Habit

There it is, every morning, just waiting for Donna’s acknowledgement. Its gold, shiny appearance is appealing, hard to ignore. She steps on it with bated breath, knowing that what she sees will steer her mood to one side or the other. Only once in a while does the pendulum stay centered. Will she feel happy enough to click her heels in the air? Or will those numbers be the catalyst to a self-degrading approach for another day? It’s an obsession difficult to break like a bad relationship. And yet, she hasn’t been able to muster up the courage to snub its magnetic lure.

Donna still cringes when she looks at old photos of her as a young chubby girl. One memory focuses on her ten-year-old self in the hospital having her tonsils taken out. After the procedure, she rested in the recovery room where there were other children. One red-haired boy her same age wore a wicked grin while calling her “fatso.” His hurtful words caused her to crumble into the white sterile bed sheets. Maybe this bullying sparked her insecurities, along with those extra childhood pounds that dogged her footsteps into adulthood.

All Donna needs is a truck load of willpower to shed the weight. Sometimes, she’s there, and sometimes she’s not. It’s no easy feat to gain a strong grip on self-discipline, as though she’s trying to keep a slippery fish in her hands. She’s always been an emotional eater. She’ll find something to munch for any reason: when she’s happy or fighting back tears, when she’s in a celebratory mood, or in a nail-biting situation. Whatever the emotion, food tempts her like a dangling carrot to a rabbit. But she doesn’t crave carrots. She craves chips.

What’s even more challenging is maintaining the weight once she’s lost it. Those pounds seem to conjure up a foolproof system for finding their way back to her. It’s a never-ending cycle while she allows her weight to determine how likable she appears to others. She lets those digits control her self-esteem. When will she see in her reflection the beautiful, green-eyed woman that others see? Society itself doesn’t persuade her into feeling this low about her body image. She knows when her body is healthy and when she’s taken a detour. It’s simply time for her to make better choices.

Someday Donna will transform her thoughts into action to shed the pounds. Until then, her obsession with the scale has to end. She considers tossing it out the window! Her family often tells her how she gifts kindness to others, so when will she offer that same compassion to herself? She wishes for the moment when she can look in the mirror and say, “You look awesome!” and mean those words with every ounce of sincerity.

“Baby steps”, Donna says. “It’s just a number.”

Lauren Scott (c) Fiction
Photo: Google images

Guilty or Not?

I have several projects pending but nothing new to share right now. So, I came across this post from 2018 and thought it was worth a second showing. For those of you who have already seen it, I appreciate you taking the time to read again…

Have you ever compared your success to that of your friends, neighbors, or acquaintances? I assume most of us have; I know I’m guilty.

If you compare yourself to your perception of others, then the possibility of your self-esteem deflating is great. The negative assumptions you allow to roll around in your mind can be harmful to your mental well-being. Even though the outward appearance seems perfect, it’s exactly that. ‘Seems’ is the operative word.

Is there one method of how you measure success? Essentially, it’s up to interpretation. What does success mean to you? Do you have goals that you’re working toward? What kind of person do you aspire to be? In my opinion, here’s what you shouldn’t do – don’t give dollar signs too much power in measuring success. They can be misleading. Other factors display victory, such as volunteering, honest work ethic, being a loving husband, wife, partner, parent, sister, daughter, son, or friend
The list is endless.

Think carefully how you measure success because the last thing you need is to fall into a depressed mind-set caused by comparing yourself to others. Letting those unfavorable thoughts take control of your mind will only cause clutter and make your life messy. Instead of focusing on the success of other people, focus on what makes you feel victorious. Set some goals and go for it!

Do you have any thoughts on this subject? Any experiences? 
For example, I’ll start by saying that I never attended college post high school graduation. I made the right choice at that time in my life. But for some reason over the years, I turned my lack of college degree into an unbearably heavy burden, frequently comparing myself to those who held that academic accomplishment. As a result, I often experienced my mood shifting into negativity. I allowed those pessimistic thoughts to pull me down, to second-guess my decision years ago, and to negate the fact that I was a wonderful wife to my amazing husband and a loving mother to our two awesome children. If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is!

As some of you may remember, I did a post years ago about returning to school. I was excited and had taken all the English courses (which I loved and aced!) needed for an Associates Degree. Then I began thinking, “Why am I doing this?” I thought deeply about what going back to school would entail. Sure, the diploma would look great hanging on the wall next to my husband’s and children’s. But the thought of holing up behind a closed door, doing homework for the next several years, all of a sudden didn’t appeal to me. Alternatively, I wanted to focus on my family and the interests that I was passionate about. I came to the realization that a college degree doesn’t define who I am. I’m Me with or without it. I still pursue my passion for writing without that specific validation. I didn’t quit, though. I just chose not to continue, but I am grateful for taking that big step onto a campus thirty-six years after I walked across the stage waving my high school diploma. It wasn’t easy. I had to muster up a big helping of determination and courage to be able to sit in a classroom with young students eager to face their future head-on. With this being said, I met some other adults just like me, so I soon grew comfortable in this new setting.

Everyone shows vulnerability in some manner; this admission is mine. Since this realization, I have gladly discarded the choice to “college-compare” because we’re all successful in different ways. And when I acknowledged this discernment, that heavy burden was released, too. I could breathe easier and my mind decluttered of that negativity. The clear view was stunning!

The easy road spirals downward; the challenging road stimulates your mind and nudges you to look deeply within yourself.

Be You!!!
Sending love and virtual hugs,

Lauren 💗💗💗

All photos courtesy of Google images.