Sunday, August 27, 2006


I am going to go ahead and say that today was a good day. I got up at nine, I did fall back asleep when I got to the couch, but I am okay with that because I had gotten up. I lazed around the house much of the day, but I did sign up for Weight Watchers online tools and bought a camera (to replace one I lost.) I also did some dishes and tidying. I kept track of my Weight Watchers points today, and got very close to my target, (this is something I haven't been doing lately, I have let anxiety get to me.)

The reason I am going to read this as a good day and not as a bad day is because that's what I've learned in therapy, it's a different way of thinking about things then I used to. It would be fair to say I didn't accomplish much today. In the past, I would sit and stew, thinking about how much more I needed to get done, and stay up late, hoping I would do some of it. When someone told me that I was too hard on myself I would not think they understood my situation, I thought, if I was gentle with myself, EVEN LESS would get done!

What I learned in therapy, and had to finally believe enough to try, was that I had to be different about the way I saw things. If I accomplished 20% of the things I wanted to get done, I should praise myself for what I did get done. The 80% I didn't get done I should not scold myself for. It is okay to say "I would have liked to accomplish more. What factors contributed to me only accomplishing 20%? Was my goal realistic in the first place?" But I should not call myself "lazy" or "a loser."

The outcome of this lesson was different than I expected. Since I wasn't pushing myself, I assumed I wouldn't want to do anything at all. Instead, the pressure was off, so I just naturally accomplished things. And since I was focusing on the positive, praising myself when I got even little things done, I felt motivated to do just one more thing, so I could feel proud of something else, not just escaping the shaming I used to give myself when something didn't get done.

This attitude is what helped me lose 15 pounds with Weight Watchers. If I wrote everything I ate down I would be proud of myself, even if I ate WAY TOO MUCH. If I got close to my target I would be proud of myself, even if I was off by a few points. If I ordered an ice cream cone, but only ate half of it, I would still be proud of myself for throwing the second half away. You might think I would have lost more weight if I had said to myself "you didn't meet the target- you did a bad job today" or "you shouldn't have gotten that ice cream cone" but if I had acted that way, I would have QUIT. My encouragement was what kept me going.

So today wasn't perfect. But I DID do a few things. I am going to cheer on the few things I did do, and tomorrow I will wake up bright and early, ready to face another day with myself, a sweet encouraging person, not a mean drill seargent who would make me want to stay in bed. :)

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