So we are all probably familiar with The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or treat others the way you want to be treated works pretty well too. Now of course not everyone follows this, but it's a pretty nice idea.
But what about the reverse of that? I think we need to remember to be kind to ourselves just as we would be kind to someone else. I think this rule definitely applies in the weight loss category, and Spark people is a perfect example of this!
Example 1: A Spark Friend posts how they totally messed up this week and they gained 1 lb! (Or maybe "only" lost 1 pound).
Reaction from Spark Friends: Don't worry! It happens to all of us! Just keep pushing forward and make this week a better week! Or if it was a case of "only" losing 1 pound, it would be: 1 pound is great! That is 1 less pound for you to lose in the future, you should be proud!
No matter what your reaction would be to the fellow Sparker, I am sure it would never be negative.
Example 2: A Spark Friend posts a blog about how they got attacked by the Binge Monster last night, and they totally derailed their progress.
Reaction from Spark Friends: I am so sorry to hear you had such a rough day! Today is a new day and a fresh start, and I know that you can make it a great day!
You would never tell a fellow Sparker: Oh man, what a piggy *oink oink*, how could you allow yourself to eat all of that food? You REALLY should have more self control!
So if we wouldn't respond to a fellow Sparker in such a negative way, why is it okay for us to to talk to ourselves that way? The answer to that is simple, it's not okay! But sometimes we forget that we need to treat ourselves with that same kindness, and we can get so down on ourselves.
I was guilty of that today. I had a horrible day Monday and despite blogging, venting, and even explaining to myself that food would not help my problems in any way, I still ended up with a visit from the Binge Monster. Today came all the negativity... Some of my questions to myself were valid: "Why would you allow yourself to do that?" "How do you feel after overeating?" I believe those questions were valid because I need to learn from my mistakes and work through the reasons I allow myself to eat that way from time to time. Getting in touch with my feelings was also helpful because I felt like crap physically and emotionally. So there was essentially no pay off from the "incident" yesterday. But then came the nasty comments: "This is why you will always be fat, you can't control yourself!" "What kind of a person would eat all of that food?" "Do you realize you ate enough calories for TWO days, how disgusting!"
But I finally had to step back and stop all the negativity. For me personally, that negativity creates a vicious circle that could lead me right into another binge. So I had to stop it, and turn it back around. I am still not proud of what happened yesterday, but I can chose to move forward and make today a better day and to make it a better week. I can continue to get stronger and take pride in the fact my Binge Monster days have become less and less over the last year and a half. I have gone from having several a month, to even skipping a month here or there or having 1-2. That is definitely progress, and it is something I will always have to work at and be conscious about, but it is definitely worth it!
So next time you are ready to beat yourself up about whatever it is that happened, stop and ask yourself what you would tell your fellow Spark Friends, and don't allow the negativity to creep in!