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I spent my holiday looking for people as fat as I used to be.

I spent my holiday in Greece by the pool or beach, wearing a bikini.

I was the slimmest I’ve ever been in my adult life.

Finally, I was not the largest lady by the pool 😊

If I were to rate how I felt in my bikini, I’d say moderate to good (which, by my standards is AMAZING!)

And what did I do with that?

I spent the entire holiday looking for people who were as fat as I used to be.

I didn’t find any.

There was absolutely no reason for it (I look and feel way better now at 44 than I ever have).

To be honest, it took me a while to realise I was doing it.

It wasn’t conscious, it just happened.

An uninvited narrative inside my head.

But I didn’t realise until I got home WHAT I was doing.

I was finding another way to beat myself up for being fat.

I was the slimmest I have EVER been and I chose to beat myself up for how I USED to look.

Insane, isn’t it?

It illustrates perfectly what I know from personal experience and what I teach: thought patterns are hard-wired. We mostly don’t even know they’re there until we catch them in a moment of unexpected awareness.

Beliefs sneak in. We don’t choose them consciously. Sometimes they’re from childhood, when we just accept stuff as fact. Sometimes we’ve picked them up along the way.

They become habitual thought-loops that your brain defaults to.

In this case, the habit of beating myself up for no reason.

It’s interesting, because I see myself (largely) as a sane, balanced, confident, funny person, with flaws and foibles just like you.

Rationally, I know I am those things.

My subconscious obviously completely disagrees.

I’ve learnt, over the last 6 years as I’ve been working on my body (rather than ignoring it, hoping no-one would see it, or mind too much if they did happen to) to observe my thoughts with curiosity not judgement.

I’ve learnt to witness them, and my response to them with some distance.

I’ve learnt to turn down the volume of those unwelcome irrational thoughts.

I’ve learnt not to get sucked in and let them send me to the bread bin.

I’ve learnt that these thoughts are not true, not mine and not valid.

They are just habit.

It is possible to let them go.

As for me, I’m still a work in progress, as indeed we all are – improving with age and experience. Just working on accepting those wrinkles… lol :-)

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