Updated: May 9, 2019
You are approaching the buffet line at a beautiful hotel. It’s Mother’s Day and your whole family is there to celebrate wonderful you. The smells are divine, the view outside the window is breathtaking and your little one comes to your side and squeezes your hand as you are standing there. But guess what you are thinking about? Your mind is bubbling with anxious thoughts about what you will put on your plate and how it will end up on your thighs. These calculations are clouding this magnificent moment that is happening right here before your very eyes and heart.
How often have you obsessed about what food you will eat, what to restrict, how much exercise will be required to work off that buttery croissant you are so focused on?
Your thoughts of food and your body are stealing away significant parts of your life. You are sitting in the middle of a storm of shame, hopelessness and obsession and your body doesn’t feel like your own. You are asking yourself how you got here and definitely wonder if your will ever find your way out.
For Mother's Day this year I want you to set yourself free. Just try it on for one day and see how it feels. Your scale and the calories for counting will be there tomorrow, but today we are going to use these three little magical tricks to give yourself one of the best gifts you can receive...freedom from those punishing thoughts that are hacking up your self-worth.
1. Shift Your Thoughts
Mindfulness has gotten a lot of press these last few years...and for good reason. If you start to notice the thoughts you are telling yourself about your body or food it's frightening. I would guess if you tallied them you'd be into the hundreds. So you must redirect your thoughts and create a new neuropathway. For example, you notice your arms in the mirror and tell yourself, "How did my arms get so chunky? I'm definitely not wearing any more sleeveless shirts in public!" Replace that thought with a more encouraging one like, "Wow, these arms are strong from carrying my babies for a collective 4 years..they have served me well!" It may seem like a stretch at first, but I promise thought replacement will create a significant internal shift to move you towards your goals.
FEAST on your life! I love this piece of advice from the lovely and wise Martha Beck. In her book, The Joy Diet, she describes feasting on the everyday wonders of life. Feast on the smell of your favorite rose bush in the front yard, feast on your favorite mug of tea while you sit on your porch swing, feast on the site of your child's hand coloring at the kitchen table while you feast on the wonder of her creativity. By the way, feasting of course includes food! Savor the smell, the flavor and the textures of your food...you'll consume less if you are paying more attention to what's going into your mouth. When our souls are full from these moments, we don't have to eat as much to physically fill us up.
Remember that little girl inside of you that never questioned climbing onto the swing or doing cartwheels down the sidewalk? Today, you must add some element of that play. You can go small and skip the last few feet to your car or go big and dust off that bike in the garage and take it for a whirl around the block a few times. When you remind your body what one of its main purposes is (to bring you joy and pleasure), you stop doing battle (raise the white flag!) and enjoy its blessings.
I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, filled with scrumptious moments! Give yourself this day dear ones, you more than deserve it!
Much love and freedom to you,