Forgive, Forget, MOVE ON
-Laura Fenamore, mylifecompass.com
One of the many pearls of wisdom that we are handed as children (along with share, be nice, and don’t run in the hallway) is, “forgive and forget.” And while the simple, beautiful wisdom in this is definitely easier said than done, it can feel almost impossible for us to apply it when it comes to ourselves.
No matter how much work we have done to let go of old demons and ghosts, we often end up being our own worst enemy, playing a litany of negative self-talk all day every day. The holidays are no exception to this. The family and friends, the hard work, the expense, and oh yes – the food. And while it’s really important to have traditions and celebratory gatherings, it’s even more important that part of the “clean-up” process become, “forgive and forget.” Let me make it very, very simple: No matter how you feel about your food over the last few days, it’s not the end of the world. It was just a meal. Okay, maybe it was two or three, but believe me, if you get back on track right now, instead of beating yourself up, you will have a much better chance of not only looking better – but feeling better. If you can master self-forgiveness and leave-it-in-last-week “forgetness,” what you definitely will not do is eat over the shame of the holiday weekend and the fear that you might have gotten off track.
The truth is this – we don’t become overweight because of a slice of pie or a large meal of turkey and gravy. We become overweight based on what we do in our day-to-day, every-day eating habits and lifestyle choices. We often become overweight because our “forgive and forget” button is broken. We relive and replay old insults, injuries and shames so often that we turn to outside substances to ease our pain – but of course, it doesn’t work – they only add to our pain in the end – and then add to our “end” in the end. Both literally and figuratively.
Overeating and lack of movement shorten lives and make us sick. It’s that simple. But holiday excess isn’t the make it or break it in that equation. What you do on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoons are much more likely to dictate your healthy or unhealthy weight and body image than what you do on Thanksgiving or Christmas. In fact, if you can make healthy choices in your diet and movement ROUTINE, you can CHOOSE to be more relaxed on holidays – and even make them GUILT-FREE cheat days. How do we do this? There are three steps to begin a VERY SIMPLE healthy routine.
1. First of all, eat better. We all know what this means. First of all, it means no overeating and no starving. Go for three meals and three healthy snacks a day. And if you DON’T know what healthy meals and snacks look like, you can turn to a limitless number of resources, from your library to your healthiest friend. Eating well isn’t the best kept secret in the universe, I promise. Or better yet, call my office. I mean it. I have unlimited ideas and resources for you.
2. The next tip is to get moving. (Yes, this is another secret weapon to living a good, healthy life!) But the simple truth is that even vigorously cleaning the house is MOVING. Get out a schedule for this week, and add in ONE vigorous activity every day. No matter what your age or stage in life, you CAN DO THIS.
3. Finally, probably the most important ingredient to a healthy lifestyle is the one that really IS a secret. It’s our childhood adage: Forgive and forget. Forgive yourself, forgive your family, and forgive your Aunt Anna. Forgive it all. Forgiveness is freedom. The weight you lose will be much more than your butt and your belly – it will be the “dead” weight you drag around in your soul.
To your health and self-love.