Beware the Lies Behind the Truth
by Stephanie Nickel
Ever wondered why you couldn’t stay the course?
Maybe your reasons for exercising and eating well were—or are—right on target in your head but a million miles off in your heart.
I’ve recently come to realize this is part of the reason I know what I should do but often don’t do it.
None of these reasons are bad in and of themselves. But the lies that can hide behind them often do more harm than good.
Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios?
I want to be slim/strong/fit like so and so.
As long as you aren’t comparing yourself with women (or men) whose pictures have been airbrushed and touched up to sell a product and/or perpetuate society’s “ideal,” there’s nothing wrong with being spurred on by the accomplishments of someone else.
(Remember, I would love to have the definition in my thighs that Linda Hamilton had in Terminator 2, but that’s not going to happen and I’m okay with that.)
Encouragement is good. Idolization is not.
Admiration is fine. Resentment and judgment (“I bet she eats like a bird”) is not.
Be honest with yourself.
I want to combat the negatives of being “a woman of a certain age.”
Yes, exercise and healthy eating goes a long way to minimizing the weight gain, moodiness, and sleeplessness that often hits during the perimenopausal and menopausal years, but there is an underlying deception many of us fall into.
That is the belief that our value as a human being depreciates with each passing year. LIES. LIES. ALL LIES.
It’s great to develop healthy habits—even later in life—but never think you are a more valuable human being because you do. You may, however, be healthier and happier, and those are good things.
I could do that if I wanted to.
There are many things we could do, but there is a cost to each one.
And no matter who we are, there are things we don’t have the time, resources, and/or the ability to do. In some cases, that can change. But we must ask ourselves, “Is it worthwhile?”
Will it actually improve our quality of life and the lives of those around us?
Are we trying to prove something to ourselves or to someone else? That’s likely not the best motivation.
I need just one more fitness book/cookbook/exercise DVD.
La. La. La. <humming and averting my eyes>
This is a voice I’ve heard in my head—often.
I have scads of health and fitness books I’ve never read and several exercise DVDs I haven’t even tried. Just recently I bought the newest issue of Reader’s Digest because of a feature on fitness, which (cough, cough) I haven’t read yet.
Buying a new resource can be just what we need, but it won’t get us off the couch to dance off the pounds or into the kitchen to prepare a healthy gourmet meal. We have to do that ourselves.
I will make a better impression if I lose 10 pounds.
There are lots of reasons to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but doing so to be considered more valuable in someone else’s eyes is often not a good reason.
In the workplace—most anywhere really—clean and well-groomed make a good first impression.
But I think, for most people, the impression of you that they’ll carry with them is the answer to this question: Was your interaction more about them than it was about you? Did you listen to them attentively? Did you express genuine interest in what they were saying—and when appropriate, how they were feeling?
Case in point . . . One morning I dropped my hubby off at work. My hair was unwashed (aka fly-away) and in a bun. My rosacea-red nose was not hidden by basecoat. And my clothes . . . definitely not the most attractive ones I own. Even so, the pharmacist—a genuinely nice man who, it turns out, is a believer—said more than once he couldn’t believe I was 53. Do I take any credit for that? No. (See summary of my appearance above.) I am, however, thankful that God reminded me that it’s about who I am on the inside and how I interact with others that truly matter.
I do want to be as healthy as I can, but I want to get that way for the right reasons. If I keep those in mind, I am more likely to keep at it.
Get healthy for the right reasons. Stay motivated. (tweet this)
Check out these other articles by Stephanie
Setting Yourself up for Success
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Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.