SHINE Daily

Keeping Your 'Why' Close By

Today, in my Weight Watchers' meeting, we had a little arts & crafts time. We talked about "keeping our 'why' close by" and created little vision boards using things we found in old magazines to remind ourselves why we each started our journey. I thought I'd share the little vision board I created, so here's what the pieces mean: 

French fries: represents foods that I wanted to be able to eat in freedom instead of feeling guilt. I used to beat myself up mentally after eating pizza, fries, or a cheeseburger because I used those items as an escape. I just wanted to eat them and not feel guilty, and to do that I had to eat them as a treat in a well balanced food lifestyle and not as a coping mechanism.   

Fern: I wanted to do more outdoor activities but didn't feel comfortable because of my size; plus, it took too much out of me. I can happily enjoy the great outdoors now.

You'll love coming home: I didn't use to enjoy coming home from work. At work, I was able to do things that took my mind off of me. At home, I had nothing but time to think of me and everything that I perceived was wrong with me. Then I would use food to help me feel better or punish myself more. I wanted home to be a safe place, so I had to make some changes inside of me and in my environment. First, I had to change the way I talked to myself. If I had heard someone talk to another person the way I talked to myself, I'd easily step up and give that person a piece of my mind for the horrible things they said. I needed to start doing that for myself. Second, I needed to treat food as nourishment, not an activity. I made sure that I had good food choices in the house and ate them when it was time to eat, not to pass time.

The Lifestyle You've Always Wanted Near The People and Places You Love: I wanted a better lifestyle overall. I wanted to be better for the people I love. My negative thoughts about my weight and myself kept me from that lifestyle. Now, I have the lifestyle I've wanted, and I want to honor the hard work and changes I made.

What's In A Number: a reminder to not focus on the scale. The scale can be a tool in gauging weight loss, but it's not the only tool. I need to be aware of the changes in my body, my endurance, how my clothes feel, how I feel inside. There are just some things a scale can't tell you, and it shouldn't be the only tool to measure progress on a health journey.

Exercise shoes: I was always made fun of for how I run and how slow I am. A childhood softball coach nicknamed me "Turtle," and it stung. Honestly, it kept me from participating in future sports and activities because I didn't like being made fun of. Why keep putting myself through that emotional torture? When I started walking/running again, a kid said that I ran "funny," and I felt that shame all over again. I seriously wanted to quit, but I wanted to be happy more, and quitting wouldn't get me to my goal. So now, if someone tells me I run funny, I use it as an opportunity to remind myself that it's better to be running my legs than running my mouth.

The ring: I finally got brave enough to realize that I can buy my own jewelry, and I deserve to wear it (it's a single girl hang-up thing), so I need to keep putting the effort in so that I can wear them on the fingers they're sized for. At one point, I had to stop wearing a favorite ring because I gained too much weight, making my finger get too big. That's not happening again.

So that's my "why." Seeing and thinking about these things was a great exercise.

How about you? If you were creating a vision board for you, what would go on it? It doesn't have to be about a health journey. It could be about your job, your family/spouse, or even your faith. What area in your life do you need to keep your 'why' close by? Just something to think about.

Co-host of Afternoons with Jack & Erin on SHINE-FM.