This journey is all about learning new positive and healthier behaviors and nothing reinforces a lesson like a best friend giving you some tough love.
This past weekend I was back in my hometown for a friends big 25th birthday bash. It has been a few months since seeing my chum last and when I first saw her there was the typical squealing, giggling and bear hugging and after we settled down a moment she complimented me on my legs looking smaller and that I was certainly on the right path because the changes I have been making were working. I had that swell of pride that always feel when I know I am slowly but surely getting closer to my goals. However, instead of just saying thank you and beaming from ear to ear, I sighed out, “Well I have only lost 9 pounds since starting….and this week I couldn’t do any intense workouts because of my back was all jarred up….I’ve been doing good but I need to be doing better.”
We were still at the curbside in her car and she threw the car in park and glared at me and told me that yes I could be doing better because my attitude sucked. “Why couldn’t you just say thank you and gush about all the successes you have had instead of moping about the minor setback you have had this past week.” Leave it to a friend of 20 years to cut to the chase and put you in your place. She is one of my biggest supporters and knows a lot of the struggles I have had in the past with my weight and trying to lose it. She is also one of my biggest cheerleaders, always offering encouraging words and praise to help me through both highs and lows. Truly the definition of best friend, someone who can inspire, encourage, love you no matter what and give you a bit of a reality check when needed.
I think that most people have a hard time accepting a compliment. For me, I feel like if I’m too proud about an accomplishment it will seem like I am too self assured. I have a very hard time praising myself for the things that I have accomplished. I always see the flaws and where I need to make improvements. To an extent I think that it is good to know where I need to make some changes, but on the other hand it can also take away from the successes (big and small) that I’ve had so far. I find myself fixating on what I need to improve and not truly basking in the awesome glow of losing nine pounds and losing inches on my thighs, waist and hips. These are the things I should be revelling in when someone pays me a compliment.
The following night at the party I had received a few more congratulations and compliments, being the quick learner that I am; I smiled big and thanked them – without undermining my efforts.
Each day in the month of May I am going to write down something I am proud of myself for. It might sound cheesy but I think that positive self talk is super important in this process. If I keep undermining myself I am never going to accomplish my goal. While I would probably never tout all of my accomplishments in the company of others, there is no shame in giving myself a morning pep talk in the bathroom while I’m getting ready for work. Maybe becoming more comfortable with acknowledging my successes and focusing on those will make accepting compliments less nervy for me.