The downside to the upside

I've been working on myself lately. I've talked about it here some, on Facebook some, and probably on Instagram too.  It's no secret I've been going to the gym, lately I've been going six times a week.

Here is where I get conflicted.  Every time I see someone that I haven't seen in at least a month they compliment me on how I look.  I don't know if it's because I just have super low self esteem and I'm really bad at taking a compliment but….whenever they say these things I immediately think, "they are only saying this because they know I'm working out and they feel obligated to comment on my body."

I don't know if that is true or not but it makes accepting a compliment very difficult.  I do think that when people know you are working out that they automatically assume they must make a comment on your appearance.  Normally when someone comments I feel the need to respond that no, my weight hasn't changed much, and my last measurements weren't huge changes, and that I don't see the changes.  I kind of brush off the compliments because I cannot decipher what is sincere and what is just an obligation.

In fact there has only been one compliment I was able to take well and it was the most backhanded compliment I've ever received.  Someone I hadn't seen in a year came by and as soon as I opened the door they said, "wow, you look amazing, you are so skinny now, I mean wow just look at you."  This person has no idea I go to the gym, they have no idea I've been eating right, they just saw me and made an observation. I was pleased.  I thanked them and I felt a little bit taller for a moment.  Until they said, "you just look so good, I mean…you were really fat last time I saw you, like really really fat."


That stung.  It hurt to hear that but at the same time I think it made the compliment more valuable because I knew he was making the observation with no expectation of how I would look when he came in the door.  He hadn't read about my training and my diet, so he didn't have to prepare a comment about my new figure, he just spoke honestly.

I am really struggling with compliments though.  Strangely, my self esteem is at an all time low. I've lost weight.  My body is changing and yet, I still only see the bad.  I keep thinking, "sure they think I look good in my clothes, but if they saw me in a bathing suit they would retract their compliment."  I am struggling to eat because I'm obsessing over calories, and burn, and exercise.   If I miss a day at the gym I spend the entire day panicking that tomorrow I will wake up 20 pounds heavier again.

I am sure this is normal. I'm sure it's a transition, but I really don't like it.  I want to learn to say thank you and believe the compliments.  I want to look in the mirror and not grab the fat above my C-section scar.  I never realized losing weight and being healthy would be such a huge mind fuck.t

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