How are Your Habits Like Relationships?

Image result for an acquaintance merely enjoys companyOver the past month, I’ve taken a lot of time for reflection.  To honestly look at where I am and where I want to be this time next year.  The results of my reflection were incredibly productive.

I realized that I have a lot of relationship issues.  Not with people.  I love my people and they love me.

My relationship issues are with me.

How I treat myself.  How I treat my body.

I have a love/hate relationship with food and alcohol.  I’m not an addict by any stretch of the imagination, but I sometimes I don’t do what’s healthy and that allows me to be at my best.

For years, I’ve tried diets, only to fall off the wagon.  Atkins, WW, intermittent fasting.  This year was the worst.  I permitted myself to eat poorly and to drink in excess.  I’m 52 and somehow convinced myself that I would never be back in shape.  That made it easy to eat and drink the things that gave me comfort at the moment but made me bust out the zipper on one of the two pairs of pants that fit me.  True story.

I got sick at the beginning of the month and permitted myself to stop going to the gym.  I told myself I was being altruistic.  I didn’t want to get anybody else sick (although I went to work sick–that didn’t seem to bother me).  But, if I’m being honest, it was easier to lay on the couch and flip through the Hulu and Amazon catalogs and ending up watching the same episodes of 30 Rock for the 4th time.

It’s embarrassing because one of the last things I wrote was about not waiting until the New Year to get back on the Healthy Train and get the heck out of “Sick Station.”

But I’m human and like all humans, I am prone to make mistakes.  Especially when the only person it affects is me.

I’ve come to the realization that every interaction I have, whether it’s with food, alcohol, exercise, etc.  can be looked at as a relationship.  I get to put the value on that relationship, whatever it is.  Acquaintance, Fair Weather Friend or True Friend.

Things that aren’t great for me long term but are fun for the moment are acquaintances.  Limited and infrequent interaction.  Not banned but probably not something I should be meeting with on the reg.  Fair-weather friend probably falls into that same category.

Things that are good for me?  Well, those are the things I need to do and visit daily.  Exercise, connection with others, healthy eating, hydration, learning new things.  These need to be the sustaining relationships that help me grow and flourish.  You know, what a loving relationship does for you.

So I flipped things around.  For Chrismas, I got a private yoga lesson (not as fancy as it sounds–it was in my living room and I consider my yogi, my friend) that jumpstarted my return to healthy relationships.

No shame.  No blame.  Just change.

I’m back at the gym.

I’m not on any diet.  Just trying to make sure that I’m eating things that get me healthy.

I’m reading a book that is rocking my world (Atomic Habits by James Clear–more on that in a later post) and helping me create habits that will move me closer to where I want to be.

I’m tired of getting in my way, sabotaging myself for whatever conscious or non-conscious reason.  I’m taking control of my relationships.  All of my relationships. And man does that feel good.

We can all do this.  What are you doing now that sustains you?  How can you nurture that?  What kinds of things do you need to reduce?  Not eliminate, unless it’s truly dangerous.  Elimination of a thing tends to make us focus on and want it more.  What are the steps you can take and the support you need to reduce that thing that isn’t serving you?

Here’s wishing all of you a happy and healthy 2020 full of sustaining relationships with whomever and whatever helps you grow.