Pink Elephants

I’ve always known that there was some truth to the power of positive thinking…but I guess I never really knew just how much.

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I strongly recall one group therapy session that I took part in that had a big impact in my recovery (and my overall thinking). I, along with several other girls, had different stations to go to and complete an activity. All of the activities were based around body image, a topic almost all women could gain some improvement in.

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I remember this one particular station like it was yesterday. It had kind of a silly activity. Our directions read, “Close your eyes. Imagine a pink elephant for thirty seconds.”

I can picture myself perfectly…sitting in that chair staring at the clock. {Okay, here goes} I closed my eyes and thought and thought and thought about pretty pink elephants (not scary pink elephants like in Dumbo…as I was googling pink elephants, all those scary elephant pictures came up…don’t think about that kind!).

After thirty seconds was up, we were directed to open our eyes. Then we were told, “Now stop thinking about pink elephants.

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Uuuummmm…what? Stop thinking about pink elephants? How can I stop thinking about them now that they are engraved in my brain?! Now that you have told me to stop thinking about them, I’m thinking about them even more! Now I’m imagining pink elephants with cute, fluffy tutus on and red lipstick and big yellow, polka-dotted hairbows! Now I’m imagining them talking to me…no, singing to me Somewhere Over the Rainbow…

…way up high, there’s a land…

Okay, get it together Angela! } The point to this story? When you think about something for so long (uh, 30 seconds?) it is too hard to just un-think it.

And how does this relate to body image?

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If you keep telling yourself that you think you need to lose weight, or that you look fat, or that you wish you were skinnier, (guilty, guilty, and guitly), then you will not be able to un-think those thoughts overnight.

Learning to accept and love yourself unconditionally is truly a journey.

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Like I admitted before, I have been guilty of all those negative thoughts before. But I can honestly tell you, since I have started blogging I’ve truly been filling myself up with other bloggers positive words, and I’ve been putting every affirming word I can into my own posts. I’ve only been blogging for two months now, but I feel like I am noticeably happier. Not that I wasn’t happy before, but I was guilty of having icky “fat” days or just feeling “down” for no reason (and I’m not perfect, I still have those types of days, they are just not as frequent!)

On television recently, as I was skipping through channels, I heard something called the “thinking diet” (or something along those negatively-diet-y lines). Someone stated that this new “diet” works by just thinking that you are full so you will ultimately eat less.

Stop! DON’T DO IT!

I know it is easy…to get pulled into. It seems so easy…let’s just think ourselves skinnier. NO! We need to change this dialogue with ourselves { I know I’ve said this before, and now I am preaching, but I just feel so strongly about this! } We do NOT need to change the way we look, we need to work on living balanced lives, and we simply need to change that way we feel about ourselves.

Try this with me. Close your eyes, and for thirty seconds think to yourself:

I am beautiful inside and out. I am amazing. I am stunning. I am perfectly imperfect just the way I am. I love myself. I love my body. I adore everything I am capable of. I am deserving. I am happy.

Did it work? Practice makes perfect, so do this everyday!

My friends told me that they have noticed since I’ve been blogging that I am beaming. Glowing, even.

So, now I look at learning to love myself as an adventure!

ang

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15 thoughts on “Pink Elephants

  1. You are so right on when it comes to thinking. Trying to stop thinking about something can be so challenging but it takes mental strength (and quite a bit of it at that) to get to where you are today. You are a role model girl!

  2. this is such a great post & so true! it’s amazing how powerful your thoughts can be. it definitely takes conscious effort to change how you think about and see yourself!

  3. Beautiful! I loved this! Negative body image truly is a state of mind and I think you described it beautifully!

    I also love this blogging community and the support that it provides, everyone is beautiful in their own way!

  4. ❤ this post… Pink Elephants, so perfect! All your pictures were so cute and adorable…

    I completely agree. Once you start thinking negative thoughts and get wrapped up in them, it's a tragic downward spiral. It's one that I was trapped in for far too long.

    Thanks for opening up and giving me something to read so I can start my day off right (; Pink elephants<3

  5. I loved this post so much! I’m new to this whole blogging thing but I’m hoping it will help me overcome some of the problems I’m also having. I honestly related to everything you said. I needed to read this today!

  6. I am in love with this post. Whenever I read other blogs and things that people have to say I assure myself that I am beautiful and there’s is NOTHING wrong with me. Sure, negative thoughts get in my mind on occasion, but I feel like I am now better at turning those negative thoughts into positive ones. Like I hate my legs -> my legs help me run lots of miles and push through speed workouts. It really helps!

    • I’ve always thought of my legs as my “trouble” body parts…like, if only my legs were smaller I’d be completely happy! But this weekend my sister pointed out that my legs looked strong and I totally loved her for it!

  7. Angela,

    what a wonderful post! I am a big believer in positive thinking but had never thought about it in the way your therapy presented it, so very clever. I feel the same way about blogging, it really affirms positive thinking to read such fantastic self-love posts like yours 🙂

    I am so glad that it is already such a positive journey for you 🙂

  8. What a great post!

    I agree , it is all mental, if you tell yourself things like ” I am not pretty” or ” I will never get that dream job” , then you suffer, I always try to stay positive, even when bad things come along or if Im having a off day, I let positive take over the negative, its the only way to live in my eyes : )

    Love You! Great Post!!

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  10. Wow this is SUCH a great post. I’m glad I found this (through the pickyeatingrd!) because it’s so true that your thoughts can’t change over night. I need to squash those negative thoughts and break the habit!

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