My Revelation

I'm on vacation, not much time to post tonight, but I wanted to share my revelation, especially after last week's negativity.   First a little background:  1) This year's project is learning meditation, and 2) I have low self-esteem.  Item #2 is the cause of my problem that has revealed itself, and item #1 helped me find it.  So I've been practicing meditation following this curriculum, going to a weekly class, and a workshop last weekend.  The goal is pretty simple, to learn to be aware of your thoughts.   That's it.  So last night while doing my food prep, I paid attention to my thoughts.  This is what I heard coming from my mind:  "I'm so weird for making these salads in my hotel room.  I'm an extremist.  I have taken this too far. I probably have an eating disorder.  If anyone saw me doing this, they would think I'm crazy."   Holy cow, I thought, do we have any positive thoughts to share?  silence.   Then today I monitored some more and heard more self-critical thoughts related to healthy eating.  I then explored old favorites.  Here are a bunch I came up with:

  • I am no better than anyone else
    • (therefore) I don't deserve to feel good about myself for eating healthy [what???]
  • people must think I'm weird (work lunches, business travel in bars and restaurants)
  • I wish I could join in in the fun (beer, popcorn, ice cream at terrace, popcorn at movies, etc)
  • (when delicious SAD treats are available that I used to love):  I want some but I can't have any.  I'm in nutritarian prison.
  • my foodie friends may not want to be friends with me anymore
  • I wish I could eat that
  • I'm a weirdo and extremist for preparing salads in my hotel room.  

Now to reframe these negative thoughts:

  • considering all the negative messages I've given myself, I've done incredibly well at sticking to my guns
  • I'm passionate
  • I'm a trailblazer
  • I have discovered the secret to health and long life
  • I'm smart for figuring this out
  • not only to do I know what to do, I am doing it
  • I am successful at eating healthy in an unhealthy world
  • I deserve credit for my success, I deserve to compliment myself occasionally
  • I am proud of what I'm doing
  • I have nothing to apologize for
  • I enjoy preparing salads in my hotel room, and I enjoy even more eating the food I prepare
  • (while traveling, parties, restaurants:)  I'm proud of how I eat; I have no reason to apologize, my food tastes better and is better for me.  It's a free country!  
  • (when delicious SAD treats are available that I used to love): I want some but I can't have any.  well, I don't really want it because I'll feel like crap if I eat it.  it's a pretty minor thing to give up for feeling good every day.   what else do I want to do?  mountain bike and kayak. permission granted! 
  • If I had to eat SAD food every day, THEN I would be in SAD prison
  • what are people's most common new year's resolutions?  eat better and lose weight.  so why am I weird for doing that?
  • my foodie friends appear to still enjoy my company
  • thank goodness I don't have to eat that
  • (regarding food prep in the hotel room):  I'm the world's greatest nutritarian road warrior!
I'll probably edit this to make it more readable, just wanted to get it down.  You might ask why do I have such low self-esteem around this?  Well, I'm prone to it in all areas of my life, but in other areas I have external messages and rewards that make it more difficult to convince myself that I'm worthless.  For example, I'm pretty successful at work.  That doesn't stop me from thinking I'm all washed up and it's downhill from here and I'm a fraud.  But, there is ample evidence that I have been successful in the past and I can't argue with it.  With the healthy eating, I have evidence that my health is vastly improved and I'm at my ideal weight.  You'd think that would be enough to give me some confidence, huh?   Holy cow.  I just let the negative internal voice get out of hand.  I'm going to have to practice the appropriate responses to my negative voice.  

And in case you are wondering, I know why I have low self-esteem.  I won't go into it but the solution is to be aware of it and catch it in the act and recognize how irrational it is.

If you are like me at all, pay attention to your thoughts!    

Okay, time to plan tomorrow's fun!

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