Last night I had an epiphany. Does that ever happen to you? Lying in bed at 2:57a.m., I was mulling over the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have to do the changing if I want to change the world. Well, maybe not the world, but my little corner of it anyway. I have to be the example if I want those around me to live healthier lives. My life, not just my words, needs to speak that truth.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m a smart woman even though I have a terrible mommy brain sometimes. I’ve understood the meaning of this quote for a long time, but last night it took on new meaning to me. If I want positive changes to happen to those I love and those I want to inspire, then those changes have to start with me, with my life. My thoughts and ideals must become actions and devoted alterations to how I’m living. My body, my life, is a treasure. A true gift, and one that is worth treating with compassion, respect, love, and forgiveness. I should care for myself just as I care for my child. I always want what’s best for my children; why don’t I do the same for me?
There’s a reason I haven’t stuck to my previous resolutions, commitments, and passions. It’s because my heart wasn’t truly devoted to the change that was necessary. My head was ready to lead, with all it’s knowledge on nutrition and exercise, but my heart was stuck on unhealthy vices. My heart was stuck on stuffing my face with Thanksgiving dinner because maybe I wouldn’t get it next year. (Seriously, it’s about the same deliciousness every year…no need to go into survival mode.) Those Christmas cookies? They’ll be back next year. If not, then better for my waistline.
Confession time. I have caught myself, more often than not, eating in secret. When I was little it was hiding what I was eating from my parents or my siblings. Now, it’s hiding from my husband and my kids. If they don’t see me eating it, then they can’t follow my horrible example. Ugh, how wrong to think this way! And that truth unfortunately reared it’s ugly head over our Christmas vacation. My husband caught our youngest daughter hiding under the bed eating as many chocolate candies as she could get her hands on. Lord, what a teaching moment! All I could picture was me as a young child doing the same thing and how depressed and shamed I would feel after; how disappointed that I was overweight and not fit like my friends. Granted, my daughter is only 3 and I’m praying she knows nothing of these feelings or thoughts at such a young age. But I don’t want it to grow into that situation. I need to start leading by example. Time to put on my big girl pants and get to work!
So tonight I need to forgive myself. I went overboard at dinner, and I’m certainly feeling the aftermath. However, I’m recognizing it, I’m apologizing to my body, and I’m leaving it all right here…right with today. I will not think on it tomorrow. I also need to forgive that little girl. The one who used to chow down on three-quarters of a bag of Oreos in one sitting and not think anything of it. That girl who would plop herself in front of the television instead of running free in the sunshine and breathing in that wonderful fresh air. That girl who still makes mistakes and won’t stop making them. Tomorrow is a new day, but right now is a new moment, a chance to turn things around and be the change I wish to see. There is no time like the present, and I’m finally going to take advantage of it.
How about you? Do you need to forgive yourself for something?
What changes do you hope to see? How can you make them happen?