In the last year, I have affected many positive changes in my life. I can’t take credit for it though; it was my body’s idea. When the anxiety and the heart palpitations didn’t work, my body decided that it was time to send me something to make me pay attention. So, it slapped me up the side of the head with the open palm of pain.
It worked. Pain is a very effective catalyst to change.
I spent the first few months of this year in bed with debilitating stomach pain, in doctor’s offices trying to find answers and on the internet trying to self-diagnose. The doctors sent me for various tests and while waiting months for a colonoscopy, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Exhausted, overweight and anxious from years of stress and self-abuse in the form of an improper diet, not enough rest and no boundaries, it was time to implement some extreme self-care.
I cleared my calendar, set boundaries and tried to become comfortable with not doing everything for everyone. I eliminated sugar, gluten and processed foods from my diet and lost twenty pounds. I drank less coffee and more tea, less alcohol and more water. I spent more time alone with me and acknowledged my need to heal. I spent more time being creative – art journaling, writing and cooking simple, healthy foods. I started to practice yoga and explored my spiritual side.
It was working. I was feeling more healthy and peaceful than I had in years. Friends that I hadn’t seen in a while noticed a change in me. They saw a light that seemed to shine from within.
This is good, right? Yes, but…
I now feel myself sliding again. In the past month, I haven’t been getting enough sleep and now I find that I am so tired that my eating habits are suffering. The anxiety is quietly seeping back into my body, I feel my stomach beginning to get “cranky” again and my focus is waning.
This time is different though. This time I know better. This time I will stop it now.
This change has to be forever. It is not a quick fix. It is a life time of self-care because I am worth it.
Why do we, as women, have such a hard time with this? It is time to change this now. We all need to become change agents for self-care.