The Power of Positive Thinking...It's Not Just for the 1970's Anymore!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Okay...Week 27 of weight loss! Can I hear a what, what! Another pound down, my friends!
This week at my group we talked about an article by Jan Shepard called "What's Eating You: 5 Food Thoughts and Their Effects." This article really touched me, because I saw many of my own issues reflected there.
In summary, they are:
1. Polarized thinking: thinking that everything is either all or nothing or black and white. "I ate one cookie, why not eat the whole bag?"
2.Emotional reasoning: everything you feel must be true. "A person like me doesn't belong at the gym." or "No one will love me, because I am big and stupid.
3. Filtering: perceiving only the negative and not the positive. "I may have nice hair, but notice my hairdresser is trying to cut for my "round" face."
4. Blaming: Blaming yourself or others for problems instead of working to solve them. "My spouse always keeps cookies in the house, that is why I am fat."
5. Controlling Fallacies: thinking that other people are in control of your actions or that you have no control. "I don't have time to exercise."
I can't tell you how many times I allowed my thinking to prevent me from happiness and success, not just in terms of losing weight either. I used to think of myself as a worthless person, whom others were simply tolerating. In truth, I do have that feeling sometimes still. However, I have learned to address that idea head on and feel the feeling, rather than internalize it.
The one simple way this thinking has stopped me in the past is in terms of exercise. I never thought of myself as really capable of doing something like running. I was convinced that I would never be "like those crazy people" jogging along at six in the morning. In truth, I had convinced myself that I was not capable of doing it. That is an example of polarized thinking. "If I can't run; I can't exercise at all." Now, I am one of those people, and I am sure there are people who think I am completely nuts as they drive along and see me walking/running in the early morning hours.
I hear similar types of thinking all the time. "I can't go the gym with all those skinny people." Skinny people are at the gym, but so are a lot of other types of people. Just because you are not perfect, doesn't mean you can't go to a gym. As I told my amazing mother, "no one is looking at you at the gym--they are paying attention to themselves!" (By the way, thinking that others are judging you is an example of "personalization" thinking.)
I'll never forget when I really starting thinking differently about myself in the world. It was the day after my anniversary, when the scale crept up half a pound. I had to dig deep and ask myself, "Why am I so upset by this? Why do I feel so depressed?" I realized that I really needed to actively talk myself out of my negativity and find my "power of positive thinking." I began to really understand that I have achieved so much and am not doomed to failure. I can plan for and expect success in this world. Weight up or down, what matters is how I treat myself and others. If I do good, I can expect to do well. If I eat right and exercise; I will be okay if I fall of the wagon once and a while (like I did on Saturday....I ate so much I got sick! Lesson learned!)
As my stepmom would say, "thoughts are things."
Okay... here are the numbers:
Starting weight: 224
Current weight: 161
Goal weight: 140
Outer goal: What can I say? I am feeling pretty good right now!
Inner goal: oooommmmmm!