Not sure why the motivation ebbs and flows so much. I was going to say 'for me' but wow, gee, I must think I'm unique in this trait. Haha!
I logged on this morning thinking about the RASH on my rear from hot yoga class, and whether or not I should go tonight, and that I would put that in my status. Because nothing says how great I think I am than announcing to Spark that I have heat rash all over my butt. Anyway, the first little saying I noticed at the top left corner said... "You are enough". I still started typing away with my planned self-deprecating remarks, but something made me stop. And I thought about how much time I spend at work pleading for us to be more than civil and to stop fixating on the negative things that we don't like, and talk about the things that people do well. To ask everyone to work hard and give them the chance to succeed at what they do best, and see how we can keep spreading the opportunity for people to shine and recognize those things more and more.... you get the idea.
Last paragraph outlining my flaws.... DELETED. Doesn't that feel better?
Last year I was seeing a nutritionist for a time. Actually I think I started late 2012, and stopped going last spring? Not sure. We talked a lot about things that were not about food, but all of the stuff around it that was making me pressure myself to try to be something else other than what I am, which is not what I wanted to be. A lot of discussion on trying to head off negative self-talk and body snarking. I never realized that I engaged in any of that behavior with other people - I guess I never noticed how much it is swirling around in the workplace until I started actively listening for it and trying not to participate. Wow.
The pressures that we all face to look or be a certain way are intense. They are pervasive and know no boundaries as they bridge cultural & socioeconomic divides. Isn't that refreshing? We can all join in in celebrating how awful we look or how we don't comply with an impossible standard - everyone can join in! I'm joking.... but I guess I didn't really believe it was as ingrained as it is, and that I was even participating. Coworkers from other countries, or just the other side of the country, are no less immune. I'm not skilled at the classic 'redirect' yet. I didn't think it would take me so long to learn how not to agree with someone who's talking about how FAT she is or that her size zero butt needs LIFTING (?). If I acknowledge that the comment has been thrown out there, I'm encouraging it. If I tell the person that what they are saying is ridiculous, I've given it weight by replying. How do I help us all get to the place where we talk about that we felt so damn great after yoga/running/workout dvd/whatever last night that no one feels the need to note that she's still not yet lost weight/seen her butt lift/reshaped her world so that she's no longer trapped in the petty cycle of worth being judged by the frame that holds her up?
I had mostly thrown in the towel for a while. I stopped moving - almost literally - any more than was necessary for me to get from point A to point B. As I look back on the last 18 months or so - I think what I did with movement was similar to what I did with food. I went off the wagon and said, NOW, me, do whatever you want. another focus with the nutritionist - figuring out why I made the choices that I did - what was I really looking for? and learning how to give myself permission to eat whatever I wanted to eat. That was very hard.
I'm not sure that eating ice cream for dinner is ever a smart choice, but I pretty much did that if I wanted. After gently putting back all the weight I'd lost, my next step was to stop exercise. I insisted repeatedly to my doctors as well as the nutritionist that the movement was necessary to keep me from going 'nuts' and that it was neither disordered nor excessive. And yet when I finally gave myself permission to miss a few days - once the 'seal' was broken so to speak - my body said "Now it's time for you to sit here. And do NOTHING". AND that's pretty much what I did.
I'm ready to move again, I think. I really would have sworn that I started at this self-improvement project the right way for the right reasons. And that I went off the rails when I started hiding in it, and using it as a coping mechanism for other things that I couldn't/didn't want to face.
So how do we (as in me) get to that place where it's about feeling good again? I started because I was tired of feeling crummy. I am really certain about that, and I do remember lots of times that I was not obsessive and using my self-improvement project to hide from other things that I couldn't but wanted to control. It's about me being me, me being enough, and learning to give myself the same breaks I give everyone else. And giving some of those breaks to people in my life whom I find to be undeserving of them. What, me? Judgy?
Instead of focusing on my terrible rash as I sit here and try to find the good things I've had come out of months of therapy and introspection, I can find something I did really well! My doctors recommended that I not drink alcohol (mainly for the reason that it will not go well with my medication, besides just the other benefits, and my family history - this was outlined as something I should seriously consider to keep myself healthy and rational). I really had tried to cut back on wine (main culprit) but the thought of not drinking anything at all seemed impossible. I decided to approach it the way I was supposed to approach my food. I've got permission to do whatever I want. It's my body. Do what I want. Do I want to feel how I feel, am I trying to do something else, and how will I/do I feel later? It took a long time, but it clicked. And here I sit. I am right now usually having 1 glass of wine on the weekend. Or taste whatever my husband has decided to open. I've actually gotten very far from enjoying the taste as much (thanks, allergies and post-nasal drip!!) I am feeling like....I don't really care! Of course I've had times that I've wanted to start drinking at night - b/c I am angry or frustrated. I've even poured a glass at those times, but mostly have just left it. I've drunk wine on vacation this summer and last. I don't think it was 'easy' but it wasn't half as hard as I thought it was going to be. And the main difference was giving myself permission. Permission to do whatever happened, permission to fail, permission to try, permission to have some if I wanted.
I'm just trying to figure out WHY I can give myself permission to drink if I want and then pretty much shrug and say wow, that wasn't so bad! but permission with food has involved a lot of frosting and pop tarts without their appeal having abated??
I've now talked myself out of worrying about that rash and what to wear to yoga class tonight (nope, it has not gone away in the 20 minutes I've been typing, I think it's a safe bet that it will still be here this afternoon). Every day - I've got another chance to have a good day. Every single day. Like today! even if i have a horrible heinie rash!