Be Kind to Yourself

This morning I had the opportunity to Skype with one of Having ‘Me’ Time’s readers and we had a good discussion about our journey to better health and weight loss.  A lot about the path to better health means avoiding processed, unhealthy foods, sweets or what seems to be almost all of our favourite foods.  It often feels like we are starving ourselves of what we love, especially if that’s how we’ve been eating our whole lives.

What happens when we mess up our diet and fall for that piece of decadently delicious chocolate fudge cake, or that juicy cheese hamburger?   Nothing. Nada.

Many times we are so strict with ourselves that when we fall for that piece of cupcake or donut, we feel like we’ve failed the diet and end up eating for the world.  We throw all our hard work away and lose hope. We go back to our old ways and eat and eat.

My advice to you is this:  Be kind to yourself.  Don’t lose hope and enjoy the experience.

Remember that it’s okay to treat yourself every now and then.  If you crave a hamburger really badly, go out and eat it.  If you want that cake, eat it.  Sometimes having a bite is enough to satisfy the craving. Enjoy it, savour it and then just make a mental note to yourself to work out extra at the gym the next day.  Add an extra session to the week’s workout.

No big deal right?  Have fun being healthy.  Enjoy the experience!

I’ve lost 5kgs or 12 lbs since the beginning of the year and every night I treat myself to some dark chocolate.  I have ice cream and egg tart.  I do, however, make sure that it’s super delicious and worth my extra workout time.

There’s no failing, no wrong in becoming healthy.  It’s a journey that goes up hill, down hill, turns corners and brings you to wonderful new places.  Just keep working at it! Keep on walking down the path. Don’t stop and turn back.

Five years on and I am still working on it 🙂  Step by step, little by little, we’ll get there. Be kind to yourself and be patient.

It’s all about the “L” word: Learning

The other day I wrote about how important it was to fail before you can  succeed.  I realized I did not quite emphasize enough how important it is to actually LEARN from your mistakes.  Learning is key. It is what you must do before you can succeed, for if you keep failing over and over and never learn from your mistakes, then that is a failure. That would not result in success.

As Einstein said something along the lines of ” If you keep running into a wall and expect the same result, then it is the same.  However, if you keep running into a wall and expect different results, then it is a miracle.”   Only a miracle can alter the outcome.  No matter how many times you drop the egg to the ground without any protection, it will break.  There will not be a moment that the egg will float on air.  If you keep trying to solve a puzzle, and always use the same techniques to an unwanted outcome, it will not work.

The same happens in life.  If you keep trying to talk to approach someone and it does not work, then reevaluate it. Perhaps other techniques will work. Learn from your past experiences.

If you keep getting your heartbroken because of A and B, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your likes and dislikes.  Perhaps certain kinds of behaviour are not what you want in your other half.  Learn what caused the heartache.  Learn about what effects it had on you.  Learn what caused the disagreement.  Learn how they can be avoided.  Learn what needs to change.

It can be applied to everything in life even on simple things.  Today I fell down flat on my face onto the pavement, wallet, phone, shoes flying in the air.  Yes, I am bruised and scratched. What did I learn from it?  To be more alert when I am in a rush.  To slow down. Rushing causes me to not be aware of my surroundings as much. My mind is elsewhere.  I also learnt to be careful when rounding corners and to watch out for potential threats like a sudden move backwards by someone and a potential hazard of feet
gone awry.

Simply LEARN from the experience, the mistake.  That is the greatest lesson of all.

Fail to Succeed

Having just read the New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success is Failure?” I can’t help but nod in agreement.  Yes, to have an education, finish school, graduate from highschool or even a college degree does not ensure you will have a successful life.  A degree does not guarantee that you won’t jump off the balcony because of a broken heartache, nor does it guarantee you will know how to handle the stresses of life and stop yourself from falling victim to a nervous breakdown.  Traditional schooling paid attention to grades, to achievement tests, to placement exams and all the while, they forgot about focusing on the student’s character.  How do they handle stress? How do they interact? Are they a good person?  Do they think of other people?
The article mentions how those who succeeded in college were not always necessarily the ones who scored the highest in class and got the best grades.  They were the ones who knew how to get up after they failed.  They were the ones who knew how to handle a failure, a bad grade, and move on.  They sought for help and worked hard with a determination to succeed.  They were the ones who graduated from college despite coming from a background where college degrees were not the norm.

I think the same applies to everyday life.

Once out of school, out of the safe confines of classrooms and professors, being out in the world can be a pretty daunting task.  Whether you succeed or not depends a lot on your character.  How resourceful are you? Do you know how to ask for help? Do you know how to treat other people?  Are you aware of other peoples’ feelings?  Most importantly, do you know how to get up after you’ve failed?

If you never fail, if you are never allowed to fail, then you would never know how to pick up yourself after having failed.   That’s why you hear stories of girls committing suicide because of heartache and students who kill themselves because of a bad grade.  They didn’t know how to handle failure. They were never allowed to fail.  They thought failure meant the end of the world.  They grew up protected from failure.

It’s important to know that it is OKAY TO FAIL.   That I think is an important lesson everyone should know.  It’s okay to fail. Failing doesn’t make you a bad person.  We are humans. No one is perfect.

Failure in itself is a learning experience.  What’s more important is to ask yourself, what did you learn from that failure? What went wrong?  Once you realize this, you can move on so that you won’t repeat the same mistake again.

That’s a trait for success.  That’s what makes the difference.  Because you have failed, you know its pitfalls and you know how to avoid them.  Therefore fail to succeed.  Success cannot be gained without first failing.

Here’s to learning!