A Healthy Selfishness by: Rachel L. Goldman, Ph.D.
We all have choices to make. You chose to change your life and live a healthy lifestyle- that choice is the beginning of a journey towards healthy. We wake up each day with a choice of how we want to spend each day. We may wake up and decide to do our morning exercise, or we may decide to skip it; we may decide to eat a healthy breakfast, or an unhealthy breakfast. There are many decisions that we make in life and every day we are confronted with several decisions. YOU decided to get healthy, but now YOU have to decide to continue on that journey. Sometimes your decisions may seem appropriate at the time, and others may not. We need to accept the decisions that we make, but we also need to constantly be revisiting our decisions and allow ourselves to be flexible. Maybe you decide to participate in your morning exercise, but then you feel guilty for some reason, for taking that time away from other things- maybe from your family, work, school, or other responsibilities that you could have been attending to. First of all, it was your decision, so own it. Secondly, think about why you made that decision to begin with. Did you do it because it seemed appropriate at the time? Did you do it to make yourself feel better? We all deserve to do things in life that make us feel better and that promote physical and emotional health. We have needs and are entitled to fulfill them. This is a “healthy selfishness;” knowing what you need to do and allowing yourself to achieve it. You need to take control of your health and your life. Ask those around you for support and to cooperate with your efforts. It is not easy, there can be rocks in the road, but we can always step over them, or take another path to get to the same place. This is the beginning of your journey; don’t let those rocks become boulders; don’t allow others to take control of your life. You decided to get healthy for a reason. Think back to the initial reason you chose to pursue this journey. You may have thought “I wanted to fit into those skinny jeans.” Break that thought down into smaller thoughts. What would make it possible to fit into skinny jeans? Losing weight would, so perhaps you chose to make healthy changes to lose weight. Keep breaking that thought down to the essence of what you truly wanted. What does it mean to lose weight? Inevitably you chose to make changes to your life to become healthy. You made a decision one day to become healthy and you decided to make changes to do just that- to get healthy; perhaps to lower cholesterol, to not have to take all of those medications, to be able to be active and enjoy your youth and your family, to be able to ride on an amusement park ride, or to be able to comfortably walk around the mall. You made a decision to get healthy. So, make a decision to be okay with your choice of becoming healthy and having a healthy selfishness. Accept it, own it, and do it! Allow yourself to continue the journey of health and you WILL succeed!
This entry was posted on Monday, October 10th, 2011 and is filed under Ask Dr. Rachel.