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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cleaning Bathrooms and Losing Weight

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Why is it when I start going in a good direction I have this great desire to sabotage myself?...and I don't mean just a little bit. I'm talking ALL OUT sabotage.

You know, when I was losing weight before, I had people that I'd see week after week. They weren't anyone I knew. They were complete strangers to me, actually, but regardless, they were a face-to-face accountability crew. Is that what would make the difference here?

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I can choose to account here or not, right? Maybe I don't want this badly enough. I mean, if I did, I wouldn't be eating Krispy Kreme donuts whenever they're offered to me, and I wouldn't have purchased those ginormous Symphony bars and smuggled them into my closet, right?

Back in the day, there were people who'd ask, "What did you do good this week?" I'd share with the world how many great things I'd done.
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The other day, I taught #6 a more thorough approach to cleaning the bathroom. He is five, so it's about time he knew more than just how to pick up the towels and empty the garbage.

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As I did so, I remembered a principle that's been in my brain for the past couple years. I guess you could call it the "creation" approach. I didn't learn this from anywhere; it just kind of popped into my brain one day while I was reading Genesis chapter one and wouldn't leave. I've probably even blogged about it, to some degree or another, before.

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The first thing I had #6 do was clean the mirror. We decided on, and verbally listed, the things that would need to be cleaned that day. I told him that he would need to clean the high up things first, and then I let him decide just what the highest up thing was.

He sprayed the mirror, wiped it beautifully and started to climb down off the counter. I stopped him before his feet hit the floor and directed him to look back at the mirror. I asked him how it looked. He shared that it looked "good."

I replied, "Yes it does. Was it the best work you could have done?"

He responded, "Yes."

I said, "Then take a look at that mirror and repeat after me....'I did it, and it looks great.'"

He repeated these words and beamed. He was so proud of himself.

As the bathroom cleaning continued and #6 became very aware of doing a good job, all I had to say was was this job worthy of your good words to yourself. If not, work until it is. He became very good at this.

We moved from job to job. By the time we were finished, the room was practically glowing and so was he.

I've pondered on this from time to time since then and realized that this really is a great way to look at life....Not always thinking "What could I have done better?" but "What have I done today that was great?"

A few posts ago, I shared some of the ways I communicate with my children. A friend asked me what I say to my children to praise them. I really don't have any special words I use. As I read her question, I thought that it's in my demeanor--in how I say words not necessarily what the words are that makes the difference--but as I pondered this "and it was good" experience with #6, I see now that the best thing I can do is teach my children to praise themselves when they know they've done well. This behavior needs to become their reward.

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So....Here's my lesson to myself. In this weight loss experience, as well as other experiences in my life--whether cleaning the bathroom or losing weight,--I'm seeing that I need to seek to treat myself well. I need to do this with the idea that at the end of the day (or maybe at first, at the end of the meal), I need to pat myself on the back and tell myself the things I've done well.

I need to be worthy of my own praise.

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