Christmas Gift List: To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service.
To all, charity. To every
child, a good example. And to yourself perhaps the most extravagant gift
of all — respect.
— C. Martin
How do you feel about yourself? Does that seem an overly
simple question? I hope you'll take a minute to stop and
just seriously think about it. At this time of year, it's easy to lose sight of your own value,
and to believe the messages that tell you that Christmas is all about taking care of others. While it's
surely a time to share your love and charity to best of your ability, it doesn't mean you don't need
care and respect as well. I always get more "I'm not worth it" letters at the holidays. So let's
take a good look at how you see yourself as we revisit a topic we've covered from time to time in the
past and will need to stay on top of...
Do you feel you're a good person? Do you feel attractive?
Do you feel smart? Are you headed in the right direction
in life? These are questions that really do need to be
answered because they affect how you live your life each
day and whether or not you look at that table of Christmas cookies at work
and say "what the hell..."
Your sense of self-worth is one of the most important factors
in your success on this plan or any other life-changing
endeavor you choose to take.
These words may seem obvious on the surface, but I say
them for a good reason. After getting a succession of
letters from visitors (usually women) who have deep
self esteem issues — usually brought on by their weight
problem and how society and/or family & spouses react to
them — I got to thinking about my own past and how I
always came back to that old "What difference does it
I remember riding in the car with my husband, coming back from
a somewhat lengthy trip... You know how when
you're the passenger you can get lost staring out the window
and thinking. There's no computer or TV to distract you,
no one calling, no pressing issue. You're just alone with
your thoughts. During this trip, my mind wandered back
through the last couple of decades of my life and how things
have changed — and more importantly, why...
Some of you already know that I've been married before and
that my previous marriage was fraught with stress and
discord. (My ex was an often violent, always denigrating
alcoholic.) I lived within that environment for 10 years and
as I did, my addiction to sugar grew. It dampened hurt feelings,
and worry, and fear — much like a sedative. My life was not
about learning, progressing, developing. It was about day to
day survival. It was during these years that my weight problem
found root. I had extremely low self esteem (being told you're
stupid, fat and worthless can do that to you...) and I didn't
care what I was putting in my mouth. My whole life was wrapped
up in the "What difference does it make?" mindset.
So years later when I finally found the strength (with the
help of some amazing friends) to leave the situation while I
still had my life, the old feeling that I didn't amount to much
remained. Sure, I moved on with my life, and later I met the
wonderful, caring and sensitive man I am now married to. But
the old mindset just wouldn't budge. It wasn't until nearly
a decade later that I'd brought my self-esteem up to a point
where I felt I deserved to succeed. That maybe I am smart.
And that maybe I can be pretty. This budding realization is
what has allowed me to remain true to low-carbing for over
3 1/2 years now. To never once grab a sugary treat in all that time. And why
would I? I would be cheating myself and I finally knew I
deserved better than that.
One hundred plus pounds-lost later, I see what a different person
I am. Where I was weak, I am strong. Where I was timid, I am
brave (even outgoing), but mostly — where I was just marking
time on this earth, I am now growing. I like who I am today.
I love it that I am creative. I love it that I have firm
and deep beliefs — philosophically, and spiritually. I am
constantly learning and never want to stop. I want to see
the world and make my mark on it. In short, I am not afraid.
That young woman of my past who spent so many hours curled up
in a ball in a darkened room crying is only a memory now.
I deserve to be where I am now. And so do you. If you catch
yourself beating yourself up — about anything — stop it! You
must be your own best friend and your biggest fan. You must
know you deserve success.
Someone recently said to me, "You're so lucky that you've been
able to do this. I wish I could. But I'm just not strong
My response brought me back to a quote from Richard Bach:
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."