Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Unscrambling Our Thoughts!

Dawn...Each New Day

I seriously don't think I could accomplish a single thing if the Lord had not seen fit in His wisdom to allow us a new beginning whenever we need it. And even when we don't think we need it, we get a new morning every day!

I read a blog post by a good friend who talked about her weight loss struggles. It just made me realize how much I have been coasting. I have been in a holding pattern at a 30 pound weight loss so far this year. If ever I want to know how skewed my perceptions can be...I can use the scale as my tool. I stepped on today and I was shocked and thrilled that I had been able to maintain the loss with two months of being out of my routine. What kept me off the scale was thinking negatively that I had not maintained...but I did! I know I cannot trust my thinking in this area so I have to use the tools of the scale and tracking. Ah, tracking I must get back to it. A lesson for another day!

The complexities of what motivates us to do and be who we are continue to confound me. Still waters run deep and I think for each of us it is a combination of so many factors. It is never just one thing but many experiences and hurts, and failures that add up and become the devil's favorite tool~Discouragement. Without hope there is no faith. We have to kick discouragement to the curb and just keep going no matter what happens. Never giving up!

We need to stop the negative self-talk. It is more than positive affirmations that are needed. You can tell yourself you are a thin and healthy person even when you are not but, once that hits your brain, your brain tries to figure out if the thought is true. Quickly everything you know tells you the positive affirmation is a lie and you throw it out as nonsense, or worse yet it becomes a negative affirmation. It then produces the 'why am I this way' type questions, leading to discouragement and eventual defeat. This applies to everything not just weight loss.

Recent studies have discovered that our brain works by solving our dilemmas by answering our questions. As an example...When we are unable to succeed at losing weight we ask ourselves why this is? Immediately our brain sets out to answer that question. I am just not good at this, I love my ice cream (or whatever), I have never been successful at this, I'll just gain it back, people will be watching me to see how long I can keep it off, I hate to exercise, it's my genetics, etc.

Think of something that you are struggling with, again we will use weight loss as an example...Ask yourself this question instead..."Why am I a fit and healthy person?" Why am I a happy person?" What things have I been successful in accomplishing in my life? Immediately your brain starts to answer you with real, not hoped for positive affirmations! This is powerful. Try it. Seriously try it! I was amazed at the difference and have been using this for about a week with some very positive results.

One reason I love my Weight Watcher meetings so much, and my friend of over 30 years that is teaching it, is because Lanette goes the extra mile. She puts in lots of hours outside the meeting room, researching concepts like this that really do bring success. The success you will see is not just in the weight loss arena but applicable in many aspects of your life.

Another simpler way of seeing this concept is to ask yourself what am I doing RIGHT to accomplish this goal? Our brain automatically goes to what am I doing WRONG if we don't direct the question differently. I promise you, your brain will answer you and reveal to you what you can and have already been doing. This actually does kick discouragement and a desire to quit to the curb! We all need this tool when struggling!

When discouragement comes and is allowed to stay...it follows that it's very hard for us to continue on any kind of journey when we feel sad, alone, depressed or afraid of success. We may have a habit of thinking that we can never measure up...no matter what we do.

This can be brought on by something someone will say or just something we think and it drags us down to the depths for days sometimes. Thoughts precede feelings. This I know for sure! We have to control our thoughts and not allow anyone else to have this power over our thinking or to allow ourselves to think we are incapable or unlovable. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why we do this.

Just like God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is, we must love ourselves because of who we are (His daughter/son) not because of who we perceive ourselves to be. (Our self-esteem) Isn't one of our greatest desires to be loved unconditionally rather than judged and misunderstood? In Christ we have that. Where does the hope and faith come from if not from this gift? I know I cannot find it anywhere else.

Passing unrighteous judgment on ourselves or others destroys hope. We have to stop doing this. And sometimes when others do this to us we have to realize it is because of who they are not because of who we are. What a brilliant concept. Why would we assume they are always right? This is not a good way to think.

I am one, I am only one, no more than one, no less than one. We cannot keep internalizing offenses, we just have to be more thick-skinned and carry on, secure in His perfect love. We need to listen and contemplate criticism, but we do not need to beat ourselves up, even if there is some hint of truth in what is said. We need to take a positive spin on it and just quietly determine to become better, ever moving forward. In this way we abandon pride and acquire humility or the ability to be taught. Simply put, our brain can derail us or help us. We just have to pursue the right questions as we try to solve our dilemmas. This really works; talk about new beginnings! We just have to retrain our brain to think in a way that helps and encourages success, not defeats it.

Sometimes the whole scramble gets confusing~
we need to step back and view each component specifically!

And remember we need to be a friend to ourselves
as well as to others.

Staying closer to the Lord seems to be the answer to every problem, burden or concern. For all things unto the Lord are spiritual. My desire is to remember this day by day! I will ask myself the right questions to my dilemmas and trust in myself in addition to the Lord, so I can accomplish the desires of my heart. I am putting all my eggs in one basket~The Lord's.

When I hear something that is true,
I know it~ if I am living close to Him.


Marie said...

Bonnie, I just love the thought of putting all my eggs in the Lord's Basket. Lovely post, as always. xxoo

Sister Susie said...

Weight can definitely be a drag!! I have been on 8 different diets throughout my life, and I should have never gone on the first one. The "yo-yo" effect has added more weigh than if I had never gone on diets in the first place. I gain the weigh back plus 10-15 pounds more before I level out due to not exercising. My metabolism (yea, yea, I know most say that is an excuse, but it truly isn't for me) can not be messed with! Whenever I start the exercising, it is never enough and I have to increase the amount and time or I start gaining weigh. This happens each time. I even had worked up to 7 days a week, 1 hour a day....and I started gaining again. It had nothing to do with muscle weighing more than fat. I go for years at the same weigh, not gaining or losing. But each time the doctor puts me on a diet, the "nightmare" begins all over again.
I have gone 11 years since the last "yo-yo" occurred and I have not gained or lost. I have shared this with my doctors, but it appears to be unacceptable to them. They automatically think if you're overweight, you do nothing but cram food all day long. I have shared that I'm not a benge eater, complusive eater, I don't eat when I get upset. I do good if I eat 800-1200 calories a day and that is low in fat and carbs. My last physical turned out well; sugar was 92, good chol. high, bad chol was way down, trigl. were great, blood pressure 117/60. The only problem is the weight! So goes my weight woes!!
Love to you and yours,