As I was meeting with my sweet client this morning…her thoughts constantly went back to all she had not done between our visits. I felt her discouragement, yet, I had noticed such a change in her attitude towards food and in her daily habits since we had begun our sessions together. As I started to list all of her goals that she had accomplished she started to smile. I saw the joy resurfacing again. She had been focusing on perfection instead of the process, instead of grace.
I find it so helpful to compare health to a journey. When we get ready to journey somewhere we spend a lot of time planning. What is our destination? How are we going to get there? What is our budget? Do we need to have a passport? What clothes we are going to bring? Which suitcase are we going to put them in?
We also set goals for our journey. What do we want to see? What do we want to experience? Is this a trip geared towards sightseeing or relaxation? Many decisions need to be made so that we can have the experience we desire. Many goals have to be set before we can reach our final destination. Even then, things may not go as planned. Maybe our flight is delayed. Maybe our suitcases get lost. Maybe the forecast is not what we had anticipated.
Venturing out on this journey towards health takes some planning and goal setting but most importantly, it takes much patience and listening. We have to keep in mind throughout the process that healing takes time and the process does not look perfect. Changing the negative thoughts about our bodies and our old habitual way of eating takes time. We are in the process of shedding old thought patterns and voices we have heard over the years, while learning to listen to our bodies. It takes lots of patience, practice and extended grace towards ourselves.
I call this eating with grace not perfection.
This is what I concentrate on each day:
I list out the 5 things that I am grateful for when it comes to my body image and the steps I have taken towards healing.
I write out my daily intentions which help me set my sights on what I want to accomplish when it comes to taking care of myself each day….mentally, spiritually and physically.
I listen to my body when it comes to what and how much I eat. (This takes practice but is worth the work)
I move in a way that makes me happy. Exercise should be joyful.
And Then I LIVE!!!!
The messages out there on the internet are confusing and conflicting so turn off the computer and trust your body. If you have a health problem, find a practitioner that looks at the whole person and get support. We are not meant to be tossed to and fro from doctor to doctor, never getting real answers. We are meant to be on a journey though. A journey of our own choosing, with grace not perfection!!!