Friday, September 24, 2010

Fixing Negative Self-Talk

I've been getting daily e-mails from Jillian Michaels' website for a while now. Today's featured article, hit a note with me. How to fix your negative self-talk. The article can be found here.

She says to answer the following questions:
  1. Do you have a negative self-image?
  2. Do you lack self-confidence?
  3. Do you feel powerless?
  4. Do you label yourself in self-deprecating ways?
I can answer yes to each of those questions. I may not label myself publicly as she illustrates with the e-mail address, but I label myself in my head.

More in detail...

1. Do you have a negative self-image? Am I always looking in the mirror and seeing my flaws? Do I constantly see myself as fat, ugly? Sadly, yes I do. I see my stomach and see the skin and fat there. I see the dangling skin on my arms. I see the fat on my thighs and how they still rub together, even after I've lost 160 pounds. I don't feel pretty. I wear clothes that hide my body because I am ashamed of how I look. I want to look and feel sexy.

2. Do you lack self confidence? As if the above answer doesn't illustrate this, yes I do. Not just with my body and weight, but with life. I am always doubting myself with work. My personal life? I don't have the confidence in myself to make a stand and say "I want to see things change. I want to see this happen." I may think it, but I lack the confidence to do anything about it. I have no confidence in my abilities to do anything properly. I may have met some goals along the road, but they've not helped me have confidence in myself.

3. Do you feel powerless? Jillian describes this as: "Do you feel you have no control over your life?" I don't. Granted, right now I am focused more on personal issues for this than weight related. Weight related, I obsess about it. I count the calories in. I count the calories I burn. I obsess as to why the scale doesn't move. So yeah, there is a powerless feeling there as I "Do what I should but see no results." However, the personal issues, I feel I have no power to stand up for what I want, and more importantly, what I need.

4. Do you label yourself in self deprecating ways? As I stated before, maybe not publicly, but most definitely. I have to catch myself from saying, "I'm the fat one." I've told Jonas before when he's complained about doing exercise with me because he's tired, "Look! I'm fat and I can do it!" If that isn't self deprecating, I don't know what is.

Next she says to answer one more question, "How is this negativity serving you?" Is this the truth about me? No. Does it serve me to meet my goals? Nope. Are they excuses? I don't think so. So how is this negativity serving me? It's not. It's holding me back. Why is my weight stagnant? Because the mental side of weight loss that I need to get control of is holding me back.

Even just today, I was looking at pictures of me from when I was 160 pounds heavier and I thought, hmm, yeah I can tell I've lost some weight. SOME? I've lost a person's worth of weight. I have come so far, yet I can't recognize it. I see it in the numbers, I can see it in the pictures, yet I can't recognize how far I've come. Seeing this negativity written down just proves to me, how much I am the one holding myself back.

Jillian then poses, go back and answer these same questions, using only positive terms.

1. Do you have a negative self-image? I rock. I see myself the happy, thinner person that I have worked so hard to become. I see the inches disappearing from myself, my muscles becoming more defined. I see myself as the beautiful person that I truly am.

2. Do you lack self-confidence? You know what I just did? I graduated college. I have earned a Bachelor's degree. I did it, by myself. I also worked my tail off and lost 75 pounds in a year. Hard work and sweat, and I worked it off. I have also worked hard at learning for my job to better myself for not only me, but so I can do a better job at work.

3. Do you feel powerless? I have control over my life. I know the steps I need to take to get where I want to be and I have the power to take them, to become the person who I want. I have the power to speak up and say what I need to be happy and to become that person.

4. Do you label yourself in self-deprecating ways? I am a superhero and a rock star.

Answering those in a positive tone is hard. I am sure that it will get easier further down the road.

No comments: