Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Feed Your Soul

on May 5, 2011

As I started typing this I got crazy de ja vu….so much so that I stopped to make sure I hadn’t ever posted this before! Woah. De ja vu is so weird!

So, I’ve been talking a lot about exercising and what I’m eating, but I haven’t ever posted about (or thought about) what I feed my soul. It might sound silly – but your emotional well-being factors into everything you do or don’t do. Not succeeding at a new diet even though you’re following it to the letter of the law? Chances are there’s something else going on inside to prevent you from meeting your goals. For me, I know when I get too fixated on something (like losing weight on a deadline) I will lose sight of the things around me. I will literally be engrossed by the task at hand, which is never healthy.

To curb this I’ve been doing a few things that I think are helping. I posted pictures all over my desk that say things like “You are not at work, you are……dreaming” etc. Super cute, and a welcomed distraction during long days.  My favorite:

I have also been making it a point to take time each night to write everything in my head into a journal. Somehow, clearing your mind of the chaos sets you up for a fresh start the next day. I like the idea of each day being a chance to succeed, and I think your mindset can either make or break that. When I do find myself getting overwhelmed or stressed out by something I will pause and remind myself of one of my favorite mantras: “Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  ”In five years, will this matter?”  Wouldn’t ya know it….99% of the time the answer is no! 🙂

Additionally, I’ve been mildly obsessed with a speech I heard years ago (1997!) written by Mary Schmich and turned into a spoken word set to music by Baz Lurhman; it’s something I feel needs to be read often. A nice reminder of the things that are important in life.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine!

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Are you feeding your soul? Do you take time to focus on things other than work/school/stress? I hope so! Share the things that make you feel good, and distract you from the hustle and bustle, you never know who could benefit from your advice!

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6 responses to “Feed Your Soul

  1. Katrina says:

    Oh gosh, I remember this! Still so true. I try to keep a journal every once in awhile too. It definitely helps get yucky thoughts out of my brain. I also enjoy looking back on past journal entries – the things I was stressing about were so trivial!

  2. sara says:

    beautiful post Samantha….xoxo

  3. Cecilia says:

    I LOVE that whole thing!! I had to look it up on youtube and listen to it while I read it on your bloggie 🙂 It’s really neat to revisit that after more than 10 years…and perhaps it’ll be good to revisit it again in another 10 🙂
    It really is some of the best advice out there 🙂

    I’d have to say that dance feeds my soul…and it hurts me the most when I’m unable to make it to class for reasons that I think are ridiculous (right now, it’s unfortunately mainly money). I’m the most miserable when I’m not able to make it to class.

  4. Jennie V says:

    What a beautifully inspiring post! I love the idea of journaling before going to bed. Usually, my mind is MOST active while lying in bed, going through the next day’s “to-dos” and planning ahead. All this while trying to go to sleep…Getting it out of my head and onto paper is a great idea!

  5. Sandy says:

    I love that Mary Schmich article, and the Baz Lurhmann version brings tears to my eyes every time.

  6. I love this post! I’m keeping it in my in box so I can read it on those days I need to! I do think more of food for my body but you are so correct about the food for the soul, which is just as important. Thank you for such an uplifting post!

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