Deadly sins revisited – envy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Permalink

Weigh-in day today for those of us doing Michelle Bridges’ 12 week challenge. I’d done my measurements and got weighed only on Saturday so wasn’t expecting to have lost much in 3-4 days. I’ve dieted enough to know that sometimes the weight drops off at the very last minute (just before weigh-in) so was thinking I’d see more of a result this weekend.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I got on the scales this morning and saw that they had gone from 129.1, to 128.0. I was, in fact, quite chuffed. And I remained so all day… until about 30 minutes ago.

I’d gotten home from work and – as I’d slept in this morning (I blame the cold weather) – diligently jumped on my exercise bike for 23 bloody long minutes (doing my 20 minute interval thing), then I jumped in the shower before logging onto one of the new forums on the 12WBT challenge website – for those with over 30kg to lose. There was a topic posted about today’s weigh-in with dozens and dozens of replies already. I’d decided I’d post my 1.1kg loss in there, thinking (still) that I’d done quite well. But what did I bloody well find? People who have lost MASSES of weight since the weekend: 4+kg since Sunday and many who have lost 2 and 3kg in the 3-4 days. Fuck!

My mood spiralled and I felt deflated. I was a failure. And, I know, I know… one shouldn’t compare themselves to others (and fellow 12WBTer Ange wrote about this recently), but I do and I hate that I do.

I was reminded of a post I wrote (elsewhere about 2 years ago), so rather than rehash the issue I am pasting in from there: the post was called Deadly Sins – envy and people-pleasing:

I was talking to my mother recently about one of my (many) faults. Envy. I explained to her that I generally feel happy about my little ‘lot’ in life – my apartment, my job, my pay, my life – until I look around me. Then I see friends / people who – earn more, have better places, cushier jobs, partners with whom they share expenses, mortgages and their lives – and I feel discontented. “It’s not fair,” I think. “Poor me,” I think.

I forget about those millions who are homeless and living in poverty or violence. It is all about me and I feel envy. I feel injustice and I feel (and act) like a ‘victim’.

I hate these feelings of envy and injustice and talk about myself as being self-absorbed. Self-obsessed.

But, when I do psychological tests, or other personality quizzes the results rarely indicate this. In fact it is the opposite: I am ‘socially intelligent’, knowing how to act with people in different situations; I feel a sense of responsibility to others and care about their feelings and welfare… blah, blah blah.

This is kinda true. I know that. In some ways this is a good thing. I am overly cautious about others’ feelings, in group situations I ensure that everyone gets a say, I encourage the quieter members. But I am also overly sensitive to others’ pain and hurt. I feel the need to make things better. I explain away others’ insensitivity; I intervene to soften someone’s tone without trying to offend either party. It can be hard work. I continually monitor peoples’ reactions as I speak to them – which means I give them what they want to hear.

Essentially, I am a people-pleaser and it can be exhausting. It can also mean that ‘I’ am lost along the way. What I really want to say and who I really am is cast aside as I become who others need me to be. And what I am realizing more and more is that, I can only see myself through the eyes of others.

For a long time I have known that I worry too much about what others think of me. How I am perceived. I can only see myself reflected in the eyes of others. When asked why I want to lose weight, my responses are about how others perceive me: so men will find me more attractive; so people won’t judge me in a certain way…. My reasons are never about me.

Meanwhile… the almost-immediate reaction that popped into my head after reading how well everyone else had done (and feeling like a failure in comparison) was that I’d give up. My old mantra which plagued me as a youngster… ‘if I can’t be the best then I won’t try.‘ Look where that’s gotten me in my adult life: 43 years old, single and at least 50kg overweight.

So, I will keep trying. Plugging away. I will try to focus only on me and being the best me I can be.

  • Kathy (kathb73)
    May 26, 2011

    Don’t give up! Just remember this is about YOUR journey. 1.1kg from Saturday is still a great loss – think about where you will be in 12 weeks if you lose that each week. For those that did lose more – good on them, but it won’t be sustainable on a weekly basis.

  • rockafellaskank
    May 26, 2011

    Thanks Kathy. I had a look at your blog (tried to leave a comment but got thrown out – perhaps a blogger and wordpress glitch!)… but was very impressed at the calories you are burning each day. My exercise is so limited at the moment that I am burning really small numbers of calories (though, I guess I should think… at least I am burning SOME!).

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