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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below if you have an interest, questions, concerns or whatever. I’d love to hear from you.
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