I’m beginning to see signs of Spring. Exhibit A, the view from Home Depot’s parking lot (with apologies to man behind me waiting for me to find my iPhone):
Isn’t this a lovely sight? Such promise in these blossoms. I always feel such a sense of renewal and hope when Spring rolls around. That may be one of the factors in why I was suddenly successful in shedding my weight: I started in Spring.
I’m not sure where we ever got the idea that January was a good time to begin a weight loss or healthy diet plan. It’s such a dismal time of year, at least here in Memphis. Cold, gray rainy days. Mostly lousy fresh fruit and veggie selections or too pricey to be enjoyed in abundance. Valentine’s Day. Horrible time for yours truly to really get enthused or focused on health when I mostly want to curl up with Cheetos and a good book and wait for the pizza guy to stop by.
Spring is a different story! Warmer weather, lots of sunshine to accompany the seasonal rain, and fresh, luscious strawberries at affordable prices, soon to be followed by cantaloupe and tomatoes. (Except this year, when we’ve been warned that Florida’s tomato crop was damaged. *mourns*)
If you’re one of the gazillion people (formerly including ME) who started the year with a healthy bang and now feel your spirits fading, you might benefit from the article that follows, which I previously published last year as part of my Makeover Monday series. Not to be immodest, but I got a teensy motivational bounce out of re-reading it.
(originally posted on 3/16/09)
Think about your life (health, fitness, relationships, career, finance, etc.). Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Why aren’t you there? Don’t beat yourself up over it; just ponder the matter and see if any of these nasties have crept into your life:
Excuses: We’re probably all guilty of making excuses for ourselves when we’re trying to justify something we should or shouldn’t have done. Surely, it’s not just me. (Antidote: When you catch yourself making an excuse for something, ask, “Is this really true, or am I just making myself feel better?”)
Rationalizations: Did you know that another way to spell “rationalize” is “rational lies”? These are the thoughts and words we use to give ourselves permission to do something we know is wrong. (Antidote: Unrelenting honesty with yourself. YOU know the truth about your efforts.)
Unfair Limitations: Many, perhaps even most, of the limitations we face are self-imposed. Why we would do this to ourselves, I don’t know, but we do. (Antidote: Ask yourself, “If I didn’t have xxx in my way, what would be by next step? Then figure out how you can do it–or some form of it–anyway.)
Regrets and Resentments: Writer Malachy McCourt once said, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Holding on to past haunts and hurts prevents us from moving forward. (Antidote: Forgive yourself and any others involved, and focus on the future. At minimum, let it go.)
Procrastination: “Someday” thinking is fun for thinking about the lottery. For managing our lives, it doesn’t work so well. (Antidote: See Makeover Monday: Getting It Done.)
RightThisMinute Thinking: We all want to see results fast. Whether it’s successful weight loss, financial security, starting a family, or any host of other desires, many of us have a tendency to want to get it done rightthisveryminute. We should be applauded for our energy, but doing things too quickly can cause us to do them in a way that’s unhealthy, inefficient, or ineffective. (Antidote: Patience. Focus on progress, not the goal line. Unless, you’re looking at the goal line, of course, and then it’s eyes on the prize time!)
These evil little habits have a way of creeping into our lives and derailing our progress. Join me this spring in spending a little time with a mental broom and dustpan, eliminating this clutter from our lives. Note that I didn’t say we’d eliminate it for good. Old habits die hard, as the saying goes, and I’m sure we’ll all face these pesky demons again at some time in the future. We’re savvy enough to know that and strong enough to defeat them.
I hope you found something helpful in all that and wish you much success in tossing the nasties and moving forward. I’ve definitely got a bit more “Spring” in my step this week!