Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeling about an inch tall....

"It's not who you think you are that holds you back...It's who you think you're not"

I saw the quote above on a friend's facebook status (thanks Michael) and it said so eloquently what I have been trying for days to put into words that I had to start with it.

I was standing in front of the mirror yesterday morning putting on makeup getting ready to head to a client's office, and it hit me how much of my life I spend behind a mask, pretending for people that I feel different than I do, that I have a confidence that most days I am lacking, that I am capable of handling things I'm not. Some days I can even fool myself into believing the roles I play for everyone else, but lately, on the part about confidence or believing in myself, I am no longer able to kid myself. And decided it was time to be just as honest here.

I have a great life. I know that, I have so much more than most people in the world. I dont want anything I am about to say to negate that, this is going to be one of those posts that my friends read and immediately tell me why I shouldn't feel this way or how wrong my feelings are. And I agree with everyone thinking that. I truly wish I didn't feel like I do lately, I know I shouldn't, but I just need to be honest with myself and the world right now, because the longer I try to be who I'm not right now the deeper in my hole I feel myself going, and as a result the worse my eating is getting.

I cant think of any poetic way to say this, so just going to say it flat out. Lately my self esteem and self worth has been nearly non existant, beyond knowing I do my job well the rest of my life just feels like I am failing miserable and sadly in a lot of ways that I deserve to fail. I keep feeling that the last 14 months have just been a mirage and now reality is back. I have lost the person I found in the first part of this journey.

I keep trying to figure out when it started changing and it would be easy to point to getting ready to see my family New Year's Eve, but if I am honest with myself I think I have been sliding this way since the trainer change in July/August. For as much as I know that situation was pre-determined by someone else and nothing I could have done or said or been would have changed it (and truth, looking back I wouldnt want it to have changed, I am glad to be with the trainer I have now, it is a much better situation for me) I still think that is when all the work I had done to find a level of pride in myself, my hard work on my body, and my feeling of being worth all this plummeted and I am not sure I ever truly recovered that part of things. Despite the decision being out of my hands I still have days where I think if I had been better, stronger, more worthy, more something it wouldn't have ended the way it did. That I would have been worth continuing with.

However, I realize now, I didnt even know how much that had impacted my views on myself still until the last couple weeks. Like I said I am good at kidding myself at times. I thought I was over that, and I'm not. I am well over wanting to be back with my previous trainer, I am much happier with Nick as my trainer, but I am not over feeling that I wasn't good enough for the last one to want to keep working with me.

I do think seeing my family, and the anxiety leading up to it, after 20 years of not seeing each other, was probably the final piece that sent me to where I am now. Anything the situation with Gui didnt dissolve, or that I had put back together since then erroded seeing my mother and my sister. All the work I had done to be proud of myself, to make myself realize I was worthy of the love and support of people around me, that I deserved the good in my life seemed to get erased in having to go back and face all the things from my childhood that made me dislike myself in the first place...about who I am, about how I look, about what I have and haven't done with my life. It is amazing how quickly very successful adults can be brought back to being an insecure child in such a short time.

So where am I now. In a word, stuck. Back fighting a lot of the insecurities and uncertanties I did a year ago when I started this journey. I find myself questioning whether I can accomplish the goals I have or if I am fooling myself, I find myself scared to try new things and dissatisfied with my performance when I do, I find myself questioning whether I am wasting the the time of the people helping me, particularly my trainer. For the first time since I started with Nick I found myself today considering cancelling my training session for no other reason than so that I he could use that time for someone who deserved it. Which is logically I know an insane way to think, but it is truly where my heart is. In a lot of ways right now I feel more like that fat, ugly girl who walked into the gym knowing everyone was laughing at her and looking down on her a year ago than I do the confident person who actually felt like she fit in a couple months ago.

The biggest problem with it all is that I am back in a horrible cycle with not eating. The thought of food makes me want to be sick and nothing tastes good. I am forcing myself to do the best I can, but I knew yesterday when I had 227 calories in at 6pm that this was not a good situation. That this wasn't just a day or so blip. I had never considered before that my self esteem (or lack there of) was in any way linked to my eating issues, but I have to wonder now. I am actually going to be talking to a health coach next week and hoping she can help me sort some of what is behind my eating out, but I have gotten my hopes up so many times before on finding help with that topic that I am reserving getting too optimistic til I see how it plays out.

I don't have a great ending for this post, it feels as stuck and awkward as I feel right now. I know I dont like where I am at right now, I miss how I felt about myself not that long ago.


  1. Sigh.. so, the only one who can "unstick" you is you. I can tell you to start by eating whether you want to or not. Set an alarm for every few hours and add some healthy calories to your body when it rings.

    Remember that we are taught to carry two phrases in our pockets at all times - one is that we are but the dust of the earth and the other that the world was created for me. These are not idle thoughts, but rather a reminder that sometimes we each perhaps feel a bit too full of our own worth and at other times we see far too little self value.

    It happens to us all; you are just more willing than many to face the feelings and take them on, just as you have taken on so many challenges. You don't need to look at how far you have come, though you can. Instead look at all you add to the lives of others - friends, clients, and a stadium full of people last fall.

    Then accept that you are slogging through the mud right now. Set the alarm and eat, and know that the mud will dry and you will, once again enjoy a period of smooth dry land.

    Hugs a'plenty,

  2. You're not alone! Was told in my review that I need to project more confidence and fake it til I make it! Problem is I'll never "make it" here and don't want to. Unfortunately I don't have the confidence to just do something else. If nothing else, you are one of the bravest people I know. Hang in there and keep in mind you have to stay healthy to achieve any new goals you want to accomplish-such as your latest skiing adventure! LED

  3. Laura,

    Actually I think the person who gave you that advice ("fake it til you make it") gave you some great advice. I actually mentioned that to my trainer yesterday, how people misperceive me as being so confident and sure of myself (to the point most people believe I am cocky or think I am always right, which is totally not the case).

    Laura I am NOT brave, every time I had to face the same people you are now it scared the life out of me, but I learned very early in life not to let people see my fear, to pretend I am brave no matter how I feel inside. That showing people your fear or weaknesses only lets them exploit it. Perception is reality Laura. You dont have to be brave or confident to get ahead as long as people think you are. You can puke before a meeting and cry afterwards but during it you have to pretend. Much of life is little more than being in a play, you play the role you need to the best you can at that moment. People dont usually care how you feel inside, they care about you executing. I have learned it is part of why I am so exhausted after a day at a client (something I never understood) but it is because of the amount of energy exerted being "on" and overcoming the fear and insecurity.

    But ironically this ability to cover is also part of my feeling of being stuck now. Because 1) people perceive me as being able to handle everything because I have faked it so long, so they dont feel I need/want help and 2) I have faked it on my own so long I dont know how to LET people who want to help actually do it.

    Please dont think I feel any more confident tahn you do Laura, it isnt true.