I wish I had more time to work out. This post really helped as I have been exhausted and slacking on my running. I need to be more forgiving of myself at times like this. I tend to need to be more more more, and society certainly seems to support that!

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Jess July 20, 2009

Angela this is a much needed post!

I don’t stop and reflect on how far I’ve come enough – back in January I couldn’t run for more than 90 seconds without being out of breath and tired! Now I LOVE running. Back in January I would have picked up a mcdonalds breakfast on the way into work – now I have a Green Monster which energizes me and celebrates my health!

I haven’t really stopped to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come and I haven’t really stopped to tell myself to keep up the good work!

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shelly July 20, 2009

I actually felt really proud leaving the gym a few minutes ago because my arms and legs look really beautiful. I don’t like lifting weights, but I’ve added a bit to my weekly routine because I want more upper body strength and it is really paying off! :)

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Faith July 20, 2009

Wow, thank you for saying what so many of us (myself included!) need to hear! You are an amazing inspiration, Angela! :)

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stephanie p July 20, 2009

thanks for the reminder. I have been really struggling with disordered eating lately and needed to hear that. you’re great.

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MarathonVal July 20, 2009

Such a good posting – I try to write down 3 things I am grateful for every day, but now that I’m on summer break (I’m a school social worker) I have slacked in this department but I definitely should get back into the habit!

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MarathonVal July 20, 2009

Such a good posting – I try to write down 3 things I am grateful for every day, but now that I’m on summer break (I’m a school social worker) I have slacked in this department but I definitely should get back into the habit!!

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britt July 20, 2009

great post! i generally appreciate my small accomplishments immediately after i have done them but i tend to forget about them when i “mess up” or am feeling depressed on other days. writing these things down is a great idea because it’s a great thing to look back on when the times are tough.

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Eve July 20, 2009

This is something I work so hard with my clients on. It’s not easy to break that thought process, but very important! Fabulous post.

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Susan July 20, 2009

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank my body for being so good to me! I’ve put it through a lot of crap over the years, and I’m so thankful it never gave out on me :)

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Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection) July 20, 2009

I definitely think about how far I’ve come a lot, but I also have to be honest that I still have those negative thoughts from time to time too. But I am definitely getting better at kicking those in the butt! I never want to go back to my old, unhealthy ways,because I am just SO much happier now. I just have to remind myself of that anytime those annoying, negative thoughts creep into my mind!

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Alex July 20, 2009

wow- I needed that post today. thank you, ange.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2009

You guys rock my socks!!! Love all the positivity :) I can’t wait to make my list tomorrow. ~A

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope July 20, 2009

Great post! and totally true on every level. I think we, especially as women are way too hard on ourselves. I’m really trying to make an effort and will be doing this “homework.”

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'Dee July 20, 2009

Ahh, I needed this topic today. Thanks, Ang.

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Anna July 21, 2009

I love this. So true and so encouraging! Thank you!

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ModelBehavior July 21, 2009

Great post lady, as always!

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Jessica July 21, 2009

Normally I wouldn’t appreciate any hard work if i didn’t lose weight, but i feel so good about my diet lately that i just feel so much better in general. i am able to feel a lot more confident in my diet around others as well, i don’t give in to things i don’t really want or things I do want but shouldn’t have unless i am treating myself or portioning well.
i am doing 500x better now than i was 2 months ago.
-muffy

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Joanna July 21, 2009

Hello,
I almost didn’t make it to the gym this morning as I was feeling so BLAH. But I asked myself, is my body really asking for a rest day (which would be fine), or am I just lacking in motivation? I decided on the latter, but took it easy at the gym – less cardio, fewer weights, more stretching and yoga. And lo and behold, I was able to hold my side planks longer than ever, and that has put a smile on my face! So I just needed that little moment of reflecting on my true mood and body’s needs.

I have a question/request, Angela – could you let us know which stretches you’ve been doing after your 10-mile run that seem so helpful? I know stretching is very important, but am never sure I’m doing the right things, particularly after a long run – and I’m betting you’ve done some research on it!
Thanks, J

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AGS July 21, 2009

Great post — I will certainly try to incorporate some reflection in the next couple days. Yes, I definitely struggle with wanting “more” — it is difficult not to think “when I look like this. . . then this will happen”.

A friend sent me some old photos from college. Wonderful memories. I looked good (about what I do now, really), except for two things. The first is that I’m in much better shape now, and probably even a little bit thinner. The second was that I was really happy in those photos. . . I remember how good I thought I looked in a particular dress. I was probably more satisfied with how I looked then, than now. There are lots of reasons for why my perspective changed, but I have such a desire to go back to that time when I thought I looked good, and didn’t worry about calories/amount I exercised/how others perceived me.

I’m sorry for how long this comment is, but your post coincided with this funny realization yesterday night: there was a time when I wasn’t constantly wishing for more. I am really happy and proud of what I’ve done in the last year, but now I’d like to just return to that place where eating/exercise were just part of life — not something I had to focus on — not something that was tied to always wanting more.

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Ashley July 21, 2009

you really know when to give words of encouragement. thanks so much :) you are wonderful. heres the link to teh green monster post I wrote! She wrote the title in wrong, but i hope you like the post itself :)
http://fitceleb.com/node/5748

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JT(the faux foodie girl) July 21, 2009

This was the most inspiring post you have written- wow..how amazing. Thank you for pointing out the beauty of little things that make us strong, healthy and happy. Thank you for today’s post :)

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Leah @ Simply Fabulous July 22, 2009

I hadn’t read this post until now (trying to cet caught up!) but I really like it and I think it rings true for me. This whole wedding prep has taught me a LOT about myself. I have found tons of people saying to me “Leah should you be eating that, you want to fit into that dress don’t you?!” Ahh.. it’s so annoying!!! My wedding is not about losing weight whatsoever right now and I wish I learned this 6 months ago!

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Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection) July 23, 2009

I love Leslie’s post! Something that might help with the confidence is wearing heels :) It improves your posture and just makes you feel taller & hotter! :)

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