When I began this journey to take back my health, I was primarily concerned with taking care of my physical self (lowering my weight, healing my gut, and eliminating chronic inflammation). Every time I’ve been faced with hunger and what I should do about it, I would consult with my mental list of food that I could eat and then make a smart, integrity-filled decision. In doing that several times per day, you don’t realize that you’re slowly reconditioning the way that you approach every decision you make. Upon reflection of the past six months of disciplined living, here are my findings:
When you put weight on decisions, and take time to weigh your choices and decide if they align with your overall vision of who you are and who you’re working to become, you’re creating room for gratitude to fill each of those choices. It’s the mindless, numb choices that we don’t realize float us through life without ever feeling what they mean or how they’re defining us. So, one of my biggest observations is how grateful I am every day in nearly every decision I make. I find that I’m grateful for things like broccoli, clean clothes, moments of flirtation with my husband, finding creative ways to calm my sensitive son, new consultant projects, students assignments to grade, and so forth. The wholeness associated with a life of gratitude is something I’ve never felt before and it’s incredible.
When I cook for myself or my family, I’ve naturally begun cooking with appropriate portion sizes; so, we rarely, if ever, have leftovers. And when we do, I prioritize them and eat them within a day. Something clicked on within me and I get really upset when I waste food by being careless with my cooking. I get discouraged when restaurants bring me huge portions of food, knowing that I have so much to bring home that won’t keep well. Mindfulness brings you to a pure and natural place of conservationist, and it’s no wonder that the two are interconnected.
This one surprised me. I’ve always felt like I know who I am at my core and that I love who I am, even if I haven’t always loved who I was being at times. But in the act of cooking for yourself and healing yourself with food and discipline, is there no clearer, more precise way to show that you love yourself? I have never been happier, less stressed, or more centered than I am now that I take care of myself and my own best interests. I’m proud of myself, and it comes without the need for a pat on the head. It’s just a knowing.
Your Word is Your Bond
By disciplining your decisions, you naturally won’t make commitments that you can’t meet. You have a strong sense of your core integrity, and you’ll want to keep your word when you give it. I used to get really stressed by commitments and would flake out a lot on things. Now that I feel the integrity within me, I don’t experience stress the way I used to. I flow through the day, making lists of things I need to accomplish, and I check them off when they’re done. I find creative ways to get things done with the challenges I face as a full-time mom, Reiki practitioner, virtual assistant, adjunct instructor, and consultant and it doesn’t overwhelm me anymore. I just get it done, and I feel immense gratitude that I can consciously paint a consistent picture of who I am to those around me as someone reliable and professional.
This journey back to wellness has been so transformational. I reached my goal weight of 140 lbs. in 5 1/2 months (a total of 59 lbs. lost), and promptly put away my scale and re-gifted my Fitbit. This next stage is about deepening my own definition of health and discipline, and how to share that wealth of knowledge with others. Thank you for being part of this journey with me.