being kind to self

CaptureThe question of the day is why is it easier to be kind to others (to an extent, ha-ha) but more difficult to treat yourself as kindly? My therapist has used the example of comparing how I talk to my child vs. how I talk to myself. I can’t fault her point because I would never dream of speaking to my kid like I speak to myself in my mind. It would be verbal abuse to be quite honest because I say some really nasty, demeaning, horrible things to myself. Why?

I think when I look at my struggles with food and weight in the past months, the big picture comes down to simply not feeling like I am good enough to be worthy of treating myself well. We can beat ourselves up all day about eating crap food or skipping the gym and then moan about our weight or the jeans we can no longer fit into and why is this so hard, etc etc. But the overarching theme is that we don’t make healthy choices because we aren’t being nice to ourselves.

This is my new theory anyway.  Maybe I just ate some bad tuna and am completely off base and delusional. But we’re going to go with it, at least for today. I’m just wondering if I can somehow re-frame this whole struggle into a story about being kind to Finn, and less about that specific box of Little Debbie’s I ate for lunch (yes I said “box”) or the miles I didn’t jog. I wonder if that change in mindset will help at all. I figure it can’t hurt, right?

I walked three miles this morning before work and that felt good; like I was being nice to me. Then I got on the scale after weeks of avoidance and that did NOT feel good so there we went with the beating myself up thing again. I am well aware that I have steadily been gaining weight over the past year and not eating healthily. There’s been an overall sense of just not caring anymore. Sure, there have been short spurts of trying to do better but they were attempts born of guilt and shame and definitely not because I was trying to be nicer to myself.

I’d like to begin again but this time with a different (and kinder) focus. If the weight comes off and I get healthier, that will be a bonus, but if I can be nicer to myself more often than not in my own mind, that will be some measure of winning.

Of course being kind to yourself encompasses much more than diet and exercise, but those seem to be tangible things more visibly measured. Trust me, I’m working on the other stuff, too.

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