Tag Archive: change


Dear Food,

We’ve been together a long time and let’s be honest, it’s been a rocky relationship. I feel like there are some things I really need to get off my chest. Part of me wishes I could just end this and move on, but let’s face it, I can’t live without you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve just had a really hard time figuring out how to be in this relationship without screwing things up. You’ve always been there for me, willing to provide everything I need. But too often I’ve taken you for granted and didn’t see you for what you are – helpful, kind and caring. You’ve wanted nothing but the best for me. You’ve wanted to not only give me strength to get through my days, but pure enjoyment. I haven’t appreciated that, though, and used you…only taking advantage of your “naughty” side…and it’s really gotten me in trouble.

I’m sorry for all the times I’ve hidden our relationship because I was embarrassed to be seen with you. I guess I didn’t want people to see how messed up our relationship had become so early on. And then there were the times I was selfish and kept you all to myself not wanting to share you with the others in my life. Let’s not forget the jealousy. When I did see you with others I couldn’t just let them enjoy you and be ok with it. I had to have you, too. Can you blame me, though? You always look so tempting.

You’ve done so much for me, but I know I’ve taken advantage of you. Instead of seeing you as the complete, wonderful thing that you are I’ve used you, only wanting to get a quick fix, and completely ignored how great you can be if given the chance. You’ve always been there when I’ve been sad, lonely or stressed out, but then I’ve basically ignored you when everything is fine. Sure, we’ve been together, but I haven’t payed enough attention to you day in and day out. Instead of giving you the time and attention you deserved, I only thought of you when I absolutely had to instead of looking forward to our time together. All those brief interludes in the kitchen with me spending as little time with you as possible just trying to get what I thought I needed instead of sitting down with you, giving you 100% of my attention and really enjoying you. Or the times we’ve been hanging out on the couch, me knowing you were there, but focussing so much on the TV I didn’t even realize how much I was taking from you without giving you the proper attention.

Treating you this way has not helped me at all. It’s just alienated us and, in a way, made me hate you. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, especially since I brought it all on myself. The more I’ve abused our relationship the less I want to think about you and everything you are to me because I feel like I don’t remember how to have a healthy relationship. I don’t like spending time with you anymore because I’ve forgotten how great we used to be together. There were those good times when I respected you and allowed you to give me just what I needed without treating you like a pile of junk.

Maybe we can get back to that again. I know you forgive me. You always do. I just need to forgive myself and give you the time and energy you deserve and to stop acting as though you’re only good for a cheap high or a quick thrill. I know now that those things don’t last and I always end up feeling guilty afterward. There’s so much more to you. You have amazing qualities that not only are fulfilling, but that last without making me feel bad. Sure, occasionally it’s ok for us to indulge a bit, but that’s not what a healthy relationship is based on.  From now on we’ll spend more quality time together, ok? And I know that the more I learn about you, the better our relationship will be. I’m sure that once I don’t feel guilty because I’ve taken advantage of you I won’t feel the need to hide you or be jealous when I see other people enjoying you. Once I start caring for you the way you care for me we can be happy again. I know we can make this work.

Love,

Me

One of the most interesting and exciting things about being human is that we have the power to change our circumstances by changing the way we think. Once we catch a bit of inspiration and turn our new thoughts into new behaviors incredible things happen. Since it is so easy to fall back into our old ways of thinking, it’s critical to protect our new, fragile, positive attitudes. Sadly, the people closest to us can be the ones who present the greatest danger.

In the past week, I’ve seen several instances where a friend was talked out of something that would’ve been so good for them by a friend or family member who probably thought they were protecting them from failure or disappointment. The problem with that is that if we don’t push ourselves to try new things or try something again after we’ve failed we will never change anything!

People think they know us and want us to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, the way they go about it isn’t always helpful. If I’m saying negative things about myself because I feel like I’m failing, I don’t need someone to baby me and say it’s ok to think that way. I need someone to tell me to stop it because they know I can do it! We need to encourage each other to be better, do more, and make positive changes; not to feel that it’s ok to beat ourselves up and stay where we are in life. I saw a perfect example of this on facebook the other day and I know the person meant well, but the situation made me want to scream.

If you’re trying to make positive changes DO NOT listen to people when they try to hold you back even when they think they’re being supportive. They probably don’t even realize they’re doing it. Just be aware of what they’re really saying and move on. If what they’re saying is reinforcing your negative self-talk, push those thoughts away and replace them with positive ones. Like Chalene Johnson says, “be your own biggest cheerleader”. You can do amazing things, but not if you continue to think about yourself and your life the same way.

If you’re one of those well-meaning friends or family members who feels like you’re protecting someone from disappointment please reconsider the way in which you show support. Instead of encouraging them not to try and to keep thinking the same way, show support by telling them you believe they can succeed. You have no idea how much that means to someone who’s decided to face a challenge and push forward. Not to sound cliché, but be part of the solution, not part of the problem. They will have moments when they want to quit because nothing worthwhile is easy. They way you show your support can be the difference between their success or failure. If deep down you’re afraid that their change will take them away from you, by being there and encouraging them through the tough times you’ll earn their appreciation, love and respect bringing you closer together. If you make every step they take that much harder you’ll drive a wedge between you which may result in the thing you fear the most.

I am very passionate about this topic because I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life and I’ve let friends and family hold me back because I listened to them when they said things that made me feel like I could never change. I’ve also cultivated a habit of not finishing what I’ve started and no one has ever held me accountable. They didn’t realize it, but what they were really saying to me was that they didn’t believe in me. We think and do based on our habits so it’s time to start paying attention and to form new ones. We need to stop being afraid to take on challenges and follow through. Sure we may fail, but then we pick ourselves up and try again and again and again. If we quit or never even start we guarantee failure, but when we keep going no matter what we will succeed!

Don’t like how your life is going? Stick around because it’s about to change. Actually, it’s changing now. We just don’t always see it because the change may be happening outside our perspective or slower than we can detect. Have you ever seen those time lapse videos where they show clouds moving across the sky, a plant sprouting or a flower unfolding? I love them because you get to see incredible changes that would normally go undetected even if you were staring at the thing for hours or days.

Sometimes change comes more abruptly. My husband has been in school for over six years now and that’s about to change along with what our family has come to know as normal. There have been some minor changes along the way like new jobs, new schools, and moving into town from a more country-like setting. But now we are looking at the possibility of relocating to a new state so he can find a job teaching. We’ve also considered going to Korea for a while. There’s even a possibility of moving to China for a year. That would certainly be a big change! I know I’d survive as long as I’d still have access to facebook, though. 😉

Even as I was walking around the track at my son’s school while they played basketball I was reminded how much things have changed in my lifetime. I don’t consider myself old, but I do remember a time when you had to actually get up off the couch to change the channel on the TV and adjust the rabbit ears. As a rounded the end of the track I heard a car alarm go off and it made me think about how people used to leave their cars and houses unlocked. Now it seems we focus a lot of time, energy and money on protecting ourselves from each other. Of course, there have always been people who wish others harm, but the more elaborate our means of security become the more ingenious are their ways getting around or through them.

I suppose in some ways there are things that never really change at all. The same basic concepts get recycled over and over like good vs. evil or positive vs. negative. They may just look a little different each time around. I find that comforting because it means we can learn from the past if we pay attention. As individuals we can choose how to react to each situation, or even better, to be proactive. We can choose which side we want to be on and how we perceive what’s going on around us and in us.

As I walked, thinking about change and taking a few photos, I noticed that the sun was setting so I decided to do a bit of a time lapse experiment myself. Every third time I came around the track I took a photo of the sky to see how much it would change in a short time. I was pretty pleased with the results despite the fact that I had to use my phone since I’d left my camera at home (must remember to take it with it at all times). The first few shots were taken when we arrived and the last four were the ones taken from basically the same spot every three laps. Just as I had taken the last one, the dark clouds that had been slowly moving in unleashed a downpour on us so we ran for the car and headed home.

As the sun dropped lower in the sky, the shadows grew longer and dark clouds moved in from the northeast.

I was even surprised myself how much of a change there was between the last two photos. Once those dark clouds picked up momentum there was no stopping them. So don’t give up. Things may seem to be at a standstill in your life, but you never know what’s coming. Just be thankful for the time you have to prepare yourself for what’s ahead by cultivating a positive attitude and an open mind knowing that you’ll never be asked to face something you can’t handle if you have the faith to believe there’s someone watching out for you every second of every day.