Thinking of the wins as changes that I see and feel has really reignited some inner power. I’m generally a very positive person, so finding things to be grateful for, or wins that are just positive moments, is easy but also routine. Thinking about the reasons behind my thoughts is a completely different experience. I’m not rushing to find the definitive answers for all my questions. I’ve realised that I’m finally comfortable with the idea that this weight – both on my body and in my head – has been there for over 30 years, so it will take time for it all to wash away.
Thinking about the reasons behind my thoughts is a completely different experience.
I can see that I’m thinking more, and it’s not just about food. I’m joining the programme at an excellent time as I’m thinking about my other addiction – productivity. I have spent so much time being an emotional eater (30+ years) who has to be productive all the time (15+ years). Usually this productivity is being a workaholic, but it seeps into my private time by being unable to mentally slow down. I can’t watch TV without also researching a replacement for our vacuum cleaner. I can’t play the piano for more than 20 minutes, because I “should be doing something useful”. I stopped doing so many hobbies years ago because I no longer accepted that it was a “valuable” use of my time, instead believing it was ultimately selfish. For someone who is a bit of a creative hippie at heart, I didn’t see this mindset coming.
My husband pinned down the exact issue in an almost throwaway comment. I was talking about my desire to spend more time enjoying hobbies, and he said “but when you do, you always try to monetise them.” That really hit me hard because it’s true. I do try to monetise my hobbies (even this blog has affiliate links), and I realised that I do this because I feel guilty for engaging in activities that take my time, money, and mental focus away from my family time. I don’t feel this way about other people engaging in hobbies; I encourage it and love to learn about other’s passion projects. I actively promote having personal interests as an important part of mental wellbeing, strong relationships, and being an engaged member of the community. Yet while talking to myself, rather than seeing hobbies as routine wellbeing maintenance, I see hobbies as a reward for when I have done enough to deserve it.
That is the biggest change that I see today: Awareness that I treat myself in ways that I would tell others not to tolerate.
That is the biggest change that I see today: Awareness that I treat myself in ways that I would tell others not to tolerate. Now that I see it, I can work on not tolerating it in myself. It’s not an approach of “I deserve better”, it’s almost the opposite. I am neither great nor worthless, I’m like anyone else and we all deserve time to be ourselves.
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