Are You In An Unhealthy Relationship . . . With Yourself?
I recently read a very good LinkedIn post by Mareo McCracken, This is Why You Are Sabotaging Relationships (+ 8 Actionable Ideas to Build Incredible Ones). He wrote about the issue of sabotaging relationships as relates to success (or failure) in business. It stood out for me because of two words: SABOTAGING and RELATIONSHIPS.
I talk to clients daily about sabotage and their relationships . . . because those are two components of why people gain weight, why they chose not to do anything about it and/or how they battle with it. I talk to them about the need to recognize those in their lives (so-called friends, spouses, co-workers, etc.) who intentionally try to sabotage their (and sometimes medically necessary) weight-loss efforts at every turn. I also talk to them about the need to own up to their own habits of self-sabotage which prevent them from achieving the very thing they want most: to lose weight and be healthy.
When it comes to the relationships part of our discussions, I focus on the most important relationship of all: the one they have with themselves! Those trying to overcome/conquer an addiction or break a bad habit or just get out of a bad, unhealthy situation (i.e., a human relationship, an unsatisfying job), have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. I talk to my clients about the need to understand that the relationship with themselves takes precedence over all else: Until they realize they ARE worthy of being happy; deserving of being slim and healthy; until they stop accepting the bad, negative self-talk (“I’m fat”, “I’m so overweight I’m ugly”, “I’ll never be in a good relationship because I’m obese” and the list goes on)—which, by the way, they would NEVER accept hearing from anyone else—they’ll never be strong enough to slay the devil and then only have the sweet, positive whisperings of the angel to listen to!
In Mr. McCracken’s blog, he offers 6 reasons why a business person will have problems with a client or prospect relationship, and I am going to use those same 6 points as they apply to weight loss. He wrote, “When you have problems in a relationship it is probably because you . . .”
Talked too much.
- Do you constantly talk to yourself and others about how badly you feel being overweight, but do nothing about it? How can you have a good, healthy relationship with yourself if you only talk or hope or tell yourself you want to achieve something, but never do anything about it.
Didn’t listen (because you were talking, or wanting to talk).
- I encounter this all the time: clients who hear me, but never truly listen. As I am talking to them, I can see they are thinking about what they are going to say next. They have all the answers. They know it all. How can you have a healthy relationship with yourself if you never listen to what others (your physician, those around you who love you) are saying and take what they are saying seriously? How can you have good, meaningful, trustworthy relationships with anyone if you only hear them and ‘yes’ them at every turn, but don’t act on any of the advice and counsel they give you . . . especially when it comes to your health? Aren’t you conveying to them that their concern for you is irrelevant? When those who love you, and who are genuinely scared because they see how your weight is affects you physically and emotionally, see that you take no actions to lose weight and improve your health despite their sincerity in telling you how they feel, eventually they stop conveying their feelings and pull away . . . and relationships change.
Thought your needs were more important than the other person’s needs.
- Is your emotional need to be overweight or obese more important than the way your spouse or partner feels about it, especially if you are not the same person physically as when you met? What about their needs, and not just when it comes to intimacy, but to their desire to live a long, active life . . . with you? And, if, because of your weight, you deliberately push intimacy away, or your spouse or partner shows less interest in that regard, how is it possible to feel good about yourself? Is that healthy? Or what about the needs of your children? Do their concerns for your obesity and fear for your health matter to you? If not, is that healthy? Would you rather have cake in your life, or love and passion of people and activities in a your life?
Forgot the purpose of the relationship.
- The foremost purpose of the relationships we have with ourselves—beyond, of course, to continue learning and expanding our horizons and interests; to be good citizens; to be respectful and considerate; etc.—is to take care of ourselves, to nurture ourselves, to do all possible to enrich our lives . . . and the foundation to good living is good health. You cannot have good health being overweight or obese. The longer you are, the progression of health changes from good to bad and from bad to worse.
Stopped nurturing the relationship.
- This point is obvious: If you are fat, and make no attempt to lose weight, you have stopped nurturing the relationship with your body. If you make a half-hearted attempt to lose weight and give up, or you start and give up repeatedly, you have also stopped nurturing the relationship you have with your body.
Made yourself the “hero” instead of them.
- Is what YOU want in the moment more important than long-term health? Is your daily life only about YOU? Do you ever think about how your weight, your size, your health affects your ability or prospects for career success? Do you ever consider how less mobility, less energy and stamina, and physical limitations affect those around you, including and especially your children? Or, are you the hero of your day every day and to hell with what anyone else thinks? Are you always the hero, the ‘winner’ and those whose lives are also affected by your weight and health the ‘losers?’
When you talk too much and don’t listen; when you think your needs are more important than others who care about you; when you forget the purpose of the relationship with yourself and stop nurturing the relationship you have with yourself; and when you make yourself the hero by focusing only on what you want in the moment over what could be achieved long-term . . . you sabotage a healthy relationship with yourself.
You get the relationships you think you deserve. When you’re in a bad relationship—especially the one you have with yourself—you need to change the way you think about yourself. The way you think about yourself and the way you talk to yourself creates your experiences: Your relationship with yourself is the foundation of everything.
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