This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the Bright Side........

I have written many times before about my propensity to negativity. If you don't remember, you can read about it in this post. I'm not sure where it comes from, but I feel like it must be partially biological as both my parents have depression and "issues".   I've worked very hard over the last year in trying to change my inner "self-talk" that can be so damaging.

Negative ideas and attitudes are a habit for me. I'm working very hard to try to catch them the minute they start and then turn them into positive thoughts. I'm hoping someday soon I can call myself a genuine "glass half-full" person, but right now it takes effort.  Not that I'm an unhappy person. On the contrary, I love me life. I love my family, my friends, my job, my home.  I enjoy my life and I spend most of my day happy and smiling. BUT, it's the thought pattern in my head I have to work on. Inside, I'm often plagued with "what ifs" and "if onlys". These thoughts just detract from all the things I'm thankful for.

This morning as I was driving my kid to football practice, there was a whole host of thoughts running through my brain, most of which were negative and grumpy, "I'm tired. My back hurts. I don't want to go to the gym. I wish I could just get a break. I'm too fat. Why do I have to work so hard to lose weight when other people are just thin?" And then I just.......stopped. I caught myself. I gave myself an inner shake of the shoulders and told myself to stop and turn it around. I began to thing of positive things in my life right now. And here is a list of what I came up with.

On the bright side...............

  • I tried on pair of dress slacks, very cute gray ones I bought on sale a while back, that I wasn't able to come close to buttoning or zipping a couple of months ago. Now I can do both, although it is still a little snug. A few more pounds and they'll look great, just in time for cooler weather.
  • My new size large lab coat is already getting too loose.
  • I can kick way over my head now. 
  • I can do those 60 crunches in TKD class without much effort.
  • My kids are all healthy and doing well in school.
  • I can wrap one of the small bath towels at the gym all the way around me now. Doesn't take 2 anymore and I'm not in danger of flashing everyone.
  • I'm lucky that I can afford a membership at a nice gym with helpful people where I feel comfortable working out.
  • I had a nice dry bed to sleep in last night as it was storming and pouring down rain.
  • It RAINED!
  • Only 40 days to my cruise.
  • My son played all 4 quarters in his football game last night on the d-line. He's one of the shorter and smaller kids on the line and he was the only one to get through the line nearly every play. Almost made a sack!
  • I'm close to learning all my material for the next TKD test. Now I just have to perfect it before December when I can get my purple belt.
  • When a lot of people have given up and quit TKD that started with me, I have not. I'm half-way to my black belt.
  • My husband continues to be supportive of my efforts at weight loss and exercise.
These are a few of the ones that popped in my mind. It's amazing what fills your mind when you push away all the negative things.

This week I've gone back to a no carb way of eating. Every once and a while when my weight loss slows or stalls, I try this and it usually jump starts my weight loss.  Yesterday I lost a pound and I'm on my way back to where I was. I'm tired of losing and regaining the same 2-3 pounds that I've been doing lately. That's not getting me where I want to be. I am taking control and I've been going back and reading my old posts to remind myself where I've been and how I got here.  I still believe that motivation doesn't just happen. You don't just wake up one day and suddenly you can do it. It takes work and focus.

I wonder how all of you manage your "down times" or your negative self talk.  Do you struggle with it as I do? Do you follow a low carb or no carb diet? What do you do when you hit a plateau? How do you keep your motivation going?

And...............Go Rangers!  Game 4 tonight!


  1. The morning I was able to wrap my regular bath towel around my body was one that I still remember, and honestly, marvel at, after so many years of that just not happening - what a cool milestone for you!!! Appreciating the small things along the way really can help with the attitude.

    Congrats to you son - playing all four quarters is fantastic!!!

  2. I totally know what you're talking about and went through major anxiety as a result of lots of negative thoughts yesterday. It's tough to deal with the mental battle ... lately I've just been trying to push through. I have to do this. The alternative got me to where I am today -- and I don't want to be here anymore. I'm pleased to say that lately I hit the gym when I feel stressed - even when it's related to overwhelmingly negative body image issues ... still, I know once I'm at the gym and the music is pumping and the sweat is pouring I'll feel better.

    I love your list of things on the bright side -- I think these are very important to remember and take stock of. It's something I'm going to try and do too.

  3. Ya know, that cognitive behavioral crap, er, method really does work. Think it, and your feelings & behaviors will change. Writing a list is a great way to remind yourself of the good in life, and there was a lot of good on that list!

    You know how I feel about grains, sugars and starches. (OK, I allow myself a small mocha coffee as a treat occasionally.) Truly some of our bodies do not handle these macronutrients well. Insulin, leptin, lectin - it all gets screwed up for us fat and former fat folks. Have you considered "Wheat Belly"? I can't stand the author's views on primary care docs (we had a couple of nasty exchanges on his blog), but he writes well about the rapid evolution of grains and what it has done to our diet and bodies and our biochemistry.

  4. I tend towards negative thinking too... glass half empty. I pretty much follow the South Beach Diet which is "good" carb but some consider it low-carb. When I hit a plateau, it does help to cut back on grains, often. Another thing that sometimes helps is varying calories over the course of several days to shake things up and confuse my body. Still eating healthy food, eating less one day, more the next, average the next, etc.

  5. Those are some great non scale victories!!

  6. Awesome victories! BTW, I have been here but haven't been able to post on blogs (have tried & tried over the past couple of weeks) - anyway, today they're letting me again! :D
    I think that being negative or positive is partly just who we are and partly learned - or a lot learned. I've seen it in action so many times. But it can be re-learned - we all have things that come to mind that we have to reframe and change. I'm glad it helps you! Keep inspiring us!

  7. You keep going and going!
    About the plateau - it's maddening....
    BUT - I just keep doing what I know is right....
    AND sooner or later - SWOOSH!

  8. You did an awesome job of turning your negative thoughts around! I agree with you that it takes work sometimes to be positive.I am mostly a glass half full kind of person.

    If I hit a plateau cutting carbs usually works wonders for me.

  9. Yay on the lab coats getting too big! Speaking from the patient side of things, be sure to order new ones before they're too noticeably baggy, because your patients will notice. My GP has lost over 100 pounds and the woman has GOT to order new lab coats. Hopefully she has since I was last in to see her. Then again, she might just still be enjoying how small she feels in them :)

  10. What has really helped me keep that negative self talk at bay is being in a few bloggy challenges. Over the summer I was in the Slimmer This Summer Challenge and lost 8 pounds. I am in several now, too. They help me to stay accountable and keep my mojo going. Success begets success.

    Another thing that really helped me is breaking into a decade (170s)that I can not honestly remember ever being in! Riding my bike 20 miles without much thought is another.

    It is a slow process, but you are doing it! We, both of us, are still here when so many bloggers have left. We are going to kick that weight goodbye forever and kiss our renewed sweet health and fitness a gigantic hello.


Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!