Monday, October 22, 2012

The Self Compassion Diet

A few weeks ago I was hanging out with an old friend that I haven't seen in awhile, and made an offhand comment about myself that I didn't really think about. Until she immediately replied, "Why would you say that? You're really hard on yourself."

It's interesting, getting a little perspective on yourself from an outside source.

Because she's totally right. I am extraordinarily hard on myself, and I don't really know why that is. I always have been. But I've been having  more issues with it recently: I try to go easy on myself which results in indulging in bad behavior which makes me feel guilty when I don't WANT to feel guilty and BAM. Self-destructive cycle INITIATED. Abort code is classified information. 

This article was exactly what I needed to read after this weekend.

A few choice quotes:
"People who find it easy to be supportive and understanding to others, it turns out, often score surprisingly low on self-compassion tests, berating themselves for perceived failures like being overweight or not exercising."
“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent,” said Dr. Neff, an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas at Austin. “They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
“Self-compassion is the missing ingredient in every diet and weight-loss plan,” said Jean Fain, a psychotherapist and teaching associate at Harvard Medical School who wrote the new book “The Self-Compassion Diet” (Sounds True publishing). “Most plans revolve around self-discipline, deprivation and neglect.”
I took the test. And I am really not self-compassionate.

This article made me think of an anecdote I've heard many times about the American attitude towards food and indulgence. Basically, when a group of Americans is offered cake and asked to say the first thing that comes to mind, they choose words like "guilt" or "shame". When French people are presented with the same challenge, they said "celebration".

Our societal attitudes towards dieting and nutrition are just so fucked up.

Food for thought.

But not REAL food. Because I'm not hungry.

Nope. I'm not.

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