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Can I Eat Sugar Again? Ever?

This past week was pretty busy. I had a lot going on at home with school starting, I still have family in town and work.  I wasn’t on top of my eating as much as I wanted to be but I didn’t go crazy either. I had a birthday which was a lot of fun.  And, drum roll please…. I had a child size cup of my favorite ice cream!! Yes, I did, I admit it. I debated for days whether I should or shouldn’t but in the end, I decided to have it.  It had been over 80 days being off sugar, flour and corn.  I thought to myself, can I eat sugar again? Ever? I thought about it for a long time, but let me tell you, that ice cream was the best ice cream I have ever had! When I was done, I didn’t have any urge to eat more and I still haven’t had the urge to eat ice cream since. I went back to eating the way I have been and it’s like nothing happened.

I was hesitant to do it, because in the past, I had situations where I abstained from sugar/flour and when I ate it again, I overate it for weeks on end.  This time, I felt so different. I was thankful for having some but I didn’t go overboard and I was okay.  It felt amazing. I now know my approach to health is changing. I can have the control and freedom to decide without my body dictating what to eat because of serious cravings.  It’s a such a relief to feel this way and I’m grateful.

When I was on previous programs, I would eat foods I liked making sure I kept within my calories for the day. Of course, I didn’t pick vegetables and lean proteins. No, I was picking things like low fat ice cream, bars and mostly processed foods. It wouldn’t fill me up and I can’t say I was healthy either.  The difference this time, is that I am eating more protein and veggies then I ever have and I can physically feel the difference. I’m not craving, I’m not having the afternoon crash nor the evening pull to grab Ben & Jerry’s. This time around, I stop eating when I’m done.  That type of self-control is what I’ve been searching for all my life!

I was reading a comment on someone’s blog the other day and this guy kept saying overweight people should take responsibility, stop overeating because it’s all their fault.  Here’s my response to that type of comment: I agree, we have to take responsibility and our power back to address our health. That is true.  However, there is a physical component (read Salt Sugar Fat: Michael Moss) that has to be addressed as well. I’ve heard people say it takes 3 days to rid yourself of sugar cravings. I can tell you from experience that once you do remove the physical component, then you feel more confident about making a difference in your health.  It’s because you are not feeling those physical cravings that cause failure so quickly when on most diets.  I believe when you restrict your calories but yet still eat sugar and processed foods, you remain very hungry and those feelings of deprivation set in.

If you are a sugar addict like I was, getting off completely for just 6-8 weeks clears your body of those toxins and cravings. You start to feel so much better and your mind works better too. When you are in this clearer state, you can start to change how you think about your health and food.  It’s not about a diet, it’s about starting to look at your health differently. You know yourself better than anyone. You know what foods you crave and are ‘trigger’ foods for you. If sugar is a trigger, getting off is going to be a whole new world to you. It’s going to show you how sugar affects your body and how those cravings cause overeating.  Once you remove the physical component, it’s much easier to eat healthier. It’s much easier to focus on exercise because you feel differently.

Some believe moderation is not possible and others think it is. Only you can decide what works for you. For me, if I continue eating the majority of the time, natural, whole foods and occasionally (like on special occasions like it’s meant to be eaten) have treats, I believe it doesn’t have to throw me into a tail spin. Because I already established good habits to keep me on track, I can go immediately back to those habits.  I don’t expect to be 100% perfect (that was the old me) but how about 75-80%? I think that is definitely possible!

 

 

5 Ways Helplessness Kept Me Stuck

Helplessness is a common emotion we feel while on the journey towards the perfect weight. When I was going through the yo-yo phase of my life, I would be successful for a while and then it would all come crashing down when I gained the weight back, plus a whole lot more. It was frustrating.  After a while, I easily slipped into the habit of feeling sorry for myself and helpless because I couldn’t figure out why in this part of my life, I was failing.

Little did I realize I was approaching it all wrong. Instead of focusing on losing weight, I needed to focus on finding health. This is so much more positive. Losing weight ultimately is easy but keeping it off can be a struggle. And if we keep ‘losing weight’ as our focus, then we will continue to attract having to ‘lose weight’.  My attitude about my weight became helpless and hopeless.  I carried this attitude around for a long time and lead to feeling stuck, not wanting to take care of myself, and avoiding public places.

We all have a choice, whether we believe it or not. We can chose not to wallow in this state but instead make small changes to feel good all the time. So today, I wanted to share with you 5 ways it kept me there and how if I stayed there, it would have seriously crippled my ability to move forward in this journey if I let it.

  1. It kept me in a bad mood:  When I continued to focus on how I wasn’t losing weight, or I was eating out of control, it kept me angry. Angry at myself and the world. I would blame others, feel sorry for myself and say things like, “Nothing works!“. This mentality didn’t serve me, my family or those I interacted with on a daily basis. Instead, people avoided me because they weren’t sure what mood they would find me in that day.  I often lashed out because I was unhappy and felt the world was out to get me.
  2. It created low self-esteem (and reinforced it):  As a result of feeling sorry for myself all the time, I didn’t feel successful at anything. Even though it was only one area of my life where results were not evident (being overweight), it carried over into all areas of my life and I felt I was struggling all the time.  Low self-esteem creates this cycle of thought which says, “Why bother trying if I’m going to fail again.” I sat in this state for a long time and it impacted everything.
  3. It kept me from making progress:  Because I didn’t feel good about myself and I was angry, I didn’t bother trying.  I would have bursts where I would write down goals to achieve but I didn’t follow through.  Progress is critical, especially small steps, but I wasn’t even doing that. Again, I wallowed in my self-pity and it was difficult to see clearly hence I was stuck for a long time reinforcing the low self-esteem and bad mood.
  4. I lost focus on what was important in my life:  When I prayed back then, it was more of ‘duty’ and my focus was so much on my life and how things were not happening for me, I lost sight on what I did have and what was important like family and helping others. My time was dominated on myself and of course, that kept me down.
  5. I was a negative role model to those within my circle of influence:  My negative behavior started impacting those around me, especially my son. At the time, I didn’t think of it because I was too wrapped up in my own mind which was tragic.  However, I started to see patterns of behavior in my son which were similar to mine (overeating at night, having desert daily, hiding food etc.). It hurt me.  I believe that was what sparked me to change. My love for him was more than I had for myself and I knew I had to do something to change it.

All of these patterns were hurting me more and more.  I later came to the realization, I had to choose to get myself out of these patterns. And I did. I was able to change how I felt immediately. Yes, it wasn’t always easy because I felt like I was pushing upstream (initially that’s what it feels like). But once I started to make it a deliberate habit, I started to notice changes in how I felt on a daily basis.   5 Ways Helplessness Kept Me Stuck

If you knew you had a choice to either be helpless or happy, which one would you choose?

The Ups and Downs of this Journey

It’s been an interesting few weeks. I contracted a cold, which I haven’t had in years.  My skin all of the sudden became inflamed and itchy.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I have been eating well for over 50 days now and yet for some reason, these things appeared. I’m thinking my body is just ridding itself of toxins, but I’m not sure.  My focus these past couple of weeks has been on getting better and healing.

Last week, we went on a road trip.  Eating out required planning ahead and looking online at menus to decide which would be the best choices.  Overall, I did well.  However, when I got home, we went out for dinner one night and while I ordered fish, I also ordered sweet potato fries. I know it was because I waited too long to eat and I didn’t plan ahead. One big learning, if I wait too long I feel vulnerable to the negative thoughts of giving up. In this case, I had the thought, I want sweet potato friends and I’m going to eat them. Because I was hungry and tired, these thoughts were strong and prevailed over my ‘logical self’.

The next day, I got back on track and started eating what I planned for the day and I felt much better about it. But lately, I have been craving carbs and that’s a sign the sugar is calling.  It’s important to keep moving forward and continuing to plan ahead the healthy foods I’m going to eat. I also plan to pick out some interesting recipes I can look forward to eating so I don’t get bored eating the same things every day.

 

 

I continue to learn about myself, habits and how my body works.  I do well planning ahead instead of leaving it up to circumstances where I’m more likely to binge on unhealthy foods.  I’m so grateful though that I’m not overeating or have the ‘urge’ to overeat in the afternoons and at night. Even after eating the sweet potato fries, it didn’t set me up to binge on sugar and flour. It was easy to regroup which is a different then what I’ve experienced in the past. Typically, I would go off and binge for days.

One thing I’m exploring is my thoughts and focus throughout this journey.  I believe no matter what, if I focus on health and being at the perfect weight, things will change. Instead of focusing on ‘good vs. bad’ foods and focusing more on health, I believe my life with change dramatically. I’m testing the theory out now.  In the past, my focus has always been ‘losing weight’ and I’m not sure if that was the right focus.  I think now, it’s more about health.  More to come on this as I go through this journey. For now, I’m thankful I could share with you these experiences that are evolving me as a person while also transforming how I approach health and wellness.

Birthdays, Holidays and Guests, Oh my!

This is a big week that includes my son’s birthday (2 parties), the holiday (parties and fireworks) and house guests.   Well, ‘they say’ things come in threes, I don’t necessarily believe it, but this week there are three events to manage.  It’s been 32 days since I’ve been off sugar and flour. I’ve lost a total of 11 lbs and about 5″ (not sure about this figure because I’m measuring myself which may not be consistent). Either way, my pants are loose and that makes me happy.

We celebrated my son’s birthday with ice cream pie, his favorite.  I had my husband pick it up because I didn’t even want to attempt going into an ice cream shoppe.  I decided while they were eating the pie, I was going to eat my snack. I had it all planned out.  That night, while they dug into what looked like an amazing Oreo ice cream pie, I was eating my snack and it wasn’t that bad.  The pie eating only took roughly 15 minutes.  I was at the table and we all sat around and talked. The pie was put away and it was over.  I prepared ahead for 15 minutes which just proved to me my relationship with food has gotten out of hand.

I didn’t experience physical cravings which was good because if I had that and ’emotional cravings’, I don’t know how I would have gotten through.  The emotional cravings is what I’m dealing with for the majority of the time.  The only time the physical piece comes into play is when I wait too long to eat – 4+ hours which happens at times.  The emotional cravings go something like this, “Aw I wish I could have some of that pie, it looks so good. I know it tastes amazing too because I’ve had it before.  It just feels like I’m missing out on that taste, that taste that is yummy.  The food I eat doesn’t have the same ‘yummy’ factor that sweets do. Aw I want a piece.

On the flip side, here’s how I’ve had to counter those thoughts.  “I’ve eaten so much ice cream in my life, does it really help me to eat more? Eating excessive sweets and sugar made me fat, unhealthy and uncomfortable.  They taste good momentarily, but is it worth it when I’m gaining tons of weight because I can’t control my eating afterwards.  Sugar sends me on a downward spiral of overeating which has costed me my life, literally. I’ve been fat, unhealthy and heading down the path of diabetes and who knows what else. I’m tired all the time, can’t fit into clothes and getting fatter. That’s what overeating sugar and flour has done to me, is the ice cream pie worth all of that? It’s taken my life and now it’s time for me to take my life back.

This conversation (or similar variations) can go on for a while.  It has to occur because the child within me has ruled for too long and honestly, has put me in a position of obesity and poor health. This is not who I am. I was an athlete in my early life, worked in the health industry for years and I’m a certified personal trainer.  Health and wellness are part of me.  Food is nourishment, that’s it. It’s not my crutch when I’m lonely. It’s not serving me in any capacity, in fact, sugar and flour make people fat and sick.

This weekend is July 4th. We have another party tomorrow night and Saturday and today I am spending time to plan ahead my eating schedule.  I will also have foods I’d like to eat ready to go so there’s no ability to be ‘stuck’.  This holiday is huge when it comes to cook outs, drinking and overeating. I know because I’ve done it year after year.  This year though, it feels good to have more control.  I’m going in knowing how things will be and if there are times where I’m not sure, I will think it through first before making a rash decision.

My focus is going to be on spending time with family, enjoying conversation and taking time to relax for the holiday.  That’s much better than feeling regretful at the end of the weekend because I stuffed my face with so much food.  Remember, food is nourishment, not emotional comfort.

I wish you all a happy  and safe holiday. Enjoy your families and friends, that’s what it’s about!

 

Would I lie to you (I mean myself)???

(I used to love that song back in the 80’s!!)

At our weight loss support group meeting, we talked about what works when we are ‘on track’ or ‘being good’ and what doesn’t.  Then it came to me, am I telling myself the truth about what works?  Am I telling myself the truth when I say things like, “I don’t have a sugar addiction.” or “I can eat just a little bit and I’m satisfied.”  Really?  Is this true or how I manipulate the truth to ‘justify’ my actions? Or should I say, give myself permission?   Similar to being in a unhappy relationship, we lie to ourselves over and over to justify our decision to stay in the relationship without even thinking twice. If I know this, why do I keep doing it?

I’d rather ignore the damages of what is being done to my body and eat food that ‘makes me feel good in the moment’ than face reality.  I’d rather give myself permission to eat as much as I want, when I want and what I want to appease the inner child in me because that’s how I’ve historically shown love to myself. This logically makes no sense, but if we are being honest, it is exactly what happens. This ‘love’ I’ve shown myself has resulted in the following:

  • BMI that’s off the chart
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Insulin Resistance/Pre-diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Brain Fog
  • Lack of sleep
  • Female issues
  • Indicators for heart disease, leading to Syndrome X
  • Apple shape/Belly fat
  • Hair loss
  • Decline in physical appearance (i.e. can’t find clothes that look good, skin is bulgy etc.) which significantly impacts self-confidence and self-esteem

I have issues with food. I lose control more often then I’d like to admit. Here’s the thing, if I continue to lie to myself all the time, guess what the results will be 5 years, 10 years from now…you know the answer! Ding, ding: Unhealthy & unhappy with serious medical issues.

I’ve done a lot of self-development work over the course of the last 3 years. This work has opened my mind up to some of the self-destructive behaviors we all do that have sadly become habits.  If continued, these habits will lead to either early death or years of suffering.   I consider myself relatively young and yet, I feel like I’m in my 60’s because it’s hard to move around, be active and have the energy necessary to live a full life.  It’s not going to get easier, it’s going to get harder and harder. Yet, I lie to justify!  I ‘try’ not to think about it, but reality is, I’m thinking about it obsessively and that’s not working either.

It’s time to get real.  I have been avoiding the mirror because I don’t want to see the truth. When I went shopping for clothes, I was angry and wasn’t taking responsibility. I was blaming the clothing companies  and stores (my blog entry from last week) for not carrying or producing flattering clothing in my size.  While I still stand by the fact that there should be more tailored clothing available in plus sizes, the truth is, I didn’t want to take responsibility and own the anger.  Instead it was easier to blame others and continue lying to myself instead of the truth that it’s been my choices that landed me where I am today. Granted, there are many factors that go into those choices, like lack of knowledge, awareness and physical changes, but ultimately, it’s my life, my choices and I have to own that. I cannot continue to sit around making up stories to justify those choices.  I made them and it’s over. Now it’s time to accept where I am today and move forward.

I’ve made a lot of progress with incorporating healthy habits into my life, but I have a long way to go. That’s the truth.  The other truth is that in order for me to significantly improve my health, I have to start getting real about food.  I need to eliminate many of the offending foods from my diet.  There’s a reason most diets recommend ‘cleaning your environment’ and that’s to remove temptation from the equation. It’s difficult to incorporate changes to your diet but it’s extra hard when you have the offending foods in your face.  In the past, I would get angry, why can’t I have those foods available (going back to my childhood)?  I should be able to ‘handle’ them. The truth is, I cannot. I binge on them. Its time to remove them from my life. They do not add to my life, they slowly take it away.  I have to start saving my life today. I know if I don’t, I won’t be here as long as I should be. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s reality, and since I’m starting to give up lying to myself, I will give myself the gift of truth from this point forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be working to remove sugar and flour from my diet.  I’ve done it before unsuccessfully because I didn’t have the support system in place ahead of time.  Today, I do and I’ll be testing this in the coming weeks.  I’m so grateful to have this venue available so I can share with you my thoughts and emotions during this process.  It’s going to be tough but what will be tougher is if I don’t try and instead give up.  That I cannot do.

 

 

Shopping for clothes is not fun when you’re overweight

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I’ve been really hard on myself and been noticing things bothering me more than normal. One thing that bothered me a lot had to do with clothes not fitting.  Because I’m an apple shape, it’s really hard to find clothes that fit well and look good.  I was doing some research online for tips for those who have apple shapes and honestly, ideas of what looks good were not consistent.

One challenge is finding the right pants or skirts to wear, not just for work but casual clothing as well.  It’s frustrating.  I take the time to style my hair and apply makeup on a daily basis.  However, when I wear an outfit and the waistband rolls over, it’s embarrassing.  I was honestly thinking, manufacturers should consider this when creating clothing for those of us who carry weight in our belly. Maybe create pants/skirts that are similar to maternity wear where the waistband goes up and over your belly. It’s crazy that I considered shopping in that department (and potentially very embarrassing) but what other options are there? I don’t want to walk around with pants rolling down and exposing my belly because my shirts aren’t long enough.

I know this sounds crazy but even though I am overweight, I do like to look presentable.  Is that so much to ask? Why does it seem as though a lot of these clothing manufactures think women who are overweight want to look like a tent? Why do shirts look like tents and pants look like parachutes? I don’t carry weight in my butt or legs, it’s all in my belly. That being said, when buying pants, I have to purchase ones that fit my waist.

Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise. If it continues to grow, how clothes are made should be adjusted to accommodate the various body types.  I don’t want to (nor can I) look like a slob when I’m at work.  It’s going to take time to lose this weight and while I am, I want to look good no matter if I’m at sporting event or in a meeting.

Shopping for clothes should be a fun experience. But at times, I end up leaving the store defeated because nothing fits right. I’m tired of wearing the same clothes.  It’s not fun, it’s overwhelming. Not only are you not finding the right fitting clothes, but you’re also looking at yourself in the mirror not fitting into clothes and looking awful. How can you ‘tell yourself’ you look good all the time, when you look in the mirror all you see is yourself NOT looking good?

I’ve been working on the positive thinking (as you know) and it’s helped a lot but when I trying to saying things like, “I’m a healthy weight” or “I’m fit and look amazing.” it’s not believable and I say to myself, whey am I lying to myself? Why am I saying this when I know it’s not true and knowing is what trumps what you’re saying, correct?

 

 

This is getting old…

Why does it seem like every time I get into a groove and really start to feel like I’m on the right track, all of the sudden, out of no where, I fall off the track!  And the kicker is, sometimes, I don’t even realize what I’m doing. It’s like I slip into bad habits and don’t even see them coming.  Then something happens, and I’m suddenly noticing what’s happening, yet I’m STILL ENGAGING in the behaviors…how does this make sense? This is getting old…

I have BFF this week, which as I mentioned in previous posts, my most vulnerable time (think pain-body/negative attitude).  I know this about myself, have spent time preparing, marking my calendar to make sure I stay on top of it and notice when I’m thinking differently.  Yet, at the same time, I unconsciously start thinking negatively, saying negative things about myself and then all of the sudden, I’m in front of the TV, binge eating and wondering how the heck I got there.

Can anyone relate to this? It’s like I become another person, the one that has a negative spirit, negative thoughts and ultimately follows negative behaviors which do not align with my true nature or my goals.  It’s very frustrating.

Yesterday, I noticed some of the things I was saying and I had to immediately stop myself.  It worked for about an hour, then back to it again. Yes, I grabbed a coffee because that does improve my state quickly and it did.  However, later in the evening, it happened again, followed by eating episode.  I was discouraged. It’s as if I don’t have control over it, like I don’t want to control it. There’s a serious internal conflict going on here.  I have recognized this behavior as being ‘Poor Maria, she’s going through BFF right now and needs to do what she wants to feel better’. This is not helpful, I know, but for some reason, it happens.  I believe it’s from my childhood when my mother treated me this way and I reveled in it because it was the one of the few times she showed compassion in our relationship.

But that was 20 years ago! Why the heck am I carrying on her legacy of treating me like I’m helpless?   I play this role to achieve attention and love.  If I don’t receive it externally from others, I give it to myself by ‘allowing’ any food and doing whatever I want during that time, which mostly consists on laying on the couch eating while watching TV.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but it’s time to get real. It’s time to lay it all out on the table because this has become a monthly thing.  I will do really well, habits going well, self-talk going well and then all of the sudden, I’m back at square one, doing the dumb stuff that put this weight on in the first place.  I’ve been able to squash this behavior when I’ve been on diets and losing weight, so I know it’s possible.  Preparing ahead has helped and I’m grateful I’m now fully aware of what I’m doing, but I think it’s going to take some work to resolve this internal conflict. Any ideas?

Reconnecting with our bodies is key

I understand how thoughts create our lives. I get the concept of making sure we choose happiness and when things don’t go our way, to quickly shift our thoughts.  I also understand what we resist persists. If we focus on what we don’t want, it continues to stay in our lives.

So how has my previous thought processes and choices contributed to where I am today?  I realized that since I was a teenager, I did focus on what I didn’t want in my life.  Things I would say to myself consisted of, not having a belly (which I have now), being overweight (which I am now), obsessed about food (which I have been) and those are just related to my health.

The good news is that I know it’s about focusing on what I do want ALL the time.  When I catch my thoughts going in the wrong direction, it’s about quickly turning them around.  I was writing in my journal what I do want.  Living a healthy life, a life of moderation, activity, happiness and being at a healthy weight.  I continuously recite words of affirmation daily to ensure it gets deep into my subconscious because turning around 30 years of negative programming takes a while.  Even if I don’t believe it right away, it will take hold. I have already noticed changes. Changes in my behavior towards those I love and even just one off situations where I notice positive affirmations overtaking the old negative thoughts. It’s awesome and I feel great about it. My life is so much more peaceful.

But I can’t help thinking when it will start to change how I treat my body, how I eat and how I listen to my body. Today, I know when I’m hungry but I’m still not good at shutting down when I’m full or I don’t listen and keep eating.  When I fully respect, love and am connected to my body, I will automatically do what’s right for my body.  It’s one area I’m looking to receive change.  I’m ready to let go and relearn to trust myself, trust my body to inherently show me what I need to do to take care of it.  I was reading a book on body signals and it was talking about how human beings have gotten so far removed from body connection.  If we stopped thinking so much and listened more to our bodies, we wouldn’t need diets.  Diets actually cause distrust in our ability to physically tell us what it needs all the time.  When I read this, I thought, wow, that is so true!

I’m on a journey to reconnect with my body and trust again.  When this happens, a new world will be born.  What a wonderful thought!

Is it Groundhog Day?

I feel like I’m in that movie, Groundhog Day!  It seems everyday when I wake up, I have all the right intentions of working out, eating well and making healthy choices. For the most part, I do well until about 2 PM.  From there, it’s another story. I don’t make such good choices in the afternoon and evening. It’s the most frustrating thing and I feel at times like my life is a broken record. When people ask me how I’m doing with my weight loss efforts, my response is the same. Talk about discouraging.

What is it with these static patterns?  I’m not one to enjoy sameness, in fact, I’ve been known to do things in my life to ‘shake things up’,  In this area of life, I’ve done crazy diets, lost tons of weight but then I’ve gone back to the comfortable patterns again and again.  If I want to be a healthy role model for myself and family members, how the heck can I do that if I’m constantly going back and forth with the same patterns of behavior?

TOM was here again and I went right back into the ‘I can eat whatever I want because I’m not feeling good’ pattern and it latest several days.   Basically giving myself permission to eat what I want and how much I want because that’s how I take care of myself during TOM.  Seriously? How logical is this?  I’ve written about this topic in a previous post and it’s now coming up again this month.  It seems I didn’t carry over what I learned from last month.  I marked dates on my calendar, how come I didn’t take the time to prepare mentally to do something different this time? Self-sabotage? Maybe.

This next month, I am going to spend the necessary time to talk through some planning and preparation to make sure I don’t fall back into this pattern again.  Pausing and planning goes a long way. I’ve experienced different outcomes as a result of doing just these two activities.  The important piece which may be missing  is follow through and consistency.  I start off well, and then maybe after a few weeks or months, something happens and I resort back to the comfortable unhealthy patterns.

If my goal is wake up to a new day and not relive the old patterns from the previous day, following through and remaining consistent is going to be key.  I was saying the other day to the weight loss support group members how I’ve been consistent with planning and preparing for other things, it might be time to set up automatic alerts to remind me to focus on the follow through and consistency of healthy behaviors in the afternoons and evenings.

Let’s see how it goes this next week.

Lack of Self Love is the Cause of My Weight Gain

If you asked me, “Maria, do you love yourself?”, immediately I would respond, “Yes!”.  Logically, I do think I love myself. But then I really thought about it the other day, if I loved myself, then why do I sometimes catch myself speaking negatively about something I did?  It’s like the old tape is pushed play immediately after I catch myself doing something I know is not good for me (Ben and Jerry are not my friends, I don’t even know them! Never met them once in my life!).

This topic came up in the weight loss support group this week.  We were discussing self-love and one of the members talked about how she finds herself talking negatively and sometimes she doesn’t even catch herself, it just ‘happens’.  Can anyone relate? I know I can!

I started thinking about when the negative thoughts come up for me.  I’ve really noticed them when I overeat, because that’s been my focus.  Are there other situations or incidents that trigger when it happens? Once I asked the question, I noticed the negative ‘let’s berate Maria now‘ tape was playing during times I didn’t even realize.  For example, I was wondering why I was feeling so bad about myself last night.  I couldn’t put a finger on it until this morning when I was talking to a friend.  It was because I acted badly with my son and I started immediately beating myself up.  It starts when I start barking out orders to pick up his stuff or put away his things etc. When I get into that ‘Mom mode’ (or drill Sargent mode), I become a different person in a sense, one that my family resists and who I don’t like either.  I don’t know what it is, but it seems like I comes from my mother.  Even thinking about it upsets me because I’ve spent half my life saying “I will never be my mother!” and when parenting, I have to be honest, I’ve adopted some of her bad habits.  It’s what led me to rebel and move far away from her when I was in my 20’s.  It took a while (1 hour), but I redirected myself by taking responsibility, apologizing to him and now hopefully I’ll learn from it and things will improve the next time around.

I constantly remind myself, this is a journey which has led me to learn the basics of self-love and I’m still learning.  The good news is I’m seeing the frequency of when the negative self-talk occurs. Some days will be great and others will show me there’s more change that has to happen.  Through this process, I can say, I am learning the art of patience and it’s good for me in many ways.  It took me many years to discover myself and become aware of these negative patterns and it will take time to replace them with healthy thoughts and behaviors.

One thing I can say without a doubt, I’m so grateful God has pointed this out to me, otherwise, I would still be, in a sense, living ‘in the dark’ and just the thought of that is disturbing.   Can you imagine how many people would feel better about themselves, improve their health and feel happy if they started to recognize their own negative patterns and made small changes to think differently about themselves?  I believe it can happen!