Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hate Loss Challenge Week Two

I am currently on a week long cruise and the Internet costs dearly here so I am just uploading my post and will visit/read everyone else’s on Saturday when I return. I hope everyone is well and continuing with the challenge this week. I miss connecting with so many of you.

Part 1 Have you ever related to any of these questions?

I’ll go to the beach when I lose another 15 pounds.

I relate to this question with change: I’ll go on the beach but I am not taking my pants and shirt off. That was me from 1992 until 2005. During that time sun did not touch most of my skin – period. That has all changed. I am not waiting to loose the last 20 pounds. I am not waiting for plastic surgery or liposuction. This last summer I swam in the ocean nude and it was one of the best mornings of my life.

I’m going to put off having family photos until I’m happier with the way I look.

Yeah, I did that – too often. When I did allow photos to be taken of me I often stole the prints from the person who took the photos or, if they were mine, I cut pieces of myself out of the photos so that I could bear to see myself in the picture. I routinely narrowed my neck, arms, hips, add, thighs and calves. My face was hard to alter so I tried to ignore it completely unless it ws a profile. Then I could at least take out some of the rolls under my chin.

I won’t be happy until I get to my goal weight.

That was me most of my life. Now I am happy today. If I never lost another pounds I would learn to accept it but never again is my weight on any given day, week or month going to define my love for myself or my happiness.

When I feel better about my body/self, I’ll have the courage to do all the things I’m too self-conscious to do right now.

Yes and for the most part that had been true. I started talking to more people and wearing more revealing clothing when I felt better about myself. But I also made love outdoors, started a business, and took on public speaking while still fat and very self-concious because even then I was working on having a healthier outlook about me. I know I do not have to wait for weight reasons.

Think about the answers to these esteem-deflating questions. How often do you carry these thought around with you on a daily basis?

My life would be so much better if I were only:

If only we had better financial security. I am always worried about our future in terms of retirement and debt but I do not act to do something better about it. I feel helpless at this stage. I feel I will never have what I need to scare off the poverty boogie man. Mind you, I do not need a mansion and a yacht or millions in the bank. My life would be so much better if our debts and mortgage were all paid, and if our income could exceed our outlaw each month. Then I would not always feel like the poor relation in friendships, family and while in activities with people who always seem to have more than enough.

I’d be so much happier if I had a better:

Retirement plan, savings account balance and a handle on my feelings and plans for the future.

I wish I weighed:

Less than I do now. That is it. I am not unreasonable when it comes to my weight anymore. I wish I could weigh less than I do today. While I have a lower number in mind it is not something I wish for. Each pound loss is part of the journey I need to trudge to be able to keep it off once and for all. I do not wish for me than that.

When I look in the mirror, the first thing I criticize about myself is my:

Hanging skin. You asked for one thing but usually there are three things: Hanging skin, thinning hair and ugly stomach and thighs.

The one negative word that I use about myself over and over again is:

Liar - I always feel I am a liar, even when I tell the truth. It is an uncomfortable feeling.

Now, answer these questions so that they can be seen by everyone reading your update:

I often receive the most compliments on my

What I admire most about myself when I look at my reflection is my skinny shoulders. I have sexy shoulders and I can look at them and not see the fat lady that burst out all those years ago and left marks on other parts of my body.

I take pride in my keeping off over 200 pounds for all this time despite being told by others I could not do it unless I did it their way.

I love the fact that I can participate in life’s activities now. Just yesterday I hiked in a National Park in the US Virgin Islands, on a trail that was incredibly rocky, steep and included absolutely no services along the way. This mildly treacherous trail was the only way to reach a particular, secluded beach. I only had on a thin pair of beach/swim shoes yet I managed to do the trail in both directions, climbing up and down rocky enbankments along the way. At 250, 300, 350+ pounds I could not have made the journey, not even with proper hiking boots.

My greatest quality is__. I do not like questions like this (I do poorly in interviews because of this one). I am sure it goes back to being called out as conceited if I said something good about myself as a child. Grrr. Okay, I am going to do it My greatest quality is. . . . . Well, what is a quality? I am currently at sea and do not have unlimited internet minutes to pause and look things up in cyber dictionaries so I will do my best. My greatest quality is my (sits and stares at the screen for five minutes, then finds herself dozing off. . . . ). Omg, where was I, quality, my greatest quality . . . I have always felt my greatest quality is being able to find and share the humor in any situation. I have found a way to laugh and make other people laugh at death beds, funerals, deep confessions and most any somber occasion. This is not to say I cannot be somber when it is warranted. But there is a time for serious and there is a time for love and laughter and they often all overlap. I think this is my greatest quality.

Study your answers for as long as you feel comfortable. Now, take a mini-vacation from your current self. Set a timer if you have to. Spend at least 10 minutes going about your life believing that you are perfect exactly as you are right at this moment. Forget about your job. Forget about your husband. Forget about your wife; your children. Allow thoughts of your relationships, the kind of car you drive, the clothes you wear and the unfinished items on your ‘to-do’ list temporarily slip from your mind. Just for now, be present; be aware in these few moments of what it feels like to be the ‘perfect’ you that you keep longing for. 

If you find negative and/or unpleasant thoughts drifting into your mind during this time, acknowledge the thoughts but allow them to pass by like clouds in the sky and then focus on the answers to the above questions. Continue on with your exercise until your time is up. Notice how it felt in those moments, knowing that you were enough; also notice the control you had over these thoughts. 

Were you able to do the exercise for the given amount of time? If not, were you able to redirect your thoughts back to the present? I was able to focus and redirect my thoughts back to a positive place when my mind wandered. It is not easy but it is a good feeling.

Did it feel any different knowing that you weren’t relying on outside sources to challenge your beliefs – that you trusted yourself to be content with the things you knew to be true about yourself? The problem is I know truths about myself that are not positive. I hide things from others and I need to work through them, too, or this will be an exercise in spinning my wheels inside of losing the hate from myself.

Finally, discuss how things are coming along with the Positive Reinforcement Sheet. You will be almost half-way through the Challenge by Thursday. Where are you still struggling? Where are you succeeding? I am not struggling with the positive reinforcement sheet. I brought it on the cruise. I have it on a shelf in my cabin’s bathroom, I have it in my travel bag that I take with me everywhere. I read it a few times a day. I find some of the positive words easier than others but I am learning to accept more of them each week.

The quote in this week's which begins “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. “ – I received that quote on a framed print three years ago and on the print it was attributed to Nelson Mandela, not Marianne Williamson. Can anyone enlighten me on which is correct?

Hugs to you all


Unknown said...

I can't tell you how much I admire the fact that you are doing this challenge while on your vacation. You are one dedicated woman, Jane. Your post was fantastic, by the way. It is very interesting to read how each of us struggles with different aspects of self-esteem and I think it's helpful at the same time. By working together and supporting each other, it makes the medicine go down more smoothly, so to speak. Referring to your question on the above quote, Nelson Mandela used part of Marianne's quote in his 1994 inaugural address. The original author is Marianne Willamson and the book is called 'Return to Love'. It was published in 1992.
Thank you again for such an honest post. I'm glad you're having success with the positive reinforcement sheet! Now, go and enjoy your vacation!! :)

Hanlie said...

Great post! I'm finding these exercises challenging and eye-opening.

Anonymous said...

What is going on on that cruise? I hear something in the undercurrent.


You are strong and determined and can do any damn thing you set your mind to.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
Your topics are thought provoking and challenging - regarding the quote there is a much older similar one that I like very much;
"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,but that it is too low and we reach it"

teresa said...

You did such a great job on this. It was not easy, that's for sure.
I didn't know your blog before and I admire your journey so much.
The whole paragraph about "your best quality" made me smile because you really shared well the mental gymnastics we have to go through sometimes just to get to that positive thought.
Enjoy your vacation!!!

Diane Fit to the Finish said...

Oh yes - I've done all those things and more. Especially the one with photos, beach, trips, etc. That was me. I hope you had a great, relaxing cruise.