Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?

So, the first day of not weighing myself didn’t go all that well, in that I got up first thing in the morning and weighed myself. I didn’t realize what I was doing until I looked at the number and thought, “UGH, I’m the WORST.” And then I remembered this whole not-saying-horrible-things-to-myself dealie. And then I remembered about not weighing myself.

I didn’t weigh myself when I got home, though. I want full credit for that.

For the rest of the day, I was pretty vigilant about not talking smack about my weight, even internally. And I noticed an interesting thing: the less I beat myself up about my weight, the more I started thinking negatively about other things. During the course of the day, I caught myself thinking about:

1) How the sudden humidity was making my hair just about as large and unfortunate-looking as it was during my eighth grade class photo.
2) The fact that I really might be numerically dyslexic, and how much this makes me seem like Malibu Stacy in meetings.
3) The organizational system — or lack thereof — at my desk, in my apartment and in my handbag.

I didn’t track exactly how many negative comments I made, mostly because I didn’t want to dwell on it. But it felt like more than usual. Which made me wonder if there’s some sort of negativity set point in me, and maybe in other people. If, like people who give up drugs and find Jesus, I was trying to keep my level of cruddy self-talk constant, even without the weight-related thoughts.

It reminded me of being a little girl, and figuring out that when your female friends said something mean about themselves, you were supposed to say something mean about yourself. I used to think of it as “I hate my thighs/I hate my butt.” As I recall, it started out as just something to say, and felt weirdly grown up, but after awhile it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Most of us, talking to ourselves.

Photo via http://indignantsound.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

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