A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Self-Love: Is There An App For That???

It's been a while since I've laughed at talked about the concept of self-love on my blog.  It's a concept I just don't get....no matter how hard I try to understand it.  My friend Pam said to me a while back that if I don't learn to love myself, I'll never get the weight off and keep it off.  She said "hate breeds hate".  And nothing good or positive can come from that.  While I see the point she's trying to make....I still don't understand how to rid myself of the self-hate for what I've done to my body...and replace it with self-love. 

I even tried to get down to the basics and use one of those tricks I heard talked about on Oprah one day where you stand in front of the mirror and simply say, "I love you Tammy".  That didn't work out too well.  I couldn't even form the words.  Here's why.  It was a lie....and if there's one person I cannot lie to in the entire world...it's myself.  I know myself.  I know my mind...my thoughts and feelings, etc.  And to look right at myself and tell myself that I love me is a big, fat lie.  I can't look at myself in the mirror and only see the good side of me.  I see the bad side, too.  Doing this naked is especially effective.  I look like the Michelin Man...a big, white tire stack of fat rolls.  How can I love that?  How can I love ME for making myself look like that?  And for so many years?

It's going on 30 years now that I've been fat.  Why?  What's wrong with me?  Why did I think this was ok?  Why haven't I stopped the behavior and turned it around?  What's taking me so long to do the mental changes to lose the fat and keep it off...instead of always re-gaining?  All of the teasing and taunting and ridicule I suffered through the years.....even as recent as a few months ago when an elderly man referred to me as "Miss Piggy" in the grocery store when speaking to his young granddaughters.......why hasn't that been enough to make me want to change things for the better?  Why is permanent weight loss such an elusive thing for me?  Why do I always revert back to old ways, no matter how much progress I make?

I was in bed last night lying on my side with my huge, flabby stomach sprawled out on the bed beside me.  I was groping it with my hands...feeling the circumference....the mind-boggling size of it...and remembering back to last year when I had made it down to 222 lbs.  I was remembering how good I felt.  I'm 5'10 tall, and at 222 lbs., I remember entertaining the idea that if I could lose 23 more lbs and get to 199, I may just stop and make that my goal.  I was feeling THAT good, physically and mentally.  I was HAPPY.  Now I'm all the way back up to 258 lbs., and I'm just disgusted.  I feel like I'm staring at a brick wall.  Like I'm stuck in a cycle that I can't get out of, even though I thought I had the tools to fix this. 

Maybe self-love plays a bigger part in this than I thought...so it might do me some good to actually learn how to apply it, attain it, learn it, something......because as of right now...I don't have those skills...I don't posess that quality....however you want to say it.  I need an app for that.  Tips, anyone?? 

13 comments:

  1. Up north, we call is playing with ourselves... Yeah baby... Film at 11

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  2. It took me a long time to love me but I do now...a lot! Hugs!

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  3. If you can't love yourself yet, what about respecting yourself? Treat yourself the same way you would a respected member of your family?

    I know exactly where you are right now Tammy, take a deep breath and start walking....away from the self hatred...come on my darlin you can do it.

    Hugs

    She
    xxx

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  4. Hi Tammy, what if you just say "I Love Myself" but "I don't like myself". Just like with raising kids. 99.9% of mothers loves her child but there are definitely times when she doesn't like them because of their behavior, lack of discipline, generation gap ... what have you. She doesn't give up on them, she tries to use reasoning or a different parenting approach. Don't give up on yourself, Tammy. We all love you here and if you look really, really deep inside, you'll see that you DO love you too. May tomorrow be a better day.

    ~Sheilah

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  5. I am working on this too Tammy. I think that working on the "mental" issues and retraining the brain is a VERY important part of healing the "addiction" It is a neverending process isn't it? I just wanted you to know you are not alone with this.

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  6. Not sure what self love means myself.
    Does it mean that by doing the things we keep doing to ourself that we haven't learned to love ourselves?
    I'd like that answer myself.
    (((hugs))) Don't like my mirror either and now there are the old age wrinkles addded to my fat. sigh!

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  7. I have a real tip. Act as if. That is, even though you simply don't feel love for yourself right now, act as though you do. Treat yourself like you treat a dear friend - even if it feels fake and weird. Just do it. I promise you - it will slowly turn things around - even if just a bit. Just enough to let a little light in. Act as if.

    When I first got sober and was mired in self hate, my therapist told me to envision holding my little girl self in my arms like I held my baby daughter - stroking her and adoring her. Only envision it as caressing and adoring the little girl I was.

    That's the app. Your judgment about yourself is impaired, but it can get righted. Act your way into right thinking, as they say in AA. I love you.

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  8. If people wake up and do nice things for themselves, indulge themselves...theyd on't self-hate as much as they think they do.

    I think the thing is to HATE THE FAT and HATE THE SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ACTS....while respecting one's own self. Being alive, having life, having a soul/spirit (which I believe humans do) is worthy of respect and love. One's positive qualities and efforts and dreams are worthy of respect and love.

    One's self-indulgence or ignorance or hedonism or laziness or whatever one wants to call it that makes us stuff ourselves with crap beyond our bodies capacities to process properly is not worthy of love. It's an obstacle that one's brain and will and self-love will seek to overcome.

    I think standing in front of mirrors and self-adoring is kinda freaky. I refuse to do that. But I will show myself love by buying fresh food and moving and trying to find balance and the energy to reach goals in my life before it's over.

    I spent enough time self-indulging with food...now I want to self-indulge with healthy activities...and healthful meals. That's self-respecting and self-loving, I suppose.

    It's common sense, too. :)

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  9. There's something to it. More than anything though, you have to feel worthy. I know I eat things that I would never feed my niece or god children. I struggle with motivation going to the gym, but if my mom wants to call and go walking, I'm all in because I know how important exercise is to her. Such flawed thinking. At some point we have to dig deep enough to say, I am worthy of happiness and health and living a good life. I'm worthy and deserving of me doing all I can to bring my goals to fruition. I don't think it's the same as love...or maybe it is. Just know you're worthy Tammy. Anyone who sets up a side business aimed at making other people's lives easier deserves to do the same for herself. You're worthy of all things amazing, my friend.

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  10. Yep, it took me until the third sentence to figure out it was about self love, not self LOVE if'n you catch me drift ;)

    I've always puzzled over the dichotomy between being happy with yourself as you are yet being motivated to lose weight. Is it, I love myself but I'd love myself more if.... Maybe it is :)

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  11. oh, I hope I can word this in a way to help you.

    I've been a food addict since I was a toddler..I remember crawling out of the crib to eat, later as a child I would binge on bowl after bowl of cereal or candy and I climbed the kitchen cabinets to get the cookies that were put "out of my way"....In other words, I learned how to take care of myself with food. Obviously, I didn't feel cared for and this coping mechanism and my own self view comtinued. Why that happened, how that happened is stuff I try to drudge up and remember and work through with the therapist, and sometimes someone else needs to put it in perspective. Therapy helps me. Just writing about it and memories and what I remember feeling and doing helps. And realizing how all the pieces fit in to place to put me in the situations I'm in.

    Cut to 40 something years later and I'm breaking those habits. If not 'Self love' maybe call it "self care" for now or "act as if".

    How can you love yourself or do self care? take care of you?: Start with the basics=getting plenty of sleep, putting lotion on your skin, paying your bills on time, buying something for you just because you have always eyed it but never would allow yourself to have it. Self care is taking the time to go to the gym, saying something nice to someone else, just say Hi to someone you've never spoken to that looks like they need that. Could be putting lower fat creamer in your coffee, saying NO, saying Yes, buying a new pack of gum, writing a blog, commenting on someone's blog. choosing the salad with the dressing on the side and eating an apple. be creative.

    ...I can't stand in front of the mirror and talk to myself or say little things to
    Try to make me feel better. I CAN just take care of myself in the healthiest and best way possible. I think about what I'm grateful for and blog about it. I look at pictures of myself as a little girl and remember, think of her and imagine having a tea party with her or spend some time being creative and fun. Think about how I would have cared for her and what I would say to her or to that angry 16 year old, depressed 23 year old, scared 33 year old.

    You've got us folks in blog world that care for you , so start small --but start.

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  12. Do you have a hard time accepting that other people care very deeply for you? I drop in to read occasionally and I think you're a very caring, kind and generous person. Give yourself a hug and let go of the hurt deep within... 1 positive change at a time! Be strong, pretty girl.

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  13. Sometimes I think we start believing it's ok b/c we hear all the time..."BE comfortable with who you are"...or..."Be happy in your own skin"...blah blah blah...

    I found you tonight while browsing...am just beginning my journey, yet again...hope you'll tag along with me as well...I need to surround myself with movers & shakers!

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