Our quest for personal improvement is never complete.

It is something that we are going to continue to work on for the rest of our lives, and as long as we are comfortable with that, we can embrace it as part of the process. It becomes less anxiety-producing and less likely to get in your way. However, things will occasionally happen that will bring you to your knees, and I had one of those moments this morning.

I’m going to share with you my battle with the scale, my least favorite thing to talk about because it is so deeply rooted in my self-worth and my self-esteem that when it comes up I just want to run away from it and hide (hello, hermit). And it keeps coming up! So hopefully by
bringing this issue out of the darkness and into the light, I can find a new way to respond to it. I stepped on the scale this morning and the reading was not a number that I wanted to see.

Instantly, the “bitch switch” was flipped.

The bitch switch is that inner critic that is so harsh and hateful that just takes over and eliminates any self-compassion that you can find, and in doing so, negates your ability to be compassionate to anyone else. You just don’t have it in the tank. And whatever I had in my tank was immediately sucked dry…I went on a rampage. I yelled at my kids. I slammed the bedroom door when my husband was sleeping. I started thinking about the million things that I have to do today and that I had to do it all on my own and I get no help. Seriously, automatic victim mentality, which the inner critic can’t stand, making matters worse, and oh boy, I just woke up!

So, fix it mode kicked in.

You know how this works. I realized I have this magical juice that if I take I can “lose 5 pounds in a day”, so that’s what I’ll do. I just need to do this, I need to focus. Okay, I have a plan, and I’m excited! I’m taking control of this, and I’m going to do it NOW! So, I took a drink of this magical juice, and it tastes like crap to me! Seriously, it makes me gag which is why it was in the back of the cabinet anyway. But, I can lose 5 pounds if I can make myself drink this. Have you ever done this, just gone into a spiral of rationalizing irrational thoughts? It’s never helpful!

Then it hit me, I don’t have to put anything into my body that I don’t want to.

This is ridiculous! I’m gonna lose 5 pounds because I’m going to puke every time I drink this stuff. It just became so self-defeating that I started crying in the kitchen. You know the kind, that hysterical laughing-crying combo that just makes you think “What in the hell am I doing to myself?”  After a full-on “ugly cry”, I came to realize a couple of things. First of all, just telling you this story has made me laugh at how ridiculous it is. Yes, this is an old wound, and yes, it’s not going away anytime soon. But, what was so overwhelming and brought me to my knees just an hour ago seems so much lighter and so much easier to tackle. So, share your story, it will lessen the load and bring perspective to the situation.

Second, if your bitch switch gets flipped today, show yourself some love.

If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else (thank you, RuPaul). Take a moment and do something for yourself that you love. Whether it is getting outside and taking a walk, driving with the windows down blaring your favorite song (one of my faves), getting your nails done or a massage, or just taking the time to acknowledge and honor your feelings so you can move on, do it! You deserve it!

Finally, everyone’s gonna have a rough day.

Give yourself a pass today. Give yourself a moment to feel the emotion and release it. You have the power to overcome it, and you can change how you respond to it. If your bitch switch issue is one like mine (I have several) about body image and self-worth, I challenge you to practice specific gratitude for what your body can do. Let go of the shoulds and coulds and this false image of perfect, and list three things that you are grateful to your body for.

Things for which I am grateful:

  • I am able-bodied.
  • My body is strong and birthed six babies.
  • My body is adaptable.

This kind of specific gratitude can be applied to any bitch switch issue and is extremely powerful in creating a new narrative. When I put my challenges into perspective through gratitude, they seem not so overwhelming, and it gives me faith that one day, just maybe, the scale won’t flip the bitch switch at all.

Until next time…

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