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The Power of Negative Thinking (Part V): "Pity Party" Defined

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

As with most things in life there is a dichotomy of how hurting people handle their emotional baggage. Often they either:
a) complain all of the time because something is always wrong
b) just bottle it all up because the don't want to share their problems or burden anyone with their problems

The healthy balance I'm trying to strike, as the next Hottest Loser, is to be able to express my frustrations and hurts better when necessary. I've traditionally fallen into category (b).

I grew up with a mom whose prime maternal instinct when I was hurt /depressed/frustrated was to make sure that I could see how wrong it was to feel that way. Negative emotions in her mind meant she was a failure as a mother, I guess. She wasn't a bad person, she just didn't know how to handle other people's emotions (unless they were happy ones).

A few years ago, I got into a religion that was the same in that way. Instead of trying to show a person how God could handle their burdens if shared, it was en vogue to call any feeling of down, shame, helplessness etc. ..... wait for it...... a "Pity Party"!!! It's funny bc both words start with the letter "P", are two syllables, and end with "y". It was mostly pious self-flagellation.

Basically, "Pity Party" is a term generally used by people who are uncomfortable with negative emotions to either (a) beat themselves up for expressing said emotions or (b) try to make another person who is expressing negative emotions to feel belittled for having them.

Don't address how you're/they're feeling. Just move on.

Now I will grant you that some people really are always complaining about something and a person can really fall into a rut, but really. I do not plan to be that way.

I want to be able to express hurts and frustrations to my friends while they are free to express theirs to me.

At the same time, I don't want people who feel the way my mom and religion do to have to endure me expressing negative emotions if it makes them uncomfortable. So I will use the term, to steer them away and be thankful for reading and commenting on my weigh-in, "play what" and mid-week blogs.

I will have "Pity Party" in the blog title and start said blogs where I am venting, grieving, expressing a frustration (at myself or a circumstance), etc. with a disclaimer that basically says:

** If you are someone who uses the term 'pity party' when you or other people express frustrations at yourself/themselves or your/their circumstances. Please don't read this blog. If you do read it, please don't comment on it**

When I express a frustration, I want to know that someone has gone through the same thing. They can empathize. I want to know that when I hurt, I'm not alone. If someone knows what it's like can give advice, great, I appreciate it very much.

If all they can do is send a hug or earnestly say that they will pray for me, I'm extremely grateful for that. I am very blessed to have the SparkFriends that I do now (especially these past couple of months). All y'all deserve much love. Thanks for being there for me and being willing to talk with me about what I'm struggling with. I may take you up on your offers.

If negative emotions are something you need to squash with a demeaning term ("being a 'grumpy gus'", "throwing a 'pity party'", "attending a 'whine tasting'", etc.), just know that I love you very much too. I would encourage you to cry more than a little for what you've gone through (for your sake). Emotions are a good thing, even if they seem to hurt. It's one of a few pieces of advice I would give myself if I could travel back in time 10 or so years.

It's a new thing for me.....

but it's a great thing for me.

I love you all so much.

- TD Out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 5/7/2011 1:38PM

    Wow. I embraced all of my emotions earlier this year - they are all part of me. I am quite unapologetic about it as well. I refuse to apologize about my feelings just so other people can feel better. This bugs some folks immensely - Oh well.... There is no going back for me on the emotional front and I have never been happier with who I am or felt more "complete."

You are quite fabulous, sir. Really.

Thanks for a great blog :)

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SYN-CA 5/6/2011 11:17PM

    Trent, you should have been at my house growing up with enough emotions and objects flying around the rooms for many families! I think a happy middle ground would be most effective for living a reasonable life! Whatever reasonalbe is, yes? Keep that negativity OUT of your being! I remember tellling myself as a little girl that when I grew up, my life would be very different. As a result, I keep negativity OUT of my life, and those who are negative OUT. I do have my pity parties when necessary, though! Do what works for you, and stay happpy my friend! xxoo Syn

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RUNJEWELRUN 5/5/2011 12:28PM

    I love it Trent :)
Have a great day!

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LAURIE-RN 5/5/2011 8:55AM

    Thank you for your blog. We don't apologize for being happy and laughing, nor should we feel as though we need to apologize for being sad or sharing tears. It is healthy to express our feelings, happy, sad, mad, you name it. I'm glad you have decided to embrace and begin to share yours.


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ANEPANALIPTI 5/5/2011 8:33AM

    Wow..................... I feel the exact same way. Omg...... Good to know Trent... emoticon

I'm here for you if you need me, cause I totally understand... I am definitely in the category of bottling it up because I don't want to burden anyone, but in reading this I feel like you would totally understand me if I started feeling that way... so I'm going to send you a message if I'm ever feeling like the negative emotions should just be "deleted" when that's not possible they need to be processed you're totally right!!!




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MEDDYPEDDY 5/5/2011 2:47AM

    Thanks for this blog - it reminds me - and makes me proud - of how I have tried to deal with this with my dughter. The immedate response when she is unhappy or whiny is to comfort her and try to make the mood go away. To find something comforting (food a film, an activity) to "talk her out of it", to distract her... and I have really worked hard with not doing any of those things but accept her feelings as they are, listen and acknowledge and stay with her until she herself is ready to move on. I am proud to say that I have done this a lot.

Because I never got that from my family. I think it is quite normal for a parent to get frustrated when your child is uncomfortable and out of my own frustration, trying to move away as soon as poosible. But I have tried to overcome my own frustration and acknowledge my daughters need to learn and develope...

Myself - I have had a lot of trouble with whining, it has not been ok and it is still hard. I do practice the skill at AA meetings - since nobody i supposed to comment or give advices unasked for I can let my whine surface and let go of it... I love it! It has somehow taught me to allow all my emotions although the old pattern comes back if I donīt work with it. The old pattern is to beat myself up because I am not positive or constructive.

I need that pity pot! It gives me a pause from stress!

Again thanks for writing, reeeeaaally valuable to me!

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SCRAP317 5/4/2011 8:48PM

    I love you and think you are one smart cookie - I sure needed to hear that tonight. Thanks for being open and honest TD - you are a rare delight my friend! xo

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JSAVAGE27 5/4/2011 2:11PM

    I love this!! I am the type of person who will tell everyone my problem once, because you never know who can give you the right piece of advice. It really works more than it doesn't. I am glad your working on more than your waist line with this site (so am I). I wish you luck!!

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MEADSBAY 5/4/2011 9:30AM

    Oh, my.
How did you get to be such a wise guy?
I mean that literally.
I actually needed to hear exactly this message exactly now.

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 9:31:28 AM

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AKELAZ 5/4/2011 8:02AM

    Oh TD!!! First - I've only just caught up with all this, principally because I've been hiding from Spark a lot. General weight issues are getting me down but principally am in the doldrums cos my life is a big mess right now and the only way out is to do something that I may not be brave enough to do. Ditching long standing friends is always a scary unknown. 'nuf said.
Second - you're the one who's been brave enough to put yourself out here and are therefore deserving of our consideration. It seems to me that you need to give yourself permission - denied you when you were small - to be yourself whether that self is happy/sad/angry - whatever. However, with your usual perspicacity I think you've realised that you need to get into the habit of all that - if I could do more than wish you success and a happy outcome I surely would. As it is the dreaded emoticon emoticonis my only recourse. Nonetheless sincere for all that. Xs

Comment edited on: 5/4/2011 8:05:57 AM

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Trent Dreamer will be the Next Hottest Loser

Saturday, April 30, 2011

(To Camera)
Hi, My name is TrentDreamer. And I'm going to be the next (claps hands) Hottest Loser!!

So my weight loss has stagnated, but I've been slowly working my cardio up and am now able to do 30 minute sessions of interval training. I eat out a lot less than I did last year.

I'm hovering around 5 pounds above my initial goal weight of 195. By the end of the summer I plan to not just reach that goal, but totally blow it away. Realistically, I've got one last major weight loss blitz to go before it all becomes really futile. I've pretty much gotten out of SparkPeople what I came for in the weight-loss department. I'm going to make this one count.

I will go into more details in my blogs this week, but here are the most high-level logistics:

* Spark Page color will be aqua (or a similar blue/green color). It's my favorite color
* Will post profile pics of celebrities who my female friends, co-workers, etc. find attractive (or probably would).
* Loosen up on the proper grammar a bit (Don't worry, it won't be nearly as bad as last October). This is the internet and if I want to type "l8r" instead of "later" or "bff" instead of SparkFriend, then I will do that. My comments, blogs and such will remain legible. prometo.

* Start at 90 minutes of cardio per week
* Add 9 minutes each week until I'm doing 5-6 session of 45-60 minutes
* Going to do Kettle-bells for core and strength (for May).

GOALS (by 08.27.2011(week before Labor Day)):
Bronze: 195
Silver: 190
Gold: 185
(Rewards TBD)

1) Weekly weigh-in (Saturday Morning)
2) "Pity Party" blog (Monday or Tuesday (not every week, hopefully. Just when I need to vent/talk and need support))
3) Mid-Week blog (Wednesday or Thursday)
4) "Play What?" blog (Friday)
I will post these this week with explanations

Join me!
* Proclaim that you too are going to be the Hottest Loser this Summer.
* Pick aqua (or your favorite color) and make it your SparkPage background color!
* Put up pictures of the really fit/healthy celebrities or whoever inspires u to look awesome.
* Don't be afraid to sprinkle an "lol", "imho", "omgsh" or similar terms in comments and blogs.

Remember, Labor Day is only 18 weeks away.

l8r bffs,

- TD Out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STESSOUTCHICK2 2/17/2014 8:42PM

    That u r. I forgot how do u blog? LOL

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    Love this. I will post on my page.
u arent the only 1 that cant find me.
when u cant find youself theres
a problem. LOl noone ever said
Help I cant find myself.
keep up the great work.

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STESSOUTCHICK 6/26/2012 1:14AM

    I love this BABY1

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ANEPANALIPTI 5/5/2011 8:06AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNJEWELRUN 5/2/2011 8:24PM

    Yay! I already thought you were the hottest loser :)

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KRITKRIT 5/2/2011 2:45PM

    YAY!!!! What a great idea TD! Im so in! 18 weeks and counting down now!!!!

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MUSCLEADDICT32 5/2/2011 3:46AM


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FITGRL124 5/1/2011 11:16AM


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BYEBYEFAT. 4/30/2011 11:59PM

    luv this! . Lov3 This. {love} [L][O][V][E]...Love :)

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BYEBYEFAT. 4/30/2011 11:58PM

    luv this! . Lov3 This. {love} [L][O][V][E]...Love :)

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I Get Why

Friday, April 22, 2011

OK, so I finally get it.

Over the years, I've had spark friends take SparkBreaks when they were struggling with life. At first my thoughts were always like, "Cool, once they've taken care of whatever it is, they'll come back and it will be like old times."

Then they come back for a blog or two. They disappear for another 4-5 months. One blog early the next year and they're never heard from again.

It saddens me, but I've always been blessed to have friends who I love and love me to support me. I miss the ones who leave, but am extremely thankful for the ones who are there. I love you all.

But the ones who leave when times are tough....I always used to wonder:
* Why won't they let me be there for them?

* Why not at least a status!?

* Taking myself out of the picture, why do they leave the very support system that has gotten them this far and that can be there for them in their times of need!!??

* What would Drunk Julie rap about them!!!???

Now, I have to admit, I get it. I get why.

This year has sucked literally from January 1. Ended both a rocky 6-year friendship and really close 1-year dating relationship both on the very first weekend (January 1st and 2nd).

It went downhill from there. Things such as the job and the living situation have become extremely unstable. It seems like when I'm able to get afloat in one area of my life either:
* two other areas start crumbling (or)
* another totally c's the bed.

My eyes have been sore due to poor lighting where I work, so going onto the computer has been extremely tough. And if I were to go on, I don't know what I would say. My Sparking or lack thereof has been the result.

I'm not depressed per se (*), but I feel as though I'm one or two pieces of bad news, changes or problems at work(**) from totally shutting down. And I haven't the foggiest how to handle any of it. It's like I'll be confronted with something that I can't do anything about. After two days I'll come up with solution(s) and then *Bam* the solution(s) are taken off the table or something else worse will make the solution irrelevant.

Part of me really doesn't want to burden my SparkFriends with my problems. The other part of me doesn't see the point in doing so.

I don't really know how to ask for help and I'm not sure anyone would be able to help.

I feel really stuck, really down, facing a lot of inevitable bad things and have no idea how to start dealing with them (or where to go/who to go to to do so).


So unlike last year, I understand why people become reclusive and leave when the times are tough. I get it. I'm there. While part of me wants to apologize for not being there, I know that you understand.

Thank you to all of you who have checked in on me these past couple of weeks. You have no idea how much it means to me (***)

As Mishka the husky talking dog would say:

I second that, Mishka. I totally second that.

- TD Out.

(*) Did you ever notice that when people say they're not something followed by "per se", they are usually what they are saying that they're not. "Per se" must be French for "I'm in denial."

(**) Did you ever notice that co-workers say that problems are actually "opportunities" are really annoying (per se)

(***) I know that you do know how much it means to me. I've read your blogs when others have been there for you. You get it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 5/5/2011 8:05AM

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanna hear about your problems....

Loved the in denial thing...

you know what though.... at least in the place where I'm at right now, as long as you're deciding you wanna keep living.... problems can ONLY be opportunities right? Opportunities for learning something for next time, growth, finding the beauty in it, etc etc.... ? As long as its not bad enough to kill yourself over its an opportunity for something.. hmm........

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RUNJEWELRUN 4/27/2011 12:58PM

    Dear Trent,
We all love you!
We all have problems :)
We support you.
I gave you my number, you can call, text, or chat whenever!
We all have felt the same way you do!
Don't give up!

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SYN-CA 4/26/2011 6:16AM

    Okay, Trent, buddy, get off your pitty party wagon! We all have to ride it once in awhile. You are so bright, I'm sure you will find answers, but your mind has to be in a state to formulate them and then own them! For your eyes, start eating cooked kale. My recipe is to saute garlic & onions in olive oil til cooked, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth, when simmering, add chopped and cleaned kale for a few minutes, cover until cooked. I like it a bit crunchy. Look up kale and see how good it is for the eyes....We live in a place where all things are possible...start thinking of possiblities.

"You become what you think about." Earl Nightingale.

Syn emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/26/2011 6:17:19 AM

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KRITKRIT 4/25/2011 3:06PM


First off.....bug HUGS emoticon emoticon

Second...I'm sorry that you aren't feeling yourself as of late. I wish there was something I could do, something I could say to make it better. If talking about your problems helps you, if getting advice is what you need, then by all means 'burden' us. If they are true friends, they wont consider it burdening at all! We are all here to support each other and help each other thru our healthy lifestyle...and I dont know about you, but my weight loss/healthy lifestyle is greatly affected by my whole life, thats why I share things food/workout/life/troubles/etc. I know I've never talked to you outside of the SP world, but I would be more than willing to talk to you via email/phone/text etc if talking helps you. I think you are awesome TD, you always seem to amaze me about how caring you are to others. Let us, for once, help you thru this..

Much love. KA

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FITGRL124 4/24/2011 10:45AM

    Trent - oh my gosh - how CAN we help you if we have no idea how much your struggling? emoticon

You have a lot of things going on in life right now that you need to take inventory on. However, putting yourself first and remembering that we're all here for you should be at the top of your list! emoticon

BIG HUGS!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MPALMER15 4/24/2011 10:40AM

    emoticon I have several hopes for you on this new day, TRENTDREAMER. 1) I hope that blogging helped you somehow, that maybe it helped you to vent some much needed frustration and despair so that you can gain a fresh perspective. 2) I hope that you keep coming back to Spark. I don't know of a better support system on this planet, for weight loss or otherwise! It's like family and can be a lifeline when all seems lost. 3) I hope that you can tackle these issues one at a time and work past them. I could throw out a bunch of trite adages at this point, but I won't. I sincerely hope that you can catch your breath, regroup, and move forward with your life. You CAN do this, and you can do it with your SparkFamily's help if you will just keep logging in.

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/24/2011 7:46AM

    I am sorry you are feeling this way.

It is okay to spark the way that is best for you at any given time. Know that you have friends here...

Sending out big hugs on this sunny day...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SBLACKWELL93 4/23/2011 8:04PM

    But that is why we are here. To be here when you are this far down to let you know there is an up and hand there to hold onto though you feel like nothing else is working out in your life. Sometimes when things are bad all we need to do is have something constant going to keep us holding on. Maybe spark is that constant that you need to keep you from going over the edge. Just know we are here for you and if you ever need to talk that i have two shoulders and two ears. I am a pretty good listener and advice giver. And sometimes it just helps to talk to someone outside the situation to get a better perspective of the situation. Know your are loved and you have alot of family here for you.

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BYEBYEFAT. 4/23/2011 3:01PM

    First off... "TRENTDREAMER totaly thought he had already added Janell as a SparkFriend previously.".... hahha, don't worry. Im not offended. This time.... dun dun dun! Just kidding, really sparkpeople needs a new "friend request" section. I can never remember who adds me so I hardly ever add people back! Your off the hook :)

Second.. I get it. I toooooootally get it. I have the hardest time coming on spark when my life isn't going the way I want it to. It is hard to try to encourage others when we aren't feeling the best about ourselves.

And last but not least..... Never believe that coming to a friend during a hard time is a "burden." yuck! I dont like that word :) and i forbid you from ever using it again! This is a SUPPORT system on spark. My "friends" that end up slipping away are the ones that I never talk to about things that are on my mind! So please... come "burden" me with your problems :)

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Turning 19 this year

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm not giving up on weight loss. I'm really not.

It's just that at this point:
* I've been stuck at 198-200 for about 3 months.
* My body hasn't changed all that much.
* I've never really implemented a good consistent exercise routine.
* I'm going to be going to the beach in a couple of months.

Yes, there are two areas of eating that I really need to get my act together on.

But the reality is:
* I'm in really good health.
* Physically, I look really good.
* I'm now wearing "slim fit" shirts, size mediums, and size 36" jeans/khakis (All three totally unheard of a year ago)
* My body fat % has consistently remained at 21%

While ideally I would have liked to hit 195 before going through the whole gain-muscle mass weight thing, I just don't see it happening.

This week, I was 200 pounds (*) at 20% body fat
I did:
* 4-5 20 minute interval cardio session
* 2 upper-body workouts
* 2 partial leg workouts
* 1 Kettle-bell routine
* definitely NOT this exercise video

If what I hear is true, a pound of muscle is the same size as five pounds of fat. Muscle burns fat. Between strength training and cardio, I should be able to maintain my weight or perhaps gain a pound or two over the next month or so. It's worth it though. I can look leaner and maybe fit slightly more comfortably in the 36" jeans/khakis

Again, don't get me wrong about the weight loss. I don't think it's over. I really believe once I build muscle and up my cardio the pounds will start dropping again. At the same time, they may not...and I'm OK with that.

My body fat percentage has been in the early 20s (***) now for the past several months. This year we're going to break that number down into the teens

Yes, my friends, this year I'm turning 19. Wish me success.

As this really cure cat would say:

TD Out!!

* 198.8, but who is counting
** Not that I won't this week :D
*** Mostly 21% and 22%

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 4/13/2011 4:15PM

    turning 19 ....... mmmmhhhhhmmmmmm...............

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KRITKRIT 4/13/2011 10:45AM

    Im glad that you have a different outlook on the numbers on the scale. Good for you!!

Turning 19?!?! Man, I could almost go to jail for that! hehe

Can't wait for your post when you hit your mark!

GO TD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment edited on: 4/18/2011 5:57:11 PM

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KT-NICHOLS-13 4/11/2011 12:23PM

    Changing up the plan yet keeping your eye on the prize ... sounds great. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures in healthy living.

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MEADSBAY 4/10/2011 8:38PM

I never realized you are such a young-un!
I have shoes in my closet older than you.
You seem so much more- ahem- mature.
You must have an old soul.
Best wishes on your continuing journey to good health.


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FITGRL124 4/10/2011 7:00PM


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Hail-Mary Weigh-in

Saturday, April 02, 2011

199.4 (Last Week)
199.0 (This Week) w00t!!!!!111

For the past couple of months, I've been in a bit of a holding pattern with my eating.
* I eat poorly on the weekend after my weigh-in
* I eat extremely poorly Monday-Thursday
* Friday, I eat really well for the next day's weigh-in.
* My weight has stayed between 198 and 201 for the most part.

This week was exactly the same except for one detail:
* I ate poorly on Friday

I expected to see 201 or 202, but I got a bit of a surprise of 199.2, 199 and 199 for my respective weigh-ins.

Something similar happened years ago. I had stopped weighing myself and assumed I was gaining weight. Months later when I finally mustered up the courage to face the music on the scale, I was exactly the same as my last weigh-in.

That gave me the courage to start swinging again. I lost 40 pounds in a matter of months.

Now realistically, I don't have that much weight to lose. But I think that the seemingly forever elusive 195 may now be mine for the taking.

A dear SparkFriend (who I love very much) said that May was going to be Trent month. I say it will be a huge celebration. I would love to lose 1 pounds a week through April and hit or pass 195 on my April 30 weigh in.

Exactly 1 pound per week. We'll see

If you thought the below 200 blog last July was big,

just you wait.

As Wes, the woofy dog, would say:

You said it, Wes

- TD Out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPUCATHY 4/7/2011 8:29PM

    You can do it! Keep swinging! Hitting/surpassing 195 is going to be a blast! Spark on! emoticon

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RUNJEWELRUN 4/3/2011 9:53PM

    Go for it! Try eating one healthy meal a day :)

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SCRAP317 4/3/2011 8:02PM

    You will do it Trent - you've got it now!

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FITGRL124 4/3/2011 7:52PM

    emoticon The little fairy is sprinkling magical pixie dust on you because you are SO going to do this!!! April IS going to be your month! emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 4/3/2011 4:57AM

    HIGH FIVE ME TRENT DARLIN. We're going to get there. You rock don't forget it. :)

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