Weekends are supposed to be relaxing and rejuvenating. But I’ve always struggled with them.
Routine, for me, is everything. I’ve worked hard at creating consistency in my life, but every time the weekend rolls around, the freedom from a work schedule threatens my healthy habits. I’m not rushed to fit in exercise and not bound to meal times, and sometimes, because of that, both go out the window.
This weekend was no different. I slept too late, I stayed in bed too long, I worried about things I shouldn’t waste time worrying about and I watched way too many episodes of “The United States of Tara” on Netflix.
I used to think that vegging out made my happy. It doesn’t. I do it anyway. I’m not happy. I wonder why. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So after hours of feeling, well, useless, I turned to a book of daily meditations that I was given in college. Each page is marked with a different date, containing a quote followed by a few paragraphs of thought about the quote.
Jan. 29 read:
“Listen to every prompting of honour” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
And then a few paragraphs down:
“We demonstrate honor when we reject a second, or third, helping of food when we are already comfortably full, or when we exercise even when we don’t feel like it. Such sacrifices earn us the kind of medals we wear on the inside, rather than the outside.”
Now, this book isn’t about weight loss, so I was a little taken aback after reading that passage.
And that’s when it dawned on me. The lesson I’m constantly re-learning and re-teaching myself.
My goals, my wants, my needs, my fulfillment, my happiness have nothing to do with losing weight. They don’t. They haven’t. And they never will.
What I’m doing has nothing to do with loss at all.
It’s about gaining and creating a life I’m proud of. One I want to live and one that will make me happy.
And when I focus on the weight loss that’s exactly what I feel. Loss.
I forget that what I’m really doing is taking on life.
A year ago I challenged myself to take on all that I could. I decided that I would be the driving force in my life. I would stop worrying about how others would view me and challenged myself to believe change was possible.
So when I forget to listen to my body and give in to temporary pleasures, extra helpings of food and extra hours lying around, I’m doing much more damage than affecting a number on a scale.
I’m sending a message inward that I don’t believe in myself.
Getting up early on a Saturday morning to make a healthy breakfast and go to the gym takes discipline and sacrifice. It takes effort.
Wishing for weight loss, praying to be skinnier and hating what you see in the mirror is not honoring your body. But taking action to be stronger, to fuel better, to live happier – that’s honor.
And that’s what I want.