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Time to renew

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - May 30,2021 - Last updated at May 30,2021

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

What better time to talk about renewing our goals and motivations than springtime! Whether it’s our diet or exercise, we all need a jumpstart to rev up our engines, especially after the long, grey winter months.

This past winter has been a brutal one if you consider all the challenges we’ve had with the way COVID-19 has changed our lives and interrupted everything we knew. Whether it’s our work, our child’s online schooling, or how we shop for groceries, this pandemic has definitely forced us to change so many things we took for granted.

Some of those changes are positive. Spending more time with our family at home is a blessing. Those we took for granted are suddenly appreciated when we realise just how close we may have come to losing our loved ones. This gratitude has taught me to recentre myself and live in the present instead of constantly worrying about the future or musing about the past. Worry robs us from being fully present for ourselves, our friends and our families.

What does this have to do with a desperate dieter?

When we are busy worrying about the future, our mind cannot focus on the present. This includes the food we mindlessly put in our mouths to numb ourselves from the stresses of the world around us. We have all been affected by COVID-19, directly or indirectly and watching the news certainly does not ease our minds. The more our minds are distracted, the easier it becomes to succumb to mindless and emotional eating, not to mention the temptation to skip workouts during self-quarantine.

Isolation doesn’t have to be desolation

In this Zoom and YouTube generation, workouts can be literally delivered into our homes thanks to computers and smartphones. We can isolate our muscles, working on each one of them at home, instead of isolating ourselves from any hope of getting stronger during a worldwide pandemic.

My challenge to us

Let’s make an intentional effort to turn off the news and take a deep breath. Let’s make it a priority to carve out quiet time to still our minds. Let’s become aware of our body and visualise the pain it must be in when we feed it food that is not good for it. Let’s imagine what our organs would say to each other if they could speak. Their conversation might go something like this: 

Chest: “God help me if she decides to eat another chocolate bar today! Didn’t I warn her enough with that heartburn last week?!”

Lungs: “If she doesn’t listen to me today, then I’m not sure how long I can last if she doesn’t quit smoking!”

Joints: “What are you complaining about? I have to carry triple the load and I’m almost at my breaking point!”

Kidneys: “If he won’t stop abusing alcohol, that’s it, I’m quitting!”

Liver: “I hope the rest of you come to my funeral and say something nice about me because I’m not sure how many more toxins I can filter!”

Pancreas: “You think your job is hard, come stand in my shoes and see what she puts me through, day in and day out! If she doesn’t quit her sugar habit, she’s going to become resistant to insulin any day now!”

When we refuse to be our own worst enemy, we become our own best friends. The first order of business is to renew our motivation if we are going to expect something better. We have to know that we cannot do this on our own. It will take people who love us enough to call us out when we mess up and get off track. It will take many tools to help us toil the soil if we expect our garden of life to grow. It will take time to pull the weeds out of our lives, like getting rid of those pesky sugary treats in our pantries that somehow made their way back in. It will take some hard, gut-wrenching decisions that have to be made when we peel ourselves off the television or computer screen and move our body instead.

Renewal doesn’t come easy but it’s worth it. Let’s get better at destroying and replacing bad old habits with new life-giving ones. Join me this season and let’s spring together into a better version of ourselves!

Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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