Let's talk about self-care for a minute.\r\n\r\nHow well do you care for yourself? Do you have any nagging injuries you are putting off going to the doctor about? Have you had your mid-life colonoscopy? What about your annual medical check-up? And let's talk about your self-image. Do you feel fat? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror?\r\n\r\nA lot of these answers, when I check-in with myself, give me a clue to how I'm feeling about myself at the moment. When we get away from self-care and into something else (ambition, overwork, overwhelm, over-busy) we begin to take things like our bodies for granted.\r\nMy self-care practices:\r\n\r\n \tGetting enough sleep (I laugh at myself when my iPhone tells me to start preparing for bed at 9:15. That's a 45-minute warning before I'd like to be in bed at 10:00.)\r\n \tDrinking enough clean (purified) water\r\n \tEating better food (one less trip to McDonald's for an egg McMuffin)\r\n \tExercising almost daily (at least a walk a day, but I try and get on the tennis court three times a week in addition to my walking schedule, to get the vigorous part of the exercise in)\r\n \tLoving my body just as it is (sure, I'm a bit heavier than I was a year ago. So what. I feel a bit more pride about my body when I'm fitter, okay, so move in that direction by doing 1 - 3)\r\n \tGetting regular medical and mental checkups (You need a support team, you can't do it alone, or exclusively with your partner)\r\n \tI'd love to add having a loving relationship, but that's not where I'm at right now, and I'm loving myself anyway\r\n\r\nWhen I am out of balance in any of these areas, I try and notice how it is making me feel, both physically and mentally. When I don't eat right I notice I need more coffee during the day to keep my energy and blood sugar levels at an acceptable\u00a0level. When I don't get enough sleep, well, I'm cranky, impatient, and more prone to frustration with the mundane aspects of life that we all have to deal with, like paying bills or attending to a speeding ticket.\r\n\r\nOne of my long-term self-neglect issues has been a toe with nail fungus. My ex-wife used to remark, while we were still married, "Why don't you go get that taken care of?" What a came to realize, is I was neglecting the care of my body is a very subtle way. Sure, no one, other than my family, really saw my toe unless I was swimming. And, more than likely, the small amount of fungus was not taxing my immune system very much. BUT... The real "ah ha" moment was when I considered my approach should the same issue come up for one of my kids. Of course, we would go to a doctor, get on whatever meds were required to eliminate the fungus, and there would be no hesitation about it. So what about my own body was not as precious?\r\n\r\nHow well are you taking care of yourself? How much love can you afford to give yourself, right now, in your exact state? If you're a bit overweight, well, listen to that information. Do you feel better when your pants are a bit looser? Is it a bit easier to get in and out of the car? For me, this has been one of my on-going love-hate issues. But I'm transforming that as well.\r\n\r\nFitter is definitely healthier. But a bit overweight is not a huge health risk at my age. (Maybe at any age, I am not a medical doctor.) It's how I feel in my body. How does my body perform on the tennis court when I'm a tad more agile? And if losing a few more pounds becomes part of my agenda going forward, how can I use self-care to guide me, rather than beating myself up, or shaming myself into a weight loss program?\r\n\r\nI am not on a diet. But I am redirecting some of my unhealthy habits back towards habits that support my long-term goal of being a more competitive tennis player. Until I'm in my 90's! Here's what I am doing.\r\n\r\n \tParking in the outside parking spaces wherever I go and walking\r\n \tGoing to the grocery store an staying "on the list" and not wandering into the ice cream or chip section\r\n \tSkipping restaurants whenever practical and eating at home\r\n \tPaying attention to why I'm eating (am I hungry, bored, sad, anxious)\r\n \tMaking sure I have healthy snacks around my house (bananas, high-protein\/low-sugar fitness bars, raw or lightly salted organic nuts)\r\n \tAnd the most important one: loving myself and my body just as I AM TODAY, and starting my healthy plans from there\r\n\r\nYou can't be healthy and hate your body. You could try shaming yourself into eating less, but I find this habit is not helpful. And contributes to depression.\r\n\r\nI am just where I need to be. I can make better choices when I have a choice. It is important that I plan ahead for my food, exercise, and sleep. It is up to me to be healthier, fitter, and adequately rested.\r\n\r\nAlways Love,\r\n\r\nJohn McElhenney\u00a0\u2013\u00a0life coach austin texas\r\nFacebook\u00a0 |\u00a0Instagram\u00a0|\u00a0Pinterest\u00a0|\u00a0 @wholeparent\r\n\r\nAs a certified\u00a0life coach, I\u2019ve been helping men and women find fulfilling life after divorce. If you\u2019d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating\/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free.\u00a0LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.\r\n\r\nback to Dating After Divorce\r\n\r\n \tCan You Love Yourself As Much As You Desire Someone Else?\r\n \tFinding Yourself Along the Path While Seeking a Relationship\r\n \tFour Ideas About Dating with Mindfulness: Listening for Signals\r\n \tFour Levels of Attraction: Hierarchy of Relationship Needs\r\n \tSexual Hunger: How Friends with Benefits Became a Lie for Me\r\n \tOnline Dating Adventure: What Is Your Quest?\r\n\r\nPost note: I wrote this at my favorite restaurant having my favorite breakfast, migas.