Warning: I’ma get a little deep for a minute or two, so if you aren’t the touch-feely type, click away! Won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t want to hear me talk about my feelings. 🙂
While searching for emotional eating resources, I stumbled upon the Inside Out Weight Loss podcast. Does everyone know about this and I’m just way late to the party?? I started listening to the podcast from the beginning ( I think it started way back in 2008 so I have a lot to catch up on!) and the latest podcast (that I listened to anyway) was about accepting ourselves as-is and why we might object to that. One of the questions posed was something along the lines of “What is the positive intent of objecting to accepting yourself as you are right now?” In laymen terms, why are you so freaking hard on yourself about accepting yourself???
I have had this question directed at me several times when talking with others about my weight loss. I’ve often heard the following from friends and coaches when I recount my perceived faults:
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
- You are being too hard on yourself
- Give yourself some credit
- Cut yourself some slack
It never really occurred to me that I was being hard on myself, until I heard this from several different people in different times of my life (but lately and especially about weight loss). Now, let me clarify here that I am NOT a Type A personality at all. I am as far from being an overachiever as a bowling ball is from being an apple. I am the Queen of Good Enough and it suits me just fine. So I needed to stop and think…am I too hard on myself when it comes to my weight loss? And if so, why?
The question asked in the podcast intrigued me enough that I spent a few minutes really thinking about it and this is what I came up with (I actually wrote this down in a notebook):
I know that good things can happen if I put forth a lot of effort. When I make a REAL, CONCENTRATED effort, great things happen for me. If things aren’t happening for me, then I must not be making enough of an effort, therefore I feel like I need to expect more of myself. Since I am still very overweight, I must not be putting forth enough effort, so only when I’m losing weight do I feel that I am meeting my own expectations. I think that in my mind being overweight = not trying hard enough. And I just can’t accept myself the way that I am because I haven’t put in the work…I don’t deserve to feel okay with the body I have now.
Of course, this was not really a conscious thought I had, but the more deeply I dug, this is what came up and it makes sense to me in a way. And so now I’m thinking…well, is this just a limiting belief I have about myself? Just because I’m thinking all of this, does that make it true (what’s that quote about “don’t always believe the things you think”?) What if I could be okay with my body without putting in any effort at all? Is that even possible? I don’t know.
I don’t like it that I put conditions on myself to be acceptable: ONLY when I’m thin will I be okay; ONLY when I’ve worked super duper hard, will I be worthy; ONLY will I be acceptable to myself and everyone around me when I lose this excess weight. Maybe it’s these very conditions that have been holding me back. Maybe carrying around these conditions is the reason I feel that losing weight is like running through mud.
Maybe if I could figure out how to get rid of these prerequisites to acceptance, my weight loss would pick up pace?
I don’t have any answers yet. I’m thinking through this as I type, but if I figure it out, I’ll let ya know.
Now let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya, okay? 😉