Wednesday, June 1, 2011

52 Pickup: Erase The Tape

Remember, all 52 pickups are open to interpretation. My interpretation might not be the same as yours - make it yours, make it a mantra, make it life lived well.
This week the pickup is:

I could probably write an entire book of just the amazing little nuggets of wisdom my mom has dispensed over the years. Granted, like all children I sometimes tune out (sorry mom) but many sink in (and many I'm saving for later 52 pickups). One of my favorites has to do with 12 year old boys. It's not easy to summarize but basically it is this: We replay messages that 12 year old boys gave us, filled with negativity, and judge ourselves by them. This really has nothing to do with gender - or puberty...though puberty, wow, there is a whole lot of whacked out cruelty built right into that model.

Think for a second though - can you remember something unkind a peer said to you during that time? About your weight, your height, your physical appearance? Maybe about your smarts, your talkativeness, your shyness, or anything else for that matter.

Why do we remember, record and embed these negative messages? Why do we replay them over and over again to belittle, berate, embarrass or lessen our self-worth? It doesn't have to be a message from when you were younger, but any time you've somehow subconsciously remembered and replayed a negative message. Now is the time to let it go. Use it for good and empowerment or leave it behind. There is no other choice. It is time to erase the tape.

I don't have an image for the below so we'll pick salad, because, well, you'll see...

I can tell you a little account that was both good and bad for me.

The year I graduated from university was not a great one. The economy took a plunge that was both unpredictable and incredibly difficult for newly starting professionals. The country had been rocked by terrorism and tragedy. I had a terrible breakup. I ended up working for what ended up being a very innovative company but in my hometown and with a boss who sparked in me a little thing we call "panic attacks" or "anxiety" (PS that is very rare now, thank goodness). While all my friends were there and we were all figuring things out, it was also a little sad, a bit difficult, and a lot humbling to be living at home again. I ate.

I gained weight. I buried my depression, devastation and fears in food.

Then I went to my high school reunion. It was a pretty good time. Someone almost accidentally burnt a barn down but hey, he wasn't in my class. Then a girl who I've never really valued the opinion of said something, thinking no one heard..."Wow, everyone got so...FAT!"

I was pissed off. And out for revenge.

So I lost the weight. Fast. I did it with a program but still...from July until October (my college homecoming) I worked my butt off. I lost around 50 pounds. I kept it off too.

Then I had a kid. I gained weight, of course. I lost it after I had my daughter. Then I stopped nursing and I gained a bit of weight back. My body is different. My world is different. Yet I still keep hearing that message. "Wow, everyone got so...FAT!".

I chose to stop hearing that message as well. Sure, I would like to be 19 again, fit without effort, but I'm not. I'm ok with that. This time, what weight I have to lose (or rather, what pursuit of fitness I have) I will do for myself, not out of vengeance, opinions or malice...and certainly not of repeated reels of negativity. Does that make it a little more difficult? Maybe. More productive? Absolutely.

I abandoned the time when I was actually 12 years old and boy tried out the term "bitch" on me a long time ago...time to abandon the rest as well.

So, my friends, now is the time. Let go of those terrible tapes, negative reels, and replays and become that self-actualized person I know you can be. Go ahead, vent the negativity in the comments if you need to but leave it there, nevermore again...

For further reading consider this.

Edit: My mom wrote me an email regarding this post. I thought you might be interested in her response:

"I wish that I had known years ago that feeling good should be the motivation for being well.  Looking good comes as a side effect of it anyway.  We have it all backwards...we seek to look good, but forget how much more motivating Feeling good is.  Now that I am feeling good, I am looking good too.  And I find that the journey is simply day at a time of enjoying the views, learning a little more, keeping pace of life as a happier, feeling well and healthier person."

Isn't she awesome? I think so.


1000+1 said...

yes, i did have a few of those 12 year old boys in my life… at the age of 34 i am finally free from those tapes that restricted my true self to come forth! it was a long journey of a self-propelled vessel, but it made through all the icebergs and now is finally ashore with self-content!

Krystal said...

this was such a brave post! i enjoyed reading it though,i think we all definitely have that jerk boy in our heads or even some random girl (in my case). i hope i was never that girl though!