I've been thinking about the importance of positive self talk a lot lately. It is so easy to talk negatively about ourselves. I am definitely guilty of talking poorly about myself. I am used to always telling myself that I am not good enough, not worthy enough, that I am ugly, that I am fat, that I look terrible. When I was at 211 pounds and even throughout most of last year these were my regular thoughts. I didn't have a very good opinion about myself and that is one of the things that triggered my desire to change. I didn't like who I was and I wanted to change.
Since I have started weight training with the Chalean Extreme program, I have noticed changes in more than just my strength. I have started noticing for the first time changes in the way that I think. Since I have lost 63 pounds I startle myself every so often in the mirror and say "wow! I look pretty good!" Believe me, I am still way to focused on my flaws and how far I still need to go, so it is nice when I surprise myself and I look better than I think I do. I have noticed an increase in my energy levels since I started lifting weights and I believe that is a mood booster for me since for as long as I can remember, I was always tired. It didn't matter how much sleep I got, or what time of day it was. I was always tired and never had any energy to do much of anything. I'm sure that can be contributed to my poor eating habits and lack of exercise.
It is also nice that Chalean is so positive on her DVDs. Throughout the whole program she is always telling you that you can do this, that you are worth it, that you are beautiful, that you are changing your life. Chalean positive talks to you and it is some of the only time that I really get to hear things like that from someone other than my husband (which I tend to roll my eyes and think "you have to say that or I'll be mad at you"). But I have noticed that I have started to have these thoughts in my mind too, and it has started to change my mood. Over the past few weeks I have been happier, and generally in a better mood. When I think negative thoughts about myself, I put myself in a bad mood because I don't feel good about myself. Then I start to take it out on everything around me: my kids, my husband, I eat more. I get grumpy and snappy. Now that I have started to think more positively about myself I have noticed that I am nicer, I don't get angry as quickly, I am happy to comply with simple requests and just generally happier. For a long time I have been thinking about happiness and how I can be a happier person, and I never really thought about self talk. Of course, I needed to change my life around as well so I could be happier with who I was.
Positive self talk I am discovering is very important. What can we say to ourselves other than "I am fat" and "I hate the way I look" or "I am so disgusting"? First I think we need to commit to change! If you are not happy with yourself then why do you allow yourself to be in that unhappy place! Perhaps it is familiarity or comfort, but we can change. One thing that helped me a little with the negative self talk was thinking things to myself along the lines of "I am changing" "I am working hard" "I may be fat now but not for much longer" "I am getting healthier" "I am getting more fit". Progression thoughts. I knew I was working towards my goal, even though I am not there yet I am still working, still improving and today I am in a better place than I was yesterday. You need to tell yourself things that you can believe. I couldn't tell myself "I am beautiful" because I didn't believe it. I couldn't tell myself "I look good" because I didn't believe it and my internal voice would just scoff at myself and I would roll my eyes at myself if I tried to say these phrases and immediately I would hear "yeah right!"
Now I am starting to believe that I look good because I feel good. I look at pictures of where I have come from and I amaze myself at what I used to look like. I am still realizing how bad of a situation I was in. I would sit around and wonder why I had no energy and blame things like the kids, when in reality it was my weight and my diet that was to blame. It was me and only I could change myself into the person I really want to be.
27 more pounds to go, skinny, happy, fit, and energetic me here I come!