This week I ate too much sugar, didn’t acknowledge my feelings, didn’t work out, my anxiety was high, my Monger was loud, and my BFF was in full do-whatever-you-want mode. I was super sensitive and white-knuckled through much of the week. Even as I type this, my Monger is saying, “Why are you sharing this!?!? You are supposed to be HELPING people, not showing all the ways you did it wrong!!”
Ugh, she is just so mean.
But the reason I am sharing my “I-did-all-the-unhelpful-things-week” is because even though I was doing all the unhelpful things, this time felt different:
In my twenties, I wouldn’t have even noticed the behaviors as unusual. My BFF would have justified the behaviors as ok in response to the stress of the week. I would have unconsciously jumped back and forth between my Monge, beating me up, and my BFF, giving me a free pass.
In my thirties, I would have noticed the behaviors and spent most of the week beating myself up for not doing the things I know will help. I would have hammered myself for being lazy, incompetent, and stubborn and not eating healthier, exercising, and being so annoyingly emotional. “Get over yourself. It’s not that bad,” I would have said over and over again.
This past week, I noticed that behavior, and I knew the way around it, practice ASK:
Acknowledge what I am feeling,
Slow down and get into your body and
Kindly pull back to see the big picture,
AND I still didn’t do it.
Every time my Biggest Fan stepped in and said, “Sweetpea, just practice ASK.” I said, “Nope, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to go there.” And she said, “Ok, but the bare minimum, we aren’t beating ourselves up about that.” And when I mindlessly reached for the donuts and ate way too many, my Biggest Fan stepped in and said, “Well, that just happened. Maybe we can eat a salad for lunch to get some veggies in you?”
The difference between this week and in the past, my Biggest Fan, the voice of self-loyalty, had a consistent presence to remind me I am human and I will not get it perfect. This week was hard, and my behaviors weren’t always supportive of my higher good, AND at a bare minimum, I am not going to shame myself for them.
We want to make change, to fix ourselves, to stop feeling anxious and white-knuckling. And change starts with two things—consistently building awareness of our reactions to the world and not shaming ourselves for our choices and behaviors.
The truth is, days, weeks, and even months like last week are going to happen. Life can be overwhelming, and sometimes doing all the healthy things, even when they serve me, feels too hard. But when I am kind to myself, when I have my own back and can practice self-loyalty, I return to those healthy behaviors faster. Not because I should, not because a good person would, or because it is the right thing to do, but because I feel better when I do them.
In the past, I would get caught up trying to do it right and when I didn’t, my Monger would hammer and belittle me. Then to ease the pressure, my BFF would step in to encourage me to do whatever I want.
Now my Biggest Fan is there to remind me I am ok—it is ok—even when I don’t choose the best, healthiest way.
The two key ways to start building that relationship with the Biggest Fan
Be kind to yourself, you are human, you are doing your best, some weeks are better than others.