Prioritizing Myself Fifth

I have to go back three years to find a picture of myself that I like. I know that the longer this weight stays on, the harder it will be to take off. I know that. I also know that when I lose this weight I will have more energy and be better able to do all the other things that right now keep me from getting exercise and losing the weight.

Actually, that’s not really a fair statement. It isn’t all those worthwhile activities that keep me from losing weight, it’s me. I’m the one who makes grand statements of taking a long walk every day before we start anything else, but then plans meetings or other things to supercede those plans. I’m the one seemingly unable to make myself a priority.

My weight is becoming a big obstacle for me. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I’m blown away — I can’t believe I’m so fat! I start comparing myself to my friends: they can still keep up with their children, they still help out at school and church, they babysit for their friends when needed, but their homes are cleaner than mine and they still manage to maintain a healthy weight. I know that it’s unfair to compare myself to someone else, that I need to focus instead on just being the very best me that I can be. (I am not the best me that I can be, I have a lot of room for improvement.) Academically I understand all of that, but during the course of the day it happens and it makes me feel like a huge failure. (Dad and Liz are coming down for a visit in two days and all I can think about, instead of all the things I do for which they are proud, is how disappointing it must be for them that I just can’t keep my place clean and organized and that I have put on so much weight. Even though I know they’re just interested in seeing us and they are the least judgemental people in the whole wide world; even though I know I’m just projecting my own disppointment in myself.)

It’s hard to choose myself over helping out at the school (on the pta or in the classroom.) It’s hard to choose myself when my friend needs my help. It’s hard to choose myself when I have the opportunity to teach a lesson. It’s hard to choose myself when what my family wants to do is different. Over the past couple of years, the weight that I gained when Paul was unemployed and we considered making cookies “living it up!” has stayed, because I have filled my time with everything except me.

This is not some grand proclamation that the next time you see me I’ll be skinny, or that I’m finally going to put myself first. I’m not. The reality is I can’t justify putting myself first because it seems so selfish when compared with many of the other things wherein I spend my time.

But, … my health is also important. And it’s time that I at least put myself on the list.

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5 thoughts on “Prioritizing Myself Fifth

  1. I think putting yourself on the list is a great start. I want to tell you what works for me. I hope that’s okay. First, you must know that I am FAR from perfect. It seems my house is always messy and my priorities are never straight. I never spend enough time just playing with my kids with so many other things going on. But as far as exercise goes, I think I’m doing well. Last year I signed up for a 10K and my goal was to run the whole thing. I wasn’t a runner but I trained for it. I met some ladies in my ward who I would see running in the mornings. After my 10K, I kept running because I felt so good. Now I’m up to 6 miles every MWF and I’m registering for a half marathon in November. I still wouldn’t really consider myself a runner and I still have weight to lose, but the thing that keeps me going is friends. I know they’re waiting for me and I have to be there. I don’t have a choice whether I should get up in the morning or not. I just do it. Now as far as eating well, I’m still working on that one. Let me know if you have any tips on overcoming a sweet tooth!

  2. haha, last week I made the grand statement that we would go for a walk every day after N’iel gets out of school.

    It lasted one day.

    *shrug*

    I feel for ya!

  3. Heather, I’ve been on a quest to better myself lately. I totally get what you are saying, feel selfish for putting myself first but when you think about what you want to improve in yourself you will only be making your home better for your family… Two things i have also been trying to do are keeping a better home and getting my eating under control.

    I hope you don’t mind me telling you what has helped me. A clean home… Hahaha, it never clean but I try to have it clean at one point during the day and doing the dishes before I go to bed. That’s it. I made those two goals I thought could be achievable and not take too much time away from the kids. It was hard at first to just but I just kept trying and now it’s comes 2nd nature.

    My overeating: I might not always have time to work out but I can control what I eat. I love food, diets don’t last and you usually end up torturing your self. I am the type of person who does not like to sacrifice taste so I eat what I want, but limit the amount. I sacrifice in areas that I won’t miss, like a healthy bowl of cereal for breakfast, smaller lunch, but I always make an unhealthy but uber yummy dinner, I try not to eat too much and know I do most times, then a few squares of chocolate after the kids go to bed because I know it won’t last if I don’t give myself that. I always over ate for every occasion and couldn’t stop eating after the kids went to bed to fill the void of ignoring me and what I need. I’m never perfect but I take it as practice and I am doing better and I give myself a pat on the back no matter how much I strayed that day. I’ve lost some weight, but this is the first time I feel it is natural and not just water weight but real weight.

    You deserve to be taken care of too just like your children need you.

    1. Thank you, Ashley. I always wondered how you could have gourmet tastebuds and still look amazing (because you DO look amazing.) Those are exactly the habits I’m trying to get into myself, and I take a lot of comfort and inspiration knowing that they worked for you. Thanks!!

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