Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning to Take Care of Myself

Early on in Program my sponsor would ask me, "What nice thing are you going to do for yourself today?"  The first few times she asked me this I would respond "I don't know, umm, watch tv."  The first time I said this she accepted it by the second or third time she asked "Is tv like food for you?"  "Huh?" I responded.  "Well does it help you to zone out and go numb like food does?"  "Damn, how did she know," I thought to myself.  My sponsor challenged me to find ways outside of food and tv to be compassionate towards myself.

In the last few years I have learned how to take care of myself without stuffing my face full of food.  The progress I have made in this area has become abundantly clear to me in the last few months.  For example, today I was exhausted for two reasons.  The first being it is that time of the month and my energy level typically plummets during this special time and second, I did not get to sleep until after 12:30 last night which is extremely late for me.  I could not even complete my run this morning because my body was just telling me to sit down somewhere.  Once I got home from my run/walk instead of stuffing my face with comfort food I took a nap.  A long one.  I rested and put some things on hold that I planned to do today.  Then, to top it all off I did not beat myself up for not doing work that I wanted to get done.  Those were the nice things I did for myself today.

In the past I probably would have eaten a lot of food that made me extremely tired and thus given me an excuse to take a nap.  After my nap I would have kept reminding myself of everything I should have done, could have done, or would have done had I not taken a nap, not to mention the regret of having eaten ridiculous amounts of food. 

Today I did not do that.  Today I showed myself self-compassion, and while this is not an everyday occurrence it is becoming more frequent.  I am still very much a work in progress.  But, as we say in Program...Progress Not Perfection!

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