Earlier this morning I stepped out of the shower and started my normal morning routine. It begins by looking down and being discouraged by the cellulite bumps and love handles looking back at me. It continues as I scrutinize every pore on my face and unruly hair on my head. I then get frustrated at my lack of non-scuffed shoes or jeans that properly fit before I face the day. As the day’s stresses come at me with rapid speed, I at an equally quick tempo, shovel in food to feel better instead of giving myself an internal pep talk.
Once downstairs I am all sweetness and light because I am surrounded by sweetness and light. My girls literally bounce up and down when they see me and my husband’s smile grows wide. From there we all giggle with each other as we each have our version of a healthy, delicious breakfast and celebrate little victories before we (patiently on my end, languidly on the girls’ side) get ready to get out of the door.
Notice some differences here?
It is a top 10 trait for women to put everyone else’s needs and wants before our own. That’s no surprise. What we don’t talk about is how we treat all those people in our circles with much more grace and patience than we ever do ourselves. On the other hand, the expectations for our fellow humans are sometimes higher than what we require of ourselves.
Would we ever allow our children to eat (another) bag of M&Ms just because they had a bad day? Are we okay if our significant other works themselves ragged by keeping up with a constant barrage of inane social media chatter? If we saw our friend buying another pair of shoes or going on the treadmill for the second time in one day or drinking (another) glass of wine, would we stop and ask them what are they trying to overlook?
Ironically, I had big plans on today’s topic being “in defense of our vices”, but something happened overnight. It hit me that I’m relying on the wrong things to make me feel good when stressed (bored, anxious, tired, fired up, etc.). Instead, I’d like to present to you, a very 2017-y revision of the Golden Rule:
Treat yourself as you would want others to treat you.
Does that mean carefully with kid gloves? Maybe more drill sergeant-y with firm expectations? Perhaps like your parents did – understanding your hiccups, but expecting you to overcome them without delay?
While I’m more comfortable with the gentle approach, that’s not how I treat my girls, nor my friends. I expect great things from them, so I need to demand more of myself.
To that end, I’m giving myself a one-week challenge to try two things:
1. No added sugars (including Diet Coke) unless I make the product*
2. No more than five minutes every hour horsing around on the internet
Yep, those are the two biggest things plaguing me right now. I’ve excused my way into such a crappy diet! I can’t tell you how many times I stop at a fast food joint to pick up lunch on my way out to deliver your food or grab another soda under some excuse about energy or “I just want to taste the fizziness.” Ugh. Do as I say, friends, not as I do.
Also, I am slowly driving myself crazy with all my time searching out social media in regards to what’s happening in DC and around the country these days. It’s enough to make this kind-hearted gal go bonkers! It’s my own damn fault, though, because as I promised to myself in my Power Sheets, I really can get all my news from a couple of rational, thought-provoking sources including The Skimm, NPR, Ozy, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, but choose to keep looking. I don’t need to interrupt my time on work, with my family, or that precious hour before bed with the firehouse of stress balls the other “news” provide. I really don’t.
I come from a long line of addictive personalities, so I know if I say “absolutely not” to anything, that’s all I’ll be able to think about, so I’m giving myself two windows. For the food thing – I need to test out recipes for the Junior League’s Hearts and Hops event at the end of the month where I am the dessert sponsor, so I have to (insert eye roll here, I know…) try out those. As for the interwebs – well, while I’m trying to be my dad and talk to strangers in the grocery store, there is no one for me to talk to when I’m working from home or in the basement kitchen, so that’s my lifeline to humanity.
I can do anything for a short amount of time. These new habits start today. Let’s see where I stand next Wednesday. Who wants to join me? What can you do to treat yourself better right now?? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.