On the whole, being married to a super-fit triathlete eight years younger than me is great. Aside from him being an all-round good bloke, I’m proud of his sporting achievements and dedication to keeping fit and healthy. And the fact that he’s pretty hot is an added bonus!
But there are times when his youth (relatively speaking), commitment to health and fit body make me feel old, inadequate and insecure. Especially when I’m feeling a bit down, sometimes because I’m tired or hormonal, sometimes for no reason at all. The negative self-talk kicks in, “Why can’t I commit to getting fit?” “He must think I’m pathetic.” “Why am I so lazy?” All stemming from a deep-rooted belief that I’m not good enough (that’s a whole blog in itself).
One thing I’ve realised since becoming a counsellor and my time in therapy is that the negative self-talk still rears its head every now and then. It doesn’t disappear completely. What has changed is that I can shut it up pretty quickly.
Thinking back to Sunday morning. Mr Me got up at 7.00am and went for a 100km bike ride. I was supposed to get up at 8.00am to go to Pilates. But I didn’t want to. I just didn’t feel like it. I was exhausted after a busy week. As soon as Mr Me left the house, the voices kicked in, berating me for being a lazy moo. I distracted myself for a bit with Facebook and Instagram but the voices were persistent. There was only one thing for it. Sit with my feelings and tell the voices to shut up. I was tired and feeling flat. And that was ok. I needed to remind myself what I tell others, “Don’t judge yourself by the standards of others.” Whilst Mr Me has been investing in his physical fitness in recent years, I’ve been investing in my emotional fitness. And that’s something to be proud of.
It happened again this morning. I couldn’t work out why I was feeling low. Mr Me noticed and asked what was wrong. Then it dawned on me, the berating voices (unconsciously this time) were chastising me. Why? Because I’ve got to go and see a neurosurgeon today as it seems I’ve got spinal stenosis(?). My unconscious mind was silently telling me it’s because I’m fat and unfit; that I’ve brought this on myself. Fact is, I don’t know yet what’s caused the condition. Maybe I have contributed to it, maybe not. I just have to accept it and deal with it.
So shut the f**k up negative self-talk – I’m not listening!