I am a cheater / my Me Movement Pledge

When it comes to the " Me Movement ," I'm a bit of a cheater. Okay.... I need to take a step back and explain things a littl...

When it comes to the "Me Movement," I'm a bit of a cheater.

Okay.... I need to take a step back and explain things a little bit better:

The "Me Movement" is the brainchild of my dietitian/friend Rebecca Scritchfield and her speaking partner, The Biggest Loser's Season 5 At-Home winner, Bernie Salazar (founders of the Nurture Principles).   The basic premise is that you sign a pledge to take care of yourself through the holidays instead of running yourself ragged taking care of everyone else.

Well, that's the thing:  I don't run myself ragged.  Instead, I've developed evasive maneuvers.  It became easy for me to avoid the holidays because I live 200 miles from the majority of my family and don't have a car.  Travel is expensive.  It became easy for me to avoid the religious holidays because I'm neither Jewish nor Catholic like the rest of my family.  I'm the most outspoken atheist in my family (though I think I have some competition from a new addition to the family, which I greatly appreciate). And I avoid New Year's because I've never had someone that I wanted to ring in the new year with more than my cats and a pound of shrimp.

When the evasive maneuvers don't work, or I'm feeling the need to participate (friends, family, coworkers), I am overwhelmed almost instantly.  Take for example my company's holiday party:  I spend the majority of my time at the party focused on the food and drink because I don't want to put my foot in my mouth with coworkers.  The afterparty is worse -- it's often too many people at a too-small bar. I want to socialize, I want to be known as a fun person. But I can't overcome my claustrophobia in those situations.  I find a corner and hide in it.

With family it's hard because usually the first words out of people's mouths are "I haven't seen you in so long!" or something similar hilighting how I'm never around. Then comes the litany of quesitons about what I've been up to.  The thing is that I know deep down that people aren't trying to make it hard on me, but it does make me feel ridiculously guilty to sequester myself for my own protection.  No, I don't have a boyfriend. No, I don't go to church. Yes, the idea of spending an eternity in hell burning is kinda sucky (though I don't believe in it).  Yes, I wish my mom were here to see this. 

So, I don't run myself ragged taking care of everyone else.  I hide.

The thing is that as I get older, the better I get to know myself, and the more confident I am in who I am, the less I actually want to hide.  I want to take down the barriers I've erected between me and other people and begin to participate.  However, I have new anxieties.  I don't know how much I can handle before I start repeating old behaviors such as eating to avoid having to talk to people.  These old coping mechanisms no longer work for the person I want to be and become.

With all that in mind, I am tailoring my Me Movement Me First Pledge to really help me through the holiday season in a way that helps me restore myself and my relationships.

For my health and wellness, I want to put myself first this holiday season. This year will be different. I’ve made (and broken) unrealistic New Year’s “resolutions” before and this year I won’t need to repeat the cycle. I am going to take care of myself during this busy (sometimes hectic) time. If that means asking for help, saying “no”, or scheduling “down time,” I will do it. I’m done being overcommitted. 
  • I pledge to remember how good it feels when I’m taking care of myself. And when I feel good, I am able to take better care of those I love.
  • I pledge to keep in mind that social situations are about the companionship, as much as the delicious food and drinks. I want to enjoy foods that look and taste good while respecting my body’s “fullness” and “satisfied” signals. I won’t judge myself if I ate “too much” of the holiday foods that don’t come around that often.
  • I pledge to stay in tune with what my body needs, whether that’s food, rest, exercise, or sleep. 
My well-being is my priority. The goals below reflect the healthiest ways I know how to meet my own needs.

What are three things you can do to make sure your wellness needs are met this holiday season? You may want to choose one goal for each of these areas: nutrition, exercise and stress management. Or maybe you want to focus on just one or two areas. These goals are meant to be personal for you! Hang this pledge somewhere you will see it on a daily basis as a reminder of your commitment to honoring your health. 
  
Goal 1: I will not avoid social situations out of fear/anxiety. If I am feeling fearful/anxious, I will reach out to people to explain what is going on. I will not resort to food to help get me through these stressful moments. I will trust that my friends/family can help me be a part of their lives in a way that is true and sincere to who I am.
Goal 2: I will continue to use my body to help heal my mind: when I exercise I am less anxious, able to sleep better, and generally feel better about the world. I will endeavor to include people in this aspect of my life as well as the time that we share in the kitchen or around the dining table.
Goal 3: I will get back on track with mindful eating. I will continue the progress I have made with feeling comfortable my food choices (even if they're not always A+ choices). I will continue to honor my hunger and the feelings of being sated physically. I will remember feeling sick from overeating during past holidays to help inform my current choices.

I encourage you all to sign the Me Movement Pledge for yourself.  If you feel comfortable sharing it (in a comment or your blog) let me know!  We can do this together!  I also bet @ScritchfieldRD that I could get 50 of my friends to sign up.
And don't forget I'm posting (not cross-posting) on the Me Movement Blog as well!  Read my latest post incorporating my Me Moment with my Epiphany.

If you are comfortable, help me with my bet by sharing your Me Movement Goals here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ap5ByzNXXC9NdE9qMHpOZTFGbkVMaGJZZzkyeGU0SlE&hl=en&authkey=CIei2psB

Other Me Movement Me First Blog Entries:
@CarrieSinCa
@HouseOfTater

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13 comments

  1. This is awesome... I love it !! I had it on my calendar to join the chat last night, but I couldn't get there - (6pm my time, I was in a meeting).

    do the chats happen each week? I like this idea and I'd love to join in.

    <3

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  2. Kristina:
    The schedule of chats is here (http://nurtureprinciples.com/the-me-movement/twitter-chats/) with updates forthcoming :)

    Glad to see you like it!

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  3. I like to think that I'm the only Christian-with-a-brain in my group of friends. I know how it feels to be the odd one out. I believe Jesus taught good things, but I don't think he ever meant for our intellect to be left at the door when it comes to him, y'know?

    I think I may need to make similar goals for myself. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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  4. I'm not trying to hate on people who are religious ... just those who can't let me be an atheist in peace. I think even Jesus could recognize that I'm a good and moral person, even without his help.

    Make your goals!! Put them on my spreadsheet (https://spreadsheets0.google.com/ccc?key=tOj0zNe1FnELhbYg92xe4JQ&authkey=CIei2psB&hl=en&authkey=CIei2psB#gid=0) to help me with my little side bet (where everyone is a winner!)

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  5. Those are some great goals. They are all things I also need to focus on; Me not being so anxious and avoiding social situations because it, as well as mindful eating. I don't know how "into" you're movement I'll get, but I really appreciate the contract you've laid out. Its really great.

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  6. Lily -- your involvement level is up to you. Even if you have a good intention to be mindful of when you're not putting your needs first you've done something to increase your awareness of your own needs.

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  7. Fantastic pledge!!!!! and I love that you created the google spreadsheet-you're such a rockstar! have a great friday!

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  8. I love how people have supported each other through #OctGTD and #NovGTD -- I thought it fitting to do a spreadsheet for #MeFirst as a reminder that it's not a whole bunch of people acting as islands... we're an archipelago.

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  9. This is a great idea. Holidays seem to be rife with expectations that just aren't realistic. We'll never again be the kids that our family members recall. We are adults with our own minds/wants/needs/goals and achievements. I rather see family that I get along with without all the nightmare of tradition to tie us all down. The last holiday that I saw one of my husband's cousins she asked when I was "due," as in she thought I was heavy enough to be pregnant. It was a double whammy -- because I'm also unable to have kids. It is a happier time to avoid those things, even though I'm healthier now, who needs it?! As a result, hubby and I are going out of town for one night over Thanksgiving break and we skip Christmas anyway (because I'm a Jew and he's agnostic). This holiday, we're putting ourselves first.

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  10. Hey Beautiful,

    We're having Thanksgiving this year if you'd like to come - it'll be me, Tom, his mom, her hub and one more friend. It'll probably be super low-key, but it won't hurt my feelings if you already have plans/don't want to abandon Jack and Spike. (:

    -Dawn

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  11. Great plans I know you will see it through!!

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  12. Love this! Just logged my goals :)

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<3 Robby