Choose You Blog

Back on the Chain Gang

September 1st, 2010 by - comments (2)

Today, I was talking with a local reporter who was interested in my Choose You story. I told her to tell people to come here to the blog. “We’re not perfect and we don’t try to be,” I said, “We’re just human beings and we’re sharing the true story, with its ups and downs, of trying to make better health choices. At no point do we hold ourselves up as icons of perfect health perfection.”

Not at all. We’re here and we’re committed but we’re also fallible, as this summer proved for me. This summer I had a (wonderfully) heavy work schedule and a lot of business traveling. But, it had its downside for my Choose You commitments. I went from regular 5 day a week minimum exercise and a solid diet to grabbing what food I could when I could while on the fly (literally) and throwing in some weak excuses for exercise. I did pool laps a few times in hotel pools, considered walking instead of taking a taxi my daily quota, threw in some yoga, and so forth. And that’s about it. I was tired, so I tended to eat a little more, especially heavier meals such as lots of protein, and I was overall really inconsistent in keeping my plate balanced with the necessary food groups.

Worst of all, my vanity prompted me to postpone my follow-up skin cancer appointment. I knew the cryosurgery on my nose had failed and I didn’t want to manage all of my summer engagements, many of which required me to speak to groups, with a big ugly scabby nose. I also didn’t want to have to explain it all the time.

I started castigating myself but then, all of the sudden, I thought, “You know what, I did my best.”

I tried to eat the best I could while traveling. I made sure to drink water, and I kept up my sunscreen use. I exercised when I could.

As a woman, if I open up my ears, I can find myself under a constant barrage of messages all around me that scream how much self-improvement I require. One ad tells me I need a douche to advance in my career, another wants me to apply a chemical to make my lashes grow. Other commercials tell me about drugs I can take to burn my fat, get rid of my cellulite, erase my wrinkles, plump my lips, change my style, use a new product on my hair…and ACK! Enough! It can overwhelm a person until she thinks what’s the point, I can never achieve that perfection!

Time to call for OmegaWoman! I’m good enough, smart enough, and people like me! Ha! The point, really, is that I don’t need to achieve a prescribed perfection, I don’t need to look like the women in the ads or have or not have things products can “fix” (allegedly). I just need to be my personal best.

So, I’m back on my program. I have fat free sorbet in the freezer because life without ice cream is a sad place, I have my healthy food choices in the house, and we’re back to a regular schedule so I’m back to exercising every day. It’s pretty good.

Anyway, who wants to be Perfect Woman, as prescribed by media barrage:

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2 Responses to “Back on the Chain Gang”

  1. Margie says:

    Julie, I love your take on this – I feel the same way so often! I repeat to myself when I start to get too self-critical….”all I can do is what I can do.” I look fine, I’m healthy, I have a job and loving people in my life. It’s a great place to start and I can pick and choose which areas I really want to work on – can’t do it all!

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