How can I make myself feel better?
January 29, 2010 1:44 PM Subscribe
How can I make myself feel better (about myself and in general) without using food, money, or dieting inappropriately?
posted by dumbledore69 to health & fitness (55 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
I am working on a lot of issues at the moment (and am working with a therapist / doctor as well), mostly focusing on my depression, anxiety, ADHD and how I tend to deal with those things by either overeating/binging, spending lots of money that I don't have to spend, or starting an insane and unrealistic diet/exercise program (or some other insane program or project that will FINALLY FIX EVERYTHING).
The end result of my behavior is that I'm ~100 lbs overweight, thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and completely burned out from dieting (especially calorie counting and WW points tracking). My self esteem SUCKS. As you can probably imagine.
I've been doing well for a few weeks. With help, I decided to make tackling my credit card debt a priority, as it has been hanging over my head for years and years, but is the easiest, most straightforward, and fastest problem of mine to fix. I have set up a budget and repayment plan that allows me SOME spending money (not tons) and will let me pay everything off by the end of July. I feel like focusing on this, something that has consistent and predictable results, will help give me some self esteem and reduce one area of stress in my life.
However, I am also working on my general health. I am trying to make near-daily exercise, sleep, and healthy foods a priority. My budget helps this, because one of my goals is to eat breakfast at home and brown bag lunch everyday. I'm not sure if I'll lose weight doing this, but I don't seem to be gaining anything, and whenever I have followed stricter weight loss programs before I've always lamented that "If only I got into the habit of bringing my lunch everyday" or "If only I would stop the habit of getting breakfast to go everyday" I would be so much better. So...I do hope that eating better in general, making my own food, and exercising will help me lose weight. But I'm trying to give myself permission to NOT lose weight (or any significant weight) for RIGHT NOW. I've never given myself that kind of permission before, and it felt good at first...but...
I am currently ready to jump out of my skin. I hate myself and how I look. I mean, I'm really fat! And if I was not focused on paying off my debt, my first impulse would be to make myself feel better by going out and buying new clothes and getting my hair done and doing other things to make myself feel less awfully ugly and fat. Or at least making some grand recommitment to dieting plan with a strict schedule and plan. But I know if I do that, it's just setting myself up for more disappointment.
My therapist said that I seem to lack the ability to "self soothe", but she wasn't very helpful when I said that I just don't know what is soothing other than food or spending money. I know that is totally sick, but it's true. Nothing else soothes me as quickly and efficiently. I realize that the end result of using those things to soothe my bad feelings is just making life harder, which is why I'm trying to change things.... but I'm afraid that if I don't find SOME alternative, I'm going to crack, because sitting with these feelings is hard. I don't know if I've ever done this before.
I know a common suggestion is exercise. I like exercise. I do it almost everyday. It's enjoyable and all, but it does not soothe me. It sometimes improves my mood or energy levels, but it's not something that fills me in any real way. Neither is yoga or meditation. There are few hobbies I can stand, I'm not religious, and even my friends can't really cheer me up. I want to volunteer, but I work long hours and am a part-time grad student and take care of a house and ugh.
How do I stop hating myself? What do I do?