I slept with the enemy for years and did not have the slightest clue. My enemy was my emotional state; while growing up I was extremely sensitive. Whether someone told me something to help me or hurt me, I didn’t know the difference because either way I walked away feeling miffed. Back in 2003 when I began college, I weighed 122 pounds and last year I weighed close to 180 pounds. I’ve gained almost 60 pounds over 10 years. To give you some history, I grew up very active. I was a ballerina for over 10 years and participated in track during high school but after college I wasn’t active in any hobby or sport. I also began eating fast food 3-4 times throughout the week. All of these factors contributed to my weight gain over the years. On the other hand, my father is fit. He skates, swims and plays basketball throughout the week. When he fixes his plate it always includes a balanced proportion of vegetables and protein. He’s always talks with me about the benefits of eating healthy, in addition to exercising regularly. He believes that his body is his temple and he should respect it if he wants to live a long and vigorous life. In our regular conversations, he expressed that he could see the difference in my weight and encouraged me to change my lifestyle but I wasn’t receptive. I saw it as him personally attacking me and didn’t understand that he cared about my health. He wasn’t mean, rude or disrespectful about it, yet I wasn’t in a place to receive his constructive feedback. Back then I was sensitive about everything and set in my ways. With time, I became more open. I began to look at myself in the mirror and see what he saw in my weight. Although I’ve always been a curvaceous girl I observed some extra curves that I wasn’t too excited to embrace. I decided to face my greatest enemy that was getting in the way of me living a healthier lifestyle, such as my emotions. I thought long and hard on my father’s advice and realized that while it didn’t feel good to discuss such a sensitive topic it was a necessary conversation that will allow me to live my best life and respect the body God gave me. Beginning last year, I started working out and eating healthier and lost close to 20 pounds and my goal is to weigh 145 pounds. Today, I am in a better place because I am willing to let go of my enemy, my emotions and understand the bigger picture, my health. Honestly, I still enjoy eating out but I try to only twice a week. My father was right. I was too emotional to recognize the truth. My sensitivity stood in my way and it was then I realized I was the enemy that I was sleeping with every night.
This post is about getting out of your own way and increasing self-awareness about the unhealthy habits that you’ve grown unaware of yet affect you daily. The same habits that others have discussed with you and you responded back offensively with anger. More than likely because you are comfortable sleeping with them every night not cognizant that they’re even your enemy. It hasn’t been easy breaking away from my old habits but I’ve challenged myself to take constructive feedback which has helped me develop thicker skin. I make sure that when someone gives me advice I don’t instantly agree with, I carefully listen and process what they’re really saying. I also ask clarifying questions. By taking these actions I’ve began to understand that constructive feedback helps you grow as an individual. If you’re mindful of your bad habits, you can avoid becoming loyal to your dysfunction, consequently stunting your growth. I urge you to reach out to 2 family members or friends that you trust and ask them to share their candid perspective of bad practices in your life that could use improvement and serve as your accountability partners. Ask them for solid examples and to explain how these habits affect your relationship with them. Give yourself specific dates as checkpoints and create a strategy on how you will improve yourself one habit at a time. At your checkpoints follow-up with your accountability partner and ask about your progress. Repeat this process until you’ve broken the habit. It would’ve been difficult for me to break this habit without my father standing as my accountability partner, so make sure you have someone who will not enable you but keep you accountable.
When you go to sleep tonight, take a closer look at who you’re sleeping with and decide if they’re your friend or your worst enemy.