A lesson on self-acceptance (2/17/11)

So here, I am, still mulling over the fact that my jeans (no, not the skinny jeans, the jeans I wore 2 weeks ago) were way too tight yesterday.  Why?  Why were they tight and why do I care?  I ask myself these questions time and time again.  Why does it bother me so much?  I’ll tell you why… it ticks me off!  There I said it out loud for all to hear!!! I feel that I work very hard to stay in shape.  So why can’t I just eat what I want and have the body that I want?  It’s not fair!!  O.k., I’m done yelling now.   It’s true, that’s one point of view… it’s not fair and it makes me mad.

So now I have 2 choices, I can stay mad, feel bad about myself, tell myself how I don’t work hard enough, or don’t eat right… or I can try to change my thinking… While I exercise hard and try to eat right, I don’t always do what is best.  Hummm…. negative thinking, implies that I am gaining weight because I have been overeating.  O.k. I know, sometimes I use food for the wrong reasons.  I want my goal around food to be… “If I eat this food, will I feel better afterwards, physically?  Is this what I really need right now?”… and I am actively working on that one.   I know it’s going to take time, so I need to be patient with myself.  Yelling at myself has got me nowhere as of yet, so I now choose to be gentle with my psyche and give myself a break!  When it is possible for me to turn to something other than food when stressed, I will.  Until the day that I no longer automatically reach for food for comfort, I need to allow myself room to grow.  I will nurture that spirit because I have faith that this day will come.

So let’s get back to being mad.  I am mad because seemingly I can’t have what I want, that coveted long lean body.  So now I think, “Why do I want that so badly?  What is it going to give me that I don’t already have?  Is my husband going to love me more?  Will I become a better mom/friend?  How is this going to change me?  What will I gain?”  I may have more self-confidence… shopping is more fun.  Ok, two things.  Yeah, not ready to jump on the body bashing bandwagon just yet…I won’t be so self-conscious.  Oh now there is a thought.  “What exactly do I have to be self-conscious about anyway?  Do I have a great big booger hanging out of my nose?  A big piece of spinach in-between my front teeth?”  I don’t think so … I checked 😉  Being self-conscious about my weight implies there is something “wrong” with me.  I can walk and run and teach… I can do lots of things I never thought I would be able to do (yes, push-ups are still tough).   I am strong and have endurance.  I am proud of my physical accomplishments.  So what was my problem again?… oh yes, my thighs/butt.

When I had my dilemma yesterday, I wondered how my afternoon would have been different if I had just picked up a different pair of pants.  I wasn’t seeking the ones I put on, they just happened to be on top.  If I had put on another pair of pants instead, I never would have felt badly and I probably wouldn’t be sitting here looking at a sink full of dirty dishes writing this… So the pants told me that I gained weight; maybe, maybe not.  I did eat pizza several times over the last couple of days; not that there is anything wrong with pizza, but it was salty.  I am due for my period.  So there are 2 things that could cause me to retain fluid.  I have been exercising more than usual and I don’t think I have been drinking enough water; another reason to retain fluid.  Now, am I just sitting here making excuses?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think I have seriously been overeating, not enough to gain that much weight.

I have been exercising a ton, but not because I have to, but because I want to.  I am learning something new (teaching cycling) and enjoying it.  So, do I have an answer?  Not really, but what I do realize is that I don’t want to exercise any more than I currently am (every single part of me hurt this morning…but in a good way).  And I don’t want to start thinking about restricting my food intake.  So where does that leave me?  I know I am now in a place where I am happy (for the most part) about my nutrition/fitness choices.  They have been making me feel empowered and strong.  I choose to do things because I want to, not because I have to.  I am taking responsibility for my actions… if I ate chocolate, you can bet I enjoyed and savored every bit of it.  If I passed on the cookie, it was because I was full, not because I shouldn’t eat it; I know I can have it later if I want it.  So when I sat down and thought about all these things, I realized, at least for me anyway, mentally (and physically) I am in a much better place; happy with me, the here and now me.  And who knows, maybe those jeans did stay in the dryer too long…lol.  peace.

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