Silencing my Inner Critic with a Run

I sit here near tears because I just ran a mile. A WHOLE mile. Jogging at a 4.8 pace on the treadmill the entire time. Just last August I wrote a post about how I wished I could be a runner, but wanted to focus on all the things I could do. I read this post again today and realize HOW FAR I have come. I am no longer wanted to run to be like anyone, or join any group. I just didn’t want to accept the inner critic saying I couldn’t do it. Just ask my mom – she will say “don’t tell Kendra not to do something, because she will go ahead and do it!” That is just my stubborn, Scorpio nature. I guess I wanted to push myself more. I can’t afford the pilates classes where I live, and don’t have a lot of time, so I decided I would try this running thing again. Not that I ever really tried before……I had wishful thinking, and had attempted at jogging for two minutes and giving up. I would be crushed after those two minutes when I couldn’t breathe and listened to that voice in the head that says “we can’t do this.”

Since I started the Stop Self Hate initiative I have really been thinking a lot about self love, self care, and where I am body, mind and spirit. Since I moved from Boston in Aug/Sept I have not worked out. I have walked the puppy, but honestly I thought I was just being lazy. My inner voice also said I was lazy, and should do something. My body shape has changed because I went from 3 days a week doing pilates to none. Do I hate my body? NO. But do I feel uncomfortable and not centered? Yes. I like doing activities that give me clarity in mind. To be honest I haven’t been listening to my body. My body is craving movement. I feel my mood shift and I do nothing but sit in it. I have been eating less healthy foods, and overall wonder why I have these swings in moods.

My emotional well being is tied to my physical health. This isn’t a new lesson, but being part of Stop Self Hate has made me realize to love me, is to respect myself, my body and it’s needs physically, and emotionally.

Yesterday I decided I would get on the elliptical. I love the elliptical. I thought I would die after 8 minutes. I texted a person I mentor and literally said “Can I quit now?” She said “You can stop whenever you want. But I bet you want to go a little while longer :)” This comment gave me the boost. I did have a goal. I gave myself a time limit. I wanted to complete 20 minutes. Through her texting me as my personal cheerleader I found I could do it, and felt amazing afterwards.

I had bought new fancy shoes a month or so ago and really wanted them to be the inspiration to try running. They are purple, my favorite color, cute and a wonderful running/cross training shoe! Today I decided I would go 20 minutes on the treadmill, but once I got on the treadmill I wanted to run one mile. After that I would stop. Small goals always are helpful for me when trying new things. I felt my energy rise, and my amazement as I kept the jogging speed stable and didn’t die! Maybe it was watching All My Children that helped. It’s always amusing to turn on a show you haven’t seen in 5+ years and be in the exact same story line.

I tend to be a quitter with some things. Maybe because my inner voice makes excuses or says I can’t do it. But I am determined to continue fighting. I know these are only 2 days, but these two days have mattered. My inner critic likes to say – so what, not that big of a deal, people run 26 miles, all you did was 1. I have to squash that inner critic and continue moving forward with small achievable goals. These are huge accomplishments for me! And when I shared online with others, people were supportive, loving and kind. And while I didn’t share for validation, my true authentic spirit needed to hear those voices to quiet out the inner critic. And I am grateful for the support I get. I have been moved to tears each time I pushed myself, and those are tears of facing my critic. I challenged myself and am proud of myself. I think that is step in the right direction to self love and acceptance.

Things that work for me:

  • Know what your inner critic is saying, write it down
  • Begin to face and challenge the inner critic, replace the words with positive ones
  • Start small – baby steps matter; progress no matter how small is progress
  • Take action – if it is movement that your inner critic is saying you cannot do, take time to start doing something, no matter how small – you might be surprised pleasantly when you realize your inner critic is a liar and trying to sabotage you!
  • Treat yourself with kindness and patience on a DAILY basis – take time for YOU

Self love is complicated. And I always monitor my thoughts, but it is more than just my thoughts. It is my actions and behaviors not only towards myself but for myself. I want my body to love me as much as I want to love it. And that begins with me. I choose to be an advocate for the health of my body. I guess that is what the Stop Self Hate initiative has taught me this week.

Keep it simple and small. Do ONE thing every day to love yourself! Whether in mind, body or spirit. You are worth it!

How does movement play into your own self love? Do you struggle with quitting or giving up? What helps keep you motivated?

16 Responses to Silencing my Inner Critic with a Run
  1. andrea
    March 24, 2011 | 2:44 pm

    Love this post!

    Since an accident a number of years ago I struggle with chronic pain issues. Movement matters — but finding that fine line between “enough” and “set back” can really push my buttons.

    Thanks again.

    • ViR
      March 24, 2011 | 3:01 pm

      Thank you! I also love pilates and need to fit that in for my soul too. Not everyone can do all things, but I think moving in any way is so giving to our bodies 🙂 My dad had several back surgeries so he has had to modify and learn his “balance” as well 🙂 Good luck on your journey in movement!

  2. Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul
    March 24, 2011 | 3:30 pm

    I really loved the text message encouragement that you received! The idea that you CAN quit at any time, but trying to tap into the part of you that wants to keep going, keep fighting – that really resonates with me. One smart mentee!
    Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul recently posted..Refrigerator moms and the evolution of parent-bashing

    • ViR
      March 24, 2011 | 3:35 pm

      I know!!! She even has offered to have an elliptical date where we both are doing it and can be motivated 🙂 Buddy systems! I love the relationships we build with people, but we all learn and grow within them!

  3. Margarita @ Weightless
    March 24, 2011 | 3:55 pm

    Kendra, what a beautiful and empowering post! I’m so happy for you! There’s such a surge of excitement, power and pride when you’ve done something your inner critic didn’t think you could do.

    Movement is very important in my life. If I don’t engage in something physical within a few days, my mood is definitely affected and I start feeling very disconnected from my body. It’s really an anxiety-reliever and a mood booster for me.

    Plus, I love seeing the progress of getting stronger. I never thought I was a “fit” person, but the more I do Pilates, get on a cardio machine or use weights, the better I feel, because I know that I do have endurance and I am strong.

    Love this post! Thank you!! 🙂
    Margarita @ Weightless recently posted..Q&A On Eating Disorder Recovery & Relationships

    • ViR
      March 24, 2011 | 6:58 pm

      Thank you! I definitely feel I have been truly getting many cases of the BLAHS due to not moving!!! It seems like such a no brainer, but we all have to find our own way on the journey 🙂 I agree on the stress release of it too!!

  4. steff (steffsays)
    March 24, 2011 | 5:55 pm

    congratulations!! i am beaming at the thought of your accomplishment. 😀 we are both such typical scorpios…i started running 11 months ago for the exact same reason…because i couldn’t do it! it’s been a super bumpy road but i went from running that first painful mile last may to running 6 miles last week. it’s amazing what our bodies can do and the progress we can make. rock on, girl.

    oh, and like we didn’t have enough in common already…purple is my favorite color too. 😉
    steff (steffsays) recently posted..What’s In My Lunchbox – 3-23-11

    • ViR
      March 24, 2011 | 6:59 pm

      YAH!!!!! I always read your posts so I want to thank you for always being honest about your journey in running! And seriously we could be VBFF’s (virtual BFF’s) 🙂 LOVE! Thank you so much and I am truly looking forward to the journey!

  5. Melissa @ ...the space between...
    March 24, 2011 | 7:05 pm

    Congratulations, Kendra!

    Our bodies really are incredible, huh? It’s just amazing all the cool things they’ll go along with when we treat them right and show them loving kindness.

    (And p.s. a mile IS a big deal. It takes/took many people (including this one) a long time to reach that milestone.)
    Melissa @ …the space between… recently posted..Yeah- I’m a badass And I sometimes run

    • ViR
      March 24, 2011 | 8:07 pm

      Thank you!!! After reading your post and Steff’s I felt inspired and thought I CAN DO THIS 🙂 Appreciate the support! I just ran another mile today and my body amazes me. My legs are telling me “dont underestimate me!”

  6. Lily Fluffbottom
    March 24, 2011 | 11:07 pm

    The more I move, the more awesome I feel, the more I want to do. I’m working on c25k right now, and I’m so intent on finishing I rarely even notice any other voice that might tell me otherwise. My body is capable of much more.

  7. KCLAnderson (Karen)
    March 26, 2011 | 12:58 am


    I LOVE this!! It’s one of the most powerful elements of self love…that when we just allow ourselves to love what is right in that moment, we start to do wonderful things for ourselves.

    The first time I ever ran (well…as an adult) was one of the most powerful moments of my entire life.

    The past couple of months have been rather lacking in movement (due to an injury…I am getting PT) and I miss it so much! I never realized just how important it was to me…and that means I must really love myself 🙂
    KCLAnderson (Karen) recently posted..A Dream Comes True

  8. Ann Becker-Schutte
    March 26, 2011 | 3:49 am

    Kendra–Way to go!!! You are such a great example of someone who continues to challenge herself to go deeper, be more true, be more present. It’s a joy to share your journey!
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Guest Post- Tara Sophia Mohr of the Wise Living Blog

  9. Sarah
    April 6, 2011 | 2:52 am

    CONGRATULATIONS on your mile 🙂 It’s such an amazing feeling when you accomplish a goal that seemed so out of reach by encouraging yourself instead of pushing yourself due to negativity. Are you enjoying the endorphins?
    Sarah recently posted..Hi My Name Is…

    • ViR
      April 6, 2011 | 4:06 pm

      I don’t get the runners high, but maybe because I am so new 🙂 I do feel better afterwards, but I am still learning to balance not running too many days in a row and alternating with yoga/pilates/stretching. I can now go up to 1.3 on a good day, so I am being grateful for progress!

  10. Gerard Jones
    October 20, 2011 | 8:36 am

    I stopped self hate by ridding myself of self, it was my ego that was raking me over the coals.
    Sympathy for self is how the ego tried to rebuild itself.
    Self pity is destructive.
    Instead of writing self pitying letters, try writing to people you have harmed, they are the only ones with the power to truly forgive and its a marvelous ego reducer.

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