Jack Handey v. Haters; a case for getting healthy for real
You cant hate yourself healthy.
Its not possible. If you hate yourself, you can hate yourself into being thin and you can hate yourself into being fat; but healthy is not a state you can get to with hatred as your motivation. Beyond the outside motivators of being healthy for my family and being a positive example for my daughter the largest paradigm shift for me in my transformation was self love. I know how Derrick Donaldson I sound right now but stay with me here.
Look in the mirror. If youre ballsy do it naked. Try to love everything you see. If you cant love it try accepting it (a tactic that works with every part of your life actually). If you cant love the dimples, stretch marks, back chub, what-have-you just accept it. If it helps, accept it as a starting point. And if you cannot possibly do this, the first step to a healthy you is continuing this process until you can.
In life and in changing your lifestyle you cannot get where you are going until you lovingly accept where you are. All of it.
Its true that in the past I have lost weight and gained it back. I now have a huge arsenal of information, habits and tools that I didnt have before to keep me on track. But the most important one is that I dont start out each day with a head full of negative thoughts about myself. My internal dialogue is positive, and when it isnt I go all little engine that could on myself until it is. I have decided that if I wouldnt talk to my best friend the way that I talk to myself than that just wont do.
When you dont love you, all of you, then your intention is set on fixing up this bad person. This very thought process screws from the start of any plan you have in mind. Sure, you can get thin with a passion for fixing your bad self, but it wont last and it will never be healthy because you arent healthy in the way that matters most.
We live in a culture that says be independent, stand out, be successful, and most importantly, be beautiful! And this cant be shocking news, but the most clear part of be beautiful is be thin. No thin is ever thin enough, so we all find ourselves in this mad race for someone elses contrived ideal of perfection. Being kind to yourself, respecting yourself enough to make healthful choices is a step out of the race; and this is quite upsetting to those who feel stuck there. Out come the haters
My good friend and hetero-life-partner, Kimbra, called me tonight to tell me a story about such a hater. She has had her own transformation in the past year or so and lost a significant amount of weight. We speak about this often and she always says, the more weight I lose, the longer I am consistent with my new habits, the more I realize how I could have never done this before I didnt like myself so I couldnt be good to myself.
So she was at work during a busy time (she manages a restaurant) and one of her former employees she hadnt seen in awhile was sitting in the dining room. She gets a text on her phone that says Kimbra has lost hella weight. Shes still fat, but shes lost hella. Must be doing a lot of coke.
Clearly she was not meant to be the recipient of this message, but as he was thinking about her sent it to her on accident. She looked up at him and said really? Coke? to which he responded by running out the door. That was not a nice thing to say. But (much like lesson from running part1) the rudeness of this other person was not what made the story interesting. People are rude all the time. And if you are or have ever been overweight, you know that being called fat isnt like some crazy, unheard of circumstance in your life. But damn does it sting.
And it didnt. The only thing that mildly irritated her is that she was too busy for dumb texts at the time and that he would insinuate she had a drug problem. She has been working hard and its paying off a concept which people who are not personally participating in find hard to understand and therefore upsetting. For Negative Ned (my new male version of Negative Nancy), there was no way she could be doing something positive to achieve such results.
The Shes still fat part? She couldnt possibly have cared less about. Why? Because she feels great! Because she can stand in the mirror and lovingly accept all of her. Because shes proud of herself. Because she no longer relies on the ongoing commentary from haterville to carve out some faade of a self esteem.
Because being fat is not about a size, but about a self defeating mindset that she will never have again.
There is nothing to really say to something like that anyway. The conflict really playing out in such a scenario was between him and himself. There is no reason for her to get involved in that. In fact, responding would really be getting involved in someone elses personal business as it had nothing to do with her.
Im proud of my Kimbra. The positive changes she has made in her life practically radiate from her now. She is kind to herself and thereby kinder to everyone she encounters. Ive known her for all of her adult life and Ive never seen such a glow about her. And while shes a slimmed down version of herself it isnt the new pant size that makes her such a light its the very paradigm shift that allowed her to not be phased by Ned. She doesnt hate herself anymore.
There is a popular study that follows people who have lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year. It points to all kinds of trends these people have in common exercising regularly, eating such and such and not blah blah, but I think they are missing the mark all together. Its true that your physical activity and what you put in your mouth affect your body, but I would be willing to bet if you checked back with those people in 5-10 years; the people who still feel good about where they are at changed their thinking about themselves more than anything else. You could probably keep up a diet by obsessing about healthy foods or maintain your weight with lots of regular exercise. But being healthy? Thats all about coming from a place of love.
Consider allowing yourself a Jack Handey moment. Practice saying nice things to yourself. Let them sink in. If you have been your own worst enemy up until now than make the shift today. For some people that may be a slow process but its the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone you will ever know. Lord knows we all need more positive messages sent our way but the most powerful ones can only come from you.
If you have aspirations for a personal revolution of any kind, the first step is accepting, with love, who and where you are right now. And all else will follow.