Months ago, my trainer advised me to just respond to comments about my weight loss by saying, "Thank you so much, it's been a lot of work." At the time I will freely admit I was a bit annoyed with her; the ego part of me bristled with "Who is she to tell me how to react/think/respond?" But that tiny part that is trying to shed the bad mental habits of the past said "Chill....try it, maybe you will find that you don't know everything." (I used to hate that little voice).
So that's what I've done about 90% of the time - and it works because what she was trying to teach me was the yogic way of accepting the ups and the downs with equal levels of calm and love. If you get all excited about every pound that drops off, well it stands to reason you'll be equally depressed about every pound that adds or doesn't drop off - and quite frankly most people don't really want to know the process. They just want to acknowledge the change, tell you they are happy for you, and move on to the next issue at hand.
In, out, done.
Yoga in action....
Last week, someone cornered me in a VERY public place, surrounded by several people I know and respect, but don't see all that often, GUSHING about the changes over the last several months. Now she was TRYING to be nice, I get that, but how the hell do I respond to statements like:
"I remember going to lunch with you and being so worried about your heatlh when you would eat twice what I did"
"Do you have any of your old pants left? I bet you can fit two of you in them!"
"Oh my goodness! Your belly used to look like you were 8 months pregnant! Now look at it!"
"Can I get you to talk to my sister? She's really, really heavy like you used to be and maybe you can inspire her to change. Can I give you her number?"
"I'm going to send your story into a magazine or something! I can't believe you've changed so much at your age!
The thing is, this person really IS a friend, someone that has been cheering me on for months from a distance. We just don't run into each other in person very often. I love her deeply and if she knew how much she hurt me, she'd be crushed.
So what to do? How do I get out of this type of conversation? This isn't the first time by any means, just the worst time. I try to give mono-syllabic answers, and desperately hope the person will breathe long enough for me to get in a comment to change the subject (which is what eventually happens), but the pounding is intense.
The thing is, I don't look at myself as an inspiration in the least. No one has any idea of the mental gymnastics I've put myself through over the last 8 months, an exercise I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy. (The people closest to knowing are my Eva, my daughter, and my trainer, and even then...). Some of the things I've said to myself under the guise of inspiration were cruel and sadistic. I'm more an example of "Don't do this to yourself" than anything else.
But these questions and conversations and people thinking they know me so well that they can pull out every factoid about me to other people that I am really, really not comfortable knowing this stuff? How in the world do I move a conversation away from that? Is my feeling uncomfortable even a bad thing? Should I just take the pounding to my ego to tamp it down more? Should I engage in the conversation and just admit, "Yeah, I was pretty damn fat, let's talk about me some more?" (oh please God no....don't let that be the answer")
Whatever the answer is, I have a feeling it will occur to me when I stop moving, stop fretting, and start listening that that tiny voice that has gotten to be much, much bigger.
In so many ways, I wish I could back up the calendar just a year and start over with love. Obviously I can't, but I can continue with love now...and I do.
Accept the ups and downs with equal levels of calm and acceptance. In other words, it's all good.
Thoughts to take with me today: Whatever the question is, the answer is probably going to be found inside of me. So listen. Namaste.