Since committing my energy to my health and fitness, I’ve experienced innumerable changes. One has really taken me by surprise:
I’m being really nice to myself!
I have historically had a very self-deprecating sense of humor. Like many, I’ve been quick to point out my own flaws. I suppose I felt that even worse than being ____________ (fill in the blank with self-perceived unattractive quality) was being _________ and clueless about it. Or that the sin of being __________ would be partially forgiven if I recognized it as a flaw. Who knows. Whatever the reason, critical remarks about myself always came to my mind and out of my mouth first.
When I was complimented, it would be met with a genuine “thank you” and some reason why it was less than fully deserved. I realized that was rude to the person giving the compliment and over time became better at simply thanking them. In my mind, however, the praise was disproved in at least thirty ways in less than thirty seconds.
I’ve been acutely aware of a shift in my mentality:
* I don’t really have negative thoughts about myself in the same way anymore. For instance, when I look at my body, I immediately see the results of my hard work. I’m no longer first drawn to the things I still hope to change.
* When running is hard, I don’t think things like: “I can’t do this. I’m not athletic. I’m pretending to be someone I’m not.” Those are all thoughts I’ve had in the past when having physical difficulty. I often think “I’m tired! I want to stop!” but those statements are non-judgmental and that’s a huge change.
* Today I spent most of my Dailey Method class looking in the mirror. A year ago, looking in the mirror at Dailey Method really broke me down. I left several classes in tears after watching myself in the mirror and hating what I saw. Today, I saw beautiful length in my arms, a new shapeliness in my legs, and strength. There were many things that challenged me today but instead of feeling angry and embarrassed by what was reflected in the mirror, I just gained valuable information about how to improve my practice next time.
* In the last few weeks, old and critical thoughts would come to my mind but as soon as I thought them, I realized they weren’t true. They were just remnants of an old way of thinking. A sweeter, more confident me would then rephrase the thought into something kinder and more true or send it away all together. So nice!
I believe in change more than most but even I didn’t expect such a profound difference in the way I think.
It’s so freeing and just so nice.