We are so excited to have an awesome post from Mary Phelan, a.k.a the Fiddler’s Bride, today. She’s funny, kind, and a huge supporter of the Sisterhood and all of our members, and did I mention she’s funny? Oh, I did? Well, she is!
First, let me say I am OVERTHEMOONEXCITED and honored to be doing a guest post for the Sisterhood, a site that oozes support and encouragement with every click of the mouse or stroke of the keyboard. I’ve been a huge fan for a while now.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. After all, we are still in the Power of One Challenge, and that is ALL about one person and one person only, YOU. How are you doing on your health/fitness/weight loss journey? No matter what your goals are, it is a journey and for most of us, it’s a hard one at that.
I am here to tell you it’s time to stop kicking the dog.
Some of you know I am participating in a Biggest Loser-style competition at my gym. I was inspired to sign up for it by the success and support of the virtual challenges of the Sisterhood. (Who says the Internet can’t be a positive influence on people?!) I wrote about this program for the newspaper for which I write here http://bit.ly/fjH8OI.
The contest launched in late January with a kick off event. It was there that I met nutritionist Cara Zaller and learned about all the ways I kick the dog. Now, before you call the ASPCA on me, hold the phone! Kicking the dog is a metaphor for how we treat our bodies. Stick with me and allow me to do some ‘splaining.
Let’s suppose you have a dog (lucky you! Hubby is not convinced yet) and when you awoke in the morning, you gave this dog a swift kick. Each and every morning. Day in and day out, for weeks, months or even years. Do you think the dog would like you? Would the dog be friendly toward you? Kind toward you? Gentle around you? Be there for you in a pinch? Trust you? Of course not. The dog would not want anything to do with you. It would flinch, retreat and be royally pissed, rightfully so.
But let’s say after a few weeks or months or even years, you start to think ‘hey, this dog is still here… maybe I DO want to see if we can be friends. Maybe it’s time show this dog some love.’ You attempt to make amends. Will the dog be receptive at first? Not by a long shot. Will the dog wonder ‘what the **@#! is going on NOW?!’and look at you like you’ve fallen off your rocker? You bet. Will the dog trust you and react the way YOU would like for it to? Nope. Not at first.
But after a while, after seeing you at your best, after seeing you treat it kindly, gently and with thought, the dog doesn’t want to rip your head off or take a chunk out of your leg. The dog begins to breathe easier and hide less. You start to trust each other and invest in each other. This makes you feel great and the dog is one happy camper.
When we are not taking care of ourselves, we’re kicking the dog. We are kicking our own bodies. We all do it. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month.
Every time you’re not getting enough sleep? You’re kicking the dog.
When you give up on yourself? You’re kicking the dog.
When you go days without exercise, when you KNOW our bodies were made to move? You’re kicking the dog.
When you beat yourself up with negative self-talk that paralyzes you and keeps you on the couch, you’re kicking the dog.
When you don’t eat right or you smoke that next cigarette, you’re kicking the dog.
And you KNOW you are not the kind of person that would ever do something so harsh. Ever.Why do we treat our bodies so badly?
When you start to make healthy choices and positive changes, it may take a while for your body to trust you and to get the message that you are on a path where you mean no harm. But eventually, the body gets that message and that is when you start to see results. You’ve changed your way of thinking.
I kick the dog in many ways, whether it’s staying up far too late or taking too many platefuls at the Chinese buffet. But in the past six months or so I’ve been making changes for the better and I think maybe this ol’ hound is starting to warm up to me.
Mary Phelan writes for a chain of community newspapers. She attends weekly meetings at the Our Lady of the Perpetual Weight Watcher, has dabbled in stand-up comedy, is an aspiring runner, a ‘Sisterhood gospel-spreader’ and an Irish fiddle player. She lives in Baltimore, MD, with her husband (also a fiddle player) and three cats. She blogs at Another Step, and Another, and is getting to know the Twitter playground @FiddlersBride.