Thursday, September 13, 2012

Loving You

Today is the first day of my semi-challenge, and I have already gone over my first post with a fine toothed comb. I've been picking apart every goal that I set, looking at the restrictions I set for myself, and wondering what I have gotten myself into. I seem to have this horrible habit of overdoing just about everything I do, and isn't the whole point of this experiment - this entire blog - to go easy on and be gentle with myself? It seems to me like my rules were restrictive, and restricting myself is what gets me in "trouble" in the first place. So today, I'm going to take it slow, ignore the "key points" I talked about yesterday, and focus on one of the most important elements of my experiment: loving myself.

Let me start by saying that I am NO GOOD at self-love. I find myself receiving compliments and deflecting them back, for example:

Friend: Omigosh, cute shirt!

Me: Oh, this old thing?

I never realized that this was a form of "denial" until a good friend pointed it out to me. I responded to a compliment of hers in like fashion, and she said "Stop doing that. You don't need to tell people it's an old shirt/bag/etc or where you got it, just take the compliment and move on." And you know what? She was right! For some reason, I simply cannot accept a compliment and let it be what it is. I have to deflect it away from myself by downplaying the subject of the compliment. I'm working on not doing that, which is difficult for me because it's so ingrained in the fabric of who I am and how I operate. Change is not easy, this is true, but I find that my lack of ability to love who I am slips out every day in little ways like this one. Does this make me come across as insecure? I'm sure it does, and to be honest that's a little embarrassing!

But when it comes to self-love, I find that I simply have the hardest time looking in the mirror and loving what I see. Sometimes even just liking what I see is a real challenge, one I'm going to have to face head on. Avoiding mirrors and pants with buttons is almost impossible, so I'm going to have to learn to accept who I am, what my body is doing, and love it for what it is and what it can do, not what it ISN'T and what it CAN'T do. But there's a problem there. If I'm striving for self-love and acceptance, and need to love myself the way I am, then how am I supposed to change my eating habits? Why should I? And exercise - who needs it if I'm loving me the way I am, right? I think the answer to that is simple: I've got to love myself for who and what I am and understand that there are things I simply cannot change, regardless of how many crunches or jumping jacks I do. But I need to accept that there are things I am not good at, and strive to become better at them.

That's a lot of blah blah blah-ing and deep thought for a blog that's only two days old, I know. I do have a point, and I'm coming to it now. It's time for a mental and emotional exercise.

Write down a list of things you absolutely love about you! I'll be sharing my list with each of you tomorrow - keep an eye out! Until then...


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