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 recently joined Weight Watchers again. I will never give up but sometimes I take long vacations from it. Too long. I just have to dust myself off and look forward with hope and determination and resolve.
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. The thought occurs to be me that being overweight is probably more difficult than losing weight.
What is even more important is concentrating less on the weight and more on being healthy and fit. This is probably a good idea. As we improve our lifestyle the weight loss will follow as a natural consequence. Right? That changes the whole process from what we don't want (being overweight) to what we do want (being fit and healthy.) Thinking and acting in a positive frame of mind is always a winner. It also takes the sting out of the many past personal failures and puts it where is should be. Focusing on improved behavior. You are the same person of infinite worth no matter your dress or pant size. Sometimes we forget that.
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! Another word for this is gratitude. I was amazed at the difference and have been using this when my thoughts go to self persecution. I have had 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.
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.
I know it~ if I am living close to Him.