Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

Mark Twain once said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."  For me?  A compliment a day keeps my blues away.  But hey, if someone wants to pay me compliments more often than that, I'm not one to complain.


You see, I'm a "Words of Affirmation" Love Language kind of gal, so when someone criticizes me, it throws me into an emotional tailspin.  Which is exactly what happened last week when I showed up at my housecleaning client's house.  Showing up on a Friday instead of my normal Thursday threw my routine out of whack, which means I forgot my weigh-in book.  "I lost .6 this week," I had to tell her (she insists on SEEING the proof).  I thought I did well, considering it was my birthday and all.


"I'm getting sick of these 160's," she huffed.  "I want you in the 150's!"


Being April Fools Day, I envisioned myself saying, "Bite me!  I quit!" and stomping out of her house, never to return again.  But my cowardice didn't allow me to.  "I'm doing the best I can," I offered, then filled her in on the miles I had racked up this week.  She wasn't impressed. 


Instead of focusing on the 16 miles a week I was running, the 61 pounds I've lost so far (technically 70 if you count the weight I've had to re-lose), and shrinking from a size 26 to a 14, she was irritated that I was plateauing in the 160's.   For her, it was all about the numbers on the scale, but fitness is so much more than that.


All week I had been on a high from my running and weightloss accomplishments until her callous words cut me to the core.  On Saturday, I still ran 4 miles in Garden of the Gods with my training team, but by Monday, I was so depressed, I skipped my run altogether.  On Tuesday, I didn't go to the gym; I bought Whoopie Pies and Sugar Cookies at the grocery store after work and binged instead.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  I had gotten some encouragement from some friends after posting I was "in a funk," so by the time Wednesday rolled around, I was ready to tackle a run.


When my daughter is told she "can't" do something, she works that much harder to prove the person wrong.  I'm usually not like that:  If someone tells me I can't accomplish something, I believe them and don't even bother trying.  However, today, I decided to be like my daughter to see what I had in me:  I ran 6.75 miles! 



It's a personal record so far, and yes, I had a lot of extra calories to burn off, but the exhiliration, mental and physical, that I felt afterward took away the sting of her criticism.  I'm still not fully recuperated from her negative comments, but a long run was just what the doctor ordered, and I'm back on my way to feeling good about myself, regardless if I have a gain or loss this week!

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Comment by Allen Beauchamp on April 13, 2011 at 8:06am

6.75 miles...way to go Stephanie! A great post and a reminder to use words of affirmation more often and not fixate on the negatives. Congrats on the PR as well, keep up the good work. People like you might make me a runner some day (I love the community that it builds!)





Comment by Stephanie Merchant Johnson on April 10, 2011 at 11:49pm
Thanks, Brian. I really appreciate your comments and encouragement!
Comment by Brian McCarrie on April 8, 2011 at 8:10am
Just read your blog post Stephanie. I'm so proud of you. Standing up for ourselves and removing negativity from our lives is something we all should do. You're setting a great example for all of us. You are on a quest. Not just for weight loss and fitness but a quest to improve your life. I'm excited to see where this will take you. Keep the blog posts coming! Great work.

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