What's the difference between self-improvement and self-loathing?
For me, there seems to be a fine, fine line to when I'm positively working towards a goal or when I'm negatively getting down on myself. I'm certainly not a perfect person, physically or emotionally. No one is, but personally, I have always felt the need to be working on who I am. If we stop working on who we are, we'll never grow! So it is important to be working for self-improvement, inner growth, and a healthy lifestyle.
However, my problem comes when my attempt to work for one of these things turns into hatred for myself. Usually it has to do with my body. My clothes start to feel a little too tight or I catch a side view of myself in the mirror and don't like what I see. The easy solution would be to keep better track of my diet or add some extra workouts to my week's schedule. But usually this turns into self-loathing. Rather than think of improvement, I can't help but think nothing will ever change, things will always be this way, and I'll never be the person I want to be.
Um...unhealthy much? On top of the negative mood this puts me in, it also makes me want to do the opposite of everything that would make me feel better. When I feel this down, I want to climb into bed with a delicious snack and never come out. That is not going to make me feel better about my body! And even when that makes sense and seems as clear as can be, when I'm feeling that bad, my common sense seems to get clouded making that option the most viable and obvious choice.
As the wedding creeps nearer, my once clear vision of myself 50 pounds lighter is less and less feasible. And that's ok! I don't want to become a small version of Jenny Busy Bee that will likely never materialize again. My wedding pictures shouldn't show a body that only existed for that moment in time. But that doesn't mean my self-improvement needs to stop. Eating healthy with the goal of losing weight, for me, is a great option right now! I don't need to starve myself or work towards unachievable goals, but healthy eating and regular exercise are great habits to have no matter what year it is. And doing this without hating every moment of it and without hating myself is a work in progress. Sure, I drank a ton on Saturday (liquid calories!), but you know what, I had a great time, hung out with friends I hadn't seen in awhile, and made sure to counter my drinking with a run earlier in the day. Sure, my weight has been yo-yo-ing in a five pound range since January, but I do feel more confident in the way I carry myself and that makes such a difference in the way my body looks.
The balance between self-improvement and self-loathing is important. I find more and more that I am better at accepting myself, who I am, and what I'm capable of, as well as how I can approve on my current capabilities. I'm not perfect, but dagnabit, I'm me.
Do you ever find that your battle towards self-improvement sometimes dips into self-loathing? How do you stay positive when you're working to achieving something for yourself?