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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Positive Thinking: Friend or Foe

After a nice long weekend I think I've discovered why I've been in such a nutrition/fitness rut...

I did some soul searching - okay, wait a minute - this isn't some kind of "leave civilization and do nothing but meditate in a cave" type of soul searching... just your good old, "take a break from EVERYTHING for an hour or two and watch traffic go by" type of searching. Anyway, I think the reason why I'm stuck is because I don't believe I'll ever get to my goal weight... my goal body... my goal level of fitness... basically any of my goals.

WHY? I don't know!!!!

I have this doubt in my mind that blocks off any possibility of me seeing myself as I really want to. A lot of people talk about the power of positive thinking - I think I just saw a story on CNN the other week that some couple lost over 300+ lbs. by praying! - and I'm wondering if this is holding me back. And if it is, how do I overcome this doubt?

I feel like because I don't believe I can hit my goal, I've loosened up on my nutrition and possibly my fitness too, keeping me at maintenance rather than losing. It's difficult to get motivated when it's so hard to see the finish line.

So getting back to this thing called positive thinking... one of the first 'diet' books I read was The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck. It talked about how thinking like a thin person can have more of an affect on your weight-loss than actual diet and nutrition (just on a side note, I didn't care for the book). I'm just using this as an example because a lot of people seem to like the book because it's worked for them. I do believe that positive thinking and believing in yourself will get you farther but like everything else, it's always easier said than done.

On the flipside, positive-thinking might be the thing that's stalling me! On one of my post a while back, my friend Jay made a comment:

1) Are you regularly thinking that you are looking pretty good?
2) Are you really proud of how far you've come?
3) Have you ever thought (even for a second) that if you stayed at this weight you'd still look pretty good.
4) Have the compliments been enough to make you think you can relax a little bit?
5) Any other things that may be stalling you in your progress?
6) Are you scared of the girl you will become when you shed the next 20 pounds?
7) Do you have the time to inspire others, help others, time for the adoration?
8) Because those next 20 pounds are going to put you at Rock Star status and may bring more recognition than you are ready to deal with?
9) Each layer of fat carries emotions that we are all either ready to get rid of or not.

In her comment, Jay was addressing the fact that sometimes we might get too comfortable with where we're at and therefore slack off a little because we're happy with the results so far. Don't get me wrong, I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I think this hits home for me.

Why strive for the 100-mile mark when the 50-mile mark is still an amazing accomplishment?

As a species, we humans are extremely optimistic and ambitious, but even more than that, we are extremely lazy. We're always looking for the shortest way to gratification and sometimes that leads us to stopping short of our goals. I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of at two or three of the questions above and this is probably what's holding me back. Yes, I'm proud of myself. Yes, I'm thinking I'm looking better (not looking good, just better). Yes, I've thought that I'd be happy if I stayed at my current weight considering where I started from. And maybe all these things have put a halt in my progress.

I need to keep in mind that I haven't reached my goals yet and I need to work just as hard, if not harder, to keep moving in the right direction. Hopeful... that's what I'll do from now.


Alissa said...

I think you're so right on with this post! It's so easy to get comfortable where you are and to convince yourself that you just aren't supposed to reach your goal. I do the same thing to myself. Must remember the power of positive thinking!

Kate said...

I don't think you can "think" yourself thin, but I do think you can envision yourself as a person with discipline and willpower who can follow through on goals and that is EVERYTHING. I am in the same boat, after losing 70 pounds and all the compliments got comfortable with my new much looks and stopped trying very hard. It's time to take this to the next level! Good post!

Melisa said...

Great points! I do tend to stall when I starting "feeling" the success or start getting more people noticing/mentioning they see the difference.

You made great progerss this week. Here's to another great week.

Anonymous said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Karim - Positive thinking