Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Be Kind to Yourself

Good morning, friends! After two hectic weeks of new student orientation at work and a blissful week's vacation spent in Cape May, NJ, my life finally feels like it's back to "normal." So- back to regular blogging for me, yay!

Y'all, I can't even try to put a positive spin on my weight loss/maintenance journey or marathon training these days- I am struggling. After gaining 4.6 from the wedding and honeymoon, then losing 2.4 the next week, then gaining 1.8, then losing 1.8, then gaining 3... you get the picture; my weight is far from being maintained.

At least it's symmetrical! :-)

Walt Disney World Marathon training literally JUST started two weeks ago and I'm already injured. I visited the orthopedic doctor yesterday for pain in my left knee- she believes it's just overuse and has ordered an MRI and physical therapy. I have a sneaking suspicion that it's IT Band Syndrome or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Either way, I'm hopeful to have a more secure diagnosis after the MRI and some sessions with the PT.

So... yeah. That's where I'm at these days. I've spent a lot of time thinking about where I was (weight-wise and running-wise) a year ago. I had just finished the Pittsburgh Marathon, was in the best shape of my life, and the lowest weight I'd ever been as an adult. All of this last (somewhat stressful) year, I have obsessed over getting back to that "magic Pittsburgh weight" of 140 pounds. Honestly, I've beat myself up for not being able to get back down to that weight/fitness level; constantly berating myself, calling myself fat, stupid, and lazy. Yup, pretty much all the things I encourage other people not to say to themselves.

I've spent so much time fighting to be "who I was" that I think I've forgotten about encouraging the woman that I'm building, i.e., the woman I currently am. Do I weigh more now than last summer? Yes. Are my clothes a little tight? Yes. Am I running/working out less? Yes.

But that's totally OK! And I'm not fat, lazy, or stupid! [imagine me yelling these last statements in an enthusiastic way because that's what's happening right now, lol] I have to say these things out loud or else I succumb to the internal, constant loop that plays negative things in my head on repeat.

In the beginning of the summer, Weight Watchers encouraged us to write down our goals; where we'd like to be at the end of August. I wrote down these three things:

  • Weigh 145 pounds or less
  • Track your food every day
  • Reflect on each week with kindness and respect
Basically, a scale goal, a behavioral goal, and a mental health goal. While I can't control the scale, I can control my behavior and my own thoughts about myself. I have tracked every day (bravo to me!) of this summer and while I'm not near my scale goal yet, I have been making an genuine effort to be kind to myself- even if I'm not "where I was" or "where I want to be."

This whole healthy living thing is hard. I mean, really, really hard. Discipline, commitment, and self-control aren't things that just "happen." And neither does being kind to yourself, at least not for me. My default has always been negative self-talk, and that's a hard habit to overcome.

"You can't hate yourself into a person you'll love." I say this out loud to myself several times a week, usually when the negative thoughts start looping in my brain again. I first heard it in a Weight Watchers meeting room and it has stuck with me for years. It always reminds me to be kind to myself, to respect my own journey, and to cut myself some slack when needed. I'm still tracking, I'm still trying, and I'm still so much healthier than I would have been had I never started this journey. And sticking to it- even when it sucks- makes me proud of myself.

Is it hard for you to be kind to yourself? If so, how might you work towards being kind to yourself? If this is easy for you, share your secrets! 


  1. Needed this today (first new WW meeting today), thanks! :)

    1. Thank you for reading! While I was writing this, I remembered all the times you shared in the meeting about ourselves being "worth it." Reminding myself of that often :-)

  2. I am in the same boat as you are. Not being where I want to be/where I was and beating myself up for it.

    I went through a devastating breakup this past September when my boyfriend of 6 years and I broke up. During this time my father, who has Parkinson's, has been in hospital twice and I've gone through ups and downs with family drama.

    In all of this, I've gained around 15 pounds. My clothes barely fit and I'm running slower than I was a year ago. It's hard for me not to beat myself up, but I'm trying to remember me hating myself won't take the pounds off. Hating myself only makes it harder to get motivated to make good food choices and exercise.

    A few months ago I started making my lock screen on my phone positive quotes, much like the one you used at the end of this post. That way each time I look at my phone I get a dose of positive thinking. It doesn't help everyday, but it helps some days, and that makes it worth it to me.

    1. You are exactly right! Hating yourself just makes you feel WORSE! Which usually leads to horrible eating for me. Hang in there, Tara! You got this! :-)

  3. We're all our worst critics, and its so hard to see our successes when we feel like we're being bombarded with the opposite. Just remember that you can do it. It may not be at the speed or in the timeframe that you desire, but you'll eventually get there.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! I'm so impressed with your progress post-baby. You give me hope that should I ever get pregnant/have kids, I'll still be able to run! :-)

  4. I can totally relate right now. I actually avoid the scale at meetings and just pray that I'm still free every what 6 weeks? (You know Duffy would freak out). Progress not perfection, girl. Seriously. You have come so far. Allow yourself to pan back and look at the overall progress when you're feeling down. And we are all here for you always!