Trying to Fix Yourself?

I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who wrote such encouraging comments on my Exhausted and What This Blog is gonna look like posts. You are all SO amazing. Honestly. I just feel so loved that I want to send you a koala 🙂

This is a post that I have had floating around in my head. I have been thinking ‘how do I share this?’ because what happened to me was about one of the most profound and ‘AHA moments I’ve had in a long time’.

I have been reading through ‘Women, Food and God‘ by Geneen Roth. I have been hearing a lot about it in the blogging world. I really DID NOT like ‘Intuitive Eating‘ and I was hesitant to read this book. Was it going to be just another self-help book that did nothing?

I got to page 32

Combine the utter inefficacy of dieting with the lack of spiritual awareness and we have generations of mad, ravenous, self-loathing women. We have become so obsessed with getting rid of our obsession, with riding on top of our suffering and ignoring its inherent message, that we lose the pieces of ourselves waiting to be found again.

Then I stared, highlighted and bracket this sentence

But fixing ourselves is not the same as being ourselves.

Since I was little, I have been trying to be something better.

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Better at school. A better kid. More polite. More active. More fit. Thinner. A better eater. The top of the class. The best girlfriend. The most loyal friend. Prettier.

My whole life, I have been in a state of trying to fix myself….so that I can be perfect. Namely in the eyes of the diet, men, or others that I am surrounded by. Most of this have been self-inflicted.

This realisation was one of the most powerful eruptions of emotions I have ever experienced, comparing to this. I sat on my bed, sobbing for 20 minutes. Grieving the fact that so much of my life, and even intense moments now, I have spent STRIVING to fix myself.

I let the snot drip out of my nose, the tears stream, my breathing become rapid…and then I sat in the shower sobbing for another 20 minutes. It was as if I had to admit that I didn’t see myself as whole. In fact, dieting and the subsequent years I have lived through, have done a VERY efficient job of separating who I am from my soul. Now I am compressing those who back together…which DEMANDS that I deal with the need to be perfect. To fix myself.

What I didn’t do is go to food.

What I did do is write on note cards all of the things which bring my JOY/PEACE/HAPPINESS.
What I did do is write down all of the things that I LOVE about myself.

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They sit by my bed and I have looked through them every morning.

I am in a place where I am still stuck in the moments that demand that I ‘fix’ something about myself. But I am overcoming this notion with the thought that I am ENOUGH RIGHT NOW! It’s profoundly scary, liberating, and powerful to take a step back and stop trying to fix yourself..and just love what you’ve got.

I know it sounds hooky, and almost simplistic. ‘Just love who you are’. But it’s not. And when you get to that moment where dieting, calorie counting, pant sizes, grades, your boss’ perception, parents approval, and/or your faith’s ‘must dos’ are not longer defining your personal worth….you will stop living your life in a constant state of fixing. Instead you’ll live your life for yourself and for LIVING. Letting go of other’s validation and approval for your own trust in yourself to know what you want….in my opinion is at the core of where I have struggled for so long.

~Mish

25 thoughts on “Trying to Fix Yourself?

  1. Marsha @ Green Mountain at Fox Run says:

    I love what you have written, Mish. It echoes with much greater heart what I recently wrote as a guest post for Trish on I Am Succeeding. I called the post “Stop Trying to Change the Wrong Thing” because I think that’s what so many of us are doing when we focus on food, exercise, weight. We’re trying to be perfect, have people like us, whatever, when what we really need to be doing is liking ourselves. Right now. That’s where real peace with food, ourselves, our lives emanates from. Thanks for this post!

    • Mish says:

      You’re welcome. I have been so profoundly impacted by the book that I have to read it in small sections cause it brings up so much for me. I recently went to a dinner party w/ pizza, cupcakes, etc. I didn’t binge, didn’t calorie count, didn’t feel restricted. I for the FIRST TIME respected my bodies needs (no gluten/dairy) and didn’t associate emotion with my food. I have never had so much fun before. I just wish that I could impart this into everyone’s minds…of which I know you understand.

  2. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    There’s not much more to say than “amen” and “brava!” It feels sort of trite to say “I know exactly how you feel” but I do! I’ve come through the same gauntlet over the past 18 months or so and to be honest, I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. As sad as it is to think I’ve spent 40+ years not liking who I am and trying to fix myself, it feels beyond amazing to get to this place. Hurray for us!!

  3. Marisa @Loser for Life says:

    I had a similar realization a few months ago, Mish. Sad, isn’t it? So much wasted time! I know now that there is nothing necessarily “wrong with me”. I will always try to better myself because that is part of growing as a person, but I am no longer trying to “fix” myself!

    You are wonderful! 😀

  4. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self says:

    I struggle with this so much. I don’t know how and where it started, but for as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with gaining the approval and validation of others. This has led to too many instances of denying myself what I needed or wanted in order to please others (or think I was pleasing others). It’s been a long and difficult road to accepting that the way I am right here, right now is enough.

  5. shannonsfoodruns says:

    I love your blog. I feel like you are exploring the things that, deep down, I know I need to explore. Thank you for sharing!

    I just ordered the book from paperbackswap.com, so I’m curious – what did you dislike about Intuitive Eating? Is there a post you can point me to?

    • Mish says:

      There are some blog posts about it, but I don’t know any off the top of my head. MANY people have loved it..and it could have just been the mood that I was in. However, if felt like rules to me..even though it’s not its intention. Check it out and let me know what you think.

  6. Astrid says:

    I have had very similar thoughts since recently reading this book! Isn’t it wonderful!? 😀 x x x

  7. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    I wanted to pipe up again and say that I don’t like “intuitive eating” either and it wasn’t until I saw Shannon’s question LOL. The reason I don’t like it is because it’s one more way we’re trying to fix ourselves. At least that’s how I felt the first time I heard about it…I was like, “ooooo…maybe THIS will work…”

  8. rachel says:

    I am so with you on this – I’ve been trying to fix myself my whole life! Thing is, I don’t really know who I am anymore. So I’m working on finding myself underneath all the crap, and loving the me that i find!

  9. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin says:

    I can totally relate– I feel like I’m been trying to “fix” myself for over half of my life! I actually thought about buying “Women, Food, and God” yesterday, so I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying it so far!

    I’ve been leery of picking up any self-help book at the moment, because I’m actually getting to a really good place mentally and physically– and I’m scared of “rocking the boat” with any self-help thoughts again!

    As always, thanks for writing such an open, honest blog. Your posts make my day because I can relate to SO much!

  10. Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete says:

    Oh my goodness. You hit the nail on the head. It has taken me years to finally love myself FOR WHO I AM. With that, surprisingly came self confidence and happiness. I am who I am, which doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped changing for the better, but it is more of an organic gradual process that I don’t spend time pondering on.

    I’m glad you had a breakthough. I love it when that happens. 🙂

  11. Kendra says:

    Somehow your posts always seem to hit on something I’m dealing with at the moment. Like you, I’ve always been trying to fix something. A huge amount has had to do with my appearance but so much more was just who I am. I haven’t really liked myself much. I’m starting to but it’s a slow laborious process and the self conscious moments win out too often.

    I’ve spent too long, though, focusing on what I should be rather than on enjoying who I am.

  12. SeattleRunnerGirl says:

    You know as soon as Miz sees this she’s gonna be all up in here with the ‘YOU ARE ENOUGH RIGHT NOW, JUST AS YOU ARE.’ And rightly so. It’s true. So many of us have struggled to REALLY FEEL that it’s true, and it is true. So I’m SO glad that you are learning to feel it and claim it and BELIEVE it! Because you are, you know. Enough, I mean. Me, too. 🙂

  13. Tami says:

    Amen Mish! I read this book and loved it. I thought there would be a lot more written about it on healthy living blogs but I have not seen much about it.

    I am so happy that you had a break through. We do need to love who we are and how we are right now this very moment. We also need to believe that we are ok. God took all of the best parts and created us to be who we are. He didn’t make junk and we need to stop treating ourselves as if we are junk!

    • Mish says:

      “God took all of the best parts and created us to be who we are. He didn’t make junk and we need to stop treating ourselves as if we are junk!” — love that

  14. Beth says:

    Geneen Roth saved me from myself.

    It’s been a good 5 years and I still have to work at it some days, but I feel so much more alive this way. I was so focused on dieting and trying to make myself into the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, that I was letting life pass me by. It was crazy. I FELT crazy. Letting go of all of that was an indescribable relief. Scary at first, but still a relief.

    Now I feel like I’m really me.

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