© 2013 jen

Fit-tastic Update: Here Comes The Judge & Change

If you’ve been keeping up with my progress over the last 6 months, then you know I’ve been through so many changes with my health, body and mind. As I continue to grow and morph into who I am becoming I’m finding that even my experiences in the world are changing.

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This is a dress I used to wear all the time. It’s too big for me now, but I was trying to make it work with a belt. It sort of worked, but after checking with a friend we decided that the dress was poofing at my waist in a weird way – you can’t see it here – and that it wasn’t flattering. So I’m giving this dress away at the Naked Lady party that I’m having this Sunday.

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Update:

I’m feeling great and eating CHEESE again! Not too much and I am finding that there are some cheeses that go down better than others.

I’m also feeling stronger with exercise. I went on a run a few days ago and ran a bit farther and with more ease than before. I love feeling healthier.

Today I weigh 191 lbs, up a pound from last week, but I’ve been eating like a horse so I’m surprised it’s only 1 lb.

I feel like my body is still really changing. I don’t think I’m at my final weight or body type yet. I’m not sure if  I’m going to be a bit bigger or smaller than I am right now, but I’m working on not judging that, just like I’m working on judging things in general.

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One thing that’s been changing more is how I feel about judgement. It’s a topic Jena and I have been talking about for future videos for The Maven Circle. I’m pretty excited about some of the work we have planned around the topic, but I also felt like I have so much I want to say about it. So much that I’m thinking about that I wanted to share it here too.

My friend, Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens posted this earlier this week:

“How would your life be different
if . . . You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions
about people you encounter?”
― Steve Maraboli

I was already knee-deep thinking about my own judgements of myself. Well, really, old assumptions that I used to think and as I’m changing so much, I find myself looking at many aspects of me that I used to believe about myself.

Once I had this quote in mind I was in full-tilt-judgement analysis.

Thinking about myself judging me and what that meant and then what my judgements of others means about me.

I guess I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, because one central theme that’s pretty much been rattling around in my brain is that whenever anyone judges anyone it’s really about the judgers viewpoint and sometimes what the judger believe or hates about themselves that is causing the reaction of judgment.

Here’s a fun exercise that requires some judgement (ironically) but it’s pretty great all the same:

1. Think of the most critical, judgmental person you know. Now ask yourself the quote above and apply it to that person.

I did this with someone I know, who I won’t name and I couldn’t help but think that this person could probably own the world if they could stop being so judgmental of so many different people in his/her life and this person would be abundantly happier, without so much of his/her energy going into judging others.

2. OK, now, apply that same quote to yourself. I think it works better if you first think of an extremely judgmental person, because most of us don’t think we’re extremely judgmental and sometimes have blind spots to our own judgmental-ness.

For me, when I asked myself about this:

How would my life be different if I stopped making negative judgement assumptions about people I encounter?

My first thought was, I’d be happier not focusing on the negative attributes of others.

Then I thought, I’d feel lighter and freer if I wasn’t troubled by negative thoughts of other people.

Then, if I spent less time looking for negatives in others, I’d have more time to be present, in the moment – to think about or to be doing awesome and more interesting things.

If my brain wasn’t focusing on negativity I would have less judgment for myself.

If I had less judgment for myself, I would not be limited by my own judgments, and I’d be more able to be myself.

I know I’m not the first person to consider these ideas, but the more changes I go through with my health. As I get stronger and healthier, the more assumptions I question about myself and the more I question my judgements of others.

I guess I’m really just questioning my judgements in general:

Why are they there?

Why are they useful?

Are they useful?

The answers that keep coming back to me is, No. They aren’t that useful most of the time. Often times judgements are a knee-jerk reaction and often times we judge others based on our own judgments about ourselves and the world, which may or may not actually be true.

Judgements are often a defense to things that scare, frustrate, overwhelm, intimidate us, but again, that’s really about us. Not the other person.

Let me make myself clear here. I’m not saying love everyone and everything they do. Some folks you need to keep a healthy distance from. Some people are always going to push our buttons – but – maybe, just maybe instead of letting them push us, maybe instead when we feel pushed we could test out the idea of looking at our own judgement, because that is actually useful in our lives.

What I’m saying really is, What purpose does criticizing, judging, hating on another person have in your life? How does it help you? How does it make your life awesome and if it doesn’t, well then keep on moving through your feelings until you can overcome your critical thoughts, because it hurts you more than anyone else. You’re the one living in the negativity even if it’s about another person. You’re the one living with the poison.

It really doesn’t serve any of us to spend our time on negative thoughts of others.

Now let’s take that same thinking and apply it to yourself,  What purpose does judging me serve in my life?

How does it help me? How does it make my world more sparkly?

Again, it doesn’t. It doesn’t help. I only hurts.

So I say this to me and to you too, the next time you judge anything, consider checking your judgement. 

It might feel a lot better and it might really help you in your life.

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Wearing clothing that mostly fits me, although I think this shirt is a bit short.

Here are four judgements and changes about myself I’ve recently been looking at in my own life:

1.  The Anti Writer – for most of my life I thought that I was one of the worst writers in the world. Now I’m really seeing I have a strong, authentic voice, but make a typo from time to time. I’m no longer judging my writing. I’m just writing.

2. Hot Stuff – I used to be hot all of the time. I was always overheated, now I’m always cold. Now I find myself healthy, happy, but freezing. I’m adjusting to being cold all time. I’m no longer the hot toddy that I used to be and I’m trying not to judge this coldness, just trying to accept it as something that’s happening now.

3. Clumsy Me– I used to think I was a clumsy person. Not always, when it came to creative, making-type projects I seemed to do alright, but in life – ambulating through space. I used to worry about falling. Knocking things over. I used to worry about rolling my ankles. I used to fall down sometimes. So far, this doesn’t happen anymore and some days, when I’m doing something totally mundane like putting away a dish, I flip it into the air, sometimes a few times and then catch and put it away, because as I get healthier, I realize, I am coordinated. My judgements about my clumsiness are no longer true and I’m still adjusting to this. Right now, I’m working on the mantra as I walk downstairs or do things that used to worry me, “Don’t worry, falling down isn’t your thing anymore.”

4. Big Girl For Life – I used to believe that I was going to be heavy for my whole life. I stopped even wishing to be thin, because it seems totally unattainable. Now I catch myself passing a mirror and maybe my face is turned a little so I can see the definition in my cheekbones or something and I find myself shocked that my cheeks are so prominent and also somewhat thin.  I know I’m not going to be that heavy person anymore, but I cannot fully accept that I could be just an average-sized person.  It’s like I’ve moved out of one category, but I’m resisting the new one, because I’m not sure if it fits or if I fit it yet.

 Recently, I’m finding myself really noticing other peoples judgement as well and thinking of it differently. I find myself feeling empathy for their judgement.

I went to the Patti Smith show this week and there was this small, very heavy woman standing behind me. She was maybe 5’2″ and glaring at me because I think she thought I was blocking her view of the concert, which I probably was. I was wearing my amazing 3″ wedge heel, Frye boots, so I was about 5’11”. I turned around to look at her, because she was audibly huffing and puffing in an offended way behind me. I smiled at her and said, “I’m trying to stay out of your way, but this is how tall I am and there are lots of other places where you can stand and see better that aren’t behind me.”   She acted put-out and moved to a better spot where she could see.

I couldn’t help but think that if she’d just moved at first when she realized she couldn’t see so well, she could have saved herself some frustration and some air from her lungs with her huffing and puffing. You probably know that when you’re stressed you release hormones and neurotransmitters and more. Cortisol is just one of the little releases that happens when you’re stressed, which raises your blood pressure and is generally bad for you. I found myself thinking about this woman’s cortisol and how preventing the feelings of frustration and judgment is actually really good for you and protects your body from damage.

Now, there are times when we need judgement and good judgement at that. I’m not saying never judge anything ever. I’m saying that most of us judge so many things about ourselves, the world, other people and it doesn’t help anything. It just creates stress and negativity. So the next time you feel your inner judge trying to come out, ask yourself if this judgement will serve you, because more than likely it really won’t.

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Here’s another dress that I used to wear that still fits me in the chest, but is so big for me in the body that I was tripping over it – it’s a maxi dress – because there is so much extra fabric in the body and it’s actually too long for me now. It’s going into the Naked Lady pile.

One final thought: something I’ve been considering recently is that I really prefer the company of less judgmental people. I actually feel physically tired if I’m around a person who is particularly judgmental or negative these days and find that I cannot spend as much time with them as a result.

Negativity feels like kryptonite to me now.

It’s had me wondering about my own judgements and negativity and how it impacts the people around me. I’ve really been thinking that I would like to be a safe place for others to feel like they are not being judged. I admire those people who can see the messed up stuff in the world or in others, but who don’t feel a need to react to it, who still have kindness and love as their base of operations. I aspire to be this way myself. I’m working on this.

How about you? Do you find yourself judging others or yourself often? Do you question that judgement? Do you think it’s healthy for you? Toxic? I’d love your input on judgement in your own life.

Comments

comments

8 Comments

  1. Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:28 am | #

    OK. So I think you nailed all of this perfectly, although if you allow me, another POV: Sometimes being able to access a situation/person critically and see there flaws allows you to the ability, mostly emotional, to get needed distance. I think when we are bothered by someone or their behavior and we become judgmental about it, what were trying to do is to create needed distance. I use to buy the notion that we should only look for the sparkly good one love sort of thing in everyone, but then I got hurt over and over and over again. Learning to be discerning comes from the ability to access people through observation, and if it looks judgmental on the surface but it’s really about your well being, well in my opinion, so be it. Just like the short woman behind you at the concert. On a lighter note, as soon as you describe her, I laughed to myself…I know that woman! Her name is Anna, and I escaped her clutches last year (a defriending on FB), and my life has been so much better since I got the balls and did it!

    • Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm | #

      I think we’re saying the same thing essentially, Jo. I think that although you can have kindness as your base of operations, it doesn’t mean you should spend time with people who don’t make you feel good. Just because you have love in your heart doesn’t mean you have love for them per se. It means you’re not allowing yourself to be distracted by other people’s issues. What I mean is that instead of walking away from that person thinking about what that person has done to you and why they messed up or whatever – our own defenses causes us to think about the other person in a negative light. Instead of that, you look at why you think they are so f-up in the first place and what that says about you. You should still see that as a warning sign even if you look at your own part in it, because it will tell you more about you. It could say, “I require more from my friends.” Or it could say, “I expect others to love and treat me the way I want to be treated.” Or it could say that, “I have a fear of being rejected so I must reject the other person first.” I guess what I’m saying is most of the time when we have a raw interaction with someone we blame them and instead it’s healthier to look at your own judgements, rather than staying stuck in what the other person did to you, because you can’t change anyone else you can only change yourself. I wholeheartedly agree with staying away from people who make you feel badly or are more takers than givers.

      I think the difference in what we’re saying is that maybe you used to forgive and forget and continue in relationships that weren’t working for you. I don’t think that’s a good idea. You can keep your distance and still look at what hurt you in the interaction and what your judgements about the situation says about you.

      Oh and that’s funny what you said about the heavy breathing woman. It’s so good to have toxic relationships out of our lives.

  2. Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:31 am | #

    Of course editing oneself in blogs IS HARD. I meant assess not access! And I meant see THEIR flaws….

  3. Jo
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:34 am | #

    Of course editing oneself in blogs IS HARD. I meant assess not access! And I meant see THEIR flaws….

  4. Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:12 am | #

    Great post – keep up the change. And I agree it is so hard to steer clear of toxic, judgemental — especially when you are a biz owner but its a must. It changes the light and air of the breaths you take. If that even makes sense. Toxic – judging people change the ability to see clear and breathe normally.

    • Posted March 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm | #

      Thanks, Tamara! It is hard to steer clear of toxic negativity and it is essential. I totally know what you mean about toxic judgement affecting your air. It’s so true!

  5. Jo
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm | #

    oh Jen That IS EXACTLY what I mean. You have such an incredible way with words, which is why this blog is so important. Have you seen the movie The perks of being a wallflower or read the book? Its bottomline message “we accept the love we think we deserve.” I think in the end that’s a key part of the orbit of judgement…

  6. Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm | #

    Great conversation. A very hard part of life is to see people truly without preconceived ideas of what else might be behind some of the things they say or do. I think it is a central reason that sometimes people love objects and use other people, instead of loving people and using objects (as someone once said in a Facebook picture). If we can find a way to accept who we are with all our strengths and weaknesses, then we are much closer to accepting who other people are, completely and wholly.

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