Thursday, January 20, 2011

Performing, Perfecting, Pleasing, Proving*

This Hate-Loss Challenge is brought to you by the Letter P.

I've wandered far afield this week. The Voice is now saying "I can't believe you got to be 50 years old and still haven't figured this out! Finding yourself went the way of shag carpet, 8 track tapes, and Chevy Good Times vans. You are a walking cliche'".

But here's the deal - I lost the weight. I did the thing that I was sure for most of my lifetime was the problem. I fixed it. Mostly permanently. I now "fit in" because I look like a normal person. I no longer wear my lack of self-esteem as a fat badge for all to see. I'm cured, right? I'm no longer obese. I got the thing that I wanted.

Except that it didn't fix everything. And granted, I much prefer being fit and healthy. It's made an enormous difference in my life - but I'm still dragging along those things that debilitated me and IMHO lead to my obesity in the first place - my lack of self-acceptance, innate worthiness, self-esteem. I did not know/accept/believe that I am enough, just standing still.

But by dealing with some of these issues, I can come not to a place not that stops me from wanting the cupcake because I am always going to want a cupcake or three, but to a place of treating myself with lovingkindness and choosing to make better, more loving choices in how I treat me. I do for myself because I want to because I value myself, not because it will change how other's see me.

It was once said to me, "I've never seen anymore who would jump in front of a bullet faster than you. Sometimes it seems like you don't know how to do things in your own best interest." My own self interest? Why that would be selfish! Surely a mortal sin - selfish. So each decision to eat right, each decision to exercise, each decision to keep my wallet in my purse, each decision to let the trinket stay on the store shelfs becomes an act of self-care, not an act of selfishness.

So I am, as they say in recovery, peeling the onion; exposing each layer of shame, mis-held beliefs and destructive patterns to thoughtful contemplation. I'm doing a ton of work by being still and letting my authentic self come to the surface. Letting go of performing, perfecting, pleasing and proving in an effort to fit in and striving for belonging, instead.

So as part of my hate loss challenge is stopping the "should" voice in my head. The one that says I should do instead of just be. Again, doing, for the right reasons is a wonderful path to gaining all sorts of good inner stuff. But if performing, perfecting, pleasing, proving become the only way I can feel good about me, then my priorities are pisspoor.

*according to Dr. Brene Brown, these are the things we do to "fit in"

Doing some morning exercise and the 15 minutes (seems I go longer) of soul/spirit/self work. I made food choices that were suspect this afternoon, but I can live with it. More rest will help.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Start now.



  1. Roxie, what a wonderful post and so timely for me. I just added a third question to my mental routine when I experience a craving,temptation or desire to binge: 1) am I truly hungry, 2) if so, what am I truly hungry for, and now 3) am I experiencing this as a response to trying to perform, perfect, please or prove?

    Wow, what would I do without the insight of my "mentor" maintainers?

  2. Another post, right on the point.

  3. Ah yes, The Voice! The Super Ego! Be gone VOICE!!

    I think the problem for most people is that when they hear THE VOICE they think it's their own voice. And that's just not the case. And when we hear it too often, it's hard to that me or THE VOICE?

    I have to remind myself all the time that it's not a matter of never hearing THE VOICE again, but rather making the distinction, and responding appropriately. I have found that, depending on what THE VOICE is saying, there are various ways of responding that feel right in the moment.

  4. Yeah - too often the thing we think of as the problem is really only a symptom. Peel away all the symptoms and one finally gets to the core of the matter.

    You have only one inner voice? Who are all these people in my head then?

  5. It's funny how your mind can play tricks on you if you let it. I wonder if sometimes we overthink things? Cheers, Rick

  6. You are very right about solving the symptom (obesity) doesn't solve the sickness (low self-esteem, hopelessness ect.)

    Hearing someone's thoughts who has done that helps me realize how important it is on the inside as well as the outside.

    Congratulations on making the right choices to take care of yourself!

  7. Its constant work isn't it? Its never really over, never really complete. But now we are aware of the behaviors and we catch it, we are not blissfully unaware..... if you read my latest post i 'caught' myself recently. Hugs! deb

  8. beautifully said. And I firmly believe that my weight gain was also due to my lack of self-esteem, self-worth, etc.. It just doubled the problem when the weight came on. I learn so much from reading these Thursday posts from you, Roxie. Thank you for that.

  9. Lovely post--so thoughtful! I also try to take some time every day for reflection--it's helped me treat myself better. Congrats on all the strides you've made on your journey to health and kindness to yourself!

  10. Beautifully written. So useful and so clear. Thank you.

  11. Twas a beautiful and inspirational post for me.
    I am passing it on to someone who wrote about something similar only the exactly opposite.

    "... I can come not to a place not that stops me from wanting the cupcake because I am always going to want a cupcake or three, but to a place of treating myself with lovingkindness and choosing to make better, more loving choices in how I treat me. I do for myself because I want to because I value myself, not because it will change how other's see me."

    Loved that paragraph/sentence.

  12. Self Esteem

    Self esteem is quite the dream
    And measure of our folly.
    As if by wish or hope or prayer,
    We deck the halls with holly.
    No, not by thought,
    Nor message fraught
    With words like coulda, woulda.
    And not by twist of morning mist
    Nor dwelling on a shoulda,
    For only with the faith to leap,
    Into the waiting morrow.
    With change as the only way
    To reach beyond our sorrow.
    But with the work and pain fought through
    We reach a new beginning.
    And now we start,
    If we are smart,
    To spend our new life winning!

  13. I loved this post. I think it speaks for so many of us. Years of being overweight does a number on us in so many ways--then again, perhaps it was our self-image prior to gaining the weight that is the root of it all. You're right--we need to work on all of it. Thanks for reminding me that it isn't just about the food.

  14. I'm 47 and haven't figured myself out either. Thanks for sharing this - it makes me think.


We'll try this for a while.