Supporting the Ones you Love.

The one thing that drives me to be open with my mental health experience is the hope that I can make it known that there is help available when you need it. I spend almost all of the time on my soapbox encouraging those who struggle to find support and try new therapies. That means I’m only speaking to a portion of my audience.

 

In my life I am the one who struggles, but it reaches out like cracks in breaking glass. The degree of breakage varies in every direction, everyone sees the darkness in different doses. They also handle the damage differently. The eclectic spectrum of supports creates the safety net that saves my life.

 

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I have the physical supporter. They wrap me in a hug and hold me until my body calms down, and it’s safe to let go.

 

I have the research supporter, always looking up tips, tricks, resources, medication, therapies and equipment to help me.

 

I have the empathetic supporter, the one with their own mental health issues who can relate. They can listen and offer insight. They let me know that I’m not alone, even if our diagnosis or degrees of severity differ. They understand.

 

I have the “I’m trying” supporter, who doesn’t quite understand but still wants to help. She needs me to state or ask for specific help, things I’m not always able to do.. but I know she means well.

 

I have the “I pay you” support- like my therapist, psychiatrist and pcp. They’re educated, and want to help me. Their insight is most valuable, however its clinical and not personal. It would not be successful on its own.

 

I have the hug it out, but don’t say it out loud support. Someone who doesn’t verbalize their feelings, or ask to listen, but makes me FEEL their support with loving contact.

 

I have the support of my children- the unknowing, the non understanding, but the deepest desire to change the way I feel. The innate desperation to make me feel better. They love without hesitation or boundaries, even when they can’t see the whole picture.

 

I have literal support groups- people who understand, but are also there to vent about the WORST parts of their condition. It can be inclusive to know you’re not alone, but it’s sometimes even more scary to hear their shocking stories. Ironically, It’s the least helpful support for me personally, but every person is different and every group is different.

 

I have so many different forms of support in my life. Maybe you’re reading this, and saying “I don’t know what kind of support I need to be. I have someone I love who suffers, and I just want to help.. Where do I start?”

 

So, now let me speak to the part of my audience whom the “cracks” reach.

 

Start small, start natural. When it comes to mental illness, if you replace “I” with “we” ‘illness’ becomes ‘wellness.’

 

Support is support. There is always strength in numbers. Everyone will show support in different ways, so do what’s comfortable. Need specific Ideas? Tell them you love them. Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Tell them you want to understand. Ask what they’re comfortable telling you. Research more on your own, but know that not every person will have every symptom listed under a diagnosis.

 

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If they’re okay accepting affection, hug them when you can. Hugs create grounding, physical boundaries. They make us feel loved, safe, and special. Scientifically hugs stimulate oxytocin (the love hormone) which promotes feelings of trust and affection. It’s a great ice breaker to make someone who is suffering feel they can be open and honest with you. An extended hug releases dopamine and serotonin- creating feelings of happiness and worthiness. These same feelings can make someone feel they are worth getting better, and that someone is on their team cheering for them.

 

Read the room- If you’re watching someone in a negative spiral who is refusing help, be honest. Know that your candidness may have them push you away initially, but put their well being first. “I know you disagree with your psychiatrist about being bipolar, but I think it’s time you hear him out. It seems like you may benefit from some help.”

 

On the other side of the spectrum, if someone is not asking for help, not seeking it out, and has not been told they needs help- approach differently. Just be there. Give hugs, sit as close as they let you. Ask open- ended questions that will induce a conversation.  Just try to get them to talk, or love them in a way that doesn’t require words.

 

When in doubt, just love them. Be there, be present. Be involved in their live. Try to bring joy and fun to it. Look inside of you, is there something you need help with? How would you want someone to help YOU. Be the change you wish to see.

 

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I support those who struggle, and I support the people who want to be supportive. Mental health is a web, its various people and institutions working together to help EACH OTHER. Listen, Learn, and Love. We will all be better for it.

 

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids.

 

 

Today I’m Feeling Énouement.

This morning I came across a pregnancy meme that I just HAD to share with my sister. It brought me back to both of my pregnancies where I wondered the same thing, and I know she’s been thinking of it too.

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The image reads, “Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” – Carrie Fisher

 

The image brought up so many feelings for me, feelings so big I just didn’t know how to describe them. Being raised by a mother who obsessed with reading, the love of beautiful words has been engraved into my soul. I just had to find the right word.

 

That’s how I came across the word énouement – The bitter sweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, and not being able to tell your past self.

 

If I could tell my younger self how things turn out, maybe I’d have been able to savor those little moments more. If I hadn’t been emotionally rushing my pregnancies out of excitement to meet my babies, I could have just soaked in every moment, every flutter and kick. Now I’m watching my sister have these thoughts and feelings and the “I can’t waits!” It’s so easy to tell her to slow down and enjoy it, but I know it isn’t easy advice to accept.

 

Of course, reading the definition of the word brought up a lot of negative stuff for me too, Like the night Jacen’s dad literally walked down the street and out of our lives. I wish I could tell my young self that it’s the best thing that could have happened, and not waste the tears. I’d love to tell myself how to lose my weight sooner and avoid all those years of torture. I’d love to tell my hurting self to welcome help.. But I can’t. I have to just accept that all of those things shaped who I am today, and there’s a reason I can’t spoil the ending for myself.

 

I’ve learn to trust that everything happens for a reason. Even if it doesn’t make sense right now, you’ll one day look back with hindsight bias and realize that ‘this too shall pass.’ It makes the “now” frustrating. It’s easy to have doubts and fears and anxiety. It’s natural to want to rush things, and to look forward to seeing how things turn out. Despite all of those easy feelings, I’m wishing you mindfulness today.

 

Living in the moment isn’t easy, but you’ll one day discover your énouement. You’ll wish you had those little baby kicks back. You’ll even wish you had those sleepless newborn nights back; when she smelled new, and didn’t rollover or run away from you. You’ll wish you didn’t waste the tears when negative people walked out. You’ll wish you learned from your mistakes the first time around, without repeating them. You’ll have regrets, for both good and bad reasons.

 

Slow down. You were given this moment for a reason, take it in. Take the best of it. Be happy. Be here. Be mindful.

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids.

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Turning Gloom into Joy- because I’m not accepting defeat anymore.

It’s raining here today. Not just any rain, but that dark and gloomy kind. The barometric pressure is causing pain in my knees and back. I just want to lay in bed all day.

 

No. Not again.

 

I’ve spent enough time sad and depressed. I’ll never get another January 5, 2019. I’m not going to waste it. I took a moment to ‘reset.’ What about today makes me happy? Ironically enough, rain.

 

I’ve decided to take control of my emotions today. And I’m looking at the rain from a different perspective. I’m thinking about summer rain, and petrichor. Ever heard that word before? It’s new to me, too. Petrichor is the pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Close your eyes and breathe that in for a moment.

 

For me, the name alone sounds elegant and calming. Thinking of the smell brings me back to summers as child, watching those first few drops of rain fall on the pavement and erase my chalk drawings. I picture the pink, powdery water slowly running off and toward the drain in the road. Things are quiet, except the light pops of droplets hitting the ground. It makes me want to slow my breathing and quiet my heart to hear them better. To take in air slowly, and relish the smell. To feel humid air fill my lungs and warm my soul.

 

Are you feeling better? I am. Just thinking about it changes my body language. Instead of huddling over stiff and feeling cold to the bone, my body relaxes as if the summer air is really here. Try it, and see if you can trick your body too!

 

There’s a lot of moving parts to recovery. There are so many aspects of help. Positivity and perspective can be so helpful, although I know they can be hard to muster. Take time to breathe today.

 

Wishing you a weekend of rest and recovery.

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids.

 

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Mindfulness and Thrift Stores-  a Winning Combination!

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Growing up, my mom was a super hard working nurse. Everyone assumes we had a ton of money, but really she was just super responsible with what she earned. (I should stop using the past tense. She IS hardworking, she IS thrifty. Honestly, she’s fucking amazing and totally my best friend.)

 

We shopped at thrift stores throughout my childhood, not because we had to but because we liked to. It was a great way to supplement our wardrobes and save a bit of money. When I was 15, my first job was even at the Salvation Army! It was so much fun!

 

I fell in love with thrift stores again when I lost my weight. Keeping up with the changing sizes would have run me a fortune without being thrifty. Even now that my weight has leveled off, I’ve found my thrifting routine has done SO much for my mental health that I’m keeping up with it… in moderation of course.

 

So why is shopping at THRIFT stores any different from standard stores?

 

It’s the focus it requires. The stock at second hand stores rely 100% on donations. There’s never a guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for, but you also never know when you’ll find a hidden gem. It’s exciting!

 

When searching through a rack I look at each piece of clothing individually.

First level of focus: Do I like this item?

Second level: Is it in my size?

Third level: What’s the price?

Bonus level: Is it on sale?

 

That bonus level is my favorite part. Every Wednesday at the Salvation army is “family day,” where almost all clothes and shoes are half off. Every other day one specific colored tag is half off. It’s an amazing way to save money, but it also adds the level of thought that keeps me in a meditative state.

 

Yes, you read that right. Thrift shopping for me is a meditative experience. My creative brain is searching for items that appeal to me, and simultaneously my logical brain is doing the math of my running total, the discount on sale items, and withdrawing those prices from my budget.

 

When I find an item that hits all four points (appealing, my size, price, sale) my brain releases a small dose of happiness endorphins. I found my gem, and I have a second of joy with my dopamine. The logic and math keeps my OCD list making at bay, and while I shop I’m able to shelf my anxieties. The whole experience for me is very relaxing and enjoyable.

 

Obviously with Bipolar disorder and addictive behavior there’s a risk of getting into financial trouble when using shopping as a coping mechanism. The way I control this is setting a cash budget ahead of time, and leaving the debit card in the car. This creates a physical, tangible boundary and makes it exciting to get my math exactly right to make the most of my budget! I buy things we really need. For example, Arielle has made a habit of losing every single winter coat we’ve bought her this school year. It’s been a blessing to find her coats for a buck or two so we aren’t devastated when they’re lost.

 

As with anything, being open about my habits and feelings has guided my success. My husband is always asking questions and trying to understand my mental health- this habit is easy to talk about because I’m proud of the bargains and gems I retrieve!

 

With the right boundaries, thrift shopping can do wonders for mindfulness. I even spent Black Friday – the single most stressful day of the year – circulating Salvation Armies with my mom. It was the most relaxing day I could have asked for.. Of course, the wonderful company certainly made it better.

 

This is just another example of how many different therapies and treatments are out there. You have options, and you do not have to suffer. Help is out there. Get creative, get educated, get healthy.

 

With healthy hearts (and fabulous second-hand wardrobes,)

Kate and the Kids.

 

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Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. You don’t have to go at it alone.

Everyone wants to know how I lost my weight. The number one thing i contribute to my weight loss is getting my mental health under control.

 

People who struggle have asked me where to start, what was the biggest help in that department? The number one thing i contribute to getting my mental health under control is my amazing support system.

 

I’ve struggled for many years with my mental health issues, but went over 20 years undiagnosed and treated. After I had my first child in 2010, it was suspected I had postpartum depression and I got short term help for a few months. I continued on for 7 years on my own, untreated. There were manic highs, extreme lows, panic attacks, total meltdowns and explosions of rage. There are so many mistakes I wish I could take back, things that could have been avoided if I had help- but they can’t be undone. I work everyday to make things better, and make sure I try my best to prevent future mistakes.

 

I’m currently watching someone I care about struggle with similar issues. As a family, we offer help but there also has to be a willingness to accept help. I can totally relate. I felt there was a huge stigma with bipolar disorder that I shamefully hid my condition and denied treatment. Things won’t get  better until you accept help.

 

I’m extremely blessed to have my husband. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but for someone who has never dealt with mental disorders he certainly has done everything in his power to help. He was the first person to look me in the eye and say, “I love you. I love you so much that I can tell you what’s going on isn’t right, and this is outside my realm of helpfulness. WE need to get some professional help. WE need to get better.”

 

I can honestly tell you that it didn’t go well the first time this was brought up. I had a total meltdown, feeling broken and like a burden. I thought I was sabotaging my marriage and my family, and I didn’t want to admit those things could be my fault.

 

He just kept being there. He’d wrap me up in a hug when the rage or anxiety were too much, he would literally hold me down until I could calm down, even when I hated it. He saved me so many times from being destructive or even harmful to myself. He asked questions, he reminded me time and time again how much he loved me, and he kept coming back to getting help.

 

When I did accept help, there was an immediate burden lifted. Just accepting that I was going to try to make things better flipped a light on in a very dark room.

 

It’s been over 2 years of therapy now, and I never thought I’d come so far. It was his push that got me going, and he’s been steadily fueling the process the entire time. He’s come to therapy sessions with me, asked questions and been involved in my treatment. He researches and understands my medication. He supports holistic tools and has come home with weighted blankets, a UV SADD light, a vibrating mindfulness stuffed animal, essential oils, and my favorite- halo top ice cream. He even follows a Reddit thread about spouses of bipolar patients. He’s learned to recognize my symptoms, and has the ability to pull me out of OCD cycling and panic attacks. He is absolutely amazing, and I wouldn’t have had any treatment at all without him.

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He’s not the only one who’s stepped up to support me. My sister suffers from anxiety, and has other untreated bipolar loved ones. She understands. She admires my willingness to accept help and never stops telling me how proud she is of me. Her empathy extends so much further than words can explain. She listens, she asks questions, she’s always trying to understand more, but does it in a way that does not pass judgement. She takes the kids when I need a break, or lets me come to her house so she and her husband can snuggle my sadness away. She researches my treatments, like EMDR. She tried things with me, like using jigsaw puzzles to meditate. She perpetuates my success.

 

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My mom doesn’t always understand mental health, but she supports my journey to getting healthier. She’s a nurse, and she’s seen many patients abuse their diagnosis. She’s skeptical that a lot of mental health patients are incorrectly or over diagnosed, and she proceeds with caution. She also has not had much exposure to bipolar disorder. One person in our family was diagnosed with BPD many years ago. This person also had many other diagnosis, but the family used bipolar as an umbrella statement to describe all of her erratic behavior. The story I remember hearing as a child went like this:

 

My mother and my grandmother showed up at this woman’s house to pick her up for a lunch date. They arrived to find this woman dangling her infant out of a second story window. In panic, the two rushed to help. The woman explained that she smelled poisonous gas, and was sure they would all die. She had the baby out of the window so she could breathe. There was no gas smell, everything was okay. A person with ‘normal’ mental health would have exited the home instead of dangling the baby out a window. From what I know now, behavior like this was driven out of something other than bipolar disorder. Most likely a type of psychosis. However, this is the kind of behavior that my family associated with BPD. It brought shame to accepting my own diagnosis, and for a long time I did not share my struggle with my family.

 

My mom has come around. Sharing the steps that I’m taking to improve myself has really opened her mind to understanding. She even watches my daughter so I can attend my therapy sessions. She’s always there to take the kids if I’m wound up. She supports me through feelings, even when she doesn’t say the words. Her actions are there. She is involved with my life, and my children. She makes herself available to help when she can. She tries her best to understand, and I’ve never heard her use a negative tone during my entire journey.

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My children each have their own struggles, and have had help with their mental health issues respectively. My son has anxiety, and has a tough time with sensitivity- he cries so easily. My oldest struggles socially, and sometimes with frustration issues. They’re both familiar with coping techniques and terms like “mindfulness.” I don’t find it necessary to give them the specifics of my diagnosis or symptoms. I sometimes use words like ‘overwhelmed,’ ‘nervous,’ frustrated.’ They get it, they’ve even been there. My son is 8 now, and can recognize when I have an OCD attack, even though he doesn’t know what it’s called. When he sees my head shaking, he likes to ask me a question to try to break me out of my own thoughts. He loves telling jokes, telling me he loves me, talking about his day, asking about our schedule for the weekend- anything to get me talking to him instead of being alone with my own thoughts. He also attends a lunch group with the school counselor where he learns about mindfulness, regulating emotions, and coping mechanisms. It’s great that he’s getting help with his own anxiety, but it also makes him feel like a little superhero when he can use these techniques on me. He is a little superhero, my hero.

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I’ve had a HUGE outreach on social media. I have an incredible support net within my own family, but I now know that my web stretches much further, even across the country in some cases. I have just over 18,000 followers on instagram alone, and everyday I have messages of support in my inbox. After Christmas I posted about how EMDR changed my holiday, and the reaction from family absolutely melted my heart. There are strangers in support groups with kind words and advice, there are blogs and podcast that I follow who are on similar journeys. Support comes in so many different forms.

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There is one person who is most important. I support myself. Accepting that things are not okay is the first step. Opening your mind to options is next. Asking for, or accepting help is the big one. The most daunting is following through: actually scheduling and attending appointments, finding supportive people that you can be honest with, not being ashamed of your disorder. Find things that make you feel good. For me, blogging has been so helpful. A huge burden is lifted every time I can get words off my chest, out of my brain and into writing. It’s a way to organize and process my feelings, whether my followers read it or not. (although I hope you are!) I’m currently working on mindfulness and meditation. One of the biggest hurdles has been learning to triage my issues. What is actually important for me to tackle, and what little things are dragging me down today? What are the things I can not change, and have to accept? Where can I move on?

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As you can see, support comes in many forms. Each person in my life has shown love and joined my journey in different ways. Each brings something unique to the table. Having a support system is the number one key to my success. Being able to talk it out, and blog about things makes me feel so much better, but it’s the returned feedback that really pushes me forward. There is a difference between blogging for attention, venting your problems and blogging for support. I hope my story and my struggles inspire people to reach out for help. I hope you know that you are not alone. There are always people who want to help you, even if they are strangers. My inbox is always open to anyone who needs to talk.

 

Once you accept that you have a problem, and you’re interested in getting help it can be overwhelming about where to start. Most people don’t know what options are out there, what they can do for themselves or what people can do for you. Find out. Get educated. Research online, ask your doctor, ask a good friend. Build a support net, and then expand your web. You are worth it.

 

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids.

OCD and jouska – finding meditation tailored to fit you.


Jouska is a term to describe compulsively rehearsing hypothetical conversations in your head. It also takes up about 90% of the space in my brain.



Not everyone who has OCD is a compulsive cleaner. I have a friend who’s compulsions make her unplug everything in her room any time she leaves the house. She even has to reset her alarm clock daily. Personally, Part of my OCD is fixating on previous conversations and rehearsing ones that I may have in the future. I obsessively fill my mind with list, scripts, planning, and retrospect bias.



So you’re probably thinking “everyone does this.” I would agree with you. Everyone tries to think of something to say before they talk to someone cute. Everyone’s had a “why did I just say that” moment. Jouska goes a little further.



I still beat myself up over an awkward response to a compliment way back in my figure skating days. A high school girl that I really admired complimented my new haircut. I had a hard time even looking up from the ice skate I was tying, and the locker room started to warp. I awkwardly responded that I didn’t deserve her compliment, and my hair didn’t look nice on me. I stumbled out of the locker room and onto the ice, not able to control my arms and legs during my dissociative episode. This was fifteen years ago, and I think about it daily. Being awkward sucks. Being awkward in front of someone you really admire, even aspire to be- that’s just crushing.



I play out conversations in my head over and over in preparation of attending a social event. Planning and rehearsing bring out severe frustration if someone does not respond the way I anticipated, and my rehearsal does not go as planned. I feel like this is still in the realm of normal. I cross the line into jouska when I can’t sleep all night because I have to go to the grocery store the next day, and I’m wondering what the cashier will say to me.



My jouska is worst when I’m alone with my own thoughts- I zone out when driving, showering, having quiet time, trying to fall asleep, and during monotonous tasks. Everything around me becomes white noise as I obsessively make lists in my head, remember and rehearse.



I try everyday to have a healthier mind. I see my therapist, I try my coping skills, do my yoga,  etc. Yet somehow still, I’ll feel mike gently rest his hand on my thigh to draw me back to real life when the jouska takes over. I’m not talking now and then, but several times each trip we make in the car. I don’t even realize I’m gone until mike physically touches me to ground me back into the present moment. He realizes I’m drowning in my own mind before I even can, and throws me a life preserver every time. ( I wouldn’t survive this life without his support- I really did find my 1 in a million. )



So what do I do about it?



Meditation for me has always been unsuccessful. As soon as my mind enters a peaceful state the obsessive list making sets in. There are so many benefits to meditation that I really, really want to make it work.



On Friday my therapist gave me an article about how building jigsaw puzzles stimulate the brain almost identically to meditation. Getting a piece in the right spot releases short bursts of dopamine for happiness. The light focus puzzle building requires keeps you mindful, and in the moment. I shared the article with mike after my session, and an hour later he came home with four puzzles.



God love that man.


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The article inspired me to research other types of meditation that may avoid jouska. The thing that jumped out at me most was candle meditation, where watching a candle flicker and burn induces mindfulness and calming.



Mike ended up having to work tonight. I was disappointed he wouldn’t be around to puzzle with me, but it gave me an opportunity to try candle meditation.



I put the kids to bed, got on my comfy clothes, and headed for the home gym. I first stretched out with my yoga strap (my bad disc has really been acting up) and got myself comfortable on the mat. I lowered the lights, put on shavasana radio, and lit a candle.
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So how did it go? I was able to zone out for a few seconds at a time. I loved watching the flame flicker, and I celebrated small bursts of happiness when the flame synced up to part of the song as if they were dancing. This is the closest I’ve ever come to meditation, and I’ll definitely be adding this method to my nightly routine. I feel much more relaxed already, and I’m looking forward to resting for recovering instead of sleeping to escape. The this meditation thing could really help me out here.

 

Trying new things is an essential part of better wellness. For our bodies we try new food or exercise. For our social health we make new friends, and try new places. For our finances we try different stores, sales, and coupons. Mental health is no different. There are infinite possibilities. If you’re not feeling right, get help. Maybe that means calling a professional for a session. Maybe it’s just starting by making time for yourself. Maybe it’s just a workout, or a meditative session. There is no right or wrong way to feel better. Do what works for you. Don’t know where to start? Try Pinterest! They make it super easy to discover yoga poses, alternative meditation, new trauma therapies, even recipes to make your body feel better. The options are endless. You don’t have to suffer. Help yourself.

 

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids.

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?

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Inc.com surveyed 2,000 people to find out the most popular resolutions for 2019.

Here they are:

 

  1. Diet or eat healthier (71%)

    2. Exercise more (65%)

    3. Lose weight (54%)

    4. Save more and spend less (32%)

    5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)

    6. Quit smoking (21%)

    7. Read more (17%)

    8. Find another job (16%)

    9. Drink less alcohol (15%)

    10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

 

It’s been said that 80% of resolutions fail by February, and only 8% of all people achieve their resolution within the year. Resolutions fail. Starting a resolution according to the date on the calendar is asking for failure. To make major changes, you need to be in the right place mentally, emotionally, and physically. Those things don’t automatically click into place because the calendar turns to January 1st.

 

I’d like to nominate a new idea for 2019. Instead of a resolution, make a dedication. Every single item on that list is a piece of a healthy person, so why settle on one piece? Make a dedication to love your whole self more. Choices made out of love are always more successful and powerful than decisions made out of negativity. Eat healthy because you love your body, and you’d like to nourish it- don’t punish it for being fat. Save money because you love yourself enough to create a safety net in case of emergencies- don’t restrict yourself because you feel you’re not worth a treat.  Spend more time with friends and family because their relationships make you happy, not because you’re obligated. Success starts with your own mentality.

 

Loving yourself does not mean you have to be content with the way things are, and it doesn’t restrict your ability to change for the better. You can love yourself on every step of the journey, not just when you reach your destination. Accept yourself and let the positivity fuel change. Look at the adjustments you wish to make as “I deserve to do this FOR myself” instead of “I have to do this TO myself.” You’ll find that self love will lift your spirits, give you positive energy, and make your goals seem much more realistic. Find support on your journey, but still be your own biggest cheerleader. Love yourself.

 

Love yourself the way that you are today, and try make changes in the “I deserve” mindset. One of my favorite examples of this method came up in my binge eating support group. A woman described when a family member offered her a dessert at a party. When she responded “I can’t eat that on my diet” the family member pressed her to accept the treat. They told her to enjoy herself, as it was a party. The woman made eye contact and spoke again, “I’m sorry, I WILL NOT eat that.” Phrasing got her point across. She WOULD NOT eat that because she deserved to make a healthy decision. The words “I can’t” tells others that the diet is deciding on your behalf, and can possibly be bargained with.

 

Don’t look at your goals as a restriction, but a conscious decision. It isn’t a matter of can or can’t,  but will or will not allow – because YOU and only YOU can decide what’s right for your body.

 

80% of resolutions fail by February. I genuinely wonder what the numbers will look like if we scrap the resolutions and instead make a dedication to loving ourselves. Will 80% of people decide they don’t love themselves by February? It seems to me that our dedication has a much higher possibility of success than a resolution.

 

I’m sick of staring into the dressing room mirror and hating myself. I’m not going to tell myself I’m not good enough, and I’m not going to punish my body. I’m not going to make a short term resolution to diet. I’m making a lifestyle change.. For LIFE. I am good enough, I love myself. My body does not deserve punishment, it deserves to be celebrated for what it CAN do. It deserves to be worked, stretched, and built up. It deserves healthy nourishment as fuel. And that girl in the mirror? She is NOT hated. She is loved. She is doing amazing things, and I support her 100%.

 

I’m going into 2019 with the dedication of loving myself more, and making it happen for the long haul. I want people to join me on my marathon instead of giving up after a sprint. I want you to love yourself. I want you to make changes for yourself out of recognition that you have the potential to be more, not because you feel that you fall short. I want you to love yourself more. Can you devote 2019 to yourself? You can. I’m cheering for you.

Happy New Year.

With healthy hearts,

Kate and the Kids

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