Humans are naturally creatures of habit. We tend to get in a rut, healthy or not, and stick with that because it’s easiest. I heard a quote once that 95% of people dislike change in their life, and the other 5% downright hate it. Ha! Love that! So true. However, when we find ourselves in an unhealthy place, as I have a number of times, it is so imperative that we DO find the strength to change. Either that, or be prepared to face the consequences of staying in the muck.
Two years ago, I was a lot different than I am right now. A picture of me back then shows a woman without much hope for the future — I was simply surviving life. I was in an abusive marriage, and I was trying to convince myself that I could handle that. Things reached a turning point for me after my ex-husband escalated by showing this abuse in front of and towards the kids. Something in me snapped. I wanted change. No, I needed change. And that was scary.
I reached out to my then mother-in-law who suggested round three of marital counseling. At the time, in that moment, I knew it wouldn’t work. The past two therapists we had seen both told me that I needed to end the marriage, but I had failed to heed their advice. However, I still did not have the strength to end my marriage, so I agreed to try counseling yet again. While in therapy, I began to see that my marriage wasn’t going to be fixed. When only one person values it, nothing can get better. I needed to focus on fixing me. It was an A-ha! moment.
Leading up to this time period, I had let myself go, nearing the obese category when I stepped on the scale. For me, my physical state mirrored what was going on with me emotionally. I just didn’t care. After both a child and an adult asked if I was pregnant within the same week, I decided that I was going to start caring and get myself in shape. I could do that. I knew in my heart of hearts that my marriage wouldn’t change, but I could change. I still didn’t have the strength to leave my marriage, but I had the strength to better myself. I enjoyed fitness and eating healthy, but was seldom practicing either because of the depressed state I was in. Who was going to get me out of that? Only me. Only I, with God’s help, had the power to change me.
Change was hard. Especially that terrifying initial step. It had been easy to grab the convenient foods and sleep in as late as possible. Today, because I decided two years ago that my New Year’s resolution was going to be to eat clean, whole foods and take up running, I have lost about 40 pounds. Other added benefits are that I no longer have migraines, I have markedly more energy, and I feel good about what I’m teaching my kids about nutrition. This has led me to change other aspects of my life in positive ways.
A lot of us make resolutions this time of year, but many of us haven’t found the strength to actually make them stick. So, while you may be starting out strong on your New Year’s resolutions (or maybe you have failed already), I urge you to dig down deep and ask yourself, where is your strength coming from? If you know changes need to be made, know that you are worth it. Your kids will see you working towards a goal; what a great example you can set for them! Whatever changes you want to make, you CAN do it! Empower yourself. Find your strength. Go MOM!