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We talk to ourselves all the time. Maybe not out loud per se. But every second of the day, our thoughts are swirling. And for many of us those thoughts can get pretty negative. This is why I like the idea of memorizing mantras---something simple and poignant, which we can say to ourselves, whether it's every day or as an important reminder when we need it.
Dear Girl Who Doesn’t or Didn’t Know Her Worth, You let others treat you the way they wanted to treat you. Which often only substantiated the darkness you felt about yourself. When people did nice things, with ill intentions, you felt like you owed them something, and so you gave them gifts they never deserved.
When you don't finish everything on your to-do list and more tasks keep piling up, try to be patient with yourself. When you look tired and your skin feels like sandpaper and you hate the way you look in everything, try to be patient with yourself. When you get easily distracted or can't make up your mind, try to be patient with yourself.
Do any of these experiences sound familiar, whether past or present: You took on jobs that you hated and held onto every dollar you had out of fear of not having enough money. You punished your body at the gym for fear of gaining weight. You watched what you ate because you hated your body. You surrounded yourself with unhealthy "friends," and endured unhealthy relationships because you feared being rejected. You became a people-pleaser because you feared disappointing others. You partied and trashed your body to numb the deep loneliness you felt.
A few weeks ago I wrote this piece about the real reason personal boundaries are powerful: Because they help us define who we are. Boundaries also are “as much about what we let in as what we keep out,” according to psychologist Sherry Walling, Ph.D, in the same article. Which is a great perspective to have when contemplating what decisions to make and how to live our lives.
Dear Body, Today isn't too good. Honestly, I feel disgusting. I feel like I want to eat an entire tub of ice cream. And I might. Because it hurts. Everything hurts. And I just don't know what to do. I feel bloated and too big. I feel deeply uncomfortable. In my bones. In my cells. It's just so frustrating. The tension and restlessness are electric. But there isn't anything energetic or positive about this electricity. It's like I feel every inch of my skin, and every inch pulsates with discomfort. And I just want to crawl out. But I also know it's not easy on you either. You're struggling, too. Thank you for sticking by me through all the insults and criticism and hate. Thank you for still walking me to class. Thank you for still writing and doing. Thank you for getting up. For still breathing and witnessing and trying your best. Because I know you're trying your best, somewhere in my heart I know this. Right now it just feels hard.
We don't need to lose weight to feel comfortable in our own skin. One reason is that weight fluctuates so it's not a sure thing. Why depend on something that naturally shifts all the time? We also don't need to wait. Why wait any longer to feel more comfortable and at peace? Because there are many other ways. Recent, we talked about one way: identifying what's really going on.
Years ago I believed that in order to finally feel comfortable in my own skin, I had to lose weight. Because most days, I felt so uncomfortable, so overwhelmed, so weighed down, so stuffed and so sad. I thought being thin would magically make me feel calmer, less restless and antsy, less sad. I thought it would clear up my confusion, soothe my anxiety and make it all better.
Yesterday, in this post, I talked about the illusion of thinness---the belief that once we lose weight and finally become "thin," we will have everything we've ever wanted. Our lives will be beautiful. We will finally be worthy of love, care and attention. We can finally wear comfortable, stunning clothes. We can finally treat ourselves to delicious meals and kind habits. We will finally have it all.