Inspire

A friend of mine sent me one of the most amazing text messages earlier this week. It started, “Thought I’d give you an update since you inspire me to achieve my goals…” Then she went on to tell me about the awesome achievements she recently accomplished and the new goals that she hopes to achieve.

My first thoughts were of giddiness…aw, she thinks I inspired her!

My second thoughts were of honor…how honored I was that she chose me to share her news with.

My last thoughts were the most important. Pretty darn revolutionary.

You see, the past two months or so (since my 50K in November) I can count the number of times I’ve ran on one hand. I needed a break from running…really, I needed a break from everything…so I took one. This break lasted quite a long while with many hours spent watching the love tangles between Nathan, Lucas, Peyton, Hailey, and Brooke…snuggled up on my couch with a bottomless cup of coffee in my hand. Let me tell you, the drama from those twenty-something-looking characters at Tree Hill High is really captivating. Needless to say, I started feeling lazy…

…and lumpy.

My body-image slowly started becoming less positive, and before I knew it, I was feeling guilty about my time resting. Although I knew realistically that my body had not physically changed (other than losing some endurance), my mind was starting to tell me otherwise. Crazy pink elephants.

Then I got the text.

I realized that I needed to shut off those crazy thoughts in my head and start going after my goals again! And it’s okay that my goals are less fitness-oriented right now, and it’s okay that they may be more involved with finding out who Lucas Scott really ends up with in the end. And it’s okay that I may not run a marathon this year, especially if that means that I get to start working in the career field that I’ve been working so hard for.

Nursing Group

Just as long as I’m happy.

So, what I’d like to say now is…

Thank you Katrina, for inspiring me to remember to be happy and to stay positive.

ang

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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