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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

CW: 242 lbs
SW: 260 lbs

TL: -18 lbs
1st goal: -26 lbs


Okay, so I know that that title is dorky, campy, cliched, whatever... However, unfortunately, I also think that it's true. Not to the point of "visualizing good things coming your way" or whatever happy-crappy New Age bullshit, but being able to genuinely believe in yourself and think well of yourself.

Now, I've declared myself Queen of the Pity Party before (when I was younger) and I will gladly pass that title along to someone else. Someone deserving. You know, like an entitled 16 year old brat that thinks that nothing in life is fair, no one loves her, she's going to go eat worms (as my mother is fond of telling me). I used to have horrible self-esteem (read: none), and only through time, wonderful friends and family, and a husband who loves me so much even after ten years together did I develop self-esteem. Now, I still have my problems, but who doesn't? For the most part, I think well of myself. I think I'm deserving of good things. But most of all, I think that I can do whatever I set my mind to do, because I'm damn stubborn, thank you very much.

Apparently, however, having a bad attitude about yourself for so long starts habits that sometimes you aren't even aware of. I was talking to friend a couple of months back at a party. We had been sitting around drinking and catching up for several hours (so we were feeling very good), and I said something that I didn't think was too bad. I can't remember what it was, but she called me on it and told me to stop being so down on myself. I was surprised, because like I said, I didn't think it was that bad.

But you get in the habit of saying, "I'm fat. I'm ugly. I can't wear anything cute." Then it graduates to "It's a good thing I'm funny, because man, I'm fat/ugly/whatever. Man, I look good today, which is a change for me." Hopefully, you get to the point where you think well about yourself for the most part, but the self-deprecation always shows up. (A side note: I looked up self-deprecating in the dictionary to make sure that I was using it right, and I was struck by the definition: "belittling or undervaluing oneself; excessive modesty". Think on that for a little bit.) A good thing about yourself, followed by a bad thing. Example: I look damn good... for a fat girl.

Like I said above, I've gotten to the point where I don't always realize that I'm doing this. Apparently, I do this a lot, and not only about my looks or physical stature. I belittle my intelligence, what I've accomplished, my value to my friends... I think that I'm being realistic. However, I'm not. I'm being self-deprecating and undervaluing myself.

A little bit of modesty is definitely a good thing, otherwise no one would be able to stand being around you. However, constantly being down on yourself drives people away, too. If there's anything that I've learned the hard way, it's that.

So, in conclusion, I say this to myself, to Lisa, and to anyone else reading this (and I know I've said it before). The only person who can beat you is yourself. If you tell yourself, I can't do this, then guess what? You won't. At all. Ever. We can do this, regardless of what this is. We just have to stay motivated, which admittedly with weight loss is a hard thing, especially if nothing is happening. Keep telling yourself, I can do this. If you have a bad day, make the next day better. Stop looking at the scale and look at how you look, how you feel. In my opinion, when you are dieting and exercising (in moderation) it shows in how you hold yourself, because you feel better about yourself. You've admitted there's a problem and you're trying to do something about it, rather than just whining about it. It may take a while, but for most of us, the weight didn't appear over night, so there's no reason to expect it to disappear overnight as well. It's tough and frustrating and defeating, because we are changing habits of a lifetime, trying to get used to new ways of doing things. That's never easy. But keep doing it, and stop telling yourself it's pointless. Think of every underdog movie and cliche that you can to keep yourself going, because there's a reason that we like stories about those that keep trying and persevere, against the odds.

Lisa, directly to you: I love you. I'm so glad that I met you and that you've motivated me to try and change the habits about myself that I don't like. You've kept me going on this longer than I would have been able to do on my own, even if our support (and our readers' support) is only online. I think that you are beautiful and fun and funny and an all around awesome person. I hope that you feel that way about yourself, as well.

Okay, soap box rant over.

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