I have been thinking this morning about how everything in this life goes in cycles. The cycles are very predictable if we look for them. We don’t have to do anything to make them happen and there is nothing we can do to stop them either. Think about the most obvious one. The 24 hour cycle of a “”day””. Dawn, to daylight then daylight to dusk and ending in darkness. But does it really end with darkness? Of course not! The process starts all over again. So when you step back and look at the big picture, it is obvious that just when it’s the darkest is the step right before the light dawns and everything changes yet again. No doubt, change is constant. These last 2 months of our calendar year, here in the United States, are marked with some serious celebration. It all starts with Halloween, continues to Thanksgiving which now merges (overlaps really) with Christmas and then rounds out with New Years Eve parties and finally, corned beef, cabbage & potatoes on New Years Day for good luck. (OK, for the record, I can honestly say that last one has never been too much of a challenge for me to handle in moderation but I have to eat a little just in case the good luck tradition really is true!) It has been a time for sharing family, fun and food. That is just how it is. Food and excess are a big part of our culture and even if we wanted to, we can’t change that. My thought is, I don’t want to change it!! I wouldn’t give up my Mom’s homemade stuffing at Thanksgiving or my good friend Lynn’s incredible fudge at Christmas and you all know there is NO way I’m ringing in the New Year without my red wine!! Why in the world would we ever want to give that up? To be thinner? Can we have all that and still be at a healthy weight and fit overall? I say yes, absolutely. It is cyclical. It all comes around and works out evenly in the end. We are looking to be at a healthy weight for the long haul. It is not about denying ourselves through the celebrations or feeling bad about them after wards! Sometimes it seems as if we actually dread having parties and holiday celebrations to go to! Or worse, we look back on them with regret. What is that about?? I don’t care how thin I am, if the day comes that I don’t want to celebrate or go to parties, what good is it??? I think it is about knowing how to love and enjoy the celebrations and the food without regret and move gracefully into the next cycle. Getting back on track, so to speak. So what is the next cycle? Well, let’s look at it. We have all had our fill of good foods, we have put many things on hold, like exercise and house cleaning and most of us have spent more money than we budgeted. What does January bring? January and February are downtime. The next cycle is the time to renew, regenerate and regroup. Spend less, eat less and probably go out a little less. We have no major holiday until Valentine’s Day, unless you count the Super Bowl (which I don’t!) so it works out perfectly. I am looking as forward to taking down my tree and decorations and getting back to our routine as I did putting it all up. It is a cycle. A time for everything. In my family, when vacation comes to an end or we leave my hometown after a fun visit with Memaw and Pepaw my boys will get all teary eyed and feel sad ( and of course, I’m usually right there with them on the verge of tears but holding back) we say “”It is nice to visit and nice to roam, but it is always nice to get back home.”” ~The Berenstein Bears. That Momma Bear is so smart!! It’s true, isn’t it? We can appreciate the ups because we have the downs. We appreciate the hustle and bustle because we have experienced boredom and vice versa. So, yes, change is constant and we can use it to our advantage and actually embrace it. As I sit here and look around at the remains of a happy holiday~ wood floors that look like the floor of a barn from all the crumbs and paper scraps, pine needles everywhere ( I told my husband to water that tree more!), toys and football cards that have been opened but not put away and empty cookie trays that need to be returned~ I look forward to the next stage, and I resolve to embrace it with grace. I resolve to do my best to enjoy the doldrums of Illinois winter with homemade vegetable soup, eating in more, focusing on leading my Weight Watcher meetings and getting everyone on board with the new Momentum Program, spending whatever amount of new found free time I have at the gym moving around just because it feels good and putting away my credit card for a while to catch up financially. 2009 is going to be an incredible year and I am already so encouraged by the responses I have gotten from this blog!! It gives us something encouraging to read when we are snowed in or just bored! Please pass it along and post as many comments and responses as you want….it is so much fun for us to read what everyone is saying and BELIEVE ME, you are motivating all of us by participating. I love having a common goal and motivated friends to share it with! I can’t wait until February when we are all talking about the 5 pounds we have lost and what a difference we can feel already from “”just 5 pounds””. Most importantly, I want to hear how we all are choosing to celebrate our first milestone of success. I’ve already told my husband…start planning (and saving!) because I want to go downtown, dress up and go for a really nice Valentine’s night out! What will your reward be for losing your first 5 pounds of 2009??
The Journey Of Self Love