I know I said I wasn’t going to post here again until the new year, but… oh well. Just think of this as an end-of-year anomaly of sorts. It was initially going to be a summary post, which I’ve seen other bloggers do – picking my fave posts from each month of the year. But in true ‘me’ style, by the time I got to February I’d already blown my 1-2 post/month limit.
What I mostly found is that I rarely talked about inconsequential stuff (though that’s not to say my posts haven’t been boring or inane), rather they’re angst-ridden analyses of my feelings, thoughts and behaviour.
Over the past year, in particular, I’ve struggled with the concept of dieting vs not-dieting; and the notion of self-acceptance. I’ve found it difficult to continue with the weight loss I started in 2011 – gaining ‘some’ of it back and grappling with the same thoughts and behaviour which have plagued me for almost 30 years.
It won’t surprise regular readers to know that I struggle with self-confidence and rely on self-deprecation to put myself ‘in my place’ before others have the opportunity to do so.
Which is why the concept of ‘self-acceptance’ has been attractive to me. Somewhere between self-hatred and self-love, self-acceptance has been increasingly tossed about the health, fitness and weight loss world over recent months.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally realised that you can ‘accept’ or ‘like’ yourself even if you are not perfect. D-oh!
In grappling with self-acceptance, I’ve asked:
How can I accept who I am when I still need to lose a lot of weight?
How can I like or accept myself when I’m not as fit or healthy as I want to be?
Discussions I’ve had recently with Karen Anderson have made me realise that – by accepting myself I’m not necessarily condoning my own thoughts or behaviour; I’m not declaring that who or what I am today is who or what I ultimately want to be.
I may not be a masterpiece (and I suspect few of us are?!?) but I am a work-in-progress, worthy of my
space place in the world – even now.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing the victim. Poor me. Do I think the world is conspiring against me, you wonder? No… of course not.
I do – however – have a specific villain in mind as I wallow in my disempowered and self-indulgent self-pity.
And that villain? The person to blame for all that’s wrong in my world?
That’s me. It’s my fault. I’m to blame. The guilt is mine.
But I’m realising that, although we may be far from our ideal selves – by not ‘accepting’ who we are JUST as we are today – we are rejecting ourselves. (And, quite frankly… I don’t need or deserve that!)
I’ve vowed that my recent lifestyle changes would also result in a change in me. Three months in, and I’m finally ready.
I’m taking some motivation from a book I got for Christmas (yes me, the hater of self-help books). I’m only one chapter into Domonique Bertolucci’s The Happiness Code and reading about the first key in Bertolucci’s code, which is ‘taking charge’ and the principal of choice.
“Choose to be happy and you will be,” she says.
Bah humbug! I say. But, I read further.
“Don’t be the victim in your life. Self-pity will never lead to happiness. Remind yourself that the situation may not be ideal, but it’s rarely the worst thing that could ever happen.”
It’s not rocket science but, I’ve been thinking a lot about the choices we make. And about the choices I’ve made and continue to make. Bertolucci reminds us that every choice we make has consequences – both positive and negative. And, if others are like me, we weigh them in both our heads and hearts before making a decision.
Bertolucci reminds us that if we’re not prepared to accept the impacts of our choices then we need to rethink those decisions.
“It’s important to recognise that every single decision has consequences and there is no point expending your energy raging against them.”
It occurs to me that I am often in denial about the repercussions of my choices. Whether they be the result of unhealthy food choices or major lifestyle decisions such as my recent sea change. By acknowledging and accepting the negatives I can own up to the real choices I am making. And this…. I need to do.
Do you think through the consequences of choices before you make decisions?
Do you always accept those consequences?