So What’s Your Excuse?

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While driving my daughter to school on Friday morning the local radio hosts were talking about a Mother of three from Sacramento, California who posted a photo of herself that went viral on facebook. The photo showed an attractive, super-fit woman, three young boys aged 8 months, 2 years and 3 years, and the caption, “What’s Your Excuse?” The radio hosts took phone calls from the listening audience, polling the listeners about whether the Mom was an inspiration to others, or whether she was just being obnoxious. (Most of the audience was positive and polite–at least in the limited time that I listened in.) And yesterday (Sunday) morning, the story, including the photo that generated thousands of comments on her facebook page, was on Yahoo! News.

But Maria Kang, 32, is not naturally thin and admits to having her own struggles. She says that she struggled with her genetics, she struggled to overcome an eating disorder, she works full time and doesn’t have a nanny, and she’s not employed as a personal trainer. The gist of her message is: If I could do it, so can you.

What do I think? Well, I think “good for her.” I carried around an extra ten or so pounds for a couple of years after my kids were born, ten pounds that I wished would come off sooner than they had. But actually, when I look back now, I have learned a great deal from my struggle with those ten pounds. I learned a lot about good nutrition and blood sugar issues. I learned about emotional eating and about feeding myself by listening more closely to that deeper part of myself. I learned about getting in touch with my deeper desires and goals and I learned to pursue those. And I discovered that paying closer attention to what was going on inside me and expressing that part of myself out in the world is what made a difference for me; that’s when the emotional eating that kept those ten pounds on my body began to disappear.

I also agree with Ms. Kang that it’s not so much about genetics as it is about family history, family “baggage” and family habits. I have made changes in my daily habits and lifestyle and do not struggle with the issues that my Mother has.

So I can’t say that I envy this fitness queen from Sacramento. We each have our own paths and our own challenges and I believe there’s nothing that can satisfy our hearts more than the overcoming of our own obstacles and challenges. There’s nothing that is more satisfying than breaking through our personal challenges. I have definitely grown and I have learned a lot and I feel good about that. Even in the last several months I have learned a great deal about health and well-being and nutrition, things that I can now help my daughters and my family with, things that I can now share with my readers.  And I feel an open attitude to learning and evolving is something that is highly beneficial to have right now. Rather than making excuses or being in denial, let’s be open to learning.

Let’s face it; we have been fed a lot of things about health, nutrition and genetics that just aren’t true, things that just don’t work. Just look at the direction this country is headed in terms of the health of its citizens. As a country (and even as a world) we are a train headed for a wreck and we have not turned the train around yet. (Just show me a country where the citizens are truly getting healthier.)

I do not think anyone can deny that. I remember when I was a kid we were told that in the future, we would be able to meet all of our nutritional needs by just popping a few pills. The idea seems silly to me now, but back then that’s what some so-called “experts” had predicted. I remember when the neighborhood ladies would tell my Mom that margarine was healthier for her family than butter. I am glad she didn’t pay much attention and kept buying real butter. I remember my college roommate fixing egg white omelets in a non-stick plan because cholesterol was supposedly bad for you. Even though cholesterol is what your brain is made of, what your hormones are made of, and what your brain needs in order to function. One day we’ll look back and realize how silly we were.

I believe that we have been lied to and manipulated about a lot of things and it’s time to search for what’s real and for what’s true. I believe, and actually I know, that the personal challenges we are struggling with at the moment were chosen by the part of yourself that is connected to the divine (your “higher self,” your soul) to be experienced for the purpose of personal and spiritual growth and I also know that a solution exists for every problem that we experience. And what can be more satisfying than to implement changes in ourselves and in our lifestyles that lift ourselves up and lift those who are around us up? Instead of making excuses, work on your challenges, the challenges your own soul planned for you.

What is your goal? What does your heart and deepest soul desire? Begin today to transform yourself. Connect with that deeper part of yourself daily, especially before you go to sleep at night and ask that part of you that’s connected to Infinity to guide you; ask your higher self important questions and be open to receiving answers. Do this daily and don’t let up until you have fulfilled your heart’s desires. Because the time is ripe for the fulfillment of those promises.

In the end we will be grateful for our personal struggles and will be less likely to judge the journey of others. We’ll be able to appreciate life so much more and have a lot more compassion for others. Life will be much more satisfying. And that’s what I’ve experienced this struggle and this journey of life to be about.

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