Day 29: The power of a compliment – for good or for bad

I’ve been working on living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle for a while now- probably around 3 months or so. Even before starting this blog, I’d been working out hard and paying more attention to my diet.

Slowly, slowly I’ve started to think I can see a change in my body – oh, are my jeans a little looser? Is that a tricep I can see? Does my face look a little thinner? Hmmm, perhaps, that’s kind of cool.

Some wise words to bear in mind!

Some wise words to bear in mind!

It wasn’t until Mags told me that she thought my legs looked a lot more toned recently, that I really started to believe it. What a rush – I was ecstatic, overjoyed, over the moon, thrilled to bits! If she saw it, then it must be true. The impact those words had on me was huge – I was instantly more motivated, more confident, I felt so great about myself. My new, healthy lifestyle was working!

When I calmed down a little later I started to think about my reaction. Why hadn’t I reacted the same way when I noticed a difference myself? Was I really so reliant on other people to buoy up my self-esteem?

I came to the sad conclusion that, yes, this was absolutely the case.

Case in point – my sister Lindsey got married about 4 months ago. I was living in San Francisco and had been making a huge effort to get in shape. There was no way I was going to be the out-of-shape, single, older sister at the wedding. So I worked hard, saw some nice results and was pretty happy with myself getting on the flight to Dublin.

When I touched down I was so thrilled to see my family, obviously. But there was a small part of me that was also looking forward to hearing how great I looked, how fit and toned. And whilst I did hear this, in the midst of all the other hyper chats as we drove home, there was a part of me that didn’t think the compliment was complimentary enough.

And, tragically, I let that totally effect the way I saw myself. Maybe I hadn’t done a good enough job, I should have worked out more, I should have eaten less, I had failed.

Looking back on this I feel so sad about it. I should have been content enough with my own progress that a compliment from my family would have been the cherry on top of an already delicious cake. (A healthy, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cake obvs).

So, this is what I’m now working on. Being my own biggest fan, complimenting myself every day on the changes I see and accepting all other compliments, or lack thereof, with grace.

I’m also trying to dish out more compliments when I notice something to be complimented. Just cos it is pretty cool to hear!

Food and exercise:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, chia seeds and steamed kale
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad
  • Snack: Yogurt and banana
  • Dinner: Beef Pho and garlic noodles (basically noodles on noodles. Sigh). Lysbet and I went to Sunflower in Potrero Hill. This is an amazing Vietnamese restaurant, in the most adorable neighbourhood.  The Bold Italic recently ran a spotlight article on the hood. Check it out!
Lysbet with our left-overs outside Sunflower. I was somewhat healthy and didn't eat the entire portion, which was enough to feed four people!

Lysbet with our left-overs outside Sunflower. I was somewhat healthy and didn’t eat the entire portion, which was enough to feed four people!

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