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.