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Not Walking My Talk

by Elise Museles

taking care of you

I have an embarrassing confession to make.  For the last few weeks…I’ve been a total hypocrite.

It’s true. With the most recent wave of busy-ness, I stopped practicing what I preach. I let overwhelm set in, and fell into a pattern that was slowly becoming more and more out-of-whack with my real values. Has that ever happened to you?

It’s been all go-go-go in the world of Kale & Chocolate recently: my SAVOR course kicked off (it has been amazing!), I’ve been working with some incredible new clients; I’m immersed in my Eating Psychology Certification; and I’m creating some fabulous soon-to-be-revealed offerings for the coming year. It’s exciting and rewarding…but the stress was starting to take its toll.

Thankfully, recognizing that fact prompted a few revelations that have put me back on track.

Here’s how I wasn’t walking my talk (and how I managed to turn it around):

The Birthday Blues

It was my birthday two weeks ago. While I usually love celebrating with my family, this year I just wasn’t feeling it.

It was grey and rainy. So many of my loved ones were far away in California (enjoying blue skies), and my work seemed never-ending.  I had a lovely dinner with my husband and kids, and of course, I knew I had a lot to be thankful for in my life. But I wasn’t as happy as I thought I should be.

Not everyone shared my birthday blues, however. Within days of my own, I received three invitations from fellow Capricorns to come out and play. While each person was celebrating in their unique way, there was an underlying theme: spend time with those who are your nearest and dearest to feel loved and supported on your special day. (And have some fun, too!)

It hit me like a ton of bricks…they were taking responsibility for celebrating themselves. I wasn’t.

Suddenly, I realized the glum feeling I had been unable to shake was my own fault. I give this advice to people all the time: “Treat yourself like your best friend, or like a child.” But what was I doing?

Celebration is a state of mind. It wasn’t up to my family to cheer me up, and it wasn’t my to-do list’s fault that I was overwhelmed on my birthday. The problem was, I had closed myself off from receiving.

It was an amazing reminder that your own happiness really is up to you. It’s not something someone should have to give you. We, ourselves, need to set the tone for our lives.

The Stressed Out Workout

I decided 2013 was the year to shake up my fitness routine. I’d been in a bit of a workout rut and felt like every day was like Ground Hog day…same old yoga poses and same old hilly run. So I signed up for a boot camp class with the intention of getting my butt kicked into shape. Great idea in theory.

I realized it was all wrong the moment I walked into the class that Monday morning. There I was at the crack of dawn with a loud whistle blowing in my ear along with the words “Drop down for 20”.  My life felt stressful enough, and this class wasn’t exactly what I needed to decompress.

Still, I kept pushing through for the first week anyway. After all, I had set a goal for myself, right? That rule-oriented perfectionist in me can be so determined to “stick with the plan”.

Instead of listening to my body and being flexible (a piece of advice I give everyone..over and over) , I forced myself to keep going.  I played that same old song in my head.  “I need to finish what I started. I can’t be a quitter.” Darn guilt!

On the bright side, leaving my old ho-hum exercise routine behind for a while helped me come back to it with a new sense of appreciation. Finding peace on my yoga mat or zoning out on my usual run has always served me, even if it is the same ol’ thing.

My intention to switch it up was good, but it’s equally important to remember it’s okay to change our minds and be flexible according to our needs…without beating ourselves up in the process.

The Eating Experience…or Not

January is the biggest month of the year for coaches. People are ready to improve their health, and follow through with their intentions for the new year. No complaints here!

I started out 2013 busier than ever, and some of my stellar habits fell by the wayside.  So when it came time to work with all my wonderful new clients and program participants…I felt like a phony.

There I was, telling them all about the health benefits that come from eating in a relaxed state, about savoring their food and creating what I call an “Eating Experience” (noticing, smelling, tasting, chewing and enjoying)…but behind the scenes, I was gulping down my smoothies while standing up, skipping meals and letting my blood sugar drop to the floor, and rushing through the meals that I finally did take the time to prepare. Drat.

It all comes down to a good old helping of self-love.

Here’s the high-power truth: giving yourself all the self-love & self-care you need is a constant process of renewal and review.

Yes, even for those of us who teach it.

Taking exquisite care of yourself isn’t just about trips to the spa and long walks on the beach. It takes focus, work, and a high level of self-understanding. Treat yourself like you would…well, someone you love. Talk kindly to yourself, and always check in to make sure you’re being nourished the way you need to be.

There’s no need to be ashamed if your self-care routine slips a little. You’re human after all! So when these less-than-fabulous challenges and cycles start to surface, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, seize the opportunity to reevaluate and improve the way you care for yourself.

Start now! Take time for an extra long run, connect with an old friend, enjoy an impromptu date night with your honey, soak in a warm lavender bath, or plan your next birthday party. Whatever makes you feel good and nourished – because you deserve to celebrate you.

Question of the day: Are there times you catch yourself not walking your talk? How do you check in with yourself to make sure all your deepest self-care needs are being met? As always, share your comments & insights below.

10 Responses to Not Walking My Talk

  1. nysha February 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    brilliant words!

    • Elise February 4, 2013 at 3:26 am #

      Thanks, Nysha:)

  2. Chelsea February 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    How could you ever feel like a phony when you are so honest and genuine 🙂

    • Elise February 4, 2013 at 3:47 am #

      Chelsea, you are too sweet. Thank you!

  3. Lara February 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Elise! I was feeling exactly the same way, and felt so ashamed of it that I was afraid to be honest with myself and really admit that I wasn’t walking the talk. You words inspire me to be honest with myself, which is the first step toward getting back to a place of self-love, self-care, balance, and authenticity.

    • Elise February 4, 2013 at 3:54 am #

      Lara,
      I am so glad that this post resonated with you and that you are inspired to take steps towards getting back on track and taking care of YOU! Thanks for your honesty.

  4. Sara Chambers-Moss February 4, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    Elise,
    Wonderful, genuine words of honesty and encouragement. I spent 12 years eating an allergen free diet. Then life got really busy(I am a mom of 4) and I let my discipline begin to slide. My big wake up call came when peri-menopause hit, complicated by sub-clinical low thyroid challenges. I am healthy again, but it was a long road. I focused on simple changes I could make every few days, and stick to. Thanks again for your words of wisdom. Sara

    • Elise February 6, 2013 at 4:03 am #

      Sara,
      I am sorry that you had some health challenges but so glad to hear that you are healthy again. Your approach to make changes slowly is so much more sustainable than the quick fix. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Gretchen Brooks Nassar February 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Ok, this isn’t really an answer to your question..
    Just want to share..I love how personal and honest you are. Great personal insight here.

    For me, this authenticity is powerful and inspiring. I especially enjoyed the story about bootcamp. I tend to be the opposite.. staying with the rut because it is comfortable and it does suit me well most the time, but I also avoid getting out there and trying new things often..We all have to find our way, huh? And, sometimes its a timing, seasonal thing. I tend to tell people that stressful times, when so much is already going on, is not the time to start something new that will inevitably bring more stress..but, it may depend, right?

    • Elise February 6, 2013 at 3:59 am #

      Gretchen! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom & insights. I agree with you that we all have to find our way…and what works for you may not work for me. It is so true that timing, stress levels impact our choices and how we respond to situations!

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