If you live in New England this winter, it has been tough! Not that I am ever one to be exuding with self-esteem, but these winter blues have knocked it out of me.
I completed my first half marathon in October, and that was after three sprint triathlons over the summer. It has been downhill since that half marathon.
I decided it would be good to take a break from excessive training and just relax. The problem probably started because I didn’t adjust my calorie intake from the racing season, so the plumping began in the fall and is lasting throughout the winter. I don’t eat terribly, but I am just the type of person that needs to be careful..or else!
Well, “or else” is here. What I have realized is that I am now obsessing over the weight gain. Negative self-talk is at an all time high and when I look in the mirror, particularly before or after a shower, I am disgusted at what I see. Rationally, I know that I am supposed to love me and say nice things to myself, but it’s just not happening. What I need is a fairy godmother with her magic wand to come and take all of my excess weight away.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. When I was a teenager through the age of 21, I struggled with my weight and went up and down at least 10-15 pounds per year. This is the first time, not including my pregnancies of course, that it has gotten out of hand since that time.
I am pretty confident that I am not alone in this struggle. And it’s not so much the weight gain as it is the constant mental torment I put myself through about how I look. Even if being “voluptuous” was “in” again, I don’t really feel it would change much. In fact, I can’t think of a time in my life EVER that I wasn’t pounding myself for some physical flaw.
Losing the weight is easier than losing the self-deprecation. That has been an ongoing battle ever since I can remember. I most certainly do not want people feeling bad for me. That is not the purpose of this blog. Recently someone in my life found out their teenager has an eating disorder. This is what scares me.
I’ve gotten through three decades tormenting myself on the inside, but so far, it hasn’t effected my health or the health of my children. I am so used to talking negatively about me, I am oblivious and don’t even realize I am doing it. Do I want my kids growing up feeling this way? It makes me sad to think of two beautiful children hating themselves.
Just this past weekend I kept making comments about how I was so heavy I was breaking through the snow. My husband had to make me aware of what I was doing! I also have a very difficult time accepting a compliment. It takes every thread of my being to say thank you without verbally dismissing it.
If you or some you know treats themselves this way, these are the tools that I have used to become a more positive person:
This always makes me laugh and is so relatable to how I feel:
1. Self affirmations – Even though it seems impossible, looking at yourself in the mirror and saying nice things, just like Stuart, can be helpful and over time will definitely start to make you feel better. It does take repetition and commitment in order to work.
2. Counseling – Seeing a therapist can be very helpful as well. On my website, I have a list of local therapists that I know and trust.
3. Meditation – there are so many ways to meditate. You really have to explore and find what works for you.
4. Hypnosis – I’ve tried it a few times. Going back to it again. The local person I recommend is Lois Hermann
5. Exercise – It has been proven that regular exercise can improve your mood, and of course help with a weight issue. At least 3 times a week is best. Personally, I love weight training, yoga, swimming, and dancing. For recommendations of local places, click here.
6. Surround yourself with positive people! If you and your friends are one-upping each other on how “FAT” you are, chances are neither one of you are going to feel any better. To quote the Christian Evangelist Joyce Myers, “to complain is to remain”. Practice talking nice about yourself with your friends. It will be so much more productive.
7. Last, but certainly not least, pay attention to what you say out loud, especially in front of your children or children in general. If you have kids, or someone else in your life that you love, imagine saying all of your negative talk TO them or ABOUT them. Would you ever talk to them that way? Then you definitely shouldn’t say those things to yourself, because you are the most important person in your life! There are so many unrealistic expectations through media and society, we don’t need to be reinforcing it in our own lives.
If you have anything that has worked for you, please feel free to comment.