Am I Good to Me?
Yesterday I put on my favorite pair of jeans only to feel some serious discomfort. I looked in the mirror to see exactly what was causing the problem. Discouragement crept over me as I pulled off my Lucky Brand jeans that I found at a consignment store for $10, the ones that once fit me so perfectly. My faithful maxi dress awaited me in the closet, but it felt like a cone of shame.
I have struggled with taking care of myself lately. As most women, I spend most of my time taking care of those around me. A strange thing happens when I do this. I become so exhausted and somehow the exhaustion turns to entitlement and self medicating. It usually sounds like this, “I deserve a treat.” Suddenly I’m staring into the pantry searching for cookies (Healthy ones. No high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils of course) and then on to the coffee maker for an evening cup of comfort. Or I’m climbing into bed to watch hours of Netflix.
Apparently, that’s how my body wants to be taken care of when I am running on empty. I’ve known for sometime that this is faulty thinking and leads right to the maxi dress. Yet, I have struggled to make a change.
Besides the physical part of me, I have not taken care of myself emotionally. I found this out when my shoulder muscles became riddled with knots and pain three months ago. Stress is not kind to our bodies, girls. We can only go and go for so long. Unmanaged stress will hurt us eventually.
The Big Question
Someone asked me a powerful question once, and yesterday I began to deeply consider my answer. “If you do not take care of yourself, who will?”
In our super woman culture that encourages us to be the martyr mom, we can easily find ourselves in an unhealthy place. Somehow we feel guilty for taking a day off or cooking our favorite dinner. Do you know what I never take time for in my life? My toes. Major guilt thinking about a pedicure and I can’t find time to paint my toe nails at home.
If I don’t take care of myself, who will?
- Who will pick me up and drop me off at the gym?
- Who will pour water into me?
- Who will make me stop and rest?
- Who will make me eat healthy food?
- Who will make me go out with my girlfriends?
- Who will push me out the door for an evening walk to decompress?
- Who will make me belly laugh?
- Who will make an appointment for me for a check-up?
- Who will turn off my phone and email and push me into a bubble bath?
I have a little anniversary trip planned with my man and I was thinking about trying to get back into those jeans for him. I wanted to look good for him. It’s three weeks away. So I came up with a plan (I do this a lot) for the next 21 days.
Then it hit me. I need to do this for me. My body and mind need some TLC. It’s not about my husband, although I do want to please him. It is not even about what I see in the mirror. It is about changing my mindset to begin to see my health as an investment.
I began to think through all of the ways I neglect myself, and I committed to make some changes. For the next three weeks I am purposefully being good to me. My hope is that 21 Days to Good to Me becomes a lifetime of caring for myself. After all, who else will do it, right?
Are You In?
Would you like to join me? It’s only three weeks and if we say we don’t have time right now, we will say the same thing three weeks from now and three years from now. By doing this together, we will find momentum and synergy. There are five things that I decided are the foundation and I am committing to do those five things daily. Then each day I will do one little thing for myself and challenge you to do the same.
The Big Five
- Get eight hours of sleep.
- Drink half of my body weight in ounces of water.
- Eat clean- no refined sugar or processed foods. (The most intimidating one for me.)
- Exercise 20 minutes each day.
- Write down one positive statement about myself in my journal or on a sticky note or on my mirror.
Today’s Good to Me Challenge
Paint my toenails.
If you want to join me, leave a comment below. I would love to do this in community. Don’t let this become a rigid list of rules for you, but see it as a journey to freedom and joy. Do not feel you have to do the challenge that I blog each day. You know what your body and mind need.
This is nothing more than what it is, en effort to begin being kind to myself. I am not encouraging narcissism here. My real joy is found in Christ. Loving Him and those around me is paramount. However, trying to do that without taking care of the body God created is a losing battle. Being healthy allows us to serve more fully.
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
Loving with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength calls for taking care of your self. Who could do that exhausted, empty, and unhealthy?