Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hey Self. We Need to Talk.

Dear Me,

Can we be lovers again? I miss your warm embrace.

Love, Me

I'm reading a book that was recommended to me by a message board that I frequent. It's called "The Four Day Win" by Martha Beck. It's a weight loss book, and to be honest, I'm struggling with it. The writing style is great, but the approach to weight loss is very different from what I'm used to, and I'm not 100% that I buy into it all. I had high hopes that it would be the silver bullet I was looking for, that A-HA moment that would snap me back into shape and help me drop the twenty (which really means thirty) pounds that I need to shed. But of course there is no Easy button, is there?

I follow a blog that has been very interesting to me lately. It's been inspirational to read about this person as she is emerging from a troubling period in her life. Her journey is bringing her to an awareness of self and a true love of who she is. This blogger leads a very different life from me, but she has captured the emotionional highs and lows of her experience so cogently that I feel like I understand what she's going through. What I love the most is how much she loves herself.

All bloggers love ourselves, right? How couldn't we, when blogging itself is about the love of "me". We spend our free time writing about things that most people probably don't give a rip about, but we do it anyway. The mere act of blogging is narcissistic. But true self love is so much deeper than that.

She really seems to have herself figured out, and I've been inspired by that. I'm going to quote her here, and I hope that it's ok since I didn't link to her first. If she doen't mind being linked to, she can leave a comment and I'll update it here. Anyway, here's what she wrote that got me thinking:

But really, that's the message I want to send. I'm not single, alone, looking, in need. I've become quite significant to myself, we have a strong bond, we are really happy, just the two of us. But others are welcome to join us, if the situation is right.

Now I'm a married old hag who's been with the same dude since I was a child. Seriously. I don't know what it's like to be recently single after a long relationship like she does. So I can't really say that I know what she means, but in a way, I kind of do. Because it all comes back to loving ourselves, doesn't it?

One of the things that the book I mentioned earlier in this post suggests is making a timeline of yourself. The thought is that you can try and look back at times when you've been successful at staying thin, and see what was your driving force behind the success.

If I do this exercise, I reflect upon a specific period in my life where I was successful at losing weight and maintaining the loss. It was about six years ago. During that time, I remember feeling empowered (I had just taken a new job that was a fabulous fit for me, and it felt great); I felt in control of my time (my kids hadn't gotten into the ultra-crazy schedules that were to come a few years later); and I was at a happy place in my marriage. Thinking about that particular year or two in my life, reminds me that I spent a lot of time feeling happy and loving myself.

I'm in a different place now; am twenty-five pounds heavier, and feeling pretty down. It's no coincidence that I'm drawn to stories and articles about self love. It's kind of like when you're having a craving for a juicy burger when your body needs iron. My body needs self acceptance and love, instead of the rejection and loathing I've been feeding it, so it's seeking out and identifying with experiences that shout "I love me" from the rooftops.

Knowing that I need to find my self love again and actually discovering it are two different things. But I'm getting closer. I know that I've become busier in these past few years. But I've also begun to make time for myself too. That dream job changed significantly for the worse when my manager and some coworkers left for different parts of the company. So I found a new position that is beginning to be a great fit for me as well. I've had some struggles in my marriage over the past few years, but things are in a nice place right now, and I think we are making strides to make it stronger than ever.

The pieces are slowly falling into place. Maybe that weight loss book I'm reading is helping me find the answer after all. If this answer helps me lose weight in the long term, that's a bonus. But I think more than anything, I need to love the me that is me now. Not just the 125 pound version of me. All variations of me. I just need to continue shaping my life into one that helps me say, you know what? I'm amazing and I love everything about me. (And there I go: I've used up my italics ration for the day.) True self love will make me a better wife, parent, friend, daughter, sister, employee, woman.


Heather said...

well said.

When we find true contentment with ourselves (not who we used to be or who we want to be) everything else will fall into place.

Sarahviz said...

I totally identify with this post. I struggle all the time with this.

krobzoo said...

Happy/sad post Nik...
It has probably been a little over 6 years ago when you and me and Gary went out drinking and we got our tattoos. Maybe we should do that again. ;)