When I think back on life just one short year ago, so much has changed for me.
A year ago I was coming off the excitement of eight months on a reality TV show. I came home and faced the challenge of blending all of the things I had learned through my experience on The Biggest Loser with real life. My household hadn’t really changed, but I sure had. And I had a lot of work to do to get the rest of the family “up to speed” in regards to a new way of viewing food, exercise and healthy living.
I didn’t end up morbidly obese overnight. But my experience on The Biggest Loser had given me plenty of opportunity to realize why and how I had ended up that way.
I had always struggled with my weight. Some people are just prone to that and I am one of them. But I really began to lose the battle of the bulge when I got married and became a mother. I had the very best of intentions. But it was like everyone and everything else took precedence over my own well-being. I just couldn’t “neglect” my husband or son or home or friends or church responsibilities. They all needed me. So who did I neglect? Myself.
Jillian Michaels, who was my trainer on the show, asks this very powerful question: “Would you treat your children like you treat yourself? Would you skip their doctor’s appointments? Would you feed them junk? Would you withhold play time?”
The answer is an emphatic “No!”
Then why do we do that to ourselves?
I guess one of the most valuable things I have learned over the past year is that “selfish” is not a dirty word. And when I say selfish, I really mean a healthy concern for yourself.
I now know that by taking care of myself and making time to exercise and plan healthy menus and find some time just for Julie, that I can be so much better at all the things that really matter.
See, before I was trying to run this “machine” that is my body with absolutely no fuel whatsoever. I fed it the wrong things, I deprived it from rest and restoration, and I even let a busy schedule deprive it from spiritual nourishment. And the result? I was a train wreck.
With a new mindset I am able to be a better wife and mother. I am more productive. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. And you know what? My husband and children have totally “survived” that new way of thinking just fine! In fact, it’s better for our family all the way around.
Eleven months ago we adopted a precious newborn baby. And mixing late night feedings and diaper changes and the general care of a baby is exhausting. A wonderful blessing; but exhausting. I felt the temptation to neglect myself in order to get everything else done. So I had to make a conscious decision not to do that and to really practice what I preach.
But through determination and God’s grace, it’s all coming together beautifully. And that’s my wish for you in the coming year.
Don’t be afraid to make yourself a priority in 2009. And I bet you the results will not only be a Happy New Year—but also a “Happy New You!”