Most women put themselves last on their to-do lists. Here's how to say YES to yourself so you can finally have that fitness transformation!
Normally when I first start working with a new fitness client, we’ll both sit down and talk about goals, where she wants to focus, and what’s been going on in her life that has caused her to reach out to me.
Just about every woman that I’ve spoken to, in my role as coach or friend, has explained that they simply don't have the time to devote to themselves.
They aren’t proud of themselves or happy with their bodies because they are defining themselves in terms of others.
They are putting themselves LAST.
Why do so many of us tend to put every other person or event in our lives before our own? Why don't we value ourselves?
I think it is simply because we don't know how.
Hannah (not based on any particular living person) is really busy with her children and her career — but she wants to lose weight and get fit. She’s tried various ways to make it all work. She feels like a fitness transformation over 40 (or over 50) will be harder, so she has to be even harder on herself.
As an example: she’s decided to only eat once a day. In her mind this will free up time AND allow her to restrict her calories.
If I asked her, “Hannah, would you ever feed your kids only once a day?”
She would say, “OH MY GOODNESS NO!” in response.
So I would ask her, “Then why is it okay to do that to yourself?”
(We all know (I hope) this is NOT ok, and will lead to other unforeseen problems in addition to Hannah not reaching her fitness goals.)
Here’s a crazy idea:
For some reason, we women have a tendency to treat others better than we treat ourselves. We talk to others more kindly, we give them more time, and we make sure they have what they need.
According to a recent survey conducted by HealthyWomen and Working Mother magazine, women ranked their time spent taking care of the people in their lives as follows:
3. Elderly relatives
4. Spouse/significant other
Even worse, some women aren't getting around to themselves AT ALL. This survey found that 78 percent said they often put off taking care of themselves because they are so busy taking care of others.
And then they wonder why they can't achieve their fitness goals?
Why aren’t we doing this for ourselves?
When it comes to negative self-talk, I like to remind my clients that if they talked like that to their best friend, they wouldn’t have a best friend for very long!
For 20 Minutes Say ‘No’ to Others and ‘Yes’ to Yourself
Remember: the most successful people in life say ‘No’ more often than they say ‘Yes.’
I’ve written about this tons of times.
Your assignment this week is to set aside about 20 minutes every day to focus entirely on you. No interruptions, no phone, etc. Practice acceptance of yourself where you are, and giving yourself what you need. Whatever fuels your spirit.
I challenge you to really take this on, really try it out fully, and see what happens. Be creative with how you spend those 20 minutes. Will it be filled with exercise, a good book, meditation or another healthy habit?
I bet that when you give yourself this time, you’ll feel more fulfilled. The other things in your life that you’re proud of (your kids, your clean house, the amazing food you've cooked for the last holiday, whatever) are going to be even better because you’ll feel so great about yourself.
Need another reason for self-care? Well, happiness is practically guaranteed when you take care of yourself!
Is 20 minutes a day too much of a sacrifice to guarantee happiness? Of course not!