|Me (left) and Heidi circa 1987.|
This morning I found a grey hair, but it wasn't on my head. I've been dealing with my grey on my head for years now, thanks to my dad's side of the family, so it was easy to just say I started going grey early, and it didn't reflect on my true age. But now, well, it's a whole different story.
The funny part of it is that yesterday, my best friend called me from the east coast to do a little catching up, but the first words out of her mouth were "What's your secret?" and "How do you do it?". I laughed it off knowing that she had just posted some comments on my Facebook pictures claiming I looked so young. I don't take compliments well and generally assume that people say things like that to be 'nice'. But she was serious and told me that her mom had also commented on my pictures and the transformation I had made from a total tomboy, very plain and almost androgynous girl into the person I am today.
At first I totally dismissed what she was saying...blushing on the other end of the phone, saying things like "well if you saw my belly you wouldn't say that" and "I don't look young, I look like I need botox!" and "If you saw me in person you'd see I need to lose at least 10 pounds"...and all of the other self-deprecating thoughts that typically go through my head throughout the day. But then I stopped myself...and I said, "You know how I do it? I work HARD". I try to eat the best foods that I can feed my body, I exercise HARD 6 days a week, I stretch, I drink a lot of water and a green monster smoothie everyday, I don't touch fast food, I read every day, I blog (which is like journaling to me), I exfoliate with body brushing and my beloved Clairsonic Mia, and I have had to make a concerted effort to work at it everyday I don't take any magic pills that allow me to sit on the couch and eat chips and ice cream all day (mainly because they don't exist) and I try really hard to protect myself by keeping toxic people and situations out of my life.
I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back or to scare anyone into thinking it's too difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle (and I have plenty more to learn and do and work on myself). But I really think that we need to face the facts and realize that this journey doesn't have an ending. You can't just lose 20 pounds and then say "there, I've done it...now i can eat what I want and stop all of that horrendous exercise". And apart from a physical handicap or illness, I think it's important to face theses realities and make ourselves a priority in this life.
Something clicked when I talked to my friend...I was finally ready to take responsibility, not only for my shortcomings but, for once, I was able to be proud of myself for something positive that I have done. I'm always so ready to tell you about my faults but not about all of the great things about me (I am still struggling with this though). I still look in the mirror and see flaws or see the number on the scale and get discouraged because I DO work so hard and wish I could shed those last few pounds....but I also need to be able to look in that same mirror and say "dang girl, you are 40 years old and have never looked so good in your life"! Not only that, but I FEEL good and I am HAPPY.
If we continue to wish that we were something else (thinner, younger, prettier, wealthier, etc.) then we will never have the chance to truly appreciate and love what we have right now. Whether you've lost 2 pounds or 200, or maybe just maintained a steady weight without gaining, you have something to be proud of. If you gone for a walk, taken the stairs, chose skim milk over whole, meditated, tried a new exercise, ate an extra veggie, or any of the other countless ways possible for taking care or yourself and shown some self-love then you need to take responsibility for the positive steps you've taken. Stop focusing solely on your 'failures' or slip-ups. Give yourself some credit when someone compliments you...this is HARD work and you deserve to feel good about it!