When I first saw this ‘advice’ on my social media, I had to laugh because who hasn’t heard this in one language or another? “We have food at home”, I know that I heard this many times come out of Mama’s mouth. Then later, as I was going through my receipts and bills, I thought of this again and really thought about it: a big chunk of my receipts, and I always have a mountain of receipts, were for a coffee here, un McDonalds alla, and on and on. Not only did I need to rethink my food spending, I could probably save a good chunk of money and live a healthier life by taking advantage of the fact that “hay comida en casa“.
Something clicked in me in that instant, and I decided that, yes, I had complete control of everything that goes into my mouth. I also cook for Dad a lot as well. We could both benefit from eating healthier and, what if something happened to either of us? Something that would make a doctor tell us “this is it, if you continue eating this or that, you will die”. I had heard of a friend’s wife being told something similar, that she would have to change her eating habits that second or she would die.
I noticed that I had begun to eat emotionally. I remember going home after an emotional day and chowing down. I didn’t even enjoy it. Then there was the day where I had gotten it into my head that I needed to have chocolate every day, bought a candy bar, which I didn’t really even want, and ate it, so unsatisfying. And THEN, because truth does not lie, I saw a picture of myself and I look like I swallowed a giant ball, lonjas for days.
After seeing the picture, I realized that I hadn’t felt healthy for a couple of weeks. That something had really been on my mind bothering me during this time, didn’t think “I should call someone and talk this out”, no, it was “I need to make some guacamole”. I hadn’t been checking on myself lately. Taking care of myself had become a battle with my sick ‘woe is me, no one checks on me either’ mind. My lack of self-care was showing (literally) and, after I realized it, it was ‘ON’. That day, I even wrote in my journal, “this is IT, there has to be another way”. I started listing the things that I could do in that moment to save my life.
I had a list of about 5 or 6 things that would need to be handled immediately. I decided that I needed to brown bag it with real food, not jusgueria junk food, drink water, SLEEP more, rest when I needed to, think about the real food that I liked to eat so that I would have more of it at the house, choose better foods for Dad as well. I also felt that I had to be much smarter about my commute which was tearing my patience and rest to shreds. If I could tackle these necessary things, I might feel better and have time to do more of what I really wanted to do.
The first night of “taking care of myself” saw immediate results, I slept better than ever, the aches and pains, both physical and emotional, suddenly felt more manageable. Taking leftovers, oranges, apples, bananas, water, etc, to eat was actually really satisfying and, while I did ‘need’ a piece of chocolate that first week, it was nowhere near the desperation that I had felt the week before. And surprise, how productive was I? I got soooo much done that I amazed myself.
The takeaway from this post is that, if you don’t take care of yourself emotionally, it WILL catch up with you physically. Look at your emotional health before spending money on that huge meal or shiny new toy — you’ll end up with a bigass lonja and a lot less money in your bank account. I want more for myself in 2019 and, like all new endeavors, it will take time to get there. I’m ready.