Positive Thinking and Weight Loss
Looking at obstacles with a new lens (and staying kind to yourself through it all)
The emotions of weight-loss surgery
I have found when it comes to the mental side of a weight-loss journey, it is incredibly helpful to look at the journey through a different lens. So much emotion is wrapped up in weight loss. It is why we feel anxious stepping on the scale. It is why going to the bariatric clinic brings anxiety or excitement, depending on how you have been doing. It is why you have to be cautious with the people you share things with and it is why it brings strife in relationships at times. If it were straightforward, all these emotional pieces would not be at play.
For some, finance bring in lots of emotion as well. It is why sitting down to look at your budget brings up anxiety, not unlike the scale! But those are two areas in life that we have to manage. We manage our money and we manage our health. As we know, managing our weight is an essential part of managing our overall health.
When goals and good intentions get interrupted
I find it helpful to take a moment and look at the situation from a different angle, that hopefully puts the emotional piece down for a moment. To do so right now, I will give you a personal example that relates to this very blog you are reading now.
At the time I write this, it is February. I should know that February is the month that school will be cancelled at least once a week (if not twice) leaving my kids at home instead of at their childcare places. There are only three days a week that my kids go elsewhere so that I can work. The snow days, cold days, and ice days always hit on one of those three days! It is also the time of year when my kids will get sick. Of course, they will share that sickness with me :) Instead of remembering these things about February, I learn them all over again and then remember that this is in fact, how it was last year.
This is where the example comes full circle. February is the month that I run one of my three Focus Challenges in a year. This particular challenge the theme is positive thinking, which brings us to this blog. On my list of things to do for the challenge, I have wanted to post one blog each week about the power of positive thinking. This week, my baby caught a stomach bug and shared it with me, which means my self-imposed deadline of writing and posting this blog had to change.
You may see where I am going but this is a very true piece of life that happens in all areas of life. We have a goal we would like to reach. Who knows the motives behind that particular goal but it is our goal. We want that goal. We feel that goal will make us happy to reach it but worse than that, we are afraid it will disappoint someone if we do not.
We are so focused on reaching this goal that any very normal life circumstance that comes in our way feels like a personal attack. The world is out to get me!
We hold ourselves to the highest of standards. In fact, we hold ourselves to a higher standards than we would hold someone else too. If someone else told me they needed to post a blog by Wednesday but their baby got sick, I would tell them to take care of their baby! The blog can wait! It won’t be a big deal if it’s posted a day or two late. These are very reasonable things to say to someone. You are probably thinking of saying them to me right now. This is why it makes for a great example. When we look at things from a different perspective, we can see that it really is okay to slow down, stay positive, and adjust the goal or a deadline for a better fit.
Expect to be interrupted
As we approach the end of week two of our four week challenge on positive thinking and getting focused, this is my challenge for your thinking today:
If the weather threw off your exercise, or your family threw off your meal plan, or your scale is just not showing you what it should be for all the hard work you are putting in, we all understand why you would feel upset. Of course you are frustrated! Of course you wanted this week to go smoothly! But the world is not set against you. In fact, everything is incredibly normal when it does not go smoothly. If anything, we should be surprised when the week DOES goes smoothly!
When something gets in your way, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that anyone would be frustrated. Saying the word anyone helps make you feel less personally attacked by the circumstances. It also reminds you that it does happen to everyone. Once you are able to put down some of the emotions, albeit not all of them, you can take a look at where you can adjust the goal or delay the timeline of when you meet the goal. This is why there is a “days to add” section on the goal tracker. Even I will be adding on days because of snow days, sick kids and who knows what else this month will bring.
On a personal note
I am a woman of faith so I would be dishonest to not share a personal piece of my faith perspective here as well. I believe scripture is the truth that I can stand on when negativity and lies try to seep in.
The Lord is for me, who can be against me? The very power that defeated death on a cross is the power that lives within me. He goes before me and He stands behind me. He is my guiding path on my feet. His kingdom is not in trouble, and I am not in trouble. He will provide opportunities to reach the things I want to reach or he will direct me in new ways that are for my best. He will sustain me when it takes endurance and when I am tired and do not feel like being consistent anymore. He will also give me grace when I fall and mercy to help me get up.
Being positive is not reserved to weight loss. It is not reserved for our kids. It is a posture in which we take on the day even when negative things hurt. We can see how gratefulness turns our heart back to positivity. I am grateful for second chances. I am grateful for the body I have and its ability to walk. I am grateful for my family that loves me regardless of goals or no goals.
⇒ Take five minutes of quiet time to list out the things you are grateful for. See the positive things that have occurred in your day.
⇒ Afterwards, Take a look at your goals and see where you can fit in the exercise that you didn’t get. Or how you can make a very simplified me a strategy even if it’s not a full week of planning ahead.
⇒ Take a look at your weekend and see where you tend to go weak on your plans. Look ahead that you can stay one step ahead.
⇒ If you’re still struggling to have some self compassion and positive talk for yourself, imagine your friend being the one to tell you the things you are going through right now. Imagine what a good friend would say to you about your week. Chances are a good friend would not be as hard on you as you are on yourself.
Wishing you and yours all my very best,