Inspiration can come from those who think they are the least likely to inspire. Today I reconnected with a friend I hadn't seen for many years. She's blue because of weight issues. Ironically, she looks better than I ever remember her - she's got beautiful blonde hair (that doesn't need a flatiron to make it shiny!) and big blue eyes. OK, to be fair, I remember her as a kind of nerdy kid with glasses and long stringy hair. She has turned into a beautiful woman.
But as we lunched - she told me how unhappy she is about her appearance - her weight. If only, she could lose the weight, THEN her life would be happy...
"What's stopping you?" I asked her, curious about what may be keeping her from being happy. She said that food is one of her few comforts at the end of a hectic day with the kids. And the kids eat "kid food" - not really healthy choices. So here is my advice for those of you, who like my friend, find yourselves running around making everyone else's life work - and neglecting your own.
Remember the old adage from the airplane - FIX YOUR OWN OXYGEN MASK FIRST - otherwise you cannot possibly care for your loved ones. That means make sure you take at least one break during the day that is YOUR time - and don't use food as the reward. Go shopping. Get your nails done. Teach yourself one new thing using the computer as your guide. Pick up a hobby - needlepoint or crocheting. Do something for yourself! THEN go back to the rest of the brood.
It's OK to introduce your kids to healthy food. That means salad and veggies making up the bulk of the meal with protein as the number two food and high fiber carbs as the smallest serving. No way they'll try veggies? Present them nicely on the plate. Provide a lowfat dip or salsa for them to dip them into. Make them pretty and fun - and by the way, kids don't typically starve. If you change your own eating habits, chances are they will follow. Make the whole family healthy.
Don't lose weight for an event - lose it to feel good. Every day. Food influences mood. And mood influences food. It's a cycle. You can start it right.
And the best part about giving my friend advice is that I took my OWN advice after I spoke to her. I went to Trader Joe's and did NOT stock up on snack foods. Dinner tonight was healthy with normal sized portions. Snack was air popped popcorn and sugar free hot cocoa. And tomorrow, since it will be a snow day - it's exercise and hunkering down to write proposals. You see, thanks to you, my friend, I'm finally back on track! We can be there for each other! And that is tip number 4 - support is everything. Even when you don't realize that YOU can inspire someone else. Isn't it cool?