Friday, July 15, 2011

Introspective - seeing ourselves in others

I had a conversation last night on my way home from work with one of my best friends. In the course of that conversation it came up (rather, I pulled out of him) how a friend of his supports her position on matters with research that proves her perspective. Typically, this is in the realm of her own healthcare needs, of which there were many more than which I would have thought possible. Through our discussion I learned that she had lost a great deal of overweight at one point. I got pretty up on my judginess, and talked about how I didn't think that was a good way to be, etc., etc. In a follow up email my friend explained about her own changes and then he offered to connect me to her, knowing that I too have weight to lose and am concerned about my own health and fitness.

What a great opportunity--someone who doesn't know me and have preconceived notions about me (well, probably a few). However, I wouldn't even know how to begin that conversation. I'm pretty hard on my self regarding my own body image and how I think of my weight in relation to who I am. I try to focus on the workouts mostly, and am committed to that. This week I've GAINED four pounds, despite four days of hardcore, sweaty cardio for an hour at a time. I don't even know how that happened. My normal approach is to beat myself up over it mentally....and then have a snack. :)

I couldn't get enough salty food last night when I got done working out. My optimistic side said it was because I had sweat so much this week I was low on minerals. My self-deprecating side said that it was because I don't know when to say when.  You can guess which side won that argument, right? There's a reason I read the non-fiction I do (most of it is mental or physical health or spirituality), there's a reason I study things like appreciative inquiry. It all tends to be selfish attempts to help me with positive self-talk. I can only imagine how I would be if I didn't keep trying to build up myself in my research.

And on reflection, maybe I'm a bit more like my friend's friend with my own approach to seeing. My friend's words gave me pause to consider to what degree I do apply the research to suit my own opinions. Meaning? To what degree do I frame my perspective to see things in a favorable light to my own pre-formed opinions? I read something a few years ago, or maybe it was my friend who said it: We see in others what we dislike about ourselves. That really struck home at the time because it was when one of our older nephews was living with my husband and me. I was on the nephew all the time for not doing the things I myself put off, like tidying up, wiping up, etc. I guess it's time for me to fess up, eh?

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