For as many people as there are on the planet, there are probably twice the amount of ways to show somebody that you love them.
Traditional people can love you with cards or with flowers.
Kids love one another with a tug of the hair or punch in the arm.
Friends send you funny memes that only you will really “get”.
Parents leave hidden messages in lunchboxes.
Some love via text.
Some love through a song.
Some promise everlasting love with a ring.
How do I love?
I love with food. Sure, I love other ways too but food has been a constant sign of fondness for the larger part of my life.
For a woman conquering a weight issue, this can be a challenge.
I love to love people via culinary gifts. I adore watching the full bodied reaction of somebody enjoying a cupcake I’ve created with my own two hands. The relaxation of their body. The smile on their face. The lick of a finger. The deep sigh. For that moment, you made their life smile.
I’m no one way street though. I don’t just love people with food, I let them love me right back in the very same way. Just this week a colleague went to London and brought me back Cadbury Crème Eggs because she knows I have an unnatural affection for them. All lined up in a pretty little row at my keyboard, sat four magical foil-wrapped eggs, with that realistic, slightly creepy, egg white center and yellow yolk. A gift of friendship was well received with a yelp and a “squeeee!”
What do you do when gifts of friendship and love threaten to hamper your weight loss goals? What happens when your Mom makes your favorite dessert because she knows how you love it but it doesn’t fit in with your day? What do you do when love leaves you a five pound box of chocolate? You can’t just throw out perfectly good food! What about all those starving children… yes, we all know where that sentence leads us. The children are still hungry but your thighs aren’t exactly thanking you either.
I read the most brilliant analogy on a website once and it has stuck to me like glue. The key to battling food love is to accept it.
Some people will always love you with food. They will always send you home with leftovers because they know it’s your favorite. It’s how they love. Accept the gift, graciously. You do deserve that gift of thoughtfulness.
But what about those goals of yours? Therein lies the secret key that you’ve been searching for.
Receive the gift, but realize what the real gift actually is. They’ve given you the gift of love, thoughtfulness, caring, kindness and consideration. They’ve wrapped those deep seeded emotions, specific to you, in gorgeous packaging – love wrapped in brownies. Fondness tied up with a noodle bake bow. Friendship disguised as crumbly cake… whatever food it is you love… they’ve wrapped their emotional bond to you in that food. Now you’ve graciously received that gift of love and accepted it.
It feels really nice, doesn’t it?
With a clear conscious, because you graciously accepted the gift, you can now throw that wrapper away, just like you do with other gifts. Throw that brownie/noodle/cupcake “wrapper” away. Throw it away knowing that the gift of love was received loud and clear.
The empty wrappers will join my foil covered Cadburys in that great waste disposal in the sky but man, I can still feel the love!
Fraudulent – that’s how I feel sometimes when people ask me how I’ve lost any sort of weight. It’s not that I’m not telling them the truth or that I am being dishonest, it’s just that the story is so involved.
Generally when people ask me about it, it’s after I’ve been to the gym and I’m standing there all aubergine in the face, sweat beads glistening drenched in sweat, and so pumped up on endorphins that I have a perma-grin nailed to my face.
I usually say what I’m doing right now, right this very moment of my life. I tell about my weekly routine but I feel like I’m shortchanging them somehow. I feel like I make it seem simple and that it’s just something I up and did one day, no prep work, no negativity, no failures – just that a gym opened in my office and “poof” I was there.
That’s of course not how it happened at all. Or did it? I mean, yes, the gym opened in my office and the very first day I was down there introducing myself to the trainers and setting up a meeting for my team to see all the shiny new equipment but is that really my story?
Unless asked, I tend to leave out the part where I had cognitive behavior therapy to deal with some serious food issues – binging, hiding food, shaming myself. I had issues that no book, website or friend could help me with. I needed the pros!
I leave out the eight month time span where I was in such a dark, anti-social place that I stopped eating lunch with my colleagues, people who I really liked, and spent my lunch hours in the office sandwich shop, table at the window, back to the world, nose in a book – any book. I even read crappy books just to not have to make eye contact. I may as well have draped a “do not disturb” sign down my back, as if it weren’t obvious enough.
Thoughts screamed in my head but I looked peaceful.
I feel like a fraud because what in the hell do I really know? Yeah, I’ve lost some weight and kept it off for the past two years. Yes, I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in for a very long time. Yes, my head feels like it is on straight for the first time in my adult life. Sure, I’m really happy with what is happening right now. I feel like I have unlocked the door to a healthy future for myself and I feel like I will never turn back.
But what does all of that even mean to somebody else?
Do I have all of the answers? Not hardly! Do I still struggle? Hell yeah! Am I at my goal weight or perfect weight or even close? Nope. So who am I to say anything?
I’ll tell you who I am.
I’m somebody who likes to share just in case there is some part of me or my story people can connect with.
I’m somebody who likes to help, if I can, even if I am not perfect.
I’m somebody who likes everybody to partake and feel part of the team. I don’t like to see somebody to sit on the sidelines because of their insecurities when in their heart they want to be in the thick of it all.
I’m somebody who gets real joy out of seeing other people succeed.
That’s who I am. And now you know. And now, I do too.
If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve probably been in an uncomfortable situation where you needed some help.
You might have spent hours going over the particulars of what you were going through, desperately trying to determine how you would resolve the event.
If only you’d had enough money to get through until payday, had someone to babysit for you, or been able to borrow someone’s vehicle, the issue could have been all worked out. Your situation would most likely have been easily and quickly resolved had you reached out for assistance.
You may even have had someone in mind whom you could have asked. But you just couldn’t bring yourself to request help. What stopped you? Why didn’t you ask for help?
Maybe it was your pride. Maybe you were ashamed or embarrassed about what you were experiencing. Perhaps you convinced yourself no one else in the world has ever been in the fix you were in.
But even if this may seem contrary to what you were taught as a kid, it’s okay and even smart to ask for assistance when you need help.
Why you should ask for a little help from your friends
1. All of us are entitled to ask for help. Sometimes, each of us needs a bit of assistance to solve a challenge we’re dealing with. When you ask for help, you acknowledge your humanity. You show you belong to the worldwide community.
2. Asking is an effective method of problem-solving. Sometimes, issue resolution and relief is just a phone call or conversation away.
3. Give others a chance. You’ll provide a friend or family member with an opportunity to help you through a difficult time. After all, if one of your friends or a family member needed assistance and all it would take was a quick call to you to solve the issue, wouldn’t you want to get that call? Your friends and loved ones are most likely glad to help you.
4. Set the example. When you ask for help, you show friends that they could ask you for assistance someday if they’re in a bind. Frankly, asking for help is what friendship is all about. Friends are usually pleased to reciprocate some favor you’ve done for them in the past.
* Your relationships are also enriched when you ask for and accept help from others. You’ll feel closer to the person who helped you and they’ll feel emotionally closer to you.
5. Connect with others. The person who helps you will gain a better understanding of you and your current situation. Knowing that someone you care about truly understands you can feel incredibly reassuring.
6. Show your character. By asking for help, you’re provided with an opportunity to show your true character. If you borrow money, for example, you’ll be able to show that you repay your debts by promptly paying back the person that helped you. And that’s a good thing.
Re-frame the way you view asking for help. Asking for help demonstrates your humanness, is an effective way to solve challenges, and provides your loved ones with the chance to reach out to you.
Asking for assistance also lets friends know they can ask you for help later on and enriches your relationships. Go ahead and reach out the next time you need help!
The phrase “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses” is pretty common, but in case you haven’t heard it before, it means having a positive outlook on life.
Do you know how to use your proverbial rose-colored glasses?
How do you see the world around you? Do you see beauty, love, and happiness all around you, or do you find that the world is less than appealing to you? Do the negatives outweigh the positives for you?
Fact: finding beauty around you, in your every day life, makes for a happier and more self-confident you.
It’s true–and I can personally vouch for it.
For example, I posted this photo on Instagram during a recent snowstorm. Such a simple and every day sight to behold–but breathtaking at the same time. You just have to slow down and LOOK.
Bliss Mission: Find Beauty All Around You
Today, I challenge you to find beauty all around you in the world.
Find it in the faces of your children or friends, find it in your own back yard or at a local park. Look for beauty in even the most trying times. If you find yourself in traffic, notice the camaraderie you feel with your fellow travelers. Notice the scenery around you, the color of the sky. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, find beauty and be grateful.
I promise you that adopting this habit can only help to increase the joy in your life, and is one more step on your journey to personal bliss. What do you think?
Gratitude is an important part of manifesting our desires, and when the going gets tough, many of us forget to express our gratitude for the good things in our lives.
Instead, we tend to focus on the tough stuff–and attract more of it into our lives (instead of the things we really want.)
Simply put, the best way to bring more good into your life is to be happy and grateful for the good things you’ve already got.
So, when you feel like nothing is going your way, take a moment to think about the things that are working in your life–the good stuff.
Ten Reasons You Can Be Grateful Today
1. You woke up this morning. You have been given the gift of another day of life.
2. You have a place to live and a silverware drawer. (Read more about my philosophy on the silverware drawer here.)
3. You can move your body and get from point A to point B.
4. You have a family–whether a biological/adopted family or good friends.
5. You can read.
6. You get to decide how you feel today.
7. You can write your own story.
8. You have clothes to wear.
9. You have food to eat.
10. You have access to a computer.
There we have it–ten simple things that you and I can be grateful for today!
So tell me…what are YOU grateful for on this beautiful day? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!