Posts Tagged ‘positive attitude’
The definition of success
Who are you as this brand new year begins? How do you feel about yourself? What kind of energy are you projecting into the world? And, if I Googled you, what results would there be that define you? Answer with the first word and/or descriptor that comes to your mind…
Sadly, it’s often words like “Fat,” or phrases such as “Too big” or “Too this or that” that we would choose as the first thought that defines us as of right now. As dieters, we often think in terms of negatives – as if those depressing thoughts might motivate us to finally stick to our diet and take off some excess weight. But in my experience, keeping negative words and thoughts at the forefront of our inner dialogue can actually be pretty destructive.
Think about someone close to you. Someone you love. Someone you think hung the moon. When that person comes to mind, do you think about one of their shortcomings? Or do you think about their many qualities and the warm, fuzzy feeling you get as a result of having them in your life?
Now, think of someone you’re not a fan of. When you think of this person, do you list one of their qualities first? Or do you focus on the reason you consider them someone you really don’t want to be around?
One thinking process felt good, right? And the other? Not so good.
And yet I’m willing to bet that when you think of yourself, it’s often in the same sort of light you think of someone that you dislike or want to avoid. In other words, you’re not feeling any of the warm fuzzies in regard to yourself. And I’m here to tell you that you should. After all, you are an incredible, amazing person just as you are right now (in this very moment).
I don’t care if you have 5, 10 or 100 pounds (or more) of excess weight to lose. I don’t care if you recently lost your tempter with your significant other. I don’t care if you goofed off at work the day before yesterday. I don’t care that you haven’t quite achieved or perhaps haven’t even started working toward your goals for this new year. You are still incredible. You are still amazing. You are still perfect – right in this very moment.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to encourage you to lose excess weight, get healthier, look better and meet all of your goals. But I doubt you’re going to do it if you’re defining yourself by what you perceive to be your shortcomings. In other words, it’s time to stop defining yourself by negatives (like your excess weight) and start accentuating the positive.
When it comes to helping someone change, wouldn’t you be more likely to do anything to help the person you imagined earlier that you care about? And isn’t it just as likely that you wouldn’t really care to help the person you imagined earlier who you’d like to avoid? So why would you think that you can be down on yourself and still accomplish your goals? By filling your thoughts with shiny, happy ones, you’ll add a little pep to your step and be motivated to initiate the changes you want to see come to fruition this year.
Another example: Think of dogs. Are they more motivated by having their nose rubbed in excrement? Or by getting a loving pat and lots of praise when they do something good? You know the answer.
So yes, I want you to stop rubbing your nose in the “excrement” of past failures – not to mention defining yourself by the same. None of those failed diets, exercise plans or goals matter. They can all be counted on as great lessons about what worked and what didn’t. Today is a new day. Heck, it’s a new year. A year in which you can accomplish anything. But only if you think of yourself with love, with acceptance and with the knowledge that you got it goin’ on – even if you’re not at your ideal weight quite yet.
So let’s all give ourselves some mental hugs today, shall we? And let’s start defining ourselves by our positives, rather than our negatives. This mental channel change – and new definition of ourselves – can lead to amazing things (including weight loss, better health and a happier life).
What have you got to lose? Aside from the negative thoughts, that is?
Thank you therapy
As dieters, we often get caught up in what we don’t have (a certain waist size, skinny jeans, self-acceptance – you name it). This is why the Thanksgiving season can be a good reminder to be thankful for what we do have.
In fact, more and more researchers are finding that “Thank You Therapy” (reminding ourselves of reasons to be grateful) can help increase our happiness quotient, our self esteem and out overall outlook on life.
It doesn’t take a self-help guru to realize that this kind of changed attitude will attract a lot more reasons to be thankful — not to mention likely bring more positive results to our weight loss and overall health efforts. Therefore, why not take a cue from this season of gratitude and begin a Thank You Journal?
Any blank notebook or pad of paper will do. Once a day, list 5 reasons you have to be happy. They can be small. They can be big. But list 5, every day (many people do this at night, just before bed).
I often make entries in my gratitude journal in the morning – after my morning workout, but before I begin my workday. Sometimes I’ll doodle in the journal. Sometimes I’ll write down an inspirational quote I don’t want to forget. And other times I’ll makes lists of reasons to be grateful. For myself, doing this in the morning certainly has a positive effect on the rest of my day – not to mention on my diet and healthy eating efforts. Try it yourself, every day for a month, and see how it affects your “attitude of gratitude” – and, perhaps, even your physical health.
Here’s more information that will make starting a gratitude journal easy:
For a quick primer on keeping a gratitude journal: Click Here
For 5 ways to amp up your attitude of gratitude: Click Here
To learn about more ways that gratitude affects your overall health: Click Here
By the way, I would love for you to add comments below, letting me know some of things you’re most grateful for this 2014 Thanksgiving season. And while we’re on the topic, please know I’m sincerely grateful to all of you for helping to inspire me – and this blog – on a daily basis.
Photo Source: ComicRelated.com
What a difference a year makes
It was a year ago this month that I was attacked while walking to the gym one morning. This is a walk I had made for over three years at the time — and although I knew the neighborhood I lived in was a bit on the “edge,” I never expected anything like this to happen. Granted, it was very early in the morning (before 5 a.m.) — a time of day that I’ve since been told that no one should be walking by themselves.
Still, I had always been cautious when out at such an early hour. And on the day that this happened, I could hear noise coming from two “rowdy” guys sitting on a curb in the middle of the block I happened to be on. Using common sense, I crossed the street (from the side they were on) and continued on my way. I didn’t have far to go — only had about two more blocks to go to get to the gym I belonged to.
When I noticed one of the guys running over to me, I could tell from his somewhat manic behavior that this was going to be trouble. These two guys were not vagrants and didn’t even look to be criminal types. They did, however, seem to be very “high” on some kind of substance. The guy crossing over to me kept asking, “Where are we? Where are we?”
When I finally answered him (while trying to quickly move on), he suddenly punched me in the eye, then hit me in the back. While ducking to avoid the third hit, I asked “What are you doing?” (as if I might be able to reason with him). I then ducked again as he pulled at my backpack and I started running down the block (with said backpack intact). Luckily, my assailant didn’t chase me but, instead, crossed back over to his companion and sat down.
Now at the far end of the block in question, I could see both of the guys sitting in the same spot they were originally in as I hid in the shadows and dialed 911. I kept pleading with an operator to send the police since the assailants were still in sight. It took over 20 minutes for a police officer to come (20 minutes after I hung up with 911). By then, both of the guys were gone. I later found out from the police officer that a security guard at a construction site (on the same block) had seen the incident, but never came forward to help.
To say I was shell shocked was an understatement. Besides having my first (and hopefullylast) black eye, I was horrified that such a thing could happen in my neighborhood (even though the police officer had told me that this particular block was notorious for criminal activity). I later learned that I was probably “lucky” that the assailants were gone, as I would have had to press charges (a citizen’s arrest, as it were) and that because of jail overcrowding in LA, there would have been no jail time served — even if the guy was found guilty and convicted.
What was that? I was supposed to feel “lucky?” Um, yeah… Okay.
I was pretty useless for the first 48 hours after the attack. But on day #3, I realized that I actually was lucky. Despite having a black eye, I was alive. I was healthy. Nothing was stolen. And I was now smart enough to drive my car to the gym first thing in the morning. Sure, I missed my walking time, which served as a good mental warmup for my day. But if driving was the way to go, I could do that. I had a car. I had my safety. I had my determination.
Although a horrific experience, I realized that I was the one hurting myself and my spiritafter the attack. It had happened. It was over. It was time to move on (with lessons in hand — and in mind). Friends were surprised that I sprang back so quickly. But I refused to let someone take away my joy for life (even if they had taken away my early morning walking time).
One of my dad’s favorite sayings has always been, “Hindsight is always 20/20.” And you can bet that I rolled my eyes every time I heard him say it as I grew up. But looking back on this experience with a year’s worth of hindsight tells me my dad was absolutely right to always remind me of that. Not only did this incident prove to me that I could bounce back from a seemingly-horrific experience, but that I could take positive action because of it.
The attack led to me finally looking for another place to live (something I’d wanted to do for a while — for different reasons than the questionable neighborhood). And through what would be an odd set of circumstances, I actually ended up buying my first home, rather than renting. I’ll spare you all the boring details, but you can be sure that none of this would have been set into motion had I not been attacked (mugged, jumped — whatever) that morning in November 2012.
These days I can even joke about having moved, saying, “You didn’t have to hit me in the eye twice.” And yeah, I must admit that people give me an odd look when I joke like this. They’re not sure whether to chuckle or shiver. But trust me, you can chuckle. It’s like another old saying goes: What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger — and sometimes helps us to get off our butts to make some changes we can be grateful for down the road (black eye and all).
What does this mean for you? Whatever you’ve survived, the key word is you survived. Yes, you might have a black eye — or other forms of emotional or physical scarring. But don’t let a horrific incident (or incidences) take away your joie de vivre. This life is for living. And no one (no one!) can take that away from you permanently — unless you let them.