I know it’s the beginning of the year and we are all focusing on our goals for 2015. I pondered as I arrived into 2015…When do we get to stop?

Have you ever felt exhausted, disappointed, and defeated when it came to your body? Well I will tell you I have. I have even secretly wished I could sleep for a few weeks with no thoughts of what should I eat? What foods have the lowest calories to prevent weight gain? What healthy foods actually taste good to eat? How many times do I lose weight only to see it return? I thought I had conquered all my health demons. My recipe for maintaining my body weight and managing my stress for the past 8 years was running and a modest diet with smaller portions. I am living my professional dream of creating and directing a health service for youth and families that I really believe in. I have been front and center when it came to demonstrating “practicing what you preach”. So it came as a great surprise and shock to me when I began reverting back to old health habits.

This was the scenario…I fell in February 2014 while racing a 6th grade boy at a local elementary/middle school. I love telling the story with the ending always being, I was winning. In fact I was winning the race, but my body took a fall that would leave me without the ability to run as I had in the past for the next 9 months. I was use to running over 20 miles weekly and I was going into shock not being able to run. It did not help that I have multiple sclerosis and falling is not what you want to do when you suffer with this autoimmune disease. I was defying the odds being able to continue running long distances after I was diagnosed. I am not one to give up so I thought I would be back on the running trail in no time. When this did not happen, I decided it was a good time to begin cycling. It is less stress on your joints and I could manage to cycle although I could not run. Cycling was cool but it was not like my stress sapping runs. I had managed my body weight within 5lbs for the past 8 years, and now in year 9, I gained excess body weight. This reality sent me soul searching for the direction and path I should take.

  1. This is when I returned to my old ways of thinking and behavior. You know the thinking of:
  2. I am going to begin a diet on Monday.
  3. Gorge on foods you love for fear you can never have them again after beginning on Monday.
  4. Feelings of self-defeat and self-pity.
  5. Fear of how others will view you. How can I teach about healthy habits and I gained weight.
  6. Secret eating and binging.
  7. Indulging in behaviors that numb the real feelings of failure.

If these are the feelings experienced by an adult who is educated, have the ability to purchase healthy foods, and have access to safe exercise venues. What happens in the minds of our children, especially those who have less opportunities and resources? A healthy state is achieved in the mind first and behaviors follow.

The race is not won by the swift, but for those who endure to the end. WE HAVE A BODY with MANY CHANCES! If you are like me and many other thousands of people you understand what it is like to begin again. Let’s do just that BEGIN AGAIN, but this time with an understanding that we only get to take one day at a time. “Thinking” good health for ourselves and our family is the number one task we must focus on. Stop fretting over every morsel that goes into your mouth, but believe the foods that we put into our bodies, and the strong muscles and strength we develop from movement will take us places we always dream about. Eat to live a life full of possibilities and adventures just waiting for you to discover. Life is more than what we put in our mouths. Let’s free our minds to LIVE!!!

Nurture yourself and your children with affirmations of encouragement and love.

Remember…We are all unique and beautifully made, healthy living begins with loving yourself!

Clintonia