Get ready for some real talk.
For the past few years I have been learning about and implementing Health At Every Size (HAES) and Body Positivity into my life, but for the past few months, I’ve been hating myself and my body. Generally, I feel like a failure. A big fat failure.
I am fat. That’s a fact. I don’t say this as a negative thing, I say it as if I would say, I’m tall. It’s a descriptor – nothing more and nothing less.
I had negative self-talk going through my head for years – and I don’t know where it came from as my parents and my immediate family have always been loving, kind, and amazing – but I would hear things like: You are too fat to exist, you shouldn’t be allowed to be outside or eat in front of strangers, you are worthless, you are stupid, you totally suck!
Body Positivity, HAES, and Intuitive Eating along with working with a nutritionist and therapist have helped – I have made huge strides. I started doing Facebook Live videos, finished my book and self-published it on Amazon, started marketing and meeting other writers and readers online. I stopped hating myself all the time and started truly enjoying life again. But lately, I’ve been sliding into the negative self-talk again. I’ve been eating to console myself, to make myself feel better when I’ve had a somewhat bad day, or I didn’t sleep well, or just because it’s Tuesday.
And for me, at least, when I start to hate my body and it’s size it slips into other areas. I start telling myself things like: you are a bad mother, you are a terrible friend, people don’t like you, how dare you think you should exist, or be outside, or talk to people. You suck!
What I hear in my head is not always pretty, and it’s not the truth – this I know. But in the moment, when I’m already feeling down, I believe the voices. Luckily, I still have all of my supports in place and will be talking to each of them, leaning on them, relying on them, and continuing the hard work but I feel like a failure. I feel like I have failed at being a good person because I slid back into self-hatred and not fully embodying self-love.
I feel like, once again, I just proved the voices right – that I suck, that I can’t do anything right because I screwed up again. The thing is, I haven’t screwed up – I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t set the world on fire, I didn’t start a war or anything, but I still feel like I failed myself. I showed myself that I am unworthy. Again.
It’s weird, too, because when I hate myself I eat poorly (now I’m going to stop right here and say that no food is inherently BAD or GOOD, it’s just FOOD – but I know for ME and me only that I feel better when I eat proteins, veggies, fruits, and drink more water). I don’t exercise or get any movement in. I feel bad, eat crap, don’t move, feel worse – oh right, it’s because I suck – rinse and repeat.
When I’m feeling more positive, I take better care of myself. I walk or dance or do yoga because it’s fun! I eat food with lots of colors and textures and I look forward to cooking and fixing my plate. I feel better, I do better – I keep feeling better, rinse and repeat there too. Until it stops.
This time though, I knew to stop and ask myself – when was it last working? When was I last feeling good, doing good? What can I do to get back there?
For me, it’s reading some Body Positive books and Journaling.
So I grabbed a book from the library called Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth that’s been amazing and I started back with my morning mindset practice (which I talked about HERE). And I’m slowly coming out of the fog of self-hatred and back to feeling better about myself and where I’m headed.
And I’m going to keep talking and working with my nutritionist and therapist. I’m going to keep moving one foot in front of the other, forgiving myself and being compassionate about my mistakes and my missteps, but it’s hard. It’s hard to be still and love myself when I feel like I’ve failed. I need space and time and kindness – towards my self.
I also need people, my community, my tribe – I need to continue doing the things I love – writing these blog posts, connecting with people on Instagram, doing my Facebook Live videos because I’m an extrovert and I need that connection. I work from home so I don’t always see people in real life during the day, but if I can feel connected to writers, readers, fans, and family or friends I will feel better. I know this, but when you are knee deep in feeling like you suck, you assume everyone thinks you suck and you withdraw – and for an extrovert, that’s horrible. It’s the exact wrong thing to do.
So I’m here – being completely open and honest and brave in what I’m owning up to. I feel like a failure, but I’m still growing and learning. I’m trying and failing, getting back up and trying again. What do you guys do when you feel like you’ve failed at something? How do you handle these feelings of I Suck? How do you get yourself back on track with your goals?