Being Kind to Myself
Monday, April 15, 2019
I have come to realize that I have not been my own champion in many things, which has been the trigger that sets me up for downward spirals time and time again.
I have received many sincere compliments over the course of my lifetime, but I have never held any of them to be true. In my mind they always were Purpose Driven- out of politeness or from someone who wanted to butter me up for something. Little did I know how damaging that could be to my self esteem! If you want someone to love you, you must start by loving yourself. I have heard that from time to time before, but it never really sunk in until I started this journey.
Yes, I have a wonderful support system of people who cheer me on, who inspire me and who lift me up when I am tired, encouraging me to drag myself out of bed and to the gym. Those people are not forgotten or sides-wept here by any means! I believe I have made this discovery because of them! In trying to figure out why they believe so much in my success, I found that I had been harboring potentially damaging dark thoughts of my NOT succeeding! Those voices that whisper into my ear late at night and try to convince me that "just a little more" of something can't hurt- it's easier to just DRIVE to get the mail, rather than walking around the building, what does it matter if I leave the gym a little early JUST THIS ONCE...
This last three weeks has been both easy and hard- easy because it is finally a change I want to make for the right reasons, and hard, because I found myself trying to sabotage the new healthy habits I am trying to embrace. Its so much easier to just revert back to my comfort zone. Why not sit back and watch TV like a lump all weekend, eating pizza and guzzling soda until i am filled with self-loathing? Finally I have said to myself that enough is enough!! Yes, I can still have pizza, but let's stop at one piece, drink my water and enjoy a few minutes on my fit board, and see how long I can wait before I really feel the craving for another piece. Yes, this was acceptable to both sides of my wrestling conscience. And I found that 2 small pieces was more than enough to satisfy me. AND I was still in my calorie count for the day! That pleasant surprise caused me to sit back and look at my choices over the years, the months and these last few weeks.
I realized that the harder I try to beat down that voice, or to ignore it, the louder it got. I needed to deal with it. And so, I started treating it like a child. A child who needs to be led to making wise decisions. Compromise was how I started. Pizza? No, you cannot sit down and eat the whole entire pizza. let's order a medium pizza to share with the family, and if you hit your step limit, you can have 2 pieces. You did? That's great! You ate healthy all day in anticipation of this treat, you made your steps, you deserve this little indulgence! No? Not to the step goal just yet, no worries, you have eaten healthy, and there is still time to get to the step goal- lets go to the gym and I know that we can get our steps in and still have time to enjoy that pizza! You want donuts for breakfast? Really? you now you are just going to be hungry for something else in a little while, and you will tired and grouchy long before lunch. How about a scrambled egg and turkey bacon- mmm- bacon! still want that donut? I didn't think so...I find that given choices between things I used to eat without thinking about them were a pitfall, so I really THINK about my food. Donuts really have no appeal anymore because I know how much lard goes into making them, and I already hate the heavy sugar they hold anyway. Fruit has become my secret weapon. Want something sweet? A nectarine with some cottage cheese sounds great- after my walk. I have 4 or 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in a tin under my desk at home. I FORGET they are even there! I prefer to grab a banana every time I stop for gas- a sweet fresh healthy snack that is always right there waiting for me- and keeping me out of the isles of the other less healthy options.
I realized I was not even giving myself the same common courtesy I give a stranger on the street, a smile and an occasional wave. How sad that I, such an awesome human being, was going unrecognized! I has started treating myself better and giving myself recognition. I am talking to myself in the mirror these days; "Wow! That top looks GREAT on you!", " Your butt looks great in those jeans!", "WOW- two good hair days in a row! " And today it was "Your face really looks really HAPPY today!"
I believe my body is now feeling my love, the love I truly feel for myself, and so it is responding in kind. I know there will still days I look down and don't like what I see, but I will still treat myself with love and kindness, not just criticism.
I am me. I am loved.