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!