I was rereading one of my testimonials and paused once I reached the end.“I’ve been able to cultivate a deeper sense of self love resulting in better health, more energy and just feeling better all around. Even on my bad days!,” she wrote.
Even on my bad days.
I chose so sit with that and think about what my bad days look and feel like. Just because I wrote a program on Therapeutic Eating and what it means to love food and your body unapologetically – I too am a constant work in progress. Even in the food/body department. Maybe especially. I don’t think we reach the point in our journey where we just stop the dialogue – we’ve simply learned an effective way to reframe it.
I get bloated. I eat too much. I eat too little. I criticize myself. My skin breaks out. Sometimes I’m less than loving towards the head-to-toe part of myself and I get it. I get you too. At least part of you, especially the part that gets stuck in those icky places you don’t want to love, not today at least – but maybe tomorrow. Maybe. It’s insanely difficult to love ourselves when we’re “not there yet.” It’s also insanely difficult to love ourselves when we’ve gotten there before but we’re no longer there. It’s insanely difficult because nothing stays the same – ever – and even more difficult because we’re told to accept the fact that THIS constant is what we must accept. I get it. I get you. I get the stuck places.
So what do my bad days look like and how do I overcome them?
I’m a bonafide perfectionist who began judging her every bite at quite a young age – hence, a gnarly eating disorder that took decades to overcome. Even the 12 step programs that mandate weighing and measuring your meals to the ounce – the gram – weren’t perfect enough because they weren’t the right ratio of rebellious. I’m “that” kind of perfectionist. It has to be right – renegade right – break everyone else’s rules right – but never my own, and I write them as I go. I’m that kind. I’ll piss you off. I’ll disappoint. I’ll spark judgement. Always have. But one thing I never stop doing is try to figure it out. I’m a persistent MF who keeps climbing. I rarely relent and if I do, I’ll resent – and if that nasty cocktail gets stirred well, then…I’m a bull. A hippy. A mouthful of cuss words. I might surprise you. I know I surprised myself when I realized that everything I assumed was a negative trait was the thing that served me. All the quote unquote bad things. Things that don’t get you hired for jobs. Things that turn people away. Things that cause others to close the book rather than turn the page. Cuz that’s not their job anyway. No one deserves our understanding other than guess who? Responsibility is integrity. So who are we most responsible for? Oh ya but everyone else…
Did you know that when you write text into the body of a WordPress post, the server determines whether or not what you’ve written is readable? Ya. I never follow that rule either. Or the one that tells me and my children that we aren’t allowed to swim in the pool because of social distancing…while no one else is there. Ya. My kids will jump the fence and it’ll be because I’ve told them to. You’d think I grew up with strict parents. Lots and lots of rules. Locked in my room. Curfews. You’d think I lack respect. Maybe a defiance disorder. You might assume I’m a cocky arrogant “rules don’t apply to me” kind of person. But I’m not. And it doesn’t matter. Scroll. Swipe. Tap. Flash. This is human behavior.
I suppose the thing is: bad days are a matter of perception and before that sounds overly cliche, think about it. Being stuck according to who might I inquire? A shitty day is a path. A better day is a detour. Or better yet, a shitty day is a detour and a better day is a rerouting. Either way, we’re all walking, running, pausing or god forbid regressing but here’s the beautiful thing about familiar places – we weren’t ever totally gone from there. We leave traces of ourselves. Footprints, scrunchies, notebooks…whatever. Whatever we left behind beckons. Nothing is forgotten. Why else would it be so tough to forgive ourselves, let alone anyone else. We’re so full of words. I know I am. But actions, movement?…that’s the thing too. Stuckness is impossible. Are you breathing? What’s in your fridge? How’s your laundry pile? There’s doingness everywhere.
Wanna know something that my dad used to tell me when I was a kid? Mind you, he was a dentist. He would tell me to go eat some junk food. Ya. And guess what. When I did, I felt better. But only because everything else I ate wasn’t junk food. So basically what he was saying was – go do something different. Do the opposite. Go surprise yourself. Nothing changes if nothing….then I landed myself in a yoga studio and my teacher would chant, “pratipaksha bhavanam,” which means the same thing. Which apparently I had to hear in Sanskrit before the lesson even sunk in and even then it took some time.
So. Stuck places. Bad days. Loving ourselves even when.
Who are we responsible for. It can’t be everyone else. It can’t be. How do I overcome?
I don’t have a recipe, I have a template. I fuck it up on purpose.