I've Been Beating Myself Up
Warning, this jawn is long.
I wasn't going to post this at all, let alone in success stories, because I'm still so far from where I want to be, and I'm mortified by my new habit of mirror selfies, but.
I've been beating myself up lately. I started this journey in January of 2017. I started it, weirdly enough, because I had a great night. I was with good friends, I met a guy, I drank, I danced, I felt wonderful. When I saw the pictures the next morning, the only thing I used to dread more than a hangover, I saw myself, as overweight as I'd ever been, but smiling like I never smiled. I didn't see a fat girl. I saw someone who deserved to be treated well, and to feel like that, all the time. I'd seen awful pictures of myself for years and years and they never motivated me to treat myself any better; a couple photos of someone who looked and felt beautiful, and I suddenly was brave enough to face the scale and do what I had to do.
For a little over year I was going strong. I started changing my habits, then I started changing my life. I got a job where I was on my feet, I moved back to a city I love, I had a strong network of support, I tried new classes at the gym. I didn't get sick, my skin cleared up, I cleared up a lot of hormonal issues. Every week someone new told me I was shocking them with my weight loss, that I looked great and happy and healthy and confident; people asked for my advice and joined me at the gym and tried diets and foods because I told them I liked them. I signed up for 5ks. I ran three in one summer. Sometimes, it even felt easy; it felt like I'd made life sustaining habits and would keep plowing along.
Then things got scrambled. I quit my active job and took a new desk job. I moved, under pretty stressful circumstances. Still, I got down to my lowest weight, almost to the mythical onederland. It was slow, but I was still going. Then my heart got bruised and I got depressed. I stopped going to classes at the gym, and stopped running regularly. I stopped making time to plan healthy meals and started drinking more again and eating more take out. I indulged myself a lot, and then I started to feel it. The bloating came back. I got terrible colds. The breakouts are as bad as they ever were. My sleep is all wrong. I can barely run five minutes. I went back up 10-15 lbs, depending on the soda and nacho intake the night before. The idea of eating healthy food, let alone cooking healthy food (and doing the dishes) felt almost disgusting. Most of all, I felt disgusting.
I knew it had to stop. I knew I needed to stop acting like human garbage and start being a healthy person again, but it's very, very, very difficult to stop acting like human garbage if you can't stop calling yourself human garbage. Punishing myself has not been working. Moving forward, doing better, reaching the goals I set almost two years ago, that won't happen unless I can remember that girl who deserved to be happy, and doesn't deserve anyone, let alone herself, treating her like and calling her trash.
How you treat yourself and how you feel about yourself are a self-perpetuating cycle. When things started to fall apart, and I started to feel terrible, I stopped doing the things that were good for me, and I started to beat myself up for it. I've been trying to find the motivation to get back on track, get back on the wagon, to stop backsliding, and most of all, to stop beating myself up. The thing that inspired me in the first place was realizing for the first time that I deserved to be treated well, and that no one had more power to treat me well or treat me badly than I had over myself. You can walk away from bad jobs, bad apartments, bad friends, and bad lovers, but you have to live with yourself every instant of every day. Kindness is what makes the good things happen. Self love is a better motivator than any bad photograph.
The photo on the right, February 2017, is a girl who was brave enough and cared about herself enough to start. The girl on the left, September 2018, is a girl who is brave enough and cares about herself enough to forgive herself and keep going. This is a little self motivation to help me with that, and it starts by celebrating success.
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