Sunday, February 5, 2012

Positive Perspective

My first thoughts when I woke this morning were a prayer, "Please God, help me see the positive . . . the bright side . . . the cup half full."  There was more, but that was the gest of it.  It was all about me, and my fear of failure.

My day yesterday was a mosaic of positive and negative, like most folks.  I read the paper, ate a healthy breakfast, logged what I ate, and got ready for the 8:15 aqua aerobics class.  I weighed in, and immediately I was in a mad mood.  I'd gained, again.  After tracking every mouthful, exercising daily, doing all I know how to do in my own power, I still didn't lose any weight.  Despite the fact that clothes are slightly less binding, my weight isn't coming off, according to the scale.

When I complained to my husband, he said the scale weighs him different all the time and he doesn't think it's too accurate.  I went back and weighed again, with the identical results.  The best decision I made was to head to the pool anyway and stay for yoga.

This time around in weight loss, my motivation isn't a different pant size, but to save what's left of my knees.  I need to get some weight off to take the pressure off my knees.  I am afraid to be stuck where I am, unable to enjoy life physically the way I have in the past.  A few years ago, I dreamed of revisiting the Grand Canyon and hiking to the bottom and back as I did when I was 20.  I'm not quite ready to give up that dream, though I know if I get there, I'll need hiking poles!

But I digress, a little.  It was painfully brought to my attention recently that I am a Negative Nelly.  You know those cartoons you see, "What's wrong with this picture?" well, I was told I look for what's wrong before I look for what's right.  I wasn't really aware that I did. (Oh, sometimes, sure, but most of the time? I didn't think so!) In fact, I argued with the person who so kindly informed me of this character fault; even pushed a little of the blame toward the bearer of bad news.  Fortunately, we kept talking until I reached the conclusion on my own that this person, who loves me way more than I love myself, was right.

I hate being wrong, as dear reader, you can probably already imagine.  I tried to puzzle my way through, tease out when this negativity took over, but I can't pinpoint it.  Here comes the scary part, I am afraid it's been there a long, long time.  What can I do to change behavior that has been ingrained in me for decades?  That I didn't even recognize?  How could I have been so stupid???  Oops, I think that last question has a teensy bit of a negative ring to it!

OK, deep breath.  Here's a thought.  I will consciously think before I speak today, and make every effort to only allow positive words leave my mouth.  I will pay attention when I begin to feel anxious, or irritated, frustrated . . . as, most likely, these feeling precede negative thinking.  Or, maybe it's the other way around; maybe, just maybe, negative thinking precedes the anxiety, frustration, anger.

One day at a time . . . one hour at a time . . .  one moment at a time . . . my focus will be to keep a positive perspective.

A little Shirley Temple is in order.


  1. Don't you start beating up on yourself about this now, OK? Besides, psychoanalysts will have us believe we only recognise those aspects in others that we see in ourselves. We mirror each other, so maybe the person who sweetly pointed this out to you is reflecting what she suspects is her own nature? Who knows! As long as you aren't griping and complaining from dawn to dusk, my guess is you're perfectly normal. It's just not possible or realistic to be positively upbeat about everything all the time! As regards the weight issue. Has it not occurred that you might be building muscle now, with your increased exercise levels? Muscle weight is entirely different from weight due to excess fat cells. Just a thought. Also, have you heard of John Gabriel? If not, you might like to research his website at The Gabriel Effect. He presents a convincing argument for the correct way to achieve permanent weight loss.

  2. Nah, just be yourself! I love you just the way you are -- that's what your friends and family should be telling you, not that mumbo-jumbo about being positive all the time. That's so baloney! Feelings are feelings, neither good nor bad. Be authentic! As for weight loss, Rome wasn't built in a day. Be patient, the pounds will come off. It took you a long time to gain that much weight; why expect to lose it all in a week?

  3. I understand that Negative Nelly business, Sandi. I notice that when I'm not feeling good about myself, I try to make myself feel a bit better by noticing all the wrongs around me! It's human nature. When I discover that I'm doing it (again), what has worked for me is to use my brain to turn it around, one thing at a time. For example, instead of "I don't like this rain," I'll think to myself "I sure do love all the green around here, must be because of all this rain."

    The other thing I realize is that if a friend of mine were depressed, I'd want to treat her to something nice. It doesn't mean food, but something pleasurable, and you are a friend, so I'm asking you to treat my friend (you) to something you'd really enjoy. Oh, and weight loss does not happen on a straight line. I know that for a fact! Stick with it, and you'll soon see a difference. Plus your knees are already happy you've decided to treat them better! :-)

  4. I can so relate to all of this. And I'm inspired both by your willingness to face this challenge face-on, and by the amazing way you're writing about it. I'm hoping we can do that Grand Canyon hike together someday - hiking poles and all.

  5. I understand the weight issue...I'm going through this process and although I've lost some weight I get mad because when I was younger I could take off 20lbs with only changing a few food items or walking faster! Now it's a slow process...but I'm not giving up and you are doing all the right things. If your clothes are fitting different than you're on the right path. Scales can be deceiving! You are better than you think you are..say that every day! I have found myself slipping into the negative mode at work. It's been so frustrating there and I hate how I find myself reacting or how I'm treating people. Every day I pray on my drive to work that I can have a good attitude. Some days it works...some days I have to pray harder! Hang in there friend, you are doing good!

  6. Don't be so concerned with what the scales are telling you. The weight will eventually come off. It might be a good idea to buy a new scale just for your own use.

    I wish you well!

  7. If your clothes are getting looser, that's all that matters. You are obviously at least shifting the weight around and that's a good thing. Don't weigh yourself. Or weigh yourself once a month. It's the being healthier that counts.

    Like Djan, if I start thinking negatively I stop myself and remind myself of what I am grateful for and I do like. Being positive can become a pattern, too. Seek and ye shall find. If you look for the positive, you'll find it. If you look for the negative, you'll find it. They're both always there--it's what we choose to focus on. :)

    I think you're doing really well doing the aerobics and eating healthy! Kudos to you!! :):)

  8. I think you just have to pat yourself on the back for exercising. Don't equate the exercise with weight loss because you are doing good things for your body by exercising. Your heart knows it even if the scale doesn't. Make healthy choices with food. Again, your body knows your healthy choices, even if the scales are showing anything. In time, after eating right and exercising, the scale won't mean as much. I think you are building muscle because the clothes are fitting better. Be kind to yourself.

    I fight negativity myself. I work hard on trying to be grateful, and I try not to beat myself up. I try to use the same kindness toward myself as I use toward others. I'm nice to strangers. Why wouldn't I be nice to myself?

    You are doing great. Keep exercising that knee.

  9. Dear Sandi,
    I am in agreement with what Rita suggested about the healing power of gratitude.
    Please do go to the following blog posting. It speaks directly to your concerns today. I so hope you have the time to read it as I think it might help.


  10. Sandi, we all act out of emotion at times. The trick is to not act and think...easiers said than done sometimes. I often find that God shows me my weaknesses so that they can become strengths. Growth is difficult, but worth it. Hang in there as you get stretched and challenged.

    Good luck!

  11. You need to take the scale out of the equasion, completely.
    Do your exercise, yoga, food regulation and do some walking in between. Read only positive books, motivational stuff is great.
    Your attitude will change, maybe slowly but it will.
    And perhaps you've had some stuff that has been negative. Let it float away. Visualize it and watch it go!
    We're all on your side. Go girl!!!

  12. Things happen all in God's time. The weight will come off eventually, and the Grand Canyon hike will be marvelous. Don't beat yourself up!

  13. Hi Sandi,
    I like to think that as I get older, each day, I learn something new about myself and try really hard to incorporate that into my life. I have been frustrated lately as I cannot exercise right now and it has set my goal for spring back. I don't want to be super thin, just healthier and more stamina. So now I have been eating healthy everyday and while the lack of exercise has slowed me down for the moment, I intend on adapting this new lifestyle, permanently.
    Loosing inches is a good thing. And sometimes, if you are building muscle (which is great!) you may not see a weight loss for awhile.
    So I say don't give up. Adapt your new lifestyle permanently and maybe try adding another form of exercise. Have you tried working with weights? It's great for building muscle and gaining a and more pleasing figure.
    Also we tend to reach a point where weight loss slows down and we are supposed to step it up. That's the hard part!!
    But I understand your frustration. I was doing so good just starting to loose a few inches when I had to have this artery surgery. It's so frustrating! I have so many plans for spring but won't be able to do any of it if I can't loose ten pounds and get these knees moving more!! I am very, very frustrated! Good Luck to both of us!!
    Love Di ♥

  14. As a few people have mentioned here, muscle does weigh more than fat. So your exercising is building muscle while burning fat which explains the looser clothing (less fat) but slight or even weight gain (heavy muscle). I also agree with not weighing yourself very often. At the very most, I would say weight yourself once a week especially since you are doing good muscle building exercise. This will let you see and feel your clothes getting smaller and will shut up your scales from discouraging your progress...because you are making progress! Keep it up and eventually you will see the balance tip more in the weight loss side of things but if you have a bit of muscle to build up, then don't expect to see the scales just drop. Let your loose clothes be your encouragement because that's what people will see, not your actual weight!

  15. Hi Sandi, As you probably know, I try to follow the philosophy of "One Good Thing" by starting as soon as I open my eyes with a positive thought. (It sounds Pollyanna, but I think it works.) Even in a less than perfect situation, I can usually come up with something positive, however insignificant it might be. Also, brain research shows that by just putting a smile on our faces, we can alter brain chemistry in a positive way. Sometimes, when I take a walk, I pass people who smile pleasantly at me before I realize that have a smile on my own face to which they're probably responding. Lastly, if you're eating healthy and exercising, don't even get on the scale for a bit. It's too discouraging to see those #'s fluctuate!

  16. Sandi! Don't be so hard on yourself. Scales should be banned and you should just go by the feeling of your clothes getting more loose.
    Husband berated a friend of mine recently for being so negative and has spent the following days being the height of negativity himself, so I'd take it all with a pinch of salt.
    Be a grumblebum if you want! My favourite British show is the Grumpy Old Women and Grumpy Old Men series where people of the baby boomer generation try so hard to be positive and then collapse in a healthy dose of reality, rattling off their individual experiences with much eye-rolling - it's hilarious, particularly when it deals with family matters - the Christmas one is a hoot. We all try so hard that's it's great to give in sometimes and admit we're only human.
    To me, you do a great job - maybe you might have had a bit to be negative about!..but yeah, we pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and continue on.
    Bet you wouldn't be so negative if won a holiday
    in the Carribean - life can just get in the way sometimes.
    Take care friend.

  17. one baby step at a time as long as you are going forward. if you were to write down 20 things a day that you are grateful for you might begin to see a change for the positive. Have you read The Secret? very positive read
    hope your day goes well Sandi!

  18. I don't know if you wrote this before you read my post about self-love or not, but in any case, it seems like we have been thinking along the same lines lately! It is hard to be positive all the time, but I think part of having compassion and understanding for ourselves means that we allow the negative to exist as well, knowing that it will come and go just like anything else.

    Thanks for sharing this.


Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoy the connections made with others, and welcome feedback! I make every effort to read and comment on the blogs of all who visit my site. Seek the light!