As I have put weight on, I know that there are parts of me that I have stuffed away. Self-esteem (or lack of it) can cause a person to not do and enjoy the things they once did. At least that’s the case for me. Even though I lean into introvert tendencies, there is this other side of me where I’m very sociable. That is the side of me that suffers the most when I don’t feel good about myself, so introversion can become worse.
I had a wonderful Saturday with my husband. We did work around our home in preparation for one of our granddaughter’s birthday parties, ran errands, went to see a good move (“Wonder Woman” – loved it!) and then we went to an evening concert in the park. I love summer nights and the weather that evening was perfect for music and dancing.
Yes, dancing. We had been there just a little under an hour, when I turned to my husband and asked him if he wanted to dance. He had a shocked deer-in-the-headlights expression at my request. I had been sitting there rocking away to their music and watching all of the other brave souls on the dance floor. A few made me giggle, but I more admired their unabashed courage to just have fun. I wanted to throw my own self-conscious anxieties out and have some fun of my own. I wanted to reclaim a little piece of myself.
I can keep a pretty good beat and was blessed with a bit of rhythm, so in my mind I pictured myself going out there and really showing some moves. HA! My first steps felt awkward, like I just couldn’t get my flip-flopped feet to move the graceful way I had envisioned. For a moment, I thought, “What the heck was I thinking?! What am I doing out here in front of ALL of these people?!” Red-faced, which fortunately people would have thought came from the warmth of the air, I looked at my husband who was also awkwardly trying to work out his moves. Once we got eye-contact we laughed out loud and something inside of me switched on. My relationship with my husband began on a dance floor and other than a few slow dances at weddings we’ve attended, we hadn’t been out on the dance floor, like this, in years. At that point, my awkwardness left and I allowed myself to just enjoy and embrace this piece of time with him. I’m sure we still looked awkward up there, but we didn’t care. The whole world went away and it was us…it was me. I felt like I pulled a big piece of the shell off, that I have covered myself in. It was freeing.
That piece of shell that I peeled off set the course for the remainder of my weekend. I didn’t go out and hit more dance floors but I took that moment with me into everything else I did. I felt like I stood a little bit taller and felt a lot braver. Oh, what a good feeling that is.
Life can be such a mental game…and for me, the extra physical weight causes the mental weight to become very heavy, as well. It’s so true that we are our own worst enemies. If someone said to me what my internal voice says, I’d throat-punch them. This weekend really reminded me of how unkind I can be to myself and that was my biggest take-away…I’m going to be kinder to me.
You know, some of us (usually people who journal like me) make notes of what our “Plan of Attack” will be as we step into the healthier living lifestyle. It often goes something like this:
1) Eat breakfast (stop skipping).
3) Drink more water, etc.
…a list of bullet points to begin our plan of attack. But over the weekend, mine has been re-written. My list looks like this now:
1) Remind myself of what is good in me.
2) Pay attention to the parts of me that I like.
3) Be gentle and kind to me.
4) Nourish me in a way that says, “I care about me.” etc.
Do you see the difference? Instead of starting my morning like a mental drill sergeant, I want to feed the deepest parts of me. I believe that as I do, the other things that I need for this journey (eating well, exercising, drinking my water…) won’t feel so much like chores, but will cause it all to begin to fall into its proper place. Caring for my physical heart health has to begin with caring for what’s in the depths of it.
My hope was to have my first 10-pound loss by this morning. It didn’t happen. Had my Saturday played out some other way, it’s possible I’d feel a little discouraged this morning. But I’m not. I’ve made good headway and I am holding steady at my 8-pound loss (in spite of allowing myself a yummy coconut cupcake at my granddaughter’s birthday party yesterday). But…as I reflect on my weekend, I’m reminded of the great time I had with family and friends…and that moment, of reclaiming a bit of our youth, as my sweet husband and I danced our awkward legs off. I think that’s a little…or actually, a really big, victory!
No matter what the weekend held for you, keep your focus my friends. Be reminded of what is good in you. And hey, dance!