My gorgeous friend Biz asked me to do a guest blog over on her site, www.happilythinnerafter.com. Here’s what I came up with!
A few months ago someone suggested I do a vision board. I was approaching a pivotal birthday, and I was in full ‘am-I-just-a-waste-of-oxygen?’ mode. My friend thought that a vision board would help me get clear and focused on my next chapter.
I’m unashamed to tell you that I’m pretty much up for any project which includes cutting and pasting. So, I bought the board, went to my stack of hoarded magazines, and got down to business with the scissors and glue.
One section of my vision board was to be totally devoted to my health. I started with a quote which reads, “Never Say Diet.” (Dream big, right?) Then, I placed a picture of colorful, fresh vegetables beneath it.
Next, I found a perfectly healthy looking woman in a one-piece bathing suit standing on the beach. Obviously she is a swimsuit model, but she isn’t a Sports Illustrated one. I could at least wrap my head around the goal. In a fit of total empowerment, I printed a picture of my face, pasted my head on the swimsuit body, and I put it smack in the center of the section.
Brownies and Reality
I think I weighed 127 at birth. I can LOOK at a brownie and gain 6.8 pounds (roughly). Weight has been a lifelong struggle. It was so weird to see myself thin. It was so weird that I took a picture of it with my phone and made it my phone background. I couldn’t get enough of the feeling that picture gave me.
About three weeks after I made the vision board, I was staring at Skinny Me. With complete and total sincerity, I thought, “Wow, my thighs are a little meaty.” My heart fell a bit. “Bummer,” I thought.
Then it dawned on me–BELINDA, YOU ARE CRITICIZING YOUR HEAD ON THE BODY OF A SWIMSUIT MODEL!This woman gets PAID to stand there in a bathing suit and have her picture taken, and here I was picking at ‘my’ thighs.
This was a turning point. I’ve always been told that losing weight is as much mental as it is physical. I know that I’m supposed to work out my thoughts around food, and I know I’m supposed to work on the self-love (I’ve watchedOprah). However, in all the years, I’ve never had such clarity come crashing in on me. I’ve never seen the mental junk in action like I did that day.
Recently, a dear friend of mine was having all kinds of physical issues. She was going back and forth to the doctor every other week for this and that, and I believe she was convinced deep down that she had a major underlying medical issue. After several weeks of futile visits, her doctor sat down across from her and let the silence fill the room.
This was it: the moment of truth.
In his most sincere and compassionate voice he said the following: you really should be kinder to yourself.
Then he sent her home.
That was it, the diagnosis and the treatment.
You really should be kinder to yourself.
I began to take stock in how I think. I started journaling again, and I got my first massage in 7 years. I started walking through my neighborhood with my dogs–not for the exercise, but because I like to smell fresh air and my dogs think they’re on vacation.
I look at that picture of Skinny Me every single day.
I’m two sizes smaller than I was before I did the Vision Board. I’m not following any program, per se, and I’m not starving myself. I’m certainly not saying I have it all worked out, but something has shifted, and that’s a good thing.
What Have You Got To Lose?
As you enter your next chapter, I wonder what would happen if you tried being intentionally supportive of yourself. I wonder if it would make a difference in your day. What if you took a walk just for the pure enjoyment of it? What if you got that massage you’ve been putting off? What if you were mindful of your negative self-talk, and intentional about changing it?
My challenge to you: Be kinder to yourself for the next 30 days and see what happens. Just see. Because, really, what have you got to lose?
To Your Adventure,
Belinda Smith is the President and Founder of Belinda Smith Creative, a company dedicated to providing structure, community, accountability and permission to aspiring writers around the world. As a Multi-Award Winning songwriter and mentor, she is a sought after speaker, teacher and performer at writing workshops and festivals, and her new LIVE CD is set to be released in February. Check out belindasmithcreative.com for information about online classes starting soon.