Sometimes, especially lately, I get really conflicted about the whole weight loss thing. I think to myself... and it is true... "there are more important things than this stupid DIET." I get sucked into all the other *stuff* in life that is more pressing, more emotional, more urgent or dramatic than the mundane, unimportant choosing of a bowl of carrots for a snack or a bike ride in the afternoon. I think: what does this even matter? The gain or loss of a pound or whether I ate an avocado or some potato chips is *nothing* in the big, grand scheme of things. There are more important things to deal with.
Maybe that doesn't make sense because I don't blog about those more important things. Maybe, because I don't write much about my personal life or the personal lives of those around me, it seems I have a calm and uneventful existence. So quiet. So peaceful. Perfect for focusing on weight loss. But nothing could be further from the truth.
I don't write about everything that happens to me each day. I don't blog about the deepest things on my heart, the things that I think about when I lie in bed late at night, the things that send tears spilling down my cheeks or that weary me. It's not about that, here. Here, it's about the weight, the diet, the exercise. But behind the blog there is a real, complex life that involves many other people. People that I love, people I care for, people I am responsible for. There are things that drain me and of course things that bring me joy. And when there is something big... a death, a medical crisis, a need I have to meet for others... it can become all-encompassing and I set my attention and efforts on those things instead of on my own health and needs. They are bigger... more important... in the moment.
But what I think has finally sunk in this week is what people have been telling me all along: you cannot take care of others if you do not take care of YOU. Put your own air mask on first, they say, and then help the others. I've never done that. And someone in a group I attended this week told me flat out, "you have to turn your focus around, back onto yourself." I objected. Others need me more. There are more important things. How can I take a percentage away from others for ME? And she said, "there are no more important things for you, than your own health and well being. You have to heal yourself to carry others. Taking care of you *first* is the best way to take care of everyone and everything else."
She's right. The more important things are not the small, individual things like making a salad, going to bed earlier, cutting up celery or lifting weights for 15 minutes. The more important things are the *results* of those little mundane things, which together make up my health. My heath truly IS vitally important, not just to me but to everyone around me. And I starting to believe that taking care of me, by doing those small things, is not selfish... but a gift to all of us.
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