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Spring cleaning in January

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Jan 24,2021 - Last updated at Jan 24,2021

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

The New Year means new beginnings, making it an excellent time for some spring cleaning at the end of winter. I don’t mean our closets (although mine always need it!). I’m referring to getting rid of toxic friendships that suck the joy out of our lives and leave us feeling downright exhausted.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: Some friendships we have are very high maintenance. Take an authentic inventory of your friendship circles and ask yourself this question: “Do I value our friendship enough to do the work it takes to be a good friend, or am I just pretending that this is a real friendship when, in fact, this person is someone who depletes me?”

One of the greatest things I love about my closest friends is their listening ears and genuine care. They are not friends who only want to manipulate the conversation and talk about themselves. Real friends listen well and share well from their honest and authentic hearts. They give you the gift of their presence as well as a safe place to be yourself. They love you when you’re happy and encourage you when you’re sad. They are willing to go with you on the roller coaster ride of life with all its ups and downs. They love you enough not to say “I told you so,” but speak the truth in love without making you feel judged.


What does any of this have to do with food?


Freeing ourselves from toxic friendships or empty relationships frees us to spend more time on priorities that benefit our families and us. Don’t forget that a healthier YOU means a healthier family. By focusing on more important priorities, you set an example for your children, showing them what it looks like to say “no” to something and instead say “yes” to the things you truly value. This, in turn, empowers you to say “no” to food temptations and sets you up to give your best “yes” to a healthier choice.

One right choice makes it easier to make the next best choice and this is true for everything in life, not just when it comes to food. Strengthening our “Patience Muscles” can help us train our minds to be patient enough to wait before reaching for that readily available junk. The more often we do this, the better we become at saying “no” to ourselves out of a place of love and not out of fear. We can choose to love ourselves enough to take better care of our bodies instead of living in fear of the scale or people’s judgment.


The greatest gift 

we can give ourselves


Being our own best advocate and friend is the gift of loving ourselves enough to care. If you think of it, we could be that toxic friend to ourselves when we refuse to listen to our body as it begs us to be a little kinder to it. It begs us in the form of physical pain, headaches, a lack of energy and increased fatigue. It begs us when it affects our sleep and a million other aspects of our lives, such as depleting our self-confidence until we lose our sense of self.

If we could step out of our heads just long enough to see what we are doing to ourselves, we would pause and run in the opposite direction. We would clean up our act and start to impact our lives like a good friend who stops in to visit in the middle of the chaos. Good friends wouldn’t stand idle and watch you do all the work; they’d jump right in and lend you a hand.

Fellow Desperate Dieters, let’s roll up our sleeves and do the work one day at a time to help us declutter unnecessary things that are taking valuable real-estate in our lives. Here’s to a healthier and happier New Year!


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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