So just now, I’m about a stone overweight, not as fit as I’d like to be, drinking too much alcohol, eating too much rubbish (crisps, cake, snacking) and not enough fresh fruit and veg.
I’m quite sedentary though the day, working from home on the phone.
I’m a night owl, so often stay up later than I need to if I want a good 8 hours sleep before the morning routine with the kids.
I don’t always drink enough water, and although my tea and coffee intake isn’t horrendous, it’s probably a little high.
I waste time playing silly games on my phone, and a couple of hours can easily slip by watching TV on an evening.
I skip my yoga class all too often on a Friday night because something else beckons (usually involving too much food and booze).
Because I work from home on the phone, I go days without making much effort about my appearance (although I do always get dressed for work – staying in my PJs is a step too far even for me!).
If you’ve read many of my blog posts before, you won’t be surprised when I say that I don’t like this version of me I’ve described above and can harshly judge myself for it.
Over the years I’ve changed many aspects of my life and habits for the better (using the same steps I outline in my online ecourse How to change and make it stick), but I still haven’t got my health and fitness to where I want it to be.
So, while I’ve been playing with being more self-compassionate, I’ve got really curious about what it is about my mindset and beliefs that continues to get in the way of me making lasting changes to my physical wellbeing.
Afterall, cognitively I get it, and I know what I need and want to do. But there’s something deeper, something not conscious that keeps pulling me back to my default, unhealthy patterns.
So gently, kindly and without judgement I’ve been asking myself what it might be. And I think I’ve found at some level I simply don’t believe that I deserve it, that I don’t ‘matter’ enough to properly take care of myself!
Now this makes no sense rationally, but as much as we like to think we are, we just aren’t rational beings. And it’s really surprised me, because the story I’ve generally held about myself is that I do have more self-respect.
But what lead me down this path of realisation was watching my behavioural patterns. I’ve noticed I’ll postpone my exercise until after I’ve seen to other people and I won’t say ‘no’ to other commitments to make the time I need to look after myself.
It’s almost like a version of the “I’ll be happy when…” myth – you know, “I’ll be happy when I’ve the..[new car/job/partner/wife/lost weight etc etc]”.
Instead I’m saying “I’ll deserve to give myself the time and attention I need to look after myself when…[my inbox is clear, my to do list is ticked off, the kids are in bed, I’ve brought in enough cash for this month]…the list goes on.
Now, I may be wrong, and it’s not this at all, but for now I’m playing with trying an alternative belief – “what happens if I don’t have to earn the right to look after myself properly; what if I deserve it right now?”.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
The other thing I’m wryly acknowledging is that no matter how much ‘work’ we do with our personal development, there’s always another layer to peel back; another depth of understanding. I’ll never be done or ‘fixed’, partly because I’ll always see how I may become better.
The trick is in truly feeling that just because I can be better, it doesn’t mean that I’m not already good enough!
And today at least I wrote this blog post after I went to the gym, not before 🙂