Okay. If you don’t feel like taking it a little between the eyes, don’t read on. I’ll be nicer tomorrow.
Sounds like Self-Love, doesn’t it? Egad. The phrase has my creepy puritan ancestors sitting up in their dusty graves and rattling their finger bones at me. I will not listen. I will plug my ears and proceed right over their graves loudly proclaiming:
We really must love ourselves enough to take good care of ourselves.
I’d always heard this, and I bet you have to: You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Sure, sure. But it wasn’t until I really started looking into my behavior – by writing it down – that my tendencies became clear. Like most folks, choosing self-care before other-care has been and continues to be my single toughest challenge in weight loss and fitness.
But the terrible truth is, your fitness and good health must be maintained. Like your house. Like your car. Oh sure, your body has that new-body smell for quite a while, and seems to take care of itself without attention or oil changes for many, many miles. But then.. things start to fall down, or fall off, and the oil must be changed, and well, maintenance takes time. The more miles on you, the more time it takes.
Losing weight is one thing, maintaining the weight loss is quite another. Deciding to do it means deciding to take time for yourself. Lots of time. Hours every week. Forever.
By deciding to get fit and healthy, you create a new need in your life that must be fulfilled. If you have a tendency to serve others first, you may never fulfill this need.
Or are you using others’ needs as an excuse for not fulfilling yours?
Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s a softened version from the one I received from my counselors.
What about the kids? The spouse? The parents? The siblings? The neighbors? The friends? The co-workers? The starving billions? The homeless trillions? The uneducated? The poor? The ill?
They all need me. And they all offer plenty of excuses to not twitch a single muscle fiber in order to sustain my own good health. Excuses lined with a feeling of real moral superiority that I am and have been such a “nurturer.” A nurturer with high blood pressure, a resting heart rate right through the roof, developing deadly Diabetes. Cool.
It may feel selfish to head to the gym when your daughter wants you to make her a new dress. It may seem wrong to say no to your boss’s search for volunteers to lead up that fourth committee. It may feel creepy to say no to Fr. Paul when he asks you to organize another fund-raising drive for families in Haiti, even.
But here’s the thing. none of these people would question you doing what you need to do to maintain your body. Your kid, your boss, your priest don’t want you unhealthy or dead. Not and have the reason rest on their heads. Don’t do that to them.
Nope. You decide your own priorities. You decide where maintaining your health fits in that list of priorities. You decide whether you’re worth the care.
I promise you that fitness will give you the energy to offer your family, your community, the world so much more.
It’s all about maintenance,