Ok, don't judge...I enjoy watching The Vampire Diaries. Now you're thinking, what does that have to do with exercise, nutrition, healthy living? Nothing! Except that during last week's episode they did something interesting. While trying to "leave their past behind" and become the person they knew they could or wanted to be, they wrote their obituary, had a going away party and said "good-bye" to their old self. Literally, they said good-bye..."Here lies _______, she was a good friend,...."
It reminded me of an exercise a high school english teacher and then again a college professor, had me complete. We had to write our obituaries and answer the questions, "Who am I? What is my place in the Universe?" Thats a tough thing for a high school student and then again a young college student with very little life experience to answer. I can't even remember how I answered them at this point. It was probably something trivial about success, being a good wife, friend, daughter in there. Honestly, I don't think I really knew how to answer those questions. But that doesn't mean that they didn't change my life.
I often think about those two questions as I've grown older. When I'm faced with a difficult decision. When I have to choose between following my head or my heart. When a new opportunity presents itself. Even when I'm tired and just don't want to face the responsibilities I've committed to completing. I find myself asking those same two questions..."Is this who I want to be? Is this helping me along that path?" For some reason those two questions help me find my answer. I still may not like the answer. The answer may mean a lot of hard work, saying "no" to a few things I'd really rather be doing, but in the end, they're the right decision for me.
So how does that translate into exercise, healthy living, eatting well? Well, what is it that you need to say good-bye to? What bad habit do you need to let go of? Too often we say, I'll start that exercise program Monday. I'll eat better tomorrow. I'm too fat. I can't enter that race, till I can run fast. I'm just not ready. Its that little voice in our heads that is already making excuses for us based on past experience. What if we said "good-bye" to that little voice? What if we just didn't listen? What if we envisioned the life, the person we want to be? The person we want written about in our obituaries. The person we want our children, friends and family to remember us as being? The person we know we can be! What if we lived our lives by those rules, rather than the voice in our head?
So start today, this hour, this minute! Say good-bye to those bad habits! Say good-bye to the excuses! Say hello to the being the best person you can be! It doesn't even have to be a big change that makes all the difference. Sometimes its the small changes, done multiple times, over and over again that make all the difference. Just don't let past experience hold you back.
When I'm long gone, I hope that my children will say, "My mom...she was the best! And oh the life she lived!!!"