The experience was different this time, but I learned some equally valuable lessons. I did find it encouraging that this time around I only needed to start the week over twice (as opposed to three starts last time). However, I feel like I made a lot more borderline comments this time around. And, due to the restarts, I ended up having a significant portion of the complaint-free period occur when I was not at work - which lowered the bar significantly.
The biggest change was where I felt the seeds of complaints starting from. Last time, I noticed how many negative comments I hear randomly (often about things that I have no control over) during the course of my day. This time, I heard the negativity inside myself. My inner critic has certainly been quite vocal recently - telling me all of the things that I am doing wrong myself, worrying over stuff that I can't change, and generally crabbing about the minor inconveniences of any particular day. I know that negative inside voice has been getting louder for various reasons - stress and burnout at work, frustrations with a plateau in my weight loss strategy, etc. - but taking the time to listen to what I say and how I express it for a week showed me that I am not very happy with what's happening in my life right now.
At the same time that I was making this discovery, one of my friends posted something on Facebook (thanks, Thad!) that helped me stop and think about one of the areas that I generally criticize myself on fairly severely - my appearance. Take a look at this great video that he posted of Amanda Trusty dancing (note that it is burlesque, the clothes come off); I am inspired by this woman's courage in freeing herself of the labels that come along with not being society's ideal image. And, I think she looks great!
It was a great reminder that all of those critical thoughts that I hear when I look in the mirror aren't necessarily what everyone else is thinking when they see me. In fact, I challenged myself to go glamorous for Halloween this year and received tons of positive feedback on how great I looked. I tried to find a shots for before/after to add to this blog post and realized that I have been so uncomfortable with my weight that it has been quite a long time since I've allowed anyone to take a photo of me that I could use as a "before", so you're only going to get the after ...
|How I look now (the glamour version)|