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Berating yourself is damaging.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

I saw the following image recently on a Facebook post of someone who wants to lose weight:

I too was dissatisfied with my health and fitness, in the beginning. And there was some self loathing going on. But I have a different perspective now, and feel compelled to say something about these sorts of messages.

"Beating" and "taking down" my former self wasn't productive, because eventually I'd get tired of being yelled at and criticized, and that would lead to giving up and regaining whatever weight I'd managed to lose. That former self was still part of me, so this attitude just continued the cycle of self-abuse and poor self-esteem that contributed to my weight in the first place.

I've made more personal progress by being kind and understanding of my former self than castigating her. She had her reasons for the choices she made.

And then one day that brave woman chose to make fitness a priority in spite of her flaws. I owe her everything, because if she hadn't done that I wouldn't have my current life and health.
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  • BOPPY_
    The self-flagellation takes on many forms, including but not limited to negative SP name/IDs selected, vociferous pronouncements of never quitting, OR NOT being a bunch of NEGATIVE things etc. That, plus salvos of religious references precludes many who might be inclined to try to help. It's impossible to find a hand-hold (mind/psyche-point-of-entry, actually) without creating a "scene" -- and thus making a bad situation, worse.

    One thing that would help is if SP allowed users to change their ID, but have all old references forward to the new ID. Also, some pre-counseling (a paragraph, or two) on name/ID selection, and SparkPage text would be useful, IMHO.

    Lee emoticon
    2415 days ago
    I totally agree with this assessment.

    I have seen plenty of blogs here on SP From people saying essentially the same thing. It pains me to think that people are building their efforts for improvement on pitting themselves down, and being at war with a part of themself.

    And it saddens, but doesn't surprise me, to see the ones who think like this constantly pitted against themselves in a battle that naturally they can never win. Again and again they pick themselves up and batter themselves against an aspect of themselves that has to be addressed, not overcome by force.
    It is only when we incorporate all aspects of ourselves that we can truly support the huge efforts we have to make in order to carry out the fundamental changes we need to make to put our eating issues permanently behind us.
    IMHO, anyway
    2426 days ago
    I struggled with the inner negative voice that compelled me to compulsively overeat. I learned how to stop that voice from DrAmyJohnson.com fighting the urge. I learned how to stop fighting with my inner negative voice. I admit it. I spent years trying to combat that negative voice with prayer, by being angry with myself, down on myself, trying to educate myself with self help books and articles. I hated loathed and despised that part of myself. Recently, I learned that those negative voices have a positive intent behind their messages. That negative inner voice wanted to help me? You gotta be kidding! I finally sat down and looked at that part of myself without anger. What are you trying to tell me? Silence. Did you know you are a poor communicator? She doesn't talk when I am angry. It took me a while but when I became really comfortable with my inner self and not angry, hostile or superior, I realized it started when I was a child and I was afraid. I thought if I was BIG I would be safe. So I got big. The message, "Eat it! You know you want it. It'll make you feel good." was meant to make me eat because there was a part of me that was still afraid of being small. Now all I have to do is say to myself, "it's okay. I've got this. I know you want it but trust me, we'll be okay." then make the decision to eat it or not. The voice isn't nearly so compelling now. It just stops. No drama. Just calm, Listening to IOWL has released me from the daily struggle and made me feel powerful and joyful. I can hardly wait until my body weight catches up to my head on this journey.
    2426 days ago
    Wise words!

    2426 days ago
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    2427 days ago
    I agree with everything you said! I used to try the "tough" approach with myself, because I didn't know better. But I came to realize that it was incredibly abusive, and I started treating myself with kindness. It has helped me far more than anything else I've done.
    2427 days ago
    My old behavior served a purpose. I might not like that results, but there was an emotional pay off to my actions. I have accepted that and trained myself to get that emotional pay off from exercise rather than from food.
    2427 days ago
    Agreed -- well put -- thankyou!
    2427 days ago
  • DALID414
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    2428 days ago
    Absolutely agreed!

    To take a line from that post, rather than "she is the old me," rather than dis-owning that part of ourselves, take it in, understand there were reasons for behaving the way we did, even if it did harm ourselves in some way...there was a pay-off. Understanding, addressing, incorporating and evolvlng ourselves is the healthiest path of all!

    2428 days ago
    Here, here!!!! Beautifully said!
    2428 days ago
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