She Said: Know Yourself and Let It Go

by leslie 5. May 2012 09:19

I spent the weekend in San Francisco on a business trip.  As business travelers go I’m among the most experienced having spent 7 years traveling most weeks. 

So I’m accustomed to the physical perils of trans continental air travel.  Here's the short list: 

Swollen body parts – changes in atmospheric pressure are silent and deadly. Upon take off I’m size 8 but after an hour or so at 30,00 feet I inflate like a rubber raft. It’s anyone’s guess to what size I end up as upon landing and my feet now flow over my shoes in an eerie resemblance to freshly baked bread.   

Dry skin – 5% humidity on planes means all the expensive facial products I slathered on that morning have been sucked out of me.  

Back pain – no seat is comfortable for four hours. None. 

Anxiety - you never know who or what is going to plop down next to you to share what amounts to four hours of voluntary minimum-security incarceration.  And don’t forget the biggie… 

Jet lag. Jet lag turns me into a lackadaisical monster. I have no energy, can’t focus my eyesight (I’m writing this blog in 14 point font just so I can see it!) and the worst: I’m irritable. 

My years traveling taught me that staying away from others while I wait for the irritability to subside is a very good habit. (Ask any of my friends – they’ll agree.) The downside is that I often turn on myself.  

Yesterday I didn’t even wait for the plane to land to begin thinking irrationally. The tall skinny guy sitting sharing the row with me (there was no one in the middle seat! Leg room!) carried a brand new bag with the phrase ‘Marin Headlands 100 K Ultra Run’ printed on it. 

100 K? That’s 62 miles! ‘Ultra Run? When I hear the word ‘ultra’ I think of beer. So I ponder the thought, ‘Did this guy run 62 miles yesterday?’ 

A quick gander at this guy’s thighs and I think to myself, ‘oh yea, he looks like the type.’ Upon asking him if he really did run 62 miles his answer was ‘yes. That was yesterday and I’m a little tight today.”  A little tight?! You don’t say.     

So instead of congratulating him what do I do? I cave to the irritability. So the mildly self-defeating question begins swirling in my head: “Why don’t I seek to achieve this level of physical achievement?’ 

The reasonable answer is well … ahhh … hmmmm ... perhaps because at 5’7” with a medium frame, I’m just not built for the job. And I’ve never been interested in running in a big circle. Seems to me that if you’re going to push yourself to run any distance it should be to either a mall or a bakery. And there should be a driver awaiting your arrival at either destination to offer a lift home. 

Admit it. I’m sure most of us at times have been a bit too harsh on ourselves.  Women are especially critical of themselves. We criticize our bodies and our faces and our nails and our hair as if we have the power to change them to fit our desires. News flash: we don’t. 

So give yourself a bit of a break. Just one. And do it today. I’ll start for you. 

I’ll bet there’s a 50 / 50 chance you don’t fit comfortably into your favorite jeans today. What small action today will make wearing those jeans a reality next week? Lifting weights one more time this weekend? Walking an extra 10 minutes each day? Avoiding the extra cookie at dessert? All are reasonable and effective measures. 

Just remember, if today isn’t the day to take that extra step, forgive yourself and let it go. 

So Dr. Barber, what mental health suggestion can you add? 

I’m waiting… 

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Comments (1) -

maha
maha
7/5/2013 4:32:08 PM #

I’m sure most of us at times have been a bit too harsh on ourselves.  Women are especially critical of themselves. We criticize our bodies and our faces and our nails and our hair as if we have the power to change them to fit our desires. News flash: we don’t.

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