|Posted on August 14, 2010 at 7:42 PM|
29 July 2010
On Monday I found myself feeling quite frustrated and despondent over the kinds of comments where people try to be helpful and, instead of just applauding the choices I have made, and are desperately eager to offer improving suggestions. For me, the down side of being told what one can do better is that my brain turns it around and hears that I am not doing things well enough. I am easily able to interpret these comments as criticism instead of an offer of help and encouragement, especially where the approval of the person in question is important to me. This is compounded by the situation that I am far more likely to interpret comments in a negative light when my hormones are being premenstrually objectionable!
I found that this, more than anything provided a challenge to my efforts. I really felt like chucking the whole thing if what I was doing was never good enough for anyone. I’m a human being, after all. I like to hear people say “well done” and that I’m doing a wonderful job and that I’m doing it just right. Many people have said just that, of course, and tell me that my rate of weight loss (5kg now) is ideal as it will be easy to maintain. The trouble is, I find that I “hear” things that can be interpreted as “you’re not good enough” with far greater acuity and take it on board far more easily than I hear the “well dones”. In fact, I find it easy to gloss over the accolades. This is just the sort of pattern of thinking that is learnt over many years – decades even – and is most dangerous for people like me who want to make serious change.
My plan, my efforts CANNOT be for anyone else out there. They are only, purely for me. If I am remotely dependent on ANYTHING from other people – any other people – to keep me going, I put myself at great risk of failure. This has nothing to do with the intentions, support, or lack thereof from other people. It is based on the simple matter of free will. I cannot “make” other people respond in the exact way, with the exact word choice that I want to hear. This does nothing to diminish the wonderful support I am getting from so many. It just places “motivation” in the right place. External support and cheering is wonderful. Motivation, however, needs to be entirely internal. This makes me pause. What about people who choose to loose weight for the sake of their children? There are many who do that – not wanting to miss out on the years of being able to run and jump and kick a ball around. I guess even then, the motivation is still internal – they receive that pleasure of being active with their children.
I have had to go back and investigate my list of goals. No less than three were worded in such a way that they anticipated a certain response from other people. In one, I wanted to hear comments from the Japanese Swordsmanship folk when I return in September. I have changed that to wanting my hakama to fit better than ever before. In another, I wanted to impress my mother. That one has been struck off the list and awaits a replacement goal. In the third, I wanted my youngest son not to call me fat! Yep – it’s worth a chuckle. I was looking for approval from my youngest son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and is as forthright in his comments as it is possible for any little Aspie to be! That just got deleted, as it was an appendage to another goal and didn’t need to be there.
While on the subject of goals, I am delighted to see what I am achieving. I reached the first goal of sticking with the project for twenty-one days on 2nd July. The second goal was being less than100kg by the end of August. I have attained that before the end of July. I have listed wearing lower sized scrubs at work as one of the indicators of progress, and am now wearing tops the next size down. I just need my bottom half to catch up!
A little thing like that is a wonderful daily reminder. It’s like achieving a certain coloured jersey in a certain race. Everyday getting changed at work becomes a reminder of what I am achieving. Wearing that yellow edge on my sleeves is great, and I can’t wait to wear the pants with the yellow tie to go with the top. Then onwards to the next colour and the next size down.