Good morning, friends!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and were able to spend time with your nearest and dearest yesterday.  I had a fantastic day with my family.  It occurred to me as we were sitting around the dinner table last night – just the 11 of us – that our “small” family Christmas might be more than many people can take!  It was loud and crazy and there were kids yelling, a baby crying (not often, though), too many butts in the kitchen, a maze of toys and small pieces to step over in just about every room…and it was perfect!  When you picture my family, start with the family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding…switch the ethnicity from Greek to Lebanese…tone down the crazy by about 50%…and you’ll have a decent idea of what my family is like.

3 Christmas Gifts

Even in the midst of that chaos, I continued to think about some of what I’ve been chewing on lately (pun intended).  And I re-realized (yes, I’m that girl who has to learn the same lesson over and over again…sue me) a few things that made me feel pretty darn silly.  In a good way.  These three realizations are a gift to me, for the reasons outlined below.  I’m sharing them with you in the hopes that maybe something in here will be a gift to you.

Realization #1: I am okay.  I am okay now.  I will be okay in the future.  This doesn’t mean that I will not struggle, stumble, fall, or trip multiple times in life (heck, multiple times per day!).  But one thing being with my family makes me realize?  I’m so blessed.  I’m loved.  I’m not alone.  No matter what I go through in life, I have a whole bunch of people in my corner who would do anything to help me succeed.  What more can I ask?

Realization #2My body craves exercise.  My plan was to get in a hard cardio workout on Christmas Eve, but one thing (staying up late the night before) led to another (sleeping in) led to another (packing my gym clothes but going to my sister’s house with the intention of stopping at the gym on my way home instead of on the way there), and my workout didn’t happen.  I let it not happen.  And you know what my body told me?  Cut that shit crap out.  My body craves movement now in a way I never realized before, and when I go more than one day without it?  I hear about it.  Harder to sleep.  Back starts to ache.  So, note to self…unless extraordinary circumstances exist, the workout has to be my #1 priority.

Realization #3: This is probably the most important one.  My body is satisfied with far less food than my mind. Maybe this is a no-brainer for y’all, but I think I’m learning this lesson in multiple ways over time.  I realized this last night as I was still feeling full from dinner when I got home at 11:30 p.m.  Granted, we ate late, but this was a mini-revelation for me!  I had eaten over 3 hours before and I was not yet hungry!  And what’s more, I had only eaten one plate of food!  Which was at least half vegetables! 

This body of mine, it is wise.  And it has known ever since I lost this most recent chunk of weight that I don’t need as much food to nourish my body.  My mind?  Not so much.  Lagging behind the body a bit.   Rebelling against what it views as “restriction” and “deprivation” in terms of reduced food intake.  But even though it was kind of a “duh!” moment, it is also so encouraging me to re-learn this lesson.  Because all I have to do is learn to pay more attention to my body than to my brain.  Learning to be mindful of what I am eating and why will be hard, but ever so worth it, because my body knows what it needs…all I have to do is listen.

So along with the new watch and the gift of cash from my parents and the wonderful hand-made ornaments and drawings I received from my family, I am also treating these reminders as gifts, too.  I am encouraged, my friends.  I know what to do.  I know I am capable.  I know the struggle is not over.  But I know now more than ever that I can succeed.  You can, too!

How was your Christmas?  Did the holiday help you remember or realize new things about yourself?