On Sunday, we went for a walk in the woods near Nettlebed, in search of bluebells.
We walked and we walked.
There were a few here and there, but not quite open.
We were disappointed that we were just one week too early.
Next week, they would have been amazing.
We walked and walked some more, but still no fields of bluebells.
It was our first outing, just the two of us, in eight months.
If you have no family support around you, you know what it feels like to long for some help with childcare, for weeks and months, just so you can have a bit of ‘us time’.
Sunday was finally our day.
We had never been to those woods.
We had never looked for carpets of bluebells before (just stumbled upon them).
It was a special day, and we were looking forward to seeing fields of fully-open bluebells.
Still, never mind, we were enjoying the journey.
Spotting the last few daffodils of the season.
Delighting at the sound of woodpeckers, their tap-tap-tapping echoing through the surrounding trees.
Slipping through the leaves that were only just covering up deep muddy puddles but that we hadn’t seen, sliding and laughing, our shoes and trousers now caked in mud.
Enjoying the silence.
Nobody about apart from the odd walker and his dog.
Appreciating not being interrupted every 5 seconds by our daughters’ chatter and never-ending questions.
Holding hands like when we were newlyweds.
And then, after taking several turns in different directions, they offered themselves to us.
So blue, so purple, so intense.
Thousands and thousands of bluebells, fully open, in their spring glory.
When we looked into the distance, they looked like purple snow.
This walk in the woods reminded me of my journey to Freedom from Food.
If I hadn’t persevered, if I hadn’t had this inner confidence that one day I would find the solution to my emotional eating and body confidence problems, I would not have found it. Pure and simple.
On Sunday, if we hadn’t persevered, if we hadn’t had this inner confidence that we would find fields after fields of bluebells, we wouldn’t have come across them. We would have stopped, turned around and gone back home.
The prize is in the perseverance and confidence.
But this takes practice.
Writing down what you want for your life, every day, for example. Writing down your goals. Making it clear to your unconscious mind that you mean business and that you will not waver, no matter what happens. No matter how many falls. No matter how slippery the path.
Practising mindfulness meditation is another example. Showing up in the special corner you will have created for yourself somewhere in your house or flat, every day, and practising every time you eat something. Paying attention to every mouthful, really enjoying it, without guilt, whatever you’re eating.
Yes, the prize is in the perseverance and confidence.
But it is also in the journey and appreciating its every turn. If we hadn’t enjoyed the journey through the woods and admired the surroundings and stopped and listened, we would have stopped the journey and gone home, missing out on the beautiful ending.
While your aim is to be the size and shape that you want to be…
… on the journey to that shape and size, the discoveries about yourself and maybe about the people around you, are equally (if not more) important.
Yes you need to be clear about what you want, but then you need to release that and look for the gifts that are all around you, relaxing into the present, focusing on those gifts as you walk along. In order to feel good, to feel alive. Losing weight is not the be all and end all. The more relaxed you are about this, the more likely it is to happen.
This also takes practice. The differences are subtle.
Keep your eyes on the prize, but also look around and enjoy the journey.
Notice the small gifts that may offer themselves to you on your way to the big prize. They are just as important.
They might come in the form of clear-mindedness, of serenity, of inner peace, of lightness of being, of discovering a new passion (cycling, painting, pottery, singing), of developing yourself in ways you would never have thought of.
It is easier, much easier, if your hand is held on this journey, to gently guide you, to keep you focused, to make sure you stay on the right path, but also to suggest ideas that will take you off the beaten track – and that’s where you will find your own purple snow.
So if you would like to finally be out of the Food Prison but feel that you need some help along the way, book a free call via my website, to find out if my Freedom from Food programme would suit you.