A very candid look at self-worth and self-value
If you couldn’t tell already, Breakthrough M2 is different from other weight loss programs. We aim to deal with the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—not just put a bandaid on a problem. This involves addressing the day-to-day struggles but also sometimes deep-diving into the past to better understand what traumas and patterns have stayed with you. Once a month, we hold a “Superpower” Meet-Up group. During the two hours, I teach my clients how to use two of the strongest negative emotions—anger and fear—as a means of diving deep into their emotional world and solving problems.
Take it Out of Context
The one key to success when dealing with these powerful emotions is to extract yourself from the story. In other words, you have to stop talking about the argument or the situation that caused the emotion, so that you can get to the real meaning of the outburst. Each episode of fear, anger, or anxiety, contains a nugget of truth, which can help you evolve toward your higher self, if you are open to seeing it. At this past “Superpower” session, I had an “aha” moment of my own. As a business owner, I know my numbers. I know monthly sales, number of clients that have restarted, number of new clients, referrals, etc. I also know our trends. I have had six years of business experience, so I know when slow and busy times are coming. With all that being said, the month of July was challenging.
I don’t usually think about business challenges for more than the time it takes to have a conversation with my financial consultant. Before I know it, I move on to another project or thought. But for some reason, this time I kept thinking about it after the meeting.
The next day as I was sitting at my desk, I began thinking about sales and then about my staff, their jobs, bills, expenses…OMG!! My mind spiraled into places that it has never gone. It was so unrealistic and ridiculous—none of what I was thinking was the truth. It was all stuff I was making up in my head, so many “what-ifs.” There were no facts to support where my head was going, and my mind just went down a rabbit hole. I started fidgeting in the chair and my head started hurting. I was working myself up for no reason. Thank God this episode only lasted for about two minutes before I got a hold of myself and literally said out loud, “Nanette, enough! What are you doing?” At that point, I got up from the desk and went for a quick walk.
Cross Reference Yourself
I could not let this opportunity slip by to work on myself. When something happens out of the ordinary, especially when it is related to fear or anger, I have learned that there is a teachable moment. So on my walk, I retraced my mental steps in detail. I then had to evaluate and compare the thought patterns with who I am. My goal was to find the truth.
When I need a reference point for who I am, I always find it helpful to think back to my childhood or early teenage years. In this case, I began asking, who am I when it comes to money, abundance, giving, receiving, saving and spending? Did my anxiety match up to anything that I used to do? Did my anxiety match up to actual times in my life where I experienced financial difficulties such as not being able to pay bills, losing everything, or being in mountains of debt? The answer to every question I was asking was a resounding NO. I have never worried about money a single time in my life. Even though I came from a lower-middle class income family, I was taught by example to work hard, save, and give 10%. That easy formula has never failed me, so I was left wondering why this situation came up for me.
The next thing I had to do was think about my parents. They had many arguments about money—not saving enough, not having enough—and they were VERY frugal with every dollar. It was not until many years later that my parents gained peace when it came to having enough and not being worried about money.
So, at that moment I put to rest this feeling of lack. I spoke truth to the situation and acknowledged that financial lack was absolutely never a fear of mine nor it will ever be again!
That made me think. Where has my real struggle been? My struggle has been my weight—my lack of health or healthy weight. So, I asked myself, why? What happened?
As I thought back to my younger life, I remembered how thin and beautiful I was. People recognized me because of the physical beauty I had. I’m tall with long legs, long hair, and green eyes, and many older boys used to flirt with me. Then as I got older, I would use my physical attributes to my advantage. I loved the attention, and I remember my mom’s compliments were consistently about my beauty or attributes. I realized that from a very young age, probably around 11 or 12, I placed my self-worth and self-value in my body and my looks, and my validation in the compliments I received about those things. I know many women who feel very uncomfortable when men whistle or make flirtatious comments to them. I always took it as a compliment. In my mind, they were recognizing me.
Piecing Together the Puzzle
Wow! I’m 47 years old and I just realized that my self-worth and self-value was wrongly placed in my body. When I got pregnant at 18, gained 60 pounds, and went from a size 3 to a size 12, all those compliments and whistles stopped. There was no more flirting with the now chubby 18-year-old mom who had stretch marks and spider veins all over her used-to-be long, toned, flawless legs. When this happened, I lost me. I didn’t know who I was, and my worth no longer existed. I see now why I perceived the pregnancy as such a huge devastation. I always said that I couldn’t understand why I was so depressed for so many years after that. Neither my birth family nor my church family ever made me feel guilty or ostracized. And I also realized that this self-abuse of solitary confinement continued as I gained weight. Because in my world, being overweight could NEVER be pretty or attractive!
These feelings and thoughts became very deep emotional and mental holes that I filled with food and cooking, which only got worse as I gained weight. I did not know how to build myself up or reclaim myself, because honestly, I didn’t even know I lost myself. All I knew was that I needed to survive this wife/mom thing. So, food became the go-to solution to temporarily fill my emptiness.
Thank God I am no longer that person. I have used affirmations, positive self-talk, changed my Inner dialogue. I have had a ton of different versions of the “Morning Success plan,” which I have taught my clients to use so that they, too, can build up their Inner Game (heart and spirit). Do not let opportunities slip by to find a piece to your puzzle and put it in its proper place. Always use truth to judge what is or has happened. Look back at who you were as a child or young person and recognize that this is your story and at any moment you can re-write EVERY word of it, start NEW and TRANSFORM!