As I was watching The Biggest Loser's Makeover episode last night (still love that show!), there was one topic that the contestants brought up over and over and over again in their individual interviews - TIME for themselves. Everyone talked about how grateful they were to have the opportunity to take these past four months and spend TIME working on themselves. Unlike the contestants on The Biggest Loser, I've never had four months that I could set aside to focus solely on myself - and I most likely never will.
TIME is one of the things that I've always struggled with in life. How do I get everything done that needs to be done in my life and still find TIME to take care of me? My attitude used to be - I don't have TIME to take care of myself because my family and my job comes first. They have to come before me. I'm the one juggling all of the balls in the air. If I drop one everything will fall a part.
While wrestling with TIME is still a struggle that rears it's ugly head, I began to understand TIME several years ago. The problem isn't that I don't have TIME, the problem is the choices I make with the TIME I have.
I realized that I don't need big chunks of TIME to make life changes and do "healthy things." I could make several small changes that don't take much TIME at all. The good news is that I have the power of choice over my TIME and by focusing on making small changes it was easier to be successful in making positive choices and maintaining changes.
During these past four years of working toward living a healthier lifestyle, some of the changes that needed to be made were very obvious like not drinking multiple cans of pop a day. I can't imagine how much TIME I've saved by no longer spending part of my afternoon digging around my purse, my desk and even my car looking for one more quarter for the vending machine at work! Now I drink water all the time. I've found that the extremely cold ice water hitting my throat wakes me up much faster than a sugary dose of caffeine!
Other changes have been fun like torturing my children by seeing how far away I can park from the entrance of Target. I actually save TIME by not driving up and down every row multiple times hoping that a parking space right next to the door will magically open up! Some changes took some TIME to get used to like learning how to shake off Mom Guilt when my daughter stood by the door and cried as I dashed to my car for my weekly Zumba class. What she didn't understand was that she was actually gaining TIME with me because rather than collapsing on the couch and falling asleep while she watched TV, I returned home wide awake ready to read a book or play a game.
Change doesn't happen over night. For me, living a healthy lifestyle has been a journey . . . four years and counting! No matter how many times I begged God to add a couple of extra hours to my day so that I could get everything done, the number of hours in a day never changed. What has changed is what I am doing with those twenty-four hours. I've learned that I can choose to sit on the couch and doze off or I can ask my daughter to go for a walk. I can choose to pick up that 24-pack of pop at the grocery store or I can fill up my cup with ice water. I can choose to eat four pieces of pizza and spend my evening in the bathroom or I can eat two and have a tomato cucumber salad on the side and be ready to roll for some family TIME.
I am happy for The Biggest Loser contestants and the TIME that they got to spend focusing on themselves. I have the same amount of TIME. Mine is just spread out! The choice of how I spend that TIME is up to me. I just need to make those choices count!