When I sit and think about it, achieving sustainability and a Zero Waste lifestyle rests greatly on my mental and physical health. But then…so does EVERYTHING.
Mental and physical health have a symbiotic relationship. They depend on each other. For example: if I tell myself, “I’m fat.” I have given my body the opportunity to store more fat. If I eat food that is unhealthy too often…more fat. So…I tell myself I’m fat, I eat shitty food that makes me feel like crud, I don’t exercise like I should, and then we have this lovely little cycle I like to call BS. Although I have gotten MUCH better with this cycle. I can say that it still happens. (For some reason I really enjoy seeing how a certain food will hurt me? I mean…and it tastes SO good!)
Changing the way we do life when we’ve become so used to doing it one way is extremely difficult. It takes a lot of MENTAL well-being to make it happen; to re-write the negative narrative in our minds, and continue to do so. This isn’t an overnight thing. I didn’t go from 206 lbs. to 168 lbs. just like that. I have to work at it, Every. Single. Day. And it’s over YEARS that I finally stand where I am. I feel like I have a little more work to do, that’s okay; I just need to keep moving forward and believing in myself.
I was looking through some old(er) photos and came across a few of myself in 2017, when I was at my heaviest. I have a round face so even now there are times when I think, “naw, I don’t look THAT different!” But I really do! I would cover myself up completely, trying to hide what I’m uncomfortable with. 2017 was rough for my self esteem.
Entering into 2018 I started to really focus on what was going into my body (started a vegan diet/plant based focus- which does not agree with me.) In 2019 I’ve found the diet that words for me (motified AIP-autoimmune protocol), and I’m feeling so good!
Normally I wouldn’t do the crop top thing. I do now, and I love it! Totally feeling good about myself here, and ready to get outside and garden! I can’t believe how I used to tell myself how nasty I was… and I was at LEAST 10 lbs less that I am now when I would say those things to myself. It’s a shame that I wasted so much of my energy telling myself that I was fat, not good enough, less than. Alas, ‘life is a journey, not a guided tour’-Unknown
The narrative in my mind was so negative for so long. I’m so glad to have found the strength to tell my brain to eff off, and speak kindly and gently to myself. I deserve that. You deserve that!
What do you do to keep yourself moving forward when there’s an a-hole inside your head (it’s YOU by the way, sorry not sorry) telling you that you can’t?
Sometimes I put a little note on my mirror (I use lipstick I had from a makeup kit I received years ago…don’t wear it). Usually it’s an I AM statement. Like, I AM strong. I AM loved. I AM beautiful. I AM wanted. I stay away from I AM NOT statements because I believe the universe only works in positives. For example, “I AM NOT UGLY” turns into “I AM UGLY.” That’s not positive at all! From time to time I will write WE ARE statements for my family. Sometimes we go through rough patches and need a friendly reminder that we’ve got this.
I also remind myself that I am a priority. Self-care is no joke! We hear it all the time: “If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else”…not fully anyway. But we do this lovely little cycle of BS don’t we? We put everyone else above us, thinking that it’s a virtue or we ware setting a good example (when the best example we can set for others is the example of taking care of ourselves), and we forget to take care of the one person who should matter most. SELF.
These days I’m trying to be more kind to myself. My brain likes to constantly go through all the items on my list on repeat until it drives me mad. I start telling myself that I’m not good enough because I’m not able to check everything off my list.(There’s that negative narrative again!) I just have to tell myself that I don’t have to get to everything. It’s OKAY to plant my a$$ in a chair and remain there for a while. It’s OKAY to leave the dishes in the sink. It’s OKAY to let the laundry pile up. I do a lot around my home… not everyday because not everyday do I have the energy. Sometimes I get a flair up (autoimmune issues) because I put way too much pressure on myself- and then I’m forced to relax. But by being more kind to myself and allowing the time to relax before I get stressed has helped immensely.
What does self-care look like for you? How do you make YOU a priority?
I take baths. Way too many baths. They are the perfect way for my whole body to relax- especially my problem areas (hips and shoulders). It gives me time to look over my social media, read one of the ten books I’m currently reading, take some notes to get a few things off my mind, or just drink a drank and really soak in the positive vibes. The amount of baths I take (1-4 a week) definitely do not meet what I would consider zero waste, or even in line with sustainability. Sometimes it’s far more important to find that time to relax. I’m sure I’ll come up with other ways. If you have any suggestions I would LOVE to hear them.
Food is a huge part of my self-care. I usually have to have a bunch of things prepared so I’m not munching on food that doesn’t agree with me. I basically live out of containers, and on leftovers. You’ll get a feel for my diet/prepwork in later posts.
Most importantly… I’ve become a little selfish. There is this level of selfishness that I have had to attain in order to take care of my family. It’s so insane to me that my self-care has turned into an amazing thing. I can take care of the other people in my life because I’ve given myself the opportunities I need to take care of numero uno! ME. I put myself and most of my needs before anyone else. Not to say there aren’t times that I put others needs before my own…but I realized that by putting my needs first and then giving attention to my hubby or son becomes much easier. It’s more enjoyable, even. An example would be taking a bath at the end of a long day first before I play a board game. Or, sitting down for 10 minutes in silence before I start playing, cooking, etc.. The lists go on…but the most important part was that I took that time for me. My mental health. My physical health. I can’t go anywhere or do anything of importance until those things are in check.
Take care of you. You matter.
Peace and love,