Hope you all had a great weekend! This upcoming week is a big one for me.. I turn 25! Excited to see friends and celebrate :)
So the biggest theme for me this past week has been change. Self-made change. I’ve been reading “Changing for Good” in my holistic health coaching class, which is a book that identifies the 6 stages of change and the obstacles (*cough* excuses) we all make before we decide to change a bad habit. I’ve never read anything like this, and it’s made me realize how beneficial a book like this would be for people who want to get healthier. So if you’re looking for something to read, don’t reach for a diet book.. try this one first!
The book made me think about areas in my life I’ve been wanting to make a change: productivity, money, self-esteem, & health. There were specific things for each that I knew I wanted to improve. It was just a matter of deciding WHEN it was going to happen. I’ll admit, when I had in mind the areas I was resisting change, it was hard for me to read the book.. you read the excuses you’ve said to yourself, you see how others justify your behavior, you realize your likelihood of success can even be predicted based on where you’re at (what stage you’re in) and the “relationship” you have with the problem (if you even acknowledge it’s a problem yet).
So I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing for each area:
Productivity: I wanted to limit idle time.. whether it was online, watching tv, or just not doing much of anything.
I spend a lot of my time reading health and fitness articles, which is great for knowledge, but sometimes can get me sidetracked and online for longer than I’d like. I realized part of my problem is that I follow so many “health” people on Tumblr or Facebook, so I see these articles all the time. It would be better for me to pick a designated time each day to read about health, rather than randomly throughout the day (and getting sidetracked for a while!). I realize this goals sounds incredibly dorky, but I love to learn :)
Money: This is probably an area where we all feel we could do better. I’m not a big shopper, but I just want to be even more conscious about what I need and what I want.
I think about the feeling when you “want” dessert but know you don’t need it (cravings). When you don’t eat it, sure, it “hurts” a little.. but most of the time, you’re happy you turned it down. The same goes for spending money. Maybe you want this beautiful new nailpolish color, but do you really need another bottle of nailpolish? Or you want a new pair of shoes, but know you don’t need them. Say NO to the “craving” and walk away!
Self-Esteem: I think it’s always important to work on your own relationship with yourself.
I really believe that so much of what comes out of your mouth about OTHER people is a result of how you view yourself. I don’t like to gossip, I don’t like to feel jealous, and I don’t like to compare myself to others. For me, if I notice any of those things happening more often, I reflect on how I’m currently feeling about myself, and I think there’s a direct relationship between an increase in those behaviors and a decrease in my self-esteem. I think the decrease in self-esteem happens first, which increases those undesirable behaviors.
I read a quote last week: Comparison is the thief of joy.
Think about that. Do you spend time online, watching tv, reading magazines, or browsing through pictures, comparing yourself to other people? Whether it be looks, money, jobs, success, relationships, fitness level, body fat, eating habits, or whatever else you can compare..we all do it. Sure, maybe we’re just sitting back and looking at someone’s pictures from the weekend, but if it causes you to make judgements about that person, or about yourself, then truly no good can come from that.
For me, if I look at pictures on Facebook it’s typically of people in the fitness industry or other girls who have blogs. Well, after reading that quote I thought, I do compare myself to them when I look at their pictures. How can I not? Then it causes me to be dissatisfied with my body and how I eat. It’s “the grass is greener” effect.. “They’re healthier than me.” “They look better than me.” “They have a better exercise program than me.” “I have so much further to go than she does.”
Even though these people may be a source of “inspiration”, I think exposure to them does cause me to compare myself, and it makes me dissatisfied with my own progress.
So I unfollowed and unliked the majority of them on FB. I stopped them from showing up in my news feed. I stopped spending time looking at their pictures or reading their posts (instant increase in productivity too.. extra plus!).
I feel that by doing this, I’ll be more proud of my own journey.
Health: Like I said two weeks ago, I was working on my gum chewing habit (decreasing intake of aspartame). Well I’m doing great with that, and I’ve gone some days without any gum. Education helps, that’s for sure. I read more about aspartame in the book “Hungry for Change” and I guess I do well with the “scare” type tactics because it’s working :) You probably wonder why I care so much since it’s “sugarfree” and very low calorie, but it’s about health and quality of ingredients. Flip over a pack of gum and read the ingredients.. would you ever eat it if you saw those ingredients in a food?
I’ve also been reading more about pesticides and organic food. I never wanted to buy organic food because it’s more expensive than regular produce, but after reading more about it, I decided I want to try to incorporate more organic food into my diet. But as I said earlier, I’m trying to be more conservative with money, so how can I make this work?
The answer: Farmer’s markets!
I went to one last month and was shocked at how inexpensive the produce was. So I looked online for one in my city and went to it this past Saturday. Not only am I saving money on healthy produce, I’m supporting my local farmers. Win-win!
20 Bell peppers for $5!
So that was my week.. a lot of self-reflection, a little discomfort, but proud of myself that I’m making changes to better myself. I think sometimes we get so caught up in every day life that we don’t stop to think about habits that could use a little “detox”.
Hopefully this post will make you think about areas you’ve been resisting change (highly recommend the book to help you there).
Have a great week and I’ll see you next monday when I’m 25! :)