Why are you so hard on yourself?
This is something I almost typed on my friend Janie Porter’s blog post on She Just Glows. She wrote about not losing baby weight and boy can I relate. She’s frustrated the weight isn’t melting off after working so hard. She binged on food to make herself feel better, and she cried and yelled “It’s not fair!’ It’s like she’s stalking me and writing about my life.
So I took to the comment sections to write:
“Why are you so hard on yourself? Your baby is 6 months old, you’ve had 3 children in less than 4 years. Please give yourself some forgiveness and grace! Why are you pushing yourself so hard, you are beautiful and glowing – just be where you are!”
And then I promptly deleted it because I was being a total hypocrite. I literally felt like I was going to throw up as I knew in that moment that this is exactly what I need to do – take my own advice, but for some reason I can’t.
Why am I so hard on myself?
My trainer said this to me a couple of weeks ago and I left the workout in tears. “Why are you so hard on yourself? Why can’t you just let it go? The weight will come off when it’s supposed to.” After working, running, training, and eating right for nearly two months I was seeing no results, and I imploded.
What I don’t write about, or talk about is my never ending private battle with perimenopause. After trying a paleo diet that’s nearly impossible, I am back to hormones. In the last 18 months I’ve tried birth control pills, hormone patches, Nuva rings, and am now on my 4th prescription of bio-identical hormones. The side effects of each treatment are sometimes worse the endless hot flashes. The cramping, bloating, and weight gain have led me into a depression. Sometimes I feel like I’m never going to feel good again, it’s a hopeless cycle of sadness and anxiety.
But instead of empowering what I’m going through, I suppress it. I work as hard as I can to diet, and exercise, and run, and try my best to lose the weight. But some weeks the scale goes up.
And boy, am I hard on myself.
I was right where Janie was two weeks ago. I wouldn’t even let my trainer post pictures of me on social media because I didn’t want people to see I still wasn’t as thin as I’d been before kids. My clothes that fit me last HEAT season are getting tight, and I compare myself needlessly to the younger, fitter reporters.
You see, I like Janie and many other women, have an image in my head about what I’m supposed to look like. What I’m supposed to be. But the thing is…none of us are the same as before we had kids.
My hips are wider and my legs are fuller. The hormone treatment has given me a pooch in my tummy that I never even had after my kids. I wake frequently at night from sweats and hot flashes so I never really feel rested. And I have developed anxiety that pretty much sucks.
But what dawned on me recently is that I’m not accepting where I am, I’m fighting it. And instead of moving forward, I’m going backwards every single day. I’m engaging in negative self-talk, feeling sorry for myself, and unknowingly been making things worse.
So instead of posting that comment to Janie, I’ve reflected on those words I typed this morning:
And maybe it’s time I took my own advice. Accepted this condition, accepted how I look, and be proud of where I am. I might not be that perfect girl I think I need to be, but instead I’m where I’m supposed to be. Learning that happiness doesn’t have to be defined by unrealistic beauty standards or a number on a scale, it comes from within.
So I’ll try not to be so hard on myself.
It won’t be easy, the perfectionist inside always pushing me for more. But maybe the only way to move forward is to finally be content where you are.
We all need this reminder sometimes! I just carried a baby inside for nine months, so I would be crazy to think that I’ll pop right back immediately. I’m sorry to hear about your struggle. You are absolutely beautiful- don’t ever forget!
Thanks mama! It’s been a tough road – hoping things get better soon!
Janine Huldie says
Yes, I can totally relate and trust me no matter how much I try not to be, I am my own worst critic on this and so much more. Thank you for saying what most times I only think, but don’t have the courage to say out loud here today.
You are beautiful inside and out! I’m sorry you’ve been going through such a rough patch. It can be especially hard to be content with where you are when you aren’t feeling well either. Like you said, give yourself grace. And try to see yourself the way that all of us see you (then you might feel like a rock star 🙂 ).
Crystal Renaud says
Such a wonderful post. Women every where will be able to relate to this. You are a strong and beautiful woman. Your trainer is right, let it go. Accept the beautiful you that you are. It is not easy especially when we work so hard to achieve what we think we should be and look like. Be proud of the hard work you put in. Be patient. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are worth it!!
I’m so sorry that you feel the angst. I wish I had the answers. I have found with my health journey that it takes time, mostly made up of trial and error efforts. To me, you are this stunning, brilliant, talented and inspirational mother who has created an amazing pathway to happiness. I wish for you, and all of us that constantly want to improve our self-image, that we can change the self-talk. Maybe changing our thoughts will help us let it go and live more peacefully within our own minds.
I can’t say I know what it is like to fight baby weight like women do, but I know a lot about being hard on yourself.
There is not a day that goes by where I don’t ask myself if I could have pushed to do more, reached a little bit higher, stretched a little bit more because “I am letting myself and family down.”
It is not how I was raised so I know this feeling comes straight from me. It is a battle sometimes to tell the voice to STFU and go away, but I always feel better when I win that one.
Aussa Lorens says
It’s always so much easier to give advice to people you care about than to extend that same compassion to yourself. Good reminder 🙂
No one is as hard on us as ourselves. It’s a harsh reality.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Wow, so many of us beat ourselves up and hold ourselves to unrealistic standards.
We need to extend the grace we so willingly offer to others, to ourselves as well.
Thanks for being so candid here – I loved this honesty and vulnerability (more so perhaps, because I can identify).
Wishing you a lovely evening.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Who needs enemies, when we have ourselves to face, right? Sometimes we all need to allow ourselves the grace we really deserve. Thank you for this wonderfully written reminder.
I can relate, I think we are all very quick to offer grace to others… but rarely cut ourselves the same break. I am always SO hard on myself… this was a great post and a wonderful reminder!
I’m so with you. Not about my weight but about being 35 and having gray hair and never resting and sitting still and never taking days off and self-loathing a lot. Oh, and anxiety.
Chris Carter says
Oh how I understand so much of what you are going through… First of all, perimenopause sucks. I know it all too well. The uprise of anxiety, the hot flashes, the night sweats and that underlying edge of inadequacy. Not to mention the bloating and terrible periods that took the wind out of me.
Grace be with you, my friend.
I am slowly understanding more and more, the true meaning of that word and how it feels, looks, and thinks- for myself. I hope you can find that too.
Kristen this post is beautiful. Seriously, honestly, outrageously beautiful. I hate that we as women struggle so much with the way we look. I’m sure in your profession it is even worse and I can’t imagine how hard that must be for you. I would go insane, I think. I’m already obsessed – imagine if I had to be on TV!
I think you are so right on the money – you need to love the beautiful body that brought heartbeats into the world. Love the eyes that search out your husband from a crowd. Your hands that soothe fevered foreheads. Your feet that carry you running, jumping, and chasing after you kids.
You have a beautiful, healthy, incredible body. I am so proud to know you and your incredible heart. You are a fantastic writer and I love reading your posts so much. Keep your head high, your mind as clear as you can, and know that you are enough, just the way you are. Xoxoxo
Oh how I wait for your comments on Saturday mornings. Thank you for your encouragement. That was a tough one to write, but has consumed me for so long. And I love your words, “you need to love the beautiful body that brought heartbeats into the world. Love the eyes that search out your husband from a crowd. Your hands that soothe fevered foreheads. Your feet that carry you running, jumping, and chasing after you kids.” Thank you for reading each week – it means so much.
Kristen I love this post – I love everything about it. So perfect in every way.
I wrote a huge comment but it wouldn’t post so here is the most important part of that comment:
You are a beautiful, incredible, strong woman with so much talent and so much light to give this world. You are enough, just the way you are.
Oh Kristen, I could have written this. I think I’m going through perimenopause, too. I’m 46, and in the last two months I feel as though I’ve physically exploded. I’ve only gained 3 pounds, but nothing, and mean nothing fits. I hate looking in the mirror and feel like crap. I swear, I pms three weeks out the month, and I never had pms before this Summer. I know, you can hate, but its true. I wish I could be kinder myself, too. I don’t know what the answer is for my body, my head, or my heart.
Right Allie? It’s SO hard. I feel awful today, so bloated, grumpy, it’s exhausting. I’ve found that taking more time for myself helps. More paleo types of foods, and lots of water. I also do lots of B12, Vitamin D, and that seems to help. Good luck – I”m right there with you.
Cassidy Cruise says
I totally get where you’re coming from and it’s so funny that most women feel this way. But I have to say that this is my first time visiting your blog and when I saw your profile picture, I was like “Damn, she’s hot.” I hope I look as hot as you do when I hit menopause!
The 21st Century SAHM says
Love this. Thanks for being real. Sharing!
Thank you so much!
Oh goodness, I so relate to those first two paragraphs. I desperately want this extra baby weight to come off quickly, but it’s just not. If you’ve got any kind of hormonal therapy, it’s going to affect the way your body holds on to weight. You are so strong. Don’t ever forget that!
I can understand. I have had numerous ups and downs, and anytime the scale moves I cringe. We are our own worst critics for sure. Thanks for sharing!