I have been in the military since I graduated high school. Every aspect of my life was dictated. I was told who I could be friends with. I was told where I would live. I was told what to look like, what to think, and how to think. After 23 years, I was tired of being told what to do and how to live my life.
When I made the choice to retire from the military, I was a bit scared. I had been in the military for my entire adult life, but it was also the most liberating choice I had ever made.
For once in my life, I could make every choice in my life. No one would be telling me what to do anymore. I could create anything I wanted.
If I’m honest, I could have liberated myself a long time ago. I once had a therapist tell me that if I didn’t like being mistreated, I should get out of the military. I was angry that he would even suggest that as a solution. I would have sacrificed financial security and the small retirement I would be getting after 20 years. I thought the system needed to change. But, now, I know he was right.
There is no changing the military, at least not in my short 20-year career and certainly not on a military-wide scale. There are historical, ingrained rules and cultural expectations.
I’m sure this is not just a military experience. We all have someone or something telling us what to do. How we should look. How we should act. What we should want in life. The quality of our life really depends on how much we’re listening.
I was almost 40 before my mom told me that she had grandkids from my brother and sister, so if I didn’t want to have children, she was ok with that. Part of me was relieved. Now, the harassment to have children would stop. Part of me was angry.
I wasn’t married. I didn’t want to be a single mom. I didn’t understand why everyone kept pressuring me to have children.
I remember a senior military officer telling me that I was just selfish and that’s why I didn’t want children. Personally, I thought it was selfish to have children and not be able to give them 100%.
It’s not that I don’t like children. I love children! I just didn’t feel like I could raise a child properly (by my standards) being full-time military. I was single and lived 1000 miles from any family. I didn’t have the luxury of the nearby family support network that my brother and sister had.
But, those were choices I made. I chose to stay in the military and I chose to not have children (at least not yet. There is still more life to live.).
I could be angry. I was angry. I blamed the course of my life on someone/something else, but I made choices that led me down this path. Those choices made me the woman I am.
Now, I’m choosing differently.
I went through the Lifebook process and did a thorough evaluation of my life. I looked at my Physical Health, my Intellectual fitness, my Emotional fitness, my Social life, my Character, my Financial status, my Career satisfaction, my Spiritual fitness, my Love Relationships, and my overall Quality of Life. I even re-looked at my choice not to have children. I wanted to make sure all of my choices were mine, not something I let be thrust upon my life.
I started with my beliefs in each area. What did I believe about my physical health? Why did I believe that? Was this a belief that served me or was it a belief that I needed to replace with something more positive? I wanted my beliefs to drive my life in a positive direction and in the direction that I wanted it to go.
I believe that your health is the foundation for everything else in your life. If you’re sick, depressed, or have low energy, nothing else in your life works as well as it could. I believe that if I’m healthy, I think clearer, I feel better, and I’m more productive. I am more confident in life and I’m all around a better woman when I’m healthy. My quality of life is drastically improved when I’m fit.
While I believed these things, I definitely didn’t treat my body as if it were true or as if I cared.
I have always said that age is just a number, but somewhere along the way I started buying into the belief that as you age, your body just starts to slow down and fall apart. While this is partially true, I also believe that your body ages at the rate you let it. If I stay active, fuel my body with quality foods, get enough sleep, etc. I can reverse the damage I was doing and get back to the things I loved. I can live a healthy, active life until I die.
I believe that my health is about more than a number on a scale or the size of my body. I believe that my health includes my mind, body, spirit, emotions, and a multitude of other components. I believe that I have to take care of all of these elements to be healthy.
I also believed that cooking for myself was hard. It took a mind shift and some habit creation, but now, I actually love cooking. I love experimenting with new recipes, and I love the money I’m saving by not eating out/ordering in every night.
Most importantly, I love the way my body feels when I eat healthier foods. It gives me the energy to come home from work and cook. Before, I was struggling to stay awake long enough to just get home and nap.
I used to love being active. I worked out because it made me feel good. I liked having fun with my friends. I had come to believe that exercise was punishment for eating too much or eating forbidden foods. This shift in thinking took away the pleasure I had once found in exercise. This was a belief I needed to change back, so it would line up with what I wanted in life.
I believe that my body is amazing! If I take care of it, it will be able to fight off illness, heal itself, and stay healthy. If I don’t, it will stay sick until I re-focus on my health. So, either I make a little time for my health now or my body will take all of its time later.
I believe that I am in control of my physical destiny. My biological age is a direct result of lifestyle choices (how I move my body, how I feed it, and how I let it recover). If I stay vigilant, disciplined and consistently dedicated to my body, I can slow and reverse the aging process. This doesn’t mean I have to be perfect, just consistent.
Lastly, I believe that excellent health is true freedom—freedom to live life exactly as you want to, without fear, doubts, insecurities.
If you want freedom in your life, come check out my webinar on How to Beat the Binge and Take Control of Your Life.
Seats are filling up fast, so try to register as soon as possible so you don’t miss out.
I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
~Love. ~Live. ~Connect.