Always Searching For Flaws

by tessa8m on September 20, 2011

in Recovery,Serious Stuff

There is something I want to ask all of you… why is it that even when everything is going well…perhaps you have achieved some kind of accomplishment, or you have overcome a particular hurdle, life is simply good for once… why do we tend to focus on things that have the potential to bring us down? Why do we insist on finding the negatives in a situation?

Perhaps not everyone does this, and I commend you for that… but it’s something I do on a daily basis and you know what? I am pretty darn sick of it.

I am going to confess to something, I engage in negative self-talk all of the time. Everyday I wake up and manage to find something, both minor and major, that I have done wrong, or a certain flaw that needs to be pointed out. I even take the time to find both physical and mental-related issues that I feel must be changed-

I ate too much the night before so I really should cut back on breakfast.

Ahh I must get in at least 80 minutes of activity today at the gym because I only did 50 yesterday.

I am so stupid, why don’t I understand this material in this class?

What am I doing with my life, everyone is successful and on a path to achievement accept for me!

My legs definitely are larger today, I mean my damn thighs are practically touching!

Crap my skin and hair, they are just not working today, I am so ugly sometimes.

Nope, can’t have that bite of ice cream, I mean I just had a dessert yesterday for goodness sake!

My arms look flabby today, well that sucks, I guess I will be hitting up the gym extra hard tomorrow…

Honestly I could go on and on with these sort of thoughts that rush through my mind on a daily basis. For the most part, they are fairly minor but they all have the same underlying idea, I am bringing myself down in some way… I never look good enough, am not performing up to par, never achieving enough, always eating too much… etc. So why do I do this? Ha wow, I wish I knew the answer to that because I am pretty certain that daily ragging on myself has absolutely no benefits.

What is bringing me to write this post today is how this rather destructive behavior of mine reared its ugly head at a time when it was simply not appropriate too.

Yesterday I reflected on my race on Sunday, now I battled through a difficult 6 miles full of rather challenging, intense but fun obstacles. It was a fantastic experience and the fact that I won first overall female was the very best part. I personally felt fantastic during the race- powerful, bursting with energy and ready to take on whatever obstacle happened to get in my way. I was on a mission that day and fueled by,not only proper amounts of food, but the rather competitive side of me that had the goal of a win. My physical and mental drive allowed me to come out victorious and I truly feel I earned what I achieved.

After the race, a brief cool down and some refueling, I located my mom and was eager to see the pictures she had taken during the run. She did a great job and I was happy with the “fierceness” of the photos and the nice ones she captured of my friend and I. But then I saw one and immediately my two eyeballs were drawn to a particular spot on my body. My stomach.

This might seem like the most ridiculous thing to you but when I see this picture, all I can “see” is my stomach coming through that shirt. I don’t notice that I am looking quite happy with my friend, or my muscular legs that have taken me so far… no, I search for a flaw and I find it. For some reason it is my poor stomach that I tend to focus on. When I look in the mirror, at a picture, observe myself in a side view… my eyes dart to my belly- the part I claim is sticking out for all of the world to see.

**(Oh and I am SO NOT looking for compliments, reassurances or anything like that as far as this picture goes…. I want to make that clear!)

So let’s get this straight, after my body has allowed me to conquer 6 miles of trails and obstacles, provided me with the strength to not only finish the race but also to win first female, and after all I have put it through in the last several years… I point out such a minor “issue” on my body, and one that barely exists anyway. Umm really?!

In all honesty, I am getting pretty angry at myself for behaving this way. After all of this time, I still refuse to provide my body with the love it deserves. I have spent nearly half of my life attempting to change it, modify it in someway to please others and myself….hating my body and myself for this elusive state of perfection I could never quite reach.

For so long now I have sincerely believed that I don’t deserve compliments, attention, desserts, a break from exercise, love for myself… because I am overweight, not smart enough, have too big a bulge around my stomach, not friendly enough, blah blah blah. Why would someone want to talk or be with someone that has a bit of extra something-something around the middle, is way too tall, and too large, and dumb for her own good? But at least I had some ability to control what others though of me by scrutinizing every single morsel of food that went into my body.

I am sorry if it seems I am going in circles in this post but I know the “hatred” I display toward myself has played a part in the reasons for my disordered eating. I continue to maintain the mindset that I can do just a bit better, a tad more- with grades, work, my body, my achievements, my running, my workouts… but when is it ever enough? Sure, having goals that you have to work towards is great. When do I give myself the chance to enjoy the victories, when do I stop making goals that are simply unattainable? When do I embrace my flaws, personality, characteristics that make me unique?

I have got to change my attitude of myself if I am completely serious about achieving a peace of mind around food and my body. If I continue to focus on the negatives, or what more I can do, than I will never be happy, simple as that. Last year, I maintained the belief that if I lost just a bit more weight, just 2, 3, 4, 5 more pounds… then I would stop with my regime and get back to my “normal” self. If I could just get rid of those last few pounds, then I promised I would be fulfilled.

But what I can comprehend now is that if I had not been pulled back to sanity by my family, I would have never stopped losing until I reached a physically dangerous point. I would have continued finding a spot on my body that needed to have less “fat” on it, that had to be smaller, because anything larger was just plain gross.

On Sunday morning I will admit that I was getting ready for the race, I pulled up my shirt and “grabbed” at the flesh around my stomach, showing my mom in frustration what is accumulating there.  Then after the win, I saw this picture and right before my very eyes was evidence of the destructive “fat” that is around my belly, it’s out to get me, to ruin my life and make me more unhappy! I wanted to point out the “stomach” before anyone else had the chance to. Am I mother-truckin serious?! (sorry for the harsh language ;-) ) But I just don’t really understand why I think people care so much.

I realize now and even during the times I was looking for flaws, how absolutely ridiculous I was and still continue to act. I am making it a mission to find something wrong with me… and for what?! What the hell does this achieve? I maintain the thought that I am protecting myself from future hurt and pain by finding the things that are “wrong” with me before anyone else does.

As I said before, it’s time for a change. It’s time for me to stop looking for anything and everything that is “wrong” with me, and embrace the mind and body I have been blessed with. And seriously, SO WHAT if my thighs touch slightly, or my belly is not as flat as a board, or I am not as strong as others, not as smart in some subjects, not as creative, not as out-going… SO WHAT if I go up a jeans size, or eat more than I am “supposed” to, exercise less, gain a bit more weight… SO WHAT?! Well I will tell you one “so what” that will be a result of this, I will continue re-discovering myself and living the fulfilling life I deserve to, flaws and all.

It’s time for me to stop searching for everything that is physically and mentally “wrong” with me and enjoy the many parts of myself and opportunities that I have been blessed with. The only result of constant nit-picking and negative self-talk is one crappy life… at least for me. I can’t remember the last time that I have been truly happy with myself, but there is no time like the present to start. You will never have the body you want until you love the one you’ve got.

Do you find yourself contantly searching for something negative about yourself? Or does it more depend on the situation?

If you do engage in negative self-talk, I want to ask you plain and simple…. why do you? I personally have no good reason.

Tell me a part of yourself that you love! I truly love my muscular legs, they have taken me farther than I ever thought were possible :)

I hope everyone has a great day full of love for yourself :) Sorry to go all Barney on you but I think it’s necessary today.

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lenna September 20, 2011 at 6:18 am

Yep, I know what you´re talking about. I often look into the mirror and seeing my teeth, hair, skin etc. I think “Oh my, really? I look that terrible?” And I am always comparing myself with the “prettier” friends. But sometimes I wake up and just feel good and alright. Sometimes things go nice and easy and I am all happy and positive. There´s no reason for both of these states. Maybe it´s some kind of hormonal disbalance or what..
But today, I like my arms and my hands :)
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2 tessa8m September 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

Oh Lenna you are so beautiful and you are right, there is no reason for both of these states! Let’s try out best to feel confident each and everyday

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3 meg September 20, 2011 at 6:19 am

It sucks that we can’t see ourselves from someone else’s eyes. I often get “stuck” on how unproportional my upper and lower body are and how people must look at me and wonder what happened. Haha of course I have pointed this out to friends before and they stare at me like I have 5 heads and say they have never noticed that about me =) Whenever I am struggling with this I pray that God would help me to see myself through His eyes. He sees me (and you!) as strong, beautiful, compassionate and He has great plans for us for the future. We are perfectly made in His image and He wouldn’t have us any other way =)

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4 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups September 20, 2011 at 6:50 am

I think we all have a tendency to be our worse critic sometimes but you can’t let it undermine your accomplishments! Everytime you point out something negative about yourself, you need to point out something positive-like your strong legs, the fact that you enjoy meals, your strength. I am loving how my arms look as I get stronger!
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5 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I agree with Jessica’s tip to point out something positive about yourself.
If you catch yourself saying something negative or, if you can, even before you allow yourself to think negative thoughts, you should make a positive comment about yourself. Like
“I had an amazing 50 minute workout at the gym yesterday”
or
“I love that my legs are so strong and can help me run a sub 20 minute 5K”

Even if you have to force yourself to say these things and even if you don’t believe them you should engage in this practice of positive body talk. Fake it ’til you make it.

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6 tessa8m September 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

I really like this idea Jessica! Thank you for the advice pretty lady

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7 Emily September 20, 2011 at 6:58 am

Awe girl, you’re so beautiful! Inside and out.

I do negative self-talk way too much. I have no good reason at all. It’s really frustrating…I mean, why can’t we just love ourselves? Why can’ we wake up and me like “My stomach is hot” instead of “My stomach should go die.”

I like my legsss :). They’re tall, thin, and strong.
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8 Alexandra September 20, 2011 at 7:21 am

I talk negative to myself too much too. Especially now with classes starting, I feel like such a failure if I don’t grasp the information right off the bat. I’m sick of throwing myself under the bus though. I know I’m better than that, and you are too! You’re a beautiful person and you don’t deserve to listen to that dumb ED’s taunting voice. You keep on fighting, that ED doesn’t stand a chance! :D
Oh and I like my freckles and my arms :)
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9 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 20, 2011 at 7:28 am

I think everyone has negative days and talks down to themselves. Today I am loving my legs :)
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10 Allie September 20, 2011 at 7:47 am

Once again, I love your honesty and openness on your blog! I find myself talking negatively without even noticing-you know? I’ll just automatically say or think that I’m stupid if I get a bad grade on a test. The good thing about you is that you realize mistakes and you want to change! :)
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11 tessa8m September 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

Oh yes I do it all of the time too and don’t notice it… ugh just have to try and reverse it!

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12 Anna-Maria (www.pinkbarbells.com) September 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

What a great post!!! this was exactly what i needed!!! I talk negative to myself a lot and I dont know why. Especially the last couple of days. I wish I loved myself a bit more! i know that I deserve to be happy, ive been through a lot and have accomplished so many things so why do I feel like I am not good enough? I am seriously changing this TODAY!! from now i will be constantly observing my thoughts, whenever i think of something negative about myself i am going to write it done and try to see why i had that thought and if that thought is true!
x x x
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13 Sarah - Feeeding Brain and Body September 20, 2011 at 8:10 am

What a thought provoking post. That’s good you are determined to turn away from negative thoughts and focus on what you’ve been blessed with. It’s kind of like that song by Pink “I’m my own worse enemy”..old, but true. I think for me negative self talk was never a huge issue. Sure there were days when I wouldn’t particularly like something about myself, but I think my situation was a bit different. For me I would be proud of something I did like a math test, but then if I told my parents and they didn’t really congratulate me I would begin to have more negative thoughts like “I’m not good enough”. Same goes for physical attributes and such. It sounds a bit selfish being written down…

Thanks for such an amazing honest post :)
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14 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

Wow girl, what a powerful post! I think everyone can relate to this a bit, whether they had suffered from an ED or not. Thanks to the media and society’s standards, we’re all just engrained to think we have to achieve “perfection”. It puts way to much pressure on us!!!

And even though I consider myself recovered, I can still totally relate to bashing my body. Thanks to recovery, I’ve gained some MUCH needed weight, but I’m still not 100% comfortable with the extra fat around my middle and my thicker legs. But every time I start having negative thoughts, I remind myself how HEALTHY I look now and I immediately feel better. I find it helps SO much to concentrate on health rather than image.

And just to end this post with some positivity… I love my arms/shoulders. I love that they actually look muscular and strong now. :D
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15 Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense September 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

You bring up such great topics… so many people can relate to this struggle with negative self-talk, especially “perfectionistic” types of people… it’s a constant battle that I face. It really helps me when I replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Sounds simple but overtime it trains your brain to think a positive thought after beating yourself up. Negative thinking is such a waste of energy when you really think about it… wish there was a simple answer to this!! <3
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16 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health September 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

You are beautiful Tessa! I know what you mean though- it’s easy to notice your own flaws. I know that I do and I do engage in negative self-talk sometimes, but I’m really trying hard not to. Like you said, it’s pointless and in the end just makes you more upset with yourself- there is no reason for that. One thing I love about my body is the way my back and legs are defined when I “flex” them haha. :)
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17 Allie September 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

Great post! It is always so easy to see and focus on the negative, but imperfection is what makes each person who they are, and that is fabulous! That said, it’s just as easy to see thinking negatively as a flaw, and then get in a cycle of thinking negatively about thinking negatively. Does that make sense? So just as it’s important to accept flaws, it’s important to accept that we won’t always be happy with our flaws. Hmm… Easier said than done, of course–everyone gets caught is source-less negativity from time to time.

And I love my small boobs (used to be a feature I freaked out about negatively), that I’m small but muscular, and that I may not be the loveliest girl out there yet I am a-okay with almost never wearing makeup, because heck, it’s my face, I can’t see it and others can just take or leave it :D
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18 Emma September 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

I may be making this up, but it seems to me like our culture is very achievement/improvement oriented (capitalism, heyoo). There is a feeling that we always have to be getting better or working towards something new. While that’s all fine and well, it forces us to look for flaws where we otherwise might not see them.

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19 Kat September 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

oh gosh this is TOTALLY me. I find the negative in EVERY situtation. My nickname is “eeyore” I kid you not!! Its not that I WANT to be a downer, it just is what comes naturally (hence the eating disorder lol)
Great post AS ALWAYS girl
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20 Nikki September 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

Oh girl, you hit the nail on the head with this one. I love you for your honesty because I think those thoughts every day and have never been able to say them. I put myself down all of the time…for no reason whatsoever! Being upset only makes me eat more, and for a girl trying to lose a few pounds, that’s not going to help at all!!! I just don’t understand why I do it, and I know that I do, but I still can’t stop! I think my favorite part of myself is my shoulders…they are strong and powerful and muscular!
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21 CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com September 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

I am a huge negative self-talker. It pretty much never stops. Im not good enough unless I am the best, I am not smart enough unless i get straight a+, Im fat unless i am so skinny they hospitalize me….this is silly and totally black and white thinking but i dont know how to change either. its how ive been forever and im still searching for things to feel good about. its my fear of rejection, abandonement, being hurt, etc…like you said, its easier to find things about yourself than have someone else find the flaws for you.
but tessa, you are beautiful inside and out. you have a good heart, many talents, and are a fabulous bl-end. please please please read that tomorrow morning if you have to.
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22 Shannon September 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

This is a great post!!
For me, it depends on the situation.. If Im in a bad mood ot upset about something I seem to take it out on my body with negative self talk. I’m learning to control it though and to replace the negative thoughts with postive ones.
I love that Im really tall, have long legs and long hair :D
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23 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 20, 2011 at 10:45 am

I definitely have my days when I engage in negative self talk more than I should. It’s usually days after I don’t eat the best or I don’t get my workout in (which obviously means it’s all mental!).
I love my legs. Sometimes I’m a bit too critical of them, but they are strong and athletic and take quite a beating each day from running, walking, and standing.
And you should know, Tessa, that you’re beautiful!!
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24 Victoria (District Chocoholic) September 20, 2011 at 10:58 am

I can definitely relate to this – it’s very hard to believe anything good about myself, and I have a much easier time accepting criticism (because I believe it) than compliments (because it is obviously a lie).
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25 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! September 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

I know I’m always comparing – and always yelling at myself to stop. But you’re so right, it’s not so easily done. I do this with everything from appearance & weight to intelligence and talent. I do it to the point where now I almost feel bad when I compliment myself, or when someone else praises me for anything. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been a confident, outgoing person – and I have no reason not to be. I yell at myself (in the positive way!) every day to knock it off. I’m hoping that one day it will stick!
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26 Amy B @ Second City Randomness September 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

The negative things just always seem so much easier to point out, don’t they? I do it often to myself. But have also come to a “calmness” about it. I hit that “doi” moment where I realized I would spend the rest of my life obsessing and not enjoying anything. Definitely not a way to live.

Pass the cookies please… :)
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27 Haley Q September 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I have the exact same issue-like when things are going great, I think “OKAY this good cannot last forever, so I might as well focus on the negative before it hits me hard” which is sooo dumb. We ARE allowed to go through good seasons in life without anything bringing us down!
Negative talk brings down everyone every day in different ways. It helps if you can recognize the lies that you’re believing and being like you know what…I can choose to believe and live in that lie or I can reject it and move forward without it harming me. Every day is hard, but if you get into the habit of positive self-talk then that catches on more than the negative!
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28 Amy September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Once again, you’ve written a poignant response that is all too familiar for many young women, especially those with a history of disordered eating! I ask myself those questions sometimes as well; I’ve moved on from the body parts to my self-worth though :/ For instance, everything is going wonderfully right now- paid internship, living with 4 great girlfriends, classes aren’t too hard…yet in my down moments I sometimes wallow in the past and regret mistakes/choices/everything! Ugh.

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29 Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles September 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm

It’s so fantastic that you’re able to recognize your destructive behavior and take steps to correct it. I think that I’m guilty of finding flaws in myself too, though I’m pretty happy with where I am with my body right now. I do know that I am guilty of trying to keep it that way, though, by knowing exactly what and how much I put into my body and I get bent out of shape if I don’t get to do that (eating out, cooking with other people) and it’s a little troubling. Good luck in your journey to positive self-talk!
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30 Katie September 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

You are beautiful! We all have flaws, that what makes us unique!

I think we all succumb to negative self talk, but remember, just love who u are and love everything about yourself, just being alive and healthy is what matters to me the most! Xoxo
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31 Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I think it’s all part of our personalities and who we are! I think we are self-destructive b/c of the media, b/c of Facebook, b/c of movies, the list goes on and on…we compare ourselves to every other girl in the world. It’s SO hard not to! but at the same time, when I try, I truly can appreciate the good qualities in myself. It always helps me to remember that I don’t want to be anyone else—I want to be the best me I can be—and that includes enjoying life! If that means a yummy meal out, I eat it, don’t dwell on it, and make sure to eat healthy tomorrow. Happiness has SO many facets, I’d rather focus on finding them than on what I think is “negative” about myself!

As always—your posts are so honest and engaging. I can see you’re working hard girl. And I know you aren’t looking for reassurance. But the first thing my eyes went to in this post was your muscular legs! I wish mine looked like that—for real!
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32 sarah@spinach and spice September 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Negative self talk is the downfall for everyone, especially girls I think. Really, people love us for who we are though.. not the “pudge” we have here, or “dimples” we have there. It’s not what they’re worrying about! People that truly love and care about us like us for our personalities, thoughts, dreams, love, etc. Cliche, I know, but true! I’m becoming a lot better with negative self talk, especially in this past week or two, but it’s definitely a struggle still! Keep your head high girl, you are beautiful and we love you for you! And remember, food and appearance do not make an entire life. There is personality and brains behind that bod! Your healthy and fit.. that’s more than most people can say!
Head up girl :)
Sarah
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33 Kiah September 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I was just talking with my students (freshman) about positive self-talk, and one girl brought up looking in the mirror and picking out flaws. She said something like “there’s not a girl in the universe who can’t relate.” It was a somewhat depressing thought, but then we talked about techniques for changing. It is so simple, but I try and notice one thing I love about myself every morning (in the mirror). Today it was my eyebrows :-)
P.S. You look HAWT in that pic! Get it, gurl :-)
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34 Chels September 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Last May I ran a race with my mom and was so pumped to post the pictures on my blog, when I saw my legs…they looked so fat in my eyes! Now, I know it was a really bad picture of us, but I felt like a pig. I too am someone who lives off the negitive and tends to ignore the positive. I need to work on the whole turning a negitive into a positive. I also do to much of comparing myself to others, “I wish I looked that skinny,” or “I wish I could run that much and not feel tired.” Like you said, we need to appreciate the strength that our body has when we are healthy. Sometimes I find myself asking “Well I don’t feel so tired and like crap so I must not be working hard enough…” Crazy how my mind can work like this!!
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35 Sweet and Savvy September 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Tessa, this is a wonderful post! I find myself relating to you so much it is ridiculous. I admire the fact that you are so open with all of your feelings, emotions, and insecurities. I hope you really that this seriously makes you a really amazing and strong person!

I engage in negative self talk WAY too much. And like you, I really have no good reason. At all. It just happens. It is something that I have tried to change, and some days, I succeed at loving myself (more), but other days, it is unbearable and I feel as if I cannot do anything.

My mom emailed me this link today that I think you’d enjoy reading. :) I am planning on sharing it on my blog sometime in the next couple days and talking about it a bit. It is short, and a great article. http://www.thedailymuse.com/lessons-to-my-younger-self-2/joyce-kulhawik-love-yourself%E2%80%94powerfully/
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36 Meredith @ Food, Shoes, and Booze September 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I think so many girls look in the mirror and just think negative thoughts and I wish there were an easy way to change that! I have days where I see something I don’t like and it’s frustrating… other days is the opposite! You are a beautiful woman inside and out and I love reading your posts :)
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37 Sarah September 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Ugh, I so needed this post today. I keep finding something negative, maybe my pants feel tight. Maybe I’m stressed out at work and assume it’s because I’m stupid and don’t get it. And so on. I constantly negative self-talk and say to myself that people don’t like me, are mad at me, think I’m dumb/ugly/etc. It’s not Ok, and it’s a horrible way to think! Thank you for reminding me that negative self-talk is “self-talk” and if I can say it to myself, I can certainly find a way to STOP saying it!!
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38 Tara September 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I can so relate!! I know you aren’t searching for compliments, but I think you’re gorgeous :) anyway, I was thinking about this when I see other girls in the hallway. I never focus on their flaws and I see beauty more often in girls that are definitely not as skinny as I am. I don’t know why I feel this need to try and be skinny – it clearly doesn’t matter to what I think about anyone else, but I measure myself by it. Our brains are so confusing and we always focus on the negative in ourselves. It’s so important to love ourselves and not focus on the things we perceive as negative because there is so much more positive to every person!
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39 Leila @ Spinach and Skittles September 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Ugggh negative self talk. Yep, I’m right there with ya! I try really hard NOT to do it, but it always sneaks back in. Lately my theme has been revolving around me not being good enough/fast enough/organized enough with work. Sigh. And the belly – that is my main negative focus too. Spanx help me feel better though ;)
Hmmm what do I love about myself? My sarcastic nature, creativity in the kitchen and my emerald eyes :)
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40 Rachel September 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

great post- as always! you’re such a fighter and an inspiration to me, and truly an amazing support. you encourage me to keep fighting and you’ve really shown me that perseverance gets you places- places that are INFINITELY better than anywhere with ED. i know it’s hard to let go, but you can do it. some times you gotta take that language you’re putting on yourself, and dump it all on ED. abuse someone else for a chance, and he’s been abusing you for too long. i feel the same about always searching for flaws and dwelling on what i perceive as such strong negatives that most people probably don’t notice or care much about. aka the way my stomach feels in the pair of sweats i’m wearing… oy. recovery is such a long, winding road. but it’s ultimately a beautiful and worthy one- just like you!
Rachel recently posted..forward motion

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41 Christina September 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm

This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s something that helps me. I not only struggle with having negative thoughts about myself, but I always used to compare myself to others by either thinking “well thank god i look better than that person!” or wishing i looked more like another person. I believe in karma, that what you put out into the world will come back to you. So I decided that if I was going to audit someone else’s appearance, it had to be positive! If I saw a girl who was bigger than me, my initial thought would be “well i’m thinner than her!” but i catch myself now and look for something beautiful about her that has nothing to do with comparing it to myself. For some strange reason, this helps me feel better about myself! Looking for the good (albeit superficial good) in others has helped me try and see good physical qualities within myself!
<3
Christina recently posted..Biggest Loser.

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42 Lindsay@bikingbeforebed September 21, 2011 at 12:10 am

You are always your own worst critic. It happens to the best of us. Those little voices in your head just won’t stay quiet sometimes. But its how you deal with the voices is what counts. Its learning to ignore them and not let them run your life. Its posting a picture of yourself that you don’t find flattering for the world to see. Its eating that bowl of ice cream with your friends even though they are screaming at you to stop. Its learning to quiet the voices and really experience life. And you do have amazing muscular legs.
Lindsay@bikingbeforebed recently posted..Rita’s Water Ice Blues

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43 Isabelle September 21, 2011 at 6:56 am

I no longer engage in negative self talk in any way. In the past I used negative self talk as a means to motivate myself to lose weight.
I love my toned legs :)
Isabelle recently posted..Things That Make Me Happy

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44 tessa8m September 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

Woo you go Isabelle, I need to adopt your attitude girl :)

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45 Natalie @ will jog for food September 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

You are beautiful!!!

If I were worried about my thighs touching, I’d be depressed everyday, haha.
Natalie @ will jog for food recently posted..Food Tours Rock

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46 Kate @ Chasing It September 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

First, I know you aren’t looking for compliments on the picture, but I have to tell you that I saw it before I read what YOU were looking at, and the first thing I thought was “damn, you can see her ABS through her shirt, that’s awesome!!!”

I do the negative self-talk thing too. “I weight 106 today?? I was 103 yesterday! I really need to stop sticking my finger in the peanut butter jar!”…ok kate, 3 pounds in a day? that would be water, silly….and things like “I failed at my workout yesterday. I have to do double today”…even when the failed workout was due to having a virus and I should have been resting!

I’m getting better with putting myself down…but it takes 1. conscious effort and 2. help from others. My mom will tell me, “Ok, you are not allowed to be mean to yourself today.” and I have to consciously decide to accept her challenge. It’s a process, and it’s not going to happen overnight…but it sounds like you’ve already made the conscious decision to change – maybe getting your friends and family behind you will get you there faster :)

I also don’t have a good reason to talk negatively to myself – but I actually make it a point to write down three things I love about myself every day – one physical, one personal quality, and one mental ability. So, one part of my body I love is my abs! I work really hard on my core – not only do my abs help me stay strong and get through running workouts, but I can proudly sport a bikini or a sports bra! lol.

OH and CONGRATS ON THE RACE!!!! first overall woman? you are a BADA$$!! Definitely someone for other runners to look up to :)
Kate @ Chasing It recently posted..Going Nuts.

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47 tessa8m September 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

Aww Kate your comment made me smile, thank you for making me feel pretty hehe :)
My mom helps me out so so much too and I am so glad yours does as well! I never have a good reason to talk negatively either, ever! It just makes me feel terrible… I know a bit of self-motivation talk is good for you, but the key is to not make it MEAN

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48 Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) September 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

What a wonderful post as always! :) It’s so true and something I think many people struggle with. We should learn to love and embrace everything about ourselves because it’s what makes us who we are :) This may sound strange, but at night, I often look at myself in the mirror and then give myself a big hug to tell my body that I love it! You should try it – it really makes me feel amazing about myself! :)

<3 <3

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49 B n B September 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

What a great post. I am totally with you on all counts – especially the tummy…:( And you do NOT have a tummy! That is NORMAL! Women are supposed to look like that. Normal…sheesh. Darn society and their “rules”.

Also – I LOVE your new site design!
B n B recently posted..Who Do You Listen To?

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50 Errign September 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

First things first whether you’re looking for compliments of now, girlfriend, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL inside & out. That’s not really even a compliment – just the truth. I love how inspiring and honest you are, and the sweet comments you leave on everyone’s blogs. Tessa, you rock!

I think everyone can have a tendency to negative self-talk. I used to, until I made a conscientious decision to STOP. I used to stop my thoughts part way through and change them. I walk around my apartment in various states of undress and stop to look into the mirror. My body is strong. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

I love my red hair, my muscular legs and the fact that I’m getting arm muscle definition (barely!).
Errign recently posted..Loving & Fruit Feast.

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51 Andrea @ Vegvacious September 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I think you’d be shocked at how many people engage in negative self-talk. Usually I feel pretty good about myself. The times that I notice I feel more self-conscious or talk negatively to myself is when I’m out with others who I compare myself to. I don’t know why I do this and it’s hard to stop!! I try to develop new habits where I say positive affirmations to myself every morning. Eventually it becomes a habit and it truly is what you believe to be true!

By the way, you’re a smart, gorgeous, strong woman — believe it girl because it’s true :-D
Andrea @ Vegvacious recently posted..Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

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52 Sam September 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm

i can relate 100%!! thank you for your honest posts :)

and for the record – you are so gorgeous it’s insane! i know you said you weren’t looking for compliments, but i’m just stating a fact :)
Sam recently posted..Herbes de Provence chicken

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53 Jessica @ rerunrunning September 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I do crap just like this all the time. It drives my husband crazy… And I know it’s not an uplifting or attractive quality. I seriously need to work on it… And to learn to love and accept compliments rather than always shooting them down and dismissing them.
I like my butt. I really do. :) I guess I’ll start there and think positive and block out all that negative self-talk.
Jessica @ rerunrunning recently posted..Fun and Freaky Finds

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54 Cecily @ rerunrunning.com September 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I think everyone has some negative self talk sometimes. It is sad. I am so grateful for a healthy, functioning body, but I definitely catch myself finding things wrong with it, too. Thanks for a great post on reminding me why I should love what I’ve got!
Cecily @ rerunrunning.com recently posted..Fun and Freaky Finds

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55 AJohnson September 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

this spot was perfect timing and i honestly wasnt able to respond until today. right before reading this I was sitting in front of my mirror bawling my eyes out about how “fat” i was. I could not for the life of me find a single thing about my body I even remotely liked and this was my breaking point. At this exact moment my other half, best friend at rival school, texted me saying she hates her body and binged all day and needed to purge all day tomorrow. I immediately was able to talk her down from the edge and made her promise she would love herself atleast as half as much as I love her. We spent hours talking about negative talk, how to stop it, and how to recognize it. But what amazed us the most was how we would never ever let anyone say the things we say about ourselves about another person. The amount of respect and love I have for myself is disheartening. I know when I look at your blog, I think the same thing that I think with my best friend, how dare you put yourself down like that. Don’t you realize your beauty and greatness? But the truth is we have our own standards for ourselves and ED had made these standards unattainable crazy ones. He also blurs it.

While I can’t stop myself from hating my body on a daily basis, I can help you. At this point in my recovery I am unsure of how else to fix my low self-esteem but to let others love me the way I cant at times. I hope you let the whole blog community support you, fight Ed and negative talk for you, and prove to you that you are flawless because you are you.
AJohnson recently posted..Seminole Forever

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56 Sonia (the Mexigarian) September 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

My brain doesn’t stop the constant chatter. Sometimes it’s good sometimes bad. I speak aloud a lot too without realizing it and tend to find those words are negative and hateful towards myself. Literally, I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflection somewhere and without thinking my lips say “i hate you”. I know the power of the word, thought and prayer. to constantly barrage my body and mind with such negative phrases and tones, is unhealthy not only for my body, but mind and spirit as well. We’re our own worst enemy and it sucks like heck when you can’t escape it. When I realize I say something nasty about myself, I quickly try to follow it up with a positive thought, to push out the negativity from my being. Work in progress for sure.
Sonia (the Mexigarian) recently posted..Call me Rainbow Brite

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57 Faith @ For the Health of It September 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

i feel you – I really do. I think this is one of those topics that every woman can relate to because even though we know how detrimental it is, it’s so hard to stop. It’s hard to always love what we see in the mirror (and heck, even the non-physical things too) but over time, with lots of affirmation, it gets easier to appreciate who we are. As hard as it is to push out the negative thoughts, it’s so important to replace them with positive ones. I try to focus on my favorite aspects when I’m feeling down on myself.

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58 tessa8m September 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I know how important it is, must learn to do this! Focusing on favorite aspects is such a good and simple idea and one I know I can benefit from

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59 Carolina @ Peas in a Blog September 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I know all to well what you’re talking about, we are truly our own worst critic. I do my best to focus on the positives & try to block out the negatives, because they will get the best of you otherwise. Great post!
Carolina @ Peas in a Blog recently posted..Candle 79.

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60 tessa8m September 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Thank you Carolina. And you raise a good point, we are our own worst critic… acknowledging this is the first step at least!

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61 Tucker September 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Great post Tessa! I am going to compliment 5 people this weekend.

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62 Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Tessa- you are such a beautiful person, inside and out. I know it’s hard to stop the insults, but they make you so much more miserable. When you go to insult yourelf, stop and think “is this going to make my day any better? Why am I insulting myself?” Because you’re right, you’ll never have the body you want until you love the one you have.
<3
Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter recently posted..im a criminal

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63 Caitlin September 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Thank you so much for your post. I rarely comment on blogs–especially “healthy living” blogs–but your entire blog is such a breath of fresh air. It is saddening the way we mentally beat ourselves up–I can totally relate to this post. But I also just felt the need to let you know how much I sincerally appreciate the way you have faced your problems with eating and excercising with such courage and honesty. I love that you are facing things head on and sharing your thoughts and struggles with us as you go.
Thanks again for your writing–please keep it up!

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64 tessa8m September 25, 2011 at 8:46 am

Hi Caitlin! Thank YOU for writing such sweet words to me. I try to be as honest as I can be on my blog because I don’t see the point of trying to hide what is constantly on my mind. Grr it’s soo annoying sometimes, all of this eating BS, but I really feel like I am working through it!

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65 Hillary {Nutrition Nut on the Run} September 26, 2011 at 2:21 am

This REALLY hit home. Thanks, Tessa – just the reminder I needed before I start a new week :)

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