Picture of lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

My Toddler, Myself

If you are visiting Vytal Living’s website, then I assume you want better for yourself. You are at least curious about living a healthier life. You may have the desire for more energy, to lose weight, or to manage your chronic illness. Oh, if only curiosity and desire were enough to change our lives for the better.

Curiosity and desire will start you down your path. I am happy you are here. Congratulations! You have taken the first step to living a healthier life. I hope that you will read some information that resonates with you. Perhaps you will even be moved to schedule a consultation. Since you are now, gather some information, create a plan, and take the first steps toward meaningful change in your life. These first steps can be fun and even seem easy because you are excited about your change. You are energized by adrenaline right now. There will come a time, though, when the excitement of change will wane. You will be forced to choose between your desire for health and the comfort of your bad habits. If your desire to change is not strong enough, you will succumb to the siren call of your bad habits. You must have a stronger foundation that includes commitment and discipline. You must remind yourself daily that you are a priority. That means giving your body what it needs to be healthy, not what it wants.
Our bodies are intuitive, but sometimes they act like toddlers. Sometimes they throw tantrums and whine and pout until they get what they want. The first step to combat this is to acknowledge that we are complex, multi-faceted individuals who are more than the toddler. We are the wise parent who knows what is best for us. The toddler is the one who wants instant gratification. The toddler says, “I don’t want to get up” when it is time to journal or exercise. The toddler says, “I don’t want to eat that,” when we choose a healthy food, or “I want more” when we indulge in snacks. The toddler says, “this is hard” when we step outside our comfort zone and do something new. This is your chance to “be the parent”

We must learn to be patient with our inner toddler. She is not going anywhere. No matter how long you have practiced healthy living, your toddler is going to continue showing up, sometimes in places that you do not expect. It is okay. Listen to the toddler. Acknowledge that her wants are valid – it is really warm and comfortable in this bed. Then, put your parent hat on and enforce the rules. Remind the toddler that even though she does not want to get up to exercise right now, that she will feel so much better afterward. Her mood will improve. She will have more energy. She will be more likely to meet her dietary goals when she starts the day in a positive way. She will be proving to herself that she can commit to something and stick with it.

Discipline is foregoing what is in front of you right now for a reward in the future. Committing to our health and investing in our future requires discipline. We only have one body. The way it functions and how long it lasts all depends on how we treat it. Giving into your inner toddler occasionally will not cause long-term health sequela. We are all human. We cannot be perfect all the time. But if you continue to give into your toddler over and over again, she will become more persistent. The toddler learns that if she screams loud enough and long enough, she will get her way and side-track your journey for a healthier you. For a while, your body may be able to compensate for the abuse, and the health effects may not be immediately obvious. They will catch up to you, though, in the form of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or cancer. We cannot give into guilty pleasures now and not pay for it in the future.
If you have struggled to commit to health in the past, then have a heart-to-heart conversation with your inner toddler. What were the challenges you faced? Were you trying to do too much too soon? Were you asking your toddler to do things she was not ready for yet? Did you provide positive reinforcement to your toddler for good behavior, or did you just try to punish her when she was bad?
Parenting children takes grace and patience. It requires a balance between allowing the child autonomy while still maintaining routine and boundaries. Dealing with ourselves is just the same. Allow yourself grace when you make a mistake. Be patient when things do not come easily. Allow yourself autonomy to find foods and activities that you enjoy while still maintaining the routine of daily movement and healthy eating.

What do you want? What are you willing to commit to? How will you reward yourself when you meet your goal? What will you say to your toddler when she shows up, because she will show up?
Whatever your goals are, I can help you break free from the control your toddler has, and get to the root cause of your issue. Changing a lifetime of bad habits can be hard. Your toddler has been trained well. It is time to take back your life and give yourself the greatest gift of all – the gift of health and longevity. Treat yourself with the same love, patience, and grace you would show a child.

You deserve it.

You are worth it.

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