The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 22: December 2, 2002: Page 2
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          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

From Lora's Desk

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 make?" mindset.

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 enough..."

My response brought me back to a quote from Richard Bach: "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."

                                         Happy Holidays!

                                                                             Lora




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