Why can’t I be happy with myself

Christina Dee

Why can’t I be happy with myself

Jun 11, 2017

Friday night, Jay challenged me to say “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made” out loud, to myself.  Would you have a hard time saying that out loud? Even to yourself?  I did. It was incredibly difficult. It took a conversation that lasted a couple

Why can't I be happy with myself?Friday night, Jay challenged me to say “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made” out loud, to myself.  Would you have a hard time saying that out loud? Even to yourself?  I did.

It was incredibly difficult.

It took a conversation that lasted a couple hours between us for me to be able to say it. There were many tears, and so much stubbornness preventing me from being able to say it. I have issues with probably every aspect of my life. I’m not happy with how almost everything is right now.

One thing I can say that I’m happy with in my life is our marriage. Through all the hard times that we’ve gone through, I never imagined I would have this great a relationship, friendship, and marriage. The way Jay and I have grown together is amazing. And God’s hand has truly been in every aspect of our marriage to shape it into what it is. I can’t thank God enough for everything that he’s done for us to allow us to have the marriage we do.

Most of you who know a bit about me know that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. It started with the birth control pill and then morphed into post-partum that’s been hanging on tight.

Anyways, you are probably wondering, “Why on earth would Jay try to get her to say that out loud?“.

A bit of history

Since January, I’ve been working on my weight and physical health in a serious way. I’ve gotten stronger, my endurance and cardio have improved and I’ve lost about 30lbs.

If I was having a conversation with anyone else and they told me that they had accomplished this I would be so proud of them, and smile and congratulate them.

But not for myself. I had goals and expectations of myself and I should have lost at least 40lbs by now.

10 lbs a month isn’t THAT hard, is it? I’m a failure for not making it. These are the things I’d say to myself.  And I’m mad at myself for not doing every single possible thing to reach that goal.

I fell off the bandwagon in April

I ate more of what I wanted, exercised a little less, so the weight didn’t fall off like it had been back in January and February. The name calling and the insults and abuse that I have put myself through is horrible. Of course, that doesn’t help the situation at all since I’m a bit of an emotional eater.

So, you can just picture it now: one small mistake, and my brain tells me something like, “Of course you couldn’t resist that chocolate bar, you are so weak!” and then I would feel awful for eating it, and want to feel better, so I would find something else to eat cause it tasted good, and then the brain would go at it again.

So back to, “I’m happy with the progress I have made.” Why is it so hard to say that and believe it?

There are so many emotions and things tied to that sentence that I don’t believe to be true.

First of all, to say that “I’m happy” is huge

I am not a miserable person, but honestly, I’m not sure that I’m a happy person either. If we were to have a conversation you would think I was. I love to talk with people. I love to hear how you are doing and what is happening in your life.

But, when I look around the house I see mess everywhere. And so does the 5yr old neighbor kid, who said just this morning, “wow, your house is a big giant mess!” And I nod my head and agree with him. I’ll tell him “Lots of kids live in this house, and they make big messes.

Inside I cringe.  What is he telling his parents? I think.

When I start thinking about our homeschooling, I feel we are so far behind.  I can’t get a grip on this year and I feel like it’s my responsibility to get them caught up. It’s my fault that they’re not where they should be. It crushes me inside feeling like I failed them as a parent.

So, to say out loud that I’m happy about anything happening in life is a huge struggle right there. Or even that I am indeed just happy.

With the progress I’ve made”, was hard to say as well

Why can't I be happy with myself?I know in my head that I have made some progress in regards to my physical health.  The scale says so.  But if I didn’t have that scale to show me, or the chart in MyFitnessPal to see the angle of my weight going downward, or the friends that have told me they see a difference, I’m not sure I would actually see any difference.

Pants are still tight, and I still feel like I look pregnant even though my baby is 2 years old. There have even been people who recently have asked me when I’m due! So, the truth is, has there really been any significant progress? It’s not significant in my opinion, I don’t have a six-pack, or bulging biceps, or buns of steel. So why be happy with that progress?

I tried to reword it to “I’m happy that I’ve made progress.”

Does that mean the same to you? For some reason, I had it in my head that it would be easier to say that. For some reason the first way, “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.” seemed so final, like the job was done. Which it never is. There is always something more to be done, something to improve upon.

Finally, I said it

I’m happy with the progress I’ve made” but I added, “but I’m not done yet.

Jay immediately responded with, “Good!” and I was surprised by that. It caught me a little off-guard. Maybe that’s why I had a hard time saying the whole phrase out loud. If I didn’t make any more progress from here, would I still be happy with how far I’ve come?

Honestly, I don’t know, probably not. So, you can see I really struggle with the whole, “good enough” thing. Since I can’t be happy with what I’ve accomplished, it’s not good enough to stay here, and I feel I’ll never be good enough, so why bother with anything?

That goes through my head a lot. How can I be happy with myself if I will never be good enough? Even if I hit my perfect weight or BMI, I’m positive I’ll still find many things I will not be happy about with how my body looks.

Why be happy with the progress I’ve made? Because it is progress. It’s a work in progress, but it is progress regardless of how small or insignificant one part of my brain feels it is.

I have worked hard to get these results

They aren’t small and insignificant. You see, God loves you too much to leave you as you are. He wants to make you the best you that you can be. And He loves you the way you are and wants you to be happy with who you are right now as well.

And he loves me the way I am and wants me to be happy with how I am right now.  I could even say that He likes who I am as a person, right now.

Even typing this is hard.  Why? I don’t know. To believe that it is actually true, He loves me, little ol’ me, is hard.

I’m ashamed of how some things are, so to say that I’m happy with where I am right now in all aspects doesn’t feel true at all. But I’m sure Jay will make me say “I’m happy with the progress I’ve made” again, probably in front of a mirror.

Eventually, it will sink in. I know that I should be happy.  Even realizing what the problem is, which they say is half the battle, is something to be happy about.

This just beginning

I’m working on ways to improve my, “self-talk” so that the negative stuff lessens and I can enjoy life.

There is a book called, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero.  It’s set up to read a section twice a day, so I’m going to try and work on doing that.  I know I’m not emotionally or spiritually healthy, so it’ll be a good thing to work through.

If you relate to anything I’ve said and would like to do this together, I’d love to have some partners to go through it with.  A group to help keep each other accountable to complete the book. I know it would be helpful for me. Please email me christina.e.dee@gmail.com or comment below if you have an interest, questions, concerns or whatever.  I’d love to hear from you.

Looking for help?

28 thoughts on “Why can’t I be happy with myself”

  1. Norah says:

    You were talking about everything I have been going through. You are not alone. Proud of you!!!! We will get through this. Yes I would love to read the book with you. I need it to.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      It’s so nice to hear others struggle too. We can be stronger together, help each other be accountable. Please email me, I’m working on how to do this as a group.

  2. Mrs. H says:

    Proud if you and I can relate. I’m interested in reading along with you.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Email me 🙂 I’m working on a way that might work to be able to do this book together as a group.

  3. Mike says:

    I can remember being depressed most of my life. At times I did not want to live even though I had everything that should have made me happy. I was married to a wonderful woman, had two beautiful daughters, had a youth ministry, a job so my wife did not work, supportive church, etc. With all that I was still unhappy. One day about 15 years ago, a man came to my door and asked me to join an eating and exercise program called CHIP. I started eating vegan and walking up to 5 miles per day. Suddenly my depression lifted and I was happy. I don’t know if it was the food, the exercise, or if God just chose that event to change my attitude. But it happened.

    I don’t know if I could have talked myself into a new attitude. I don’t think I could have eaten myself into that situation, I don’t know if I could have exercised myself into that feeling. I just know that one day I was depressed and unhappy, and the next day I was optimistic and happy.

    One day you will wake up and be happy!! That is my prayer.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Our denomination runs the CHIP program, but we’ve never tried it. I should look into that more.

      1. Mike says:

        I think CHIP was a few weeks long. The hardest but most effective part for me was the first few days of CLEANSING. I had to get all the toxins, salts, sugars, fats, caffeine out of my body. Once I did I began to feel less and less depressed.

        1. Christina Dee says:

          sounds like a very difficult detox, but effective too, sounds like. I’m going to poke Jay and remind him to look into it again. Well we will do it together, maybe there are others in church that want to do it too.

    2. Christina Dee says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Mike! It’s encouraging to hear others and how God has worked in their lives and the way that he worked too.

  4. Kim says:

    Our church staff just went thru that book. It didn’t really interest me until I read what you wrote. I’ve lost 25 lbs since January & I would have an incredibly difficult time saying those words. The book ‘Made to Crave’ has helped me understand what has led to my overeating-in times of stress I turn to food instead of to God. So Itworking on that.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      I’ve read that book! I had forgotten about it till you mentioned it. It was a good book! I did it with a group of my friends and it was really helpful. I think I should try and find my notes back and refresh my memory.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I completely understand where your coming from… I’ve been working hard to lose weight, get stronger, and change the inner conversations I have with myself and it’s hard when you feel like no matter how hard you try it just isn’t going fast enough, or easy enough, or even looking in the mirror and just not seeing the results you expect to see. I’ve had several conversations with my doctor over the past year about my weight loss and my frustrations that the weight just doesn’t seem to want to come off as fast as it does for other people around me and she asked me if my clothes fit better, if I felt stronger, could I do more and recover faster and the honest answer was Yes, so she told me to focus on that and not just the numbers. It’s helped me to not be so frustrated and to see that I am slowly getting healthier ?

    1. Christina Dee says:

      You sound like you’re going through something very similar to me! I’m glad that you are getting the help you need to see the progress you are making, and not being frustrated with the time it’s taking.

  6. Kay says:

    I find it easier to say it like this: I now affirm that I am [in Christ] transforming my life into something better. When my goal is better, not perfect, that’s doable.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Oh that is a good way to look at it too. Keeping Christ as the focus really helps take the pressure of doing it all by myself too. He’s there with me every step of the way.

  7. sandi says:

    Hi Christine, here’s a link to a blog post that’s really relevant to your struggle. Hope it helps! There’s science behind it and many women who’ve been helped by it. It’s really true that what we pay attention to grows! I love your courage in sharing your story so other women can benefit! So beautiful! (don’t let the post title throw you, I know how hard you work on your marriage. You can apply it to personal growth too)

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Thanks for the post link! I’ll be sure to read it. I haven’t yet, but I will. And thank you for the kind words. They are appreciated!

  8. Joe says:

    I applaud and appreciate you Christina for sharing your feelings and being so transparent and vulnerable. I can relate to many of the things you said – especially the statement “I’m not happy with how almost everything is right now.” The specifics might be a bit different between us, but the overall feeling is similar. Right now I have so many loose ends, unfinished projects, and literally thousands of “to do’s” that I’m feeling really overwhelmed and dissatisfied with myself. While it’s still a challenge, my handling of this chaos is a bit better than it used to be thanks to advice from a good coach you might know…JayDee. One of his favorite sayings with me was “progress…not perfection”, which I’m sure you’ve heard many times. I do think he’s on to something though and it does help. I like your idea of working on your self-talk and the book suggestion and accountability invitation, too. Might have to make it another one of my to-do’s. Thanks again for your voice on this subject matter and will be praying for all of our continued progress and our feelings towards it.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Thanks Joe for your kind words, they really are encouraging to me. As for the to-do list, I feel the same, so many things I want to get done in the house, and just no energy to actually do it. The days go by so fast when I look around at the progress I tried to make, I feel like it’s invisible or even that I’ve undone progress. If you want to read the book with me, email me, I’m working on an idea of how I can make it work.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am completely with you! I understand your struggles and feel them daily. I lost 20 pounds

    1. Christina Dee says:

      It can be so hard when you’ve lost something that is significant and can’t really see much of a difference. Keep up the good work!! I just keep telling myself slow and steady wins the race.

  10. Wayne says:

    Let me just say, Christina, I am happy to be hearing your thoughts and look forward to more; haven’t seen anything you’ve posted in the off-and-on couple of years I’ve followed here. I’m always glad to hear a woman’s perspective, sometimes just to balance things out. I have had no direct experience with weight gain until recently, to some extent, but will definitely be praying for you, and Jay – and I have been, and not just saying that.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. If you wanted to see more of my perspective, I used to write with Jay more in the same posts as him. Not sure how you would find them, just have to read back to the older ones.

  11. Alex @ Grace Upon Grace Today says:

    I love that you say God loves us as we are; he loves us too much to leave us there; he loves the progress that we’ve made. When I started picturing God as a proud dad instead of an overbearing, disappointed “Father,” that made a world of difference. Thank you for sharing some of your story. 🙂

  12. Stuart L. Tutt says:

    Thanks Christina for sharing this. So many of us, regardless of our struggles, have a hard time saying I may happy with the progress I have made. I know for me my own feelings of not being good enough kept me doubting myself for years. That feeling still crops up every now and then.

    But looking back to where I was in my walk and struggles I can now say what Jay had you say. I may not be where I want to be but praise God I’m not the man I use to be.

    I’m proud of both of you for the accomplishments you have made so far.

    1. Christina Dee says:

      Thank you for the kind words!! It’s really encouraging to hear about others that have struggled and have over come that perfectionist feeling.

  13. Keelie Reason says:

    Christina I completely get it. A few years ago, God really challenged me to stop complaining so much about myself, my life, things going on, the kids, the house, the mess…whatever. He really showed me that my complaining attitude was more then just complaints. It was a sign of true discontentment. I would say with my mouth that I was thankful for what I had, but with my actions and complaining, I was saying the exact opposite. I think the reason that I struggled so much, was that I felt that things could always be better than what they were at that moment. I didn’t want to stay in that place- whatever the place was. I wanted to move forward, progress, be successful. I really really struggled to celebrate the successes. I felt if I did, then I would be saying that I was done or happy with where I was. That scared me. I didn’t want to be happy with where I was. If I was happy in those moments, I felt I would be saying that I didn’t need to keep pushing forward. I have put huge amounts of efforts in learning to be content with where I am in life no matter what. It has made me stop be so forward thinking, which isn’t all bad. Instead of seeing the big picture- life long goals I have…I just look at what’s right in front of me. Each day, I get up and do what’s in front of me. I have stopped looking forward so much, because all it has done was cause me to be discontent with life. If I put my focus on the end goal, then it makes where I am right now seem like it isn’t enough. So- I just look at right now. What do I want to accomplish today? How do I want to further my health today? What can I do right now? How can I increase my business with the hours I have to give to it today? This has been very helpful for me to remove that negative inner though.

  14. anxiety says:

    I can really relate to your story. I have struggled with anxiety and low self-esteem for so many years. It’s in the last year I have understood that this is what I’ve been struggling with. I feel worthless all the time. I think about killing myself often. (Don’t worry I won’t do it, I’m to afraid to go to hell). I feel as such a loser. I’m 30 years old and I have failed in everything in life. I didn’t finish college, I don’t have a driving a license and I live in a little apartment and don’t have enough money for a house. The only good thing is my wife and daughter but even that gives me anxiety because I should have a car now and I should have finished my studies but i haven’t. It sounds easy but I just can’t make myself do things. I don’t know why it’s so hard to make the right decisions and because I don’t I feel horrible and I feel the anxiety take over. I see my younger siblings being successful and i am still in the same place. At least it feels like that. I have made progress. I started studying again and hopefully I will soon start driving again but I still feel like a loser. And when it comes to God I just don’t make it. I only fail Him and even if I come close I know it is to tell me to do something and I’m afraid of that. I’m a failure and I’m just afraid that my wife will understand that. She says she never will loleave me and I believe her but I can’t lie that I sometimes prepare myself mentally for when she will leave me for someone better and i wouldn’t stop her. I can barely put up with myself. So i understand. But I’m happy that you have made progress and will continue to do that.

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