I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kindness or Complacency

The last 9 months or so have been pretty crappy for me. Various dramas with family, health, business and life have conspired to give me some very challenging months. Throughout all of it, I've managed to maintain my weight by maintaining my fitness -which means I've been eating pretty terribly, but exercising plenty - so the end result is that I've maintained the status quo on the scales. While I'm none too proud of the almost daily Slurpee-and-meat-pie habit, I am immensely proud that I've kept things in balance enough that I'm not sitting here all these months later crying into my giant jar of Nutella.

The last few weeks, I've not been exercising as much as I'd like to be - still gym going as usual but not getting in any of my usual additional activities.  I haven't beat myself up about it too much because frankly, I'm not in such a happy place and on some mornings, I've just needed the sleep more than I needed the 30 minutes of cardio.  On quite a few occassions I've made the choice to just be kind to myself and have that lie in. In part it's because it has been such a rough few months, and in part because I am by far harsher on myself than anyone else is and (along with my word of the year) I'm working on celebrating my wins rather than berating myself for my losses. I've chosen kindness, and I'd venture to say that I'm at least a little bit better off for it.

Here's the question though - at what point (if any) does being kind to oneself actually morph into letting oneself become complacent? Suppose I let myself have that lie in a couple of times a week. I'm tired, I'm stressed, life is hard, I deserve it, yadda yadda. But then - that's a couple of times a week when I'm not getting any exercise and I'm not doing myself any favours on the health front. Instead of being kind to myself, I'm letting that kindness be an excuse for not getting enough exercise. Or not eating better (I'm so stressed, I will totally feel better if I eat that chocolate...). You get the idea. You can use "being kind to yourself" as a justification for almost any behaviour, can't you? Buying a new pair of shoes more often than you can afford, drinking a few extra bottles, delaying the "boring but important" paperwork on your desk. Whatever. It's just so easy to say, "I deserve this," isn't it?

Hmmm. I'm pretty certain I've not reached that stage (and that I'm thinking about it implies I probably never will...) but it's an interesting idea. Modern life being what it is, we're often told we should pamper ourselves, not work so hard, let the house be messy, whatever... but I'm not entirely convinced that we are not in fact, on some level anyway, killing ourselves with all that kindness.


Kristin said...

I tend to think about it in terms of balancing kindness to me, now, with kindness to my future self.
Anything that will leave your future self in a hole isn't particularly kind to you, is it?

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

Agreed. Shortly after I wrote this post I read an article which said,"If your progress starts to slide backwards,that's complacency. If you maintain the status quo,that's just being nice to yourself." Fits in well with what you've said, too. :)


Unknown said...

I've been reflecting on similar thoughts lately. My triplets are over a year old and I still haven't got an exercise program going. Of course I'm dreadfully busy, but I've been thinking, really, instead of thinking, "I deserve this" when I eat a chocolate biscuit, I should be thinking, "My body deserves this" hen I don't eat one.