As a woman, I’ve used the word ‘diet’ as often as I’ve said my name. I hate the word, but seemed to have begrudgingly embraced the word into my everyday life for the past several decades. However, about 10 days ago, I eliminated the word and began a daily practice of nurturing.
I know I sound very new-age, but trust me, I’m not giving up my AC to live in a yurt. Instead, I finally learned that trying to be on a diet stressed me out more than I ever imagined. I was never perfect and would constantly beat myself up and be disappointed that the numbers on the scale would just never go down enough. What I noticed was a direct correlation between how I felt with the type of food I ate, hours I slept, and amount of me time I gave myself on a daily basis. I shouldn’t be all that surprised since I started looking at the relationships in my life 2 years back and started eliminating the ones that weren’t working and noticed an immediate change in how I felt about me. While I didn’t recognize that I was ‘nurturing’ me, I guess I was. It only took me 18 more months to put this practice into place about how I spend my days.
I no longer use the word diet. I find it to be restrictive and punitive. Why was I wanting to punish myself when what I really wanted was to feel better and have an active lifestyle. Let’s take aside the fact that I don’t enjoy my job (I may have a change of heart down the line, but that requires an entire attitude adjustment that I’m not ready to make quite yet), I just want to feel good. I don’t want to feel sore, achy, itchy (psoriasis) or bloated. I’m slowing figuring out what trigger foods set me off, but I’m not perfect. There are times I’m jonesing for a diet cola and know well what the consequences are and go through the drive-thru of my local fast food restaurant anyway. I’ve stopped worrying about what to order when I go out to dinner. Why not order what I truly want, enjoy the meal, and move on from there. It’s not a set-back in my mind anymore because I know when I’m in my own environment, I’ll eat the right foods and make choices that will have me feeling better.
I think the hardest thing about nurturing oneself is being true to who you are and figuring out what you need to be happy. I realized this morning that I wasn’t making progress to take better care of me and at times I was trying to be anyone but me. I wasn’t giving myself permission to mourn my impending divorce and at times, I miss my husband…I mean really miss him because I know we’d both enjoy what I was doing, so I’ve been crying a lot lately. However, I know, in my heart, I’m happier alone.
There are so many things I need to repair before I move on to be with another person and I honestly don’t think I have the room in my heart to let anyone in anymore. I’m slowing learning that the person I need to worry about embracing me, and loving me, is me as I will learn not to let me down.