I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to getting caught in the comparison trap.
“I don’t make as much money as…, I’m not as thin as…, I don’t lose weight as fast as…, I don’t write as well as…,”
These thoughts are not helpful.
They do not create joy.
They are not loving.
Basically, they have no place in my life.
I’ve been thinking about how I compare myself to others because I just ended a month-long hiatus from the gym – and it’s taught me a lesson that I continue needing to relearn which is that I must always walk my own path with my priorities leading the way.
I was literally feeding myself excuses about why I didn’t have to work out based on comparing myself to others and it got me nothing but sadness.
When this happens, I get predictable.
Drink a lot (I mean…a LOT) of wine. Eat a lot of junk food.Regret it and then spend the next few days journaling so I don’t end up back in that place.
Through my personal pen-and-paper writing I’ve decided my philosophy for being and staying happy can be summed up in three words:
Simple, yet effective words that I’m hoping will become a road map for me as I go into an uncertain future.
They are open enough for interpretation of how they will be accomplished, but for me, energy must be devoted to these concepts every day.
For the last month I had been stuck in a lazy trap of get up, go to work, come home, watch Netflix, go to bed. Repeat.
The first week was great – it felt like I was visiting an old friend with this schedule. My former self was relishing in my return to the couch. The second week I knew I should start going to the gym again, I began to feel lazy, but still ok. The third week I started to make excuses. It’s cold, I’m tired, I don’t have any motivation, I don’t have any time.
And then in the fourth week I was in a hole. I wanted sugary foods all the time. I wasn’t happy.
It was time to kick my own butt. To remember that there is no such thing as “having motivation” – you either do it or you don’t.
Finally, finally, finally I went to the gym. My muscles are screaming today after running, squatting, lifting and planking – but I’m happy.
I KNOW that I need movement in my life to be happy. This is a fact. I ignore it and I live with the consequences. I spiral into unhappiness, other parts of my life fall apart.
The same is true for LOVE and CREATE.
Together, they add up to happiness for me.
There is no secret to living a life you love just like there is no secret to weight loss. You do the things that you know work. All the time.
Before I go – I wanted to share some recipes that I’ve been making (and loving!) lately. My posts have been kind of wordy and emotional, so here is my offering of a delicious break. They are all grain/nut/dairy free and paleo. Make these. Eat well. Be happy:
Honey-candied ginger <— My whole life I never had a taste for ginger and now all of the sudden I can’t get enough! I eat pieces of these every day. Also, I used mostly stevia to sweeten the ginger and only about a tablespoon of honey.
Pumpkin Custard Cups <—- Again, I substituted stevia for the maple syrup.
Meatloaf – no eggs/tomatoes <—- Paleo Mom uses a couple of different ground meats for this recipe but I used just lean turkey and it came out AMAZING. I went with the flax seed option instead of eggs, and stevia instead of molasses. I’ve made this recipe now three times! I know there is debate about flax seed being paleo…so if it doesn’t work for you, use eggs.
Lemon Garlic Crockpot Chicken <—- my roommate got a crockpot for Christmas and I finally got my hands on it this weekend. I used about 2 lbs of chicken breast instead of a whole chicken and after 6 hours on low, it was moist and delicious.
And finally, the Paleo superstar…
Bone Broth!! <— I also used the crockpot for this. You can use any type of bones – I went with a chicken carcass from a rotiserrie chicken and then four chicken legs and four chicken thighs that I roasted and removed the meat from. I bought one of those vegetable soup mixes from the supermarket that comes with a parsnip, carrots, celery, onion, etc and chopped everything up and set the crockpot on low for 9 hours. After, I strained everything, tossed the bones, ate most of the veggies, and stored the broth in the fridge. The next day I was able to skim the fat off and underneath was jell0-y nutrient packed bone broth!