I have come across many successful individuals who profess that they love themselves or that they have a healthy self image when in fact they don't. I do sometimes come across someone who truly does appreciate themselves and what a special gift they are to the world but it is rare. What I normally come across are people who engage in self destructive behaviour in one form or another. It can be denying themselves creature comforts that they can readily afford, it can be allowing others to take them for granted, it can be pushing themselves physically when they should be resting, it can be eating or drinking too much or not enough, it can be lack of exercise - the list goes on and on.
I was really struck this week by one of my clients who is very successful professionally, she's driven, motivated and exceptionally great at what she does. She also carries around a quite a bit of extra weight that is causing her both physical and emotional discomfort. She is taking advantage of a special program I offer that combines wellness coaching and cardio exercise. I have seen the power of combining physical forward momentum which creates mental forward momentum when combined at the same time. Together we are working on helping her get a handle on her physical well being. At the same time we are looking at what is causing the behaviour that created her physical condition to begin with.
She has made tremendous progress during our time together, this week however she shared with me that she hadn't accomplished any of her goals and was very disappointed. She asked if we could go do the cardio outside because it was such a beautiful day which I agreed to. When we were heading out she shared that she had a horrible earache that she would be seeing the doctor for later in the day. It was obvious that she was in pain but wanted to get out there and get her cardio come hell or high water! I agreed to the walk ONLY if she matched MY pace - she did so with less than good grace but she agreed. She then shared that she would be meeting a friend later the same day to go on a power walk for an hour or so. I made her promise me that she would not walk but just sit in the sun and enjoy the company of her friend - I have no idea if she will stick to the promise.
I asked her what she would tell me if I was her patient and I came to hear with a severe earache. She answered that she would tell me to rest. She started to find reasons why that response didn't apply to her. I then asked her how she would treat either of her sons if they had an earache, her answer for that was to make them comfy, nurture them, care for them and love them up. This is the very treatment that SHE needed to engage in! The treatment that she would give her children is the very treatment that she herself needed and deserved.
Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves the way we would care for those we love? I know it's easy to get caught up in the idea that I'm not keeping up or I'm letting someone down if I don't keep going but the reality is that if I don 't take care of myself I CAN'T take care of others, I CAN'T perform my job. When I don't take care of myself and get too run down then I don't have the energy or the patience for anything or anyone least of all the ones I care for the most.
When our bodies are in pain or when we get sick it's our bodies way of telling us to slow down. In fact if we don't pay attention to the 'slow down' messages our bodies send us, our bodies will up the ante. Sometimes it's a nasty cold, sometimes it's an injury, sometimes it's a potentially fatal disease. The next time you feel like you have to power through something because you just don't have the time to rest I strongly encourage you to MAKE the time. In fact taking care of ourselves and our needs the way we would for the ones we love the most is the greatest form of self love there is. I invite you to give it a try I'm confident that the little person inside of you will really appreciate the tender care. We all want to be treated with kindness, love and respect and in fact we all deserve it. Why don't you begin today with the most important person in your life - YOU!
Here's to you in Health, Wellness and Fitness!
Jennifer Malocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness
Listen to my weekly radio show Let's Talk every Thursday from 9-10 AM PST
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