In came all the well-meaning diet advice: Try this eating plan, Do these exercises, Get a fitbit, Wake up earlier, Cook healthy meals a month in advance, etc etc etc.
Oh bother. I'm sure no one was TRYING to add guilt and unrealistic expectations to the already full plate of a hard working, wonderful, kind, diligent, widowed mother of four. But despite good intentions they probably did. I'm sure I've done it plenty of times before.
This post is what I wanted to tell her, so I sent her a message, but I thought maybe someone else might need the reminder too.
My very best diet advice (from a fellow mother of four)
My suggestion is to NOT stress about tackling a diet/ health plan right now. Yep. Stop.
If you don't have time/energy, you don't have it and it's okay. Yes, better health is a worthy goal. I know everyone says "There's never a good time, you just have to decide to do it anyway!" but that's not entirely true. You know yourself, you might have more immediate concerns right now. So fine, take care of those like you already are. Do your thing!😉 Chances are you already know principles of good health, it's not like you will sabotage yourself because of misinformation. And then there's always the issue that weight is SO impacted by dozens of other aspects of the mind/body that it's difficult and potentially aimless to target that one sliver of a piece of our general well being. You can improve your health in myriads of other ways, it doesn't always HAVE to be a diet.
I really believe To Everything There Is A Season (Turn, turn, turn...you were thinking of that song, weren't you? It's amazing, I know. I'm like a mind reader.)
It's like when God created the earth, and at the end of each day He said that "it was good." We (maybe just me?) have the habit of looking at unfinished things and pointing out all that is missing, but God recognized the important matters at hand and the proper order of things, and truthfully declares it to be good, long before it's complete. He knows it will continue to get better, and He's not going to dwell on the lack of trees and fish when the matter at hand is whether or not the land and sea are divided. Everything in it's place over an allotted period. Line upon line, precept upon precept.
So what about when it IS time to do more? I think the best plan is to realistically think about your desire to improve your health and try to narrow your efforts to a specific way you can be working on it now, with what is available to you at the moment. You probably already have little zings of inspiration throughout the day, start with those. Personally I find prayer to be a helpful reality check, and a good way to receive specific inspiration that's anchored in love and encouragement instead of guilt and nitpicking. Go figure God being nicer to me than I am to myself. In my experience, when it's actually the right thing to focus on, you will be given the means to make small positive steps in the right direction.
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." <---- TRUE STORY. The All or Nothing mentality is the lie.
Okay so that was a long rant. I just recognize the sentiment, and wanted to send some support. You are doing just fine, don't guilt yourself that you're not doing everything all at once, you are doing plenty as I suspect you already know.
So, cliff-notes version:
Worthwhile desires= Yay!
Crippling, discouraging guilt over not being there right this second= Boo, hiss!
Do what you can, and what you feel good about, one day at a time, forget the rest. 😊