Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Don't mistake my kindness for weakness

Please take a moment to admire my new title picture. While it may seem like a simple task to some of you to create a photo collage like that one,  I am sadly somewhat technologically retarded when it comes to things like that. So I am probably slightly prouder of making it than the average person.

So as I was trying to figure out what kindness quote to use as my title this week, this profound quote was the first that came into my head: "Be kind, rewind." I considered actually using this quote and having people maybe think there was a deep cryptic meaning behind it, but then I realized it was just stupid. Moving on.

The kind of kindness (say that 3 times fast!) that I am talking about is kindness to yourself. As readers of my blog have no doubt deduced (what is with all the tongue twisters today?), I have a record of being quite cruel to myself. Thankfully, a lot of that was in the past, but the mean thoughts still occasionally do slip in. Sometimes I get so driven to succeed that any kind of compassion towards myself does seem like a sign of weakness, even though the rational side of myself knows that is ridiculous. I mean, as important as it is for me to push myself, it is equally as important to give myself a break now and then. That does not come naturally to me. I have to make a conscious effort to do this. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I still have some fear that if I cut myself some slack, I will go too far and go back to what I once was, which can NEVER HAPPEN.

What is ironic about this the fact that I am a pretty nice person to other people usually. Kindness to others does come naturally to me (probably a good trait to have as a nurse). It's only to myself that I am an evil crazy person. When other people are having trouble with their weight loss, I have no problem giving them encouragement. And it's not fake encouragement either. I mean every word. But sometimes when I find myself having the same kind of problem with my own weight loss, the dialogue in my head is anything but encouraging. I say things to and about myself that I would never say about another human being.

This is something I'm really trying to work on. It's not easy, but after all, I have a lifetime of negative self-talk (haha, a term I remembered from a college psychology class) to get past. It doesn't happen overnight. But I am making a good amount of progress. For example, when I only lost a pound today, I did not freak out and think what a loser I am (well, I guess since I lost only a pound, "loser" wouldn't really be appropriate). I focused on the fact that I have now lost 68.8 inches from my body. I focused on the fact that my BMI has gone from the crazy high number of 62 all the way down to 35.6. I was able to focus on the fact that I ran a mile faster than I ever have this week. I was able to focus on the fact that I am becoming quite the healthy Crockpot recipe connoisseur. And I was able to focus on the fact that I am feeling happier and stronger every single day. Being proud of myself for these things does not mean that I am arrogant (another fear of mine). It means that I am taking the time to be kind to myself and to remind myself that I am good enough right now. And that's not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength.

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