I’ve been trying to really focus on the positive stuff lately. I read a book years ago that mentioned how we talk to ourselves in our heads. Our internal dialog speeds by so quickly that we probably don’t even catch up on it most of the time. But if you’re running trash-talk about yourself, you’re getting a beat down so many times a day it’s undoubtedly damaging. And since negative thoughts and comments stick to us so much better than positive ones (it’s like you can have 10 positive comments but one negative will knock them all out flat), it’s important to change that dialog to positive thoughts.
I read the book in high school so I might not have everything remembered right, but it seems solid. Stop beating yourself up at several miles an hour and start encouraging yourself instead. Doing that will change how you feel about yourself and life and others.
I have my good days and bad days with this concept. And when I’m not exercising and looking at my fitness and shape, so often my head is just filled with trash talk. Even when I am exercising, it’s hard to beat out the negativity. But it is easier.
Example: I love yoga. I love the concentration, the multi-level work on balance, strength, alignment, and flexibility, the hard work balanced with the meditation. I’m not that “good” at it if you look at how deep I can get into asanas and how long I can hold it, but I’m doing it to learn, to stretch, to strengthen, to focus . . . .
Since we got this gym membership, I’ve been able to go to yoga two times. Saturday, I was standing there and caught sight of myself in the mirror. Mirrors in gyms. Good for checking alignment and posture. Also good at showing the flab handing from my arms and the width of my midsection. Especially when my image completely obscures the reflection of the women behind me. And immediately the talk starts:
Good Lord, look at my arms! When did I grow fat wings? Oh, good! Now we’re leaning over and all the fat on my face is hanging to the side. Gross! And I can’t reach far enough because I can’t make it over these lumps of fat on my stomach. And my butt is enormous! Ack!
And immediately I start talking back to myself:
Oh, but check out my alignment. My spine is so straight! And I can get my arms up straight. I can hold this pose for ages because my legs are so strong. I know how to adjust my hips so I can do this pose even better. And the burn I’m feeling through my legs is calorie burn and I’m strong and beautiful and taking control.
The internal dialog about how awfully fat and ugly I am is probably what I’m the most tired of when it comes to my current health and condition. The constant self-loathing. So I’ve really been working on reversing that. It’s easy to stand in the gym and look at the little stick-figure girls and get frustrated and upset. But I’m trying to focus on the positive things I’m doing instead—the strength and stamina I’m building. And I’m doing things that I really enjoying instead of forcing myself to do things that I think I *should* do. Like, “I should work out 6 days a week.” I’m working out 3-5 days a week. “I should work as hard as I can until I can’t do it anymore.” I’m keeping it between 115 – 153 BPMs and stopping when it’s appropriate. “I should try to lose weight as quickly as possible.” I’m not even stepping on the scale right now but at most, I should lose 2 pounds a week.
I’m ENJOYING myself. I’m ENCOURAGING myself. And I’ve made it through a week and I’m feeling better than I was a month ago.
Tonight I’m going to Zoomba class! Or something like that. Isn’t that a robotic vacuum cleaner?