Why are you so hard on yourself?
This is something I almost typed on my friend Janie Porter’s blog post on She Just Glows. She wrote about not losing baby weight and boy can I relate. She’s frustrated the weight isn’t melting off after working so hard. She binged on food to make herself feel better, and she cried and yelled “It’s not fair!’ It’s like she’s stalking me and writing about my life.
So I took to the comment sections to write:
“Why are you so hard on yourself? Your baby is 6 months old, you’ve had 3 children in less than 4 years. Please give yourself some forgiveness and grace! Why are you pushing yourself so hard, you are beautiful and glowing – just be where you are!”
And then I promptly deleted it because I was being a total hypocrite. I literally felt like I was going to throw up as I knew in that moment that this is exactly what I need to do – take my own advice, but for some reason I can’t.
Why am I so hard on myself?
My trainer said this to me a couple of weeks ago and I left the workout in tears. “Why are you so hard on yourself? Why can’t you just let it go? The weight will come off when it’s supposed to.” After working, running, training, and eating right for nearly two months I was seeing no results, and I imploded.
What I don’t write about, or talk about is my never ending private battle with perimenopause. After trying a paleo diet that’s nearly impossible, I am back to hormones. In the last 18 months I’ve tried birth control pills, hormone patches, Nuva rings, and am now on my 4th prescription of bio-identical hormones. The side effects of each treatment are sometimes worse the endless hot flashes. The cramping, bloating, and weight gain have led me into a depression. Sometimes I feel like I’m never going to feel good again, it’s a hopeless cycle of sadness and anxiety.
But instead of empowering what I’m going through, I suppress it. I work as hard as I can to diet, and exercise, and run, and try my best to lose the weight. But some weeks the scale goes up.
And boy, am I hard on myself.
I was right where Janie was two weeks ago. I wouldn’t even let my trainer post pictures of me on social media because I didn’t want people to see I still wasn’t as thin as I’d been before kids. My clothes that fit me last HEAT season are getting tight, and I compare myself needlessly to the younger, fitter reporters.
You see, I like Janie and many other women, have an image in my head about what I’m supposed to look like. What I’m supposed to be. But the thing is…none of us are the same as before we had kids.
My hips are wider and my legs are fuller. The hormone treatment has given me a pooch in my tummy that I never even had after my kids. I wake frequently at night from sweats and hot flashes so I never really feel rested. And I have developed anxiety that pretty much sucks.
But what dawned on me recently is that I’m not accepting where I am, I’m fighting it. And instead of moving forward, I’m going backwards every single day. I’m engaging in negative self-talk, feeling sorry for myself, and unknowingly been making things worse.
So instead of posting that comment to Janie, I’ve reflected on those words I typed this morning:
And maybe it’s time I took my own advice. Accepted this condition, accepted how I look, and be proud of where I am. I might not be that perfect girl I think I need to be, but instead I’m where I’m supposed to be. Learning that happiness doesn’t have to be defined by unrealistic beauty standards or a number on a scale, it comes from within.
So I’ll try not to be so hard on myself.
It won’t be easy, the perfectionist inside always pushing me for more. But maybe the only way to move forward is to finally be content where you are.