Learning To Not Be Over-Critical

For a little context, the picture attached to this post is (from left to right) December 8th, January 7th, and February 10th.

I have been working out consistently for two months now. I have been watching what I eat, having some splurges from time to time when I’m out with friends. Usually that’s about once a week. Still, I feel pretty confident in the changes I’ve made for myself in my life. Unfortunately, I am still overly critical. Yes, I can see a change, but a part of me tells me that it’s not enough of a change. That I should be further along, that I should be able to see more of a difference. So then I begin to chastise myself for every poor decision I’ve made. Now I should say right now that I have been using the “Lose It” app on my phone, and I love it! I use it every single day, and I’m almost always consistent with putting my food on there. But there are times when I don’t. Like when I go out and have a few too many Coronas with my friends (Thanks to Joan and Jose! Love you guys! :D).

So, after posting this picture on Instagram, I wanted that gratification. A part of me wanted to hear from other people that they can see I’m working hard, that they can tell I’ve lost weight. I was craving that. Why? Because I can’t look at myself objectively and be proud of what I see unless someone else tells me it’s okay? I don’t get it. I don’t understand where that mindset comes from or why I feel trapped inside of it. Is it just from years of self hatred that keeps me from loving myself? Is it so hard for me to show myself love that I can’t look at three pictures of myself and think “Damn girl. You’re working hard. I love you.”

I remember, when I was a kid, any time I would compliment myself or say anything positive about myself, my stepdad would always call me out on it, as if having a positive outlook on myself was being “full of yourself”, being arrogant. Any time I showed any kind of positivity where I was concerned, it was immediately met with sarcastic comments and taunts about my big ego and my arrogance.

I never remember what exactly I said to receive these taunts, but I remember the words spoken to me. I wonder if that is a part of why this all started in the first place? Thinking to myself that any kind of self-love or self-appreciation was selfish and arrogant. I was terrified that people wouldn’t like me because of that, that it was another personality trait of mine that, eventually (as I had been told on several occasions), would result in everyone that I loved turning their backs on me.

So finding it in me to look at these pictures and find pride in the progress I’ve made felt foreign, wrong even. And there’s that person inside me that tells me that if I voice those thoughts, someone will come around to tell me how wrong I am, and put me back in my place, back in that dark hole that suffocates me with self-hatred and depression. I don’t want to get back in that hole. I’ve spent too many years living there, and the world is too bright to ignore anymore.

So here it is. I am proud of what I’ve done. I can see my progress and I can say, with confidence, that I’m happy with myself. I will not stop working to improve myself, but I can look at these pictures and be proud of what I have done. Nothing can change that. Not even some jerk’s nasty comments. I refuse to give them that power. And I may be far from the point that it doesn’t affect me, but one day, it’ll just brush right off my shoulders.

I look forward to that day.

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