Lesson Learned No. 3 — Sometimes, you just have to be selfish.

SELFISH

Mine.

adjective

  1. devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
  2. characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.

Oh goodness…It’s amazing that just reading the definition of selfish can bring about negative thoughts, but in a small way..not so much.  Although I was raised with only one sister, we were taught to share what we had and never-ever be selfish.  I remember such sayings as “If your fist is held tight/shut and you’re not giving to others, nothing goes out and nothing comes back to you” That’s right!  It was almost like a subtle threat was attached to being selfish.  Okay, well maybe that might have been a little too country for many of you, lol..Let me try this one “It’s better to give than to receive.”  Oh yes that’s a good one.  I see you nodding your heads on that one.   So really, the rule of thumb is that you should never be selfish of your resources or even your time.  Take time for others, give to others, help others …

Well, after years and years of thinking that way, I’m learning that we must set boundaries and in many cases lean toward being a little selfish.  You see many of us can say that we are in the position of being overweight due to trying to please others.  A lot of times we knew that what we agreed to or even what we initiate was not what would be best for US.  It was what would be best for others.  For example.. (lol, yes you know I have “examples”)..lol..here we go…

So you know that you have trigger foods that set you off into a binging mode and could virtually sabotage all of your weightloss efforts for the last 6 months.  Say for example, that trigger food is cake and it’s DD, DS or DH’s birthday.  Do you put yourself aside and cook that wonderful cake anyway and risk your well being.  Yes or No???  You don’t want to be selfish, now, do you?  The answer is yes!! Yes, you do.  You can very easily make some other arrangements for your family.  How about just going out for dessert and getting that special loved one an extra slice to take home.  They’ll understand.

How many times do we have our exercise regimen all planned for the day and something comes up.  We have a choice to say no..or put off your workout tomorrow (if that ever comes).  How about when you fully knew that you wouldn’t have time to workout that evening and planned to walk at lunch and then…someone wants you to walk with them to the cafeteria and talk about THEIR life problems and then they begin to ask “why aren’t you getting anythingggg?”  After all is said and done you missed your walk, you are weighed down by her drama AND you ended up munching on some dry, fried chicken fingers that you didn’t even want—just to be social, that is.  Then walking back to your desk, you’re wondering what happened.  You’re thinking that you had a plan for you but ..well, she needed me.  No—get this!…YOU NEED YOU!!!!

YOU are that little person inside you that you have neglected for years.  She needs you.  She needs you BAD.  She needs you to set some boundaries for her.  She needs you to put her first and make the sacrifices for her that you make for others.  She needs you to focus on not defiling her body with toxic, unhealthy foods.  She needs you to move more so that you won’t become stiff and sore and develop a heart condition.  She needs you to take a little quiet time with her to journal her thoughts, plan her meals and not let anyone or anything derail you from helping her.  You’re that little neglected person that cries for attention but is never heard.  Is she not more, or as, important as others?

I’ve been guilty of changing all sorts of plans and putting family and friends first before myself.  Oh, by the way, sometimes, it is just more fun and satisfying to eat off the chain and sit around and worry about everybody’s issues but your own.  But then later you’ll have to negotiate with that elephant in the room that bears down on you in the quiet of the night and haunts you the morning after the “fun” is over.

I have helping nature and that will never change.  I am the first to sacrifice time to feed the homeless or help a friend in need at any time, day or night, but I had to learn to set boundaries.  When it comes to my journey to attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, the self-defeating, self sabotaging behavior had to change because it was just-not-healthy. I’ve learned that I’ve got to be selfish.  This meant learning to take time for myself and not worry about what others think or say.  Remember, your family and other loved ones will understand.  They want you to be here for them for a long, long time to come and if you keep the focus on your mission, (YOURSELF) for the long haul, you will be a better you for yourself AND them.

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