How Well Do You Know Yourself

Have you ever caught yourself labeling yourself in a negative way?  I did that this weekend.  It has been a struggle for me, even after all these years.  I had gastric bypass almost 6 years ago.  It seems like yesterday and yet, other times it feels like it’s been a lifetime.

I used to be about 160 pounds heavier than I am now and very inactive.  I was one who would drive around the parking lot and wait for someone to leave so I could park closer.  It was more than that though.  I would actually think about every step I had to take.  It consumed me.  I remember Christmas shopping being a nightmare.  I could never find a spot close enough and then, I knew if there was more than one store I had to go to, I would have to walk too far.  I hated walking, let alone exercising.  That was completely out of the question.

Even after the bypass I wasn’t very good with activity.  It became a lot easier and I did it but I didn’t like it.  I used to roller skate when I was young, EVERY DAY, sometimes for 8 hours total.  It wasn’t as if I always hated exercise.

I seem to fall back into the same patterns as before the bypass at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I can’t eat like I used to, but I find myself eating too much for my body to handle at times.  I know better.  I also find myself getting complacent, lazy.  This is where it gets bad.  I am very big into teaching others the benefit of watching their self-talk and staying positive and being good to themselves but I seem to forget to take my own advice sometimes.

This weekend my husband and I went to Killington Mountain.  I’ve been upset all week about it.  Allow me to explain; two weeks ago, he and I participated in the Spartan Sprint at the mountain.  This was our second Spartan this year, having finished the one in Amesbury just a month prior.  The Killington one took us twice as long, as we climbed the black diamond to the crest and watched every step back down.  Somewhere just after the 3 mile mark, in the woods, my left foot slid in deep mud and I landed on my left knee and it bent the wrong way.  I made it out of the woods and through another section, determined to finish.  We got as far the last water station before I was transported back to the medical tent.  So close.  “NEVER AGAIN,” I said, “NEVER!” (I said this about the previous Spartan Sprint 6 weeks prior but, there I was.)

Diagnosis: sprained knee.  But what did I want to do for my birthday?  Go back and hike an easier trail at Killington.  For my birthday!!  Who am I?  I had to laugh.  I am the one who calls myself lazy, still, out of habit, after all these years.  I am the purple belt kick boxer who has been having withdrawls from not being able to go because of my sprained knee.  I am the one who went to the gym Friday to use the elliptical to try to loosen up my knee to see if there was any way I could still hike on Saturday.

We arrived at the base of the mountain on Saturday and I limped up to the counter and, being mad at myself, ordered 2 round trip tickets for the gondola ride so we could at least enjoy the colors of the leaves and the scenery from the crest that we saw during the race that we were unable to take pictures of.  I could see the trail to the right of us that we had planned to take as we took the 10 minute ride to the top.  The view was breathtaking.  As we neared the top, the mist settled over the mountain and the view was no longer clear.  By the time we got off the gondola my stubbornness had kicked in and that was it.  We were hiking back down the mountain.

It wasn’t as easy as I envisioned in my head and I was grateful for that.  There were a great number of times I looked at the steps I needed to take in front of me and wondered how I would get to where I needed to be without falling or slipping again.  My fear of falling was intense at times, as was the pain in my knee in the beginning.  But I took baby steps where I need to and we made it to the bottom.  My knee popped several times and I’m not sure why but by the end, it no longer hurt.

My calves and thighs were stiff this morning but I don’t have any regrets.  I’m glad I did it.  It was my birthday present to myself.  So, what is my point with this story?  Why did I just bare my soul for all to read? Because I came to the realization that we tell ourselves things all the time that are not true about ourselves.  I’m not a lazy person anymore.  Sure, I have my moments and I make excuses at times when I shouldn’t; that doesn’t make me lazy, especially on the scale of where I used to be.  So why am I so hard on myself?  Why do I choose to see myself that way?  Perhaps it’s habitual.  I told myself that for so many years that it just carried over.  So, now that I’ve realized that I do it, imagine what I could do now that I no longer believe it?  If I have come this far, I could definitely go further, and I intend to.

How well do you know yourself?  What things are you telling yourself that need to be reevaluated?  What do you believe about yourself that could use a mental makeover?  Consider what you say to yourself.  Listen.  You could be completely wrong.  What you believe about yourself is up to you.  The choice is yours.  Stay the same or change it?  It’s up to you.  Be kind.

You can check out other inspiring posts here that will cause you to think, decrease your stress and increase happiness.  You can also check out my other blog site, Where The Ghosts Live – by Missy Bell.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Missy Bell

Advice That Turned A Painfully Shy Girl Into A Confident And Outgoing Woman

I am still told the stories of when I was little of how I would cling to my mother’s legs and bury my face whenever someone tried to talk to me.  I was labeled as “painfully shy.”

I remember being in Kindergarten and covering my ears and putting my head on the desk because it was too loud and overwhelming for me.  I didn’t have friends so I stayed to myself.  I was going to school at a military base and kids were always coming and going; yet another reason to not make friends in my eyes because the ones I did have, always ended up moving.

As I grew, that didn’t change much.  My father was in the Army and was stationed overseas for several tours.

We moved from the military base he was stationed at to the next town over when I was 7 and I had to start in a new school.  I didn’t know a soul and being shy didn’t help that.  Due to my insecurities and abandonment issues I started gaining weight.  Children at that age were not very kind to children who are overweight.  I was going to weight loss classes with my mother by the age of 8 or 9.  My self-esteem plummeted further.

At the age of 13, I became interested in boys and the one I liked the most spent most of his time at the local rollerskating rink so that’s where I begged to be as often as possible.  I had a few close friends by this time who were willing to go with me so my mother saw it as a good thing and let me go whenever I had someone to go with, in hopes I would overcome my shyness and meet new people.

My mother knew I was struggling and had always tried to help me but I needed to want to help myself.  I started to notice how outgoing the kids at the rink were and wanted to be like them but had no idea how and I desperately wanted to gain the attention of this boy.

My mother gave me some very valuable advice that turned my life around.   She said that if I followed these steps that I would be sure to make more friends and have no problem talking to this boy.  Here’s what she said;

  • Always keep your head up.  Do not look at the ground unless you are afraid you might trip over something.  Look several steps ahead of you.
  • Whenever you pass someone, look them straight in the eyes, smile like you mean it and say hi.  It’s okay if they don’t look back or respond.  Don’t take it personally.
  • Compliment people but be genuine.  If you see something about them that you like, such as; their hair style, shoes, clothes, color of their eyes, tell them.
  • Don’t worry about what other people think of you.  Don’t listen when they tell you, unless it’s nice.
  • Be kind to yourself.  If you judge yourself harshly, you would judge others harshly and that’s no way to make friends.
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone.  That’s how you get to know new people.
  • Forgive easily, don’t hold a grudge or try to get even.  If someone does something that you do not agree with, this rule doesn’t mean you have to remain friends with them, but it is important that you still forgive.
  • Push yourself.  Sometimes you will want to give up or not listen to this advice because you are embarrassed, feel insecure or don’t believe it will work.  Instead, just push yourself to do it.

I took this advice but very slowly and it took a long time to incorporate all of it, but I did it.  Eventually, the walls came down and I made many new friends.  No one seemed to judge me.  If they did, I didn’t notice.    By the age of 15 I was working at that skating rink.

Are you ready for this?  “Miss Painfully Shy” became a DJ at the same rink at the age of 16.   Yes, me, talking on a microphone in front of hundreds of people almost every day of the week!  I now have my own mobile DJ business.

I’ve had times in my life when I have dipped back into the shy person I once was but I don’t stay there long and sometimes it’s only for an hour or so.  I have learned to love interacting with people.

I am so grateful for the advice my mother gave me all those years ago and I am so glad I decided to follow it.

(Oh, in case you’re wondering about that boy?  We kissed once but really just remained great friends.  To this day when I see him we still stop and talk.  I hope if he reads this he doesn’t know it was about him.  lol)

What is some really good advice you took from someone that changed your life for the better?  Please don’t be embarrassed to share.  We’re all friends here.

(For more inspiring stories, tips and videos on how to increase the peace and happiness in your life, see the listings of posts to your right.  Feel free to follow this blog and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  As always, thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate you.)