Much of my life I spent not liking myself. I wouldn’t say that I hated myself, but there was always some aspect of myself I was trying to change. Have you ever had a remodeling project that just went on and on? I did. My remodeling project was me!
I tried to change everything from those things that I could change to those things that I couldn’t. (I always wished I was more funny and more articulate like some of my friends. Those are two qualities I really admire!) When it came to my overall peace level it was in the gutter. However, once Peace with Food came into the picture and I began living at peace, I soon realized that I could use those same principles to help me find peace with myself.
How about you? What is your peace level with yourself? If you were to rate yourself on a scale from 0-5 (5 being high and 0 being no peace at all) where would you fall? Do you like yourself? Do you accept yourself? Do you give yourself grace, knowing that you are a work in progress?
I have learned that having peace with myself is really important because when I wasn’t at peace with myself, I wasn’t at peace with others or the world around me.
It was a process that is continuing to this day and it looked something like this:
First, I had to understand that I am a masterpiece, uniquely created, a one-of a kind. I am Designed to be a “10”.
Secondly, I began to the process of knowing myself. This involved taking the time to find out about my personality, strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and tendencies.
Third, once I began accepting myself as is, it was then time to begin working on my expectations of myself. Too often my expectations were jaded and unrealistic. At times I had an all-or-nothing mindset and other times I didn’t expect enough of myself.
I overcame these unrealistic expectations by creating Optimal Zones in my life – boundary lines that not only include giving myself grace, but also boundary lines that include realistic expectations. This zone consists of an acceptable range – the minimum requirement – all the way up to the ideal standard. As long as I hit the acceptable range I know I am in the ballpark. It may not be my ideal and I may strive to do better the next time around, but I know that I at least hit the Optimal Zone.
And finally, I began to follow peace and the best way for me to follow peace was to rate my peace on a regular basis and then choose the options that gave me the greatest #peace.
Here’s the condensed version:
- Understand and believe that I am a masterpiece.
- Know myself.
- Begin creating realistic expectations by determining my Optimal Zones.
- Follow peace.
This is the path I followed to having peace with myself. I hope it helps you in your journey to peace with yourself.
Take-Home Message: We can have peace with our self.
Some days I wonder what happened to me. You know, the girl who grew up believing when she was a Mom there would never be a pile of mail at the end of the dinner table. The girl who would always be able to see the bottom of the laundry basket because “it’s not that hard to quickly throw in a load of dirty laundry to stay caught up.” Yeah. Right.
I was the girl classified as the typical Type A personality: a far cry from a procrastinator, driven by a to-do list, punctual, organized, passionate. Yes, I was all of those things, and to some degree I still am. But to sum it up, more than anything, I was this:
That’s right. I had an idea in my mind of how things should go and if it didn’t happen a certain way then I might as well forget it. If I couldn’t stay caught up on my mail and laundry then I might as well clear my entire schedule, ignore the kids for an entire day, and put all my focus on getting caught up until I could officially mark it off my to-do list. After about five years of living this way I learned this mindset was a never-ending battle. I was always beating myself up and missing out on precious moments of life because I was so fixated on the way things should go. I thought if I did everything by the book, then things should fall perfectly into place. Boy was I wrong.
Fast forward a bit and I’m still the same girl, but I think I have found the new me. I still have type A tendencies, but God has sanded my rough edges and taught me to relax a little. To pitch the all-or-nothing mindset. I’m now the girl (and Mom) that realizes at 4:00 in the afternoon she hasn’t brushed her teeth yet. And instead of feeling guilty about having to admit her failures at her upcoming dentist appointment, she is happy that at least she remembered *wink*. I’m the girl that catches herself turning to food in a stressful moment and 600 calories later stops and realizes that food won’t make her stress go away so she hits “reset” and doesn’t beat herself up over what just happened. I’m the girl that will take what I can get even if it isn’t perfect. I’m able to let go on those early mornings I get up to work, but have a little kid pitter-patter down the hall starting my day 2 hours early because he can’t sleep. I adjust. I savor. I now live for those moments because I understand that PEACE happens when you stop trying to control everything.
Letting go of the all-or-nothing mindset will take your #Peace to a whole new level. It has for me anyway. Although I wonder what happened to the old me I am actually grateful I never found her…because the new me has more peace in her life than she ever thought possible.
Take Home Message: Peace happens when you stop trying to control everything and pitch the all-or-nothing mindset.
We all have a story that defines who we are.
In this story are woven the threads of our dreams, hopes, fears, disappointments, circumstances, and our past – uniquely making us a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Part of my story includes my struggle with food beginning in high school. I vividly remember weighing in at 98 lbs. during gymnastics in junior high. But by the end of my sophomore year of high school I was up to 143 lbs – a whopping 45-lb. weight gain on my 5’4 medium size frame. I had to do something and I had to do it fast!
That was when I began my career of dieting.
Being athletic and participating in a whole lot of sports and activities allowed me to get back down to a normal weight but I was never quite satisfied with my body. This led to the perpetual chase of the “ideal weight” carrot. Know what I’m talking about? It is crazy, but that is how I lived for so many years of my life.
It was my normal, my landscape.
But I can actually say that it all changed when I began living with peace with food. That is not to say I don’t have an ideal weight, because I do, but this time it is more of an optimal weight range than an unrealistic all-time-low number. No more of this all-or-nothing mindset. Enough of the obsession!
How did I get this peace? Here it is in a nutshell. I began believing that I could do it and I changed the way I thought about my situation. That was step one. It was a big step that took me years. But even in believing that I could have peace with food (and peace with my body) didn’t result in it magically appearing. After years of failed attempts, saying I was frustrated with my situation is putting it mildly. I needed practical steps to take and the skills to carry it out. I needed to find the answer to my dilemma, the combination to the lock. Enter Peace with Food.
As I began writing on this blog I really had to ask myself, “What is my purpose for this blog? Is it to inspire, motivate, entertain?” I think it can be all of these, but more than that, I feel a calling to help others in their journey to Peace with Food. That’s my mission, my assignment – to share with others what I have learned in the decades I’ve spent struggling with food and help them experience peace and freedom.
When I was in college, my Biochem instructor would always say in his Indian accent, “Take-home-message.” We knew that when he uttered these three choppy words we needed to take note because the point he was about to make was of utmost importance. That is what Lara and I hope to leave in every post. A take-home message. A nugget that will help you live at greater Peace with Food.
So here’s the Take-Home Message:
No matter what your story is, you can have Peace with Food. No matter what your beginning is, you can rewrite the end.
P. S. Click here for Lara’s Story. . .