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OPEN

In 2003, a few weeks before Ty was born, I was suffering from that all-too-familiar thing called “mommy guilt.” Here I had spent the previous two, almost three, years focusing all of my attention on sweet little Anne. She could climb up on my lap at any time. She got all of our snuggles and focus. And now, that was all going to change because of this new baby that was coming in to our home.

Did Anne have any concept of this? Absolutely not! But I did. I was afraid that she would feel neglected. After all, I knew what kind of attention a new baby took. I knew what it was like to nurse a new baby. I knew that my lap would be occupied much of the time with this new life coming into our home.

I remember sitting on the couch one evening, my pregnant belly taking away much of the room on my lap that Anne had enjoyed for the first part of her life, but she was doing her best to sit on that ever-dwindling lap. While she sat there, I remember telling her that there would always be room for her on my lap. Even if I was nursing the baby. Even if he got bigger and seemed to take up too much space. She could always climb up.

My kids are 11 and almost 14 now. It isn’t very often that they climb up on my lap anymore. But as they have grown, they have learned something even more important – mom’s lap isn’t the only thing that is always open. Have a bad dream or are feeling sick? Climb on in to mom’s bed. Have a bad day? Curl up in mom’s arms. Need to talk about something that is bothering you? Mom’s ears are ready to listen. And all of this is true, because mom’s heart is always open. It doesn’t matter if it is 2:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., mom is there, ready and available.

And here’s the thing, because they know that my heart is always open to them, they are learning to keep their heart open to me. When there are things we need to talk about – whether it be what is happening in the world, correction that I need to give them, or something else, they are ready and willing to hear from me. When there is something going on in my life that is making it hard for me to get through, guess who is there and ready to love on me? Yep, those same kids!

A huge part of parenting is being available to our children. When we get too busy, we are in essence, closing ourselves off from these children that need us more than anything. I heard one time that once children reach the age of 10, their parents are no longer the primary influence in their lives. Instead, the primary influence becomes their peers. This is a scary statistic to me, knowing what I know about our society. I do my best to fight this. This is why I make myself readily available to my children. This is why I spend time with them. This is why I make sure that they know I am always open to whatever they need from me.

Be sure you are hanging out the “OPEN” sign to your children. Be available to them. Be ready to listen. Be there for them. They need you.

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I have never watched The Biggest Loser before. I know, people have told me that it is good, and inspiring, and yadda, yadda, yadda, but I didn’t need one more show to watch.

But this year a classmate of mine from college, Sonya Jones, is on the show, so of course I want to watch her succeed and I have now watched the first two episodes of the season.

You all know that I have been on a health and fitness journey for quite some time (and I plan for it to continue for the rest of my life), so it always inspires me to watch other people “get it.”

Last night’s episode of The Biggest Loser showed the contestants the importance of owning what it is in their lives that got them to this point, and the fact that until they deal with those underlying issues, they will not have success in losing the weight AND keeping it off.

I think we all know this on a surface level, but how often do we actually do the work to deal with those deep-seated issues that have kept us complacent for too long?

I went to bed thinking about this and thinking about all the things that have to come together to make the difference between temporary change and lasting commitment.

Just like to be truly fit and healthy you can’t focus on only diet OR exercise, you also can’t expect diet and exercise to magically make the underlying issues for being¬†unhealthy to disappear. Whether it is seeing food as a reward rather than sustenance, or a traumatic event that hasn’t been fully death with, or baggage from your family of origin, or something else altogether, the underlying issues must be unearthed and dealt with if there is to be any lasting change.

I know for me, I have had to specifically remind myself (often) that I cannot allow food to be a “treat” or something I “deserve” when I accomplish something, because that works against my health. In addition, I have to work on not perpetuating this “reward” way of thinking in my family since one of the ways I tend to show love is to cook or bake special things for them.

And as with anything, there probably is not only one underlying cause for what has happened to get you to where you are right now, so unearthing the issues could take some time, and possibly even some time with a therapist. And that is okay. In fact, it is better than okay. It is good when you get to a point that you know you need to seek out help from someone else.

Now is the time to stop making excuses and start making progress toward a goal. It could be a health and fitness goal, but it could also be something completely different. No matter what it is, figure out what has been holding you back and deal with it so you can move on – forever.

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If health and fitness is your goal, I would love to help you achieve it. Message me for more information about your health and fitness options. The time to start is NOW!

 

 

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