July 29, 2013

The Positive Effects of Positivity


A few months ago, I posted about my attempt to lose weight and get healthy.

You see people all the time who go on a "weight loss journey" and post crazy progress, like 10 pounds lost! Or 4 inches lost!

So I've been on this "journey" -- which entails doing Weight Watchers (not so religiously as I should) and training with a personal trainer -- for about three months or so.

But I'm not one of those people who has lost a ton. In fact, though I feel better overall and have worked out five times a week most weeks, I have yet to lose any weight.

None.

I was so discouraged that last week, I was talking to a friend and said, "Sometimes, I don't even know why I'm doing this if I'm not going to see any results. Might as well save five hours a week and eat whatever I want! I'm never going to lose this weight."

See, I'm a goals person. And I wasn't seeing any tangible progress toward my goal. Yes, my arms are stronger and I've lost a few inches around my waist, but nothing super noticeable.

Then I saw a pin come across my Facebook and Pinterest pages. It's from Weight Watchers and says: Replace every negative thought with a positive one.

It struck me because a few friends* and I have been talking about the power of words and thoughts to derail us or keep us lifted up. And much of that positivity is really about being grounded in God's truth.

The truth that, no matter how much I weigh, God loves me.

That he sees my efforts to get healthy -- since he tells me my body is a temple and all -- and that they're not for nothing.

That my goal shouldn't be to lose weight, really (muscle weighs more than fat, right??). It should be to have strong arms to lift my children someday. To have a strong heart so I'm here for my family as long as possible. To have more energy to do the things I love.

And THAT...well, I can do that. I AM doing that. I may not eat perfectly, and I may not be seeing progress as quickly as I'd like, but I have been faithful in some ways, like trying new healthy recipes I find on Pinterest, and hitting the gym. Trying new things. Branching out. Doing what's hard.

Those positive thoughts gave me the fuel I needed this last week to keep going. To hop on the scale on Friday (my weigh in day) and not stress that I'd only lost 0.4 pounds even though I'd done everything right that week. To rejoice in even a little progress.

I'm talking about weight and body image here, but this idea of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can be applied to any area of your life.

For me, it's a huge thing to consider when thinking about my writing goals. For you, it might be applicable to a big dream you have or just small, everyday things.

Negativity can defeat us. Positive thoughts -- and God's truth -- can lift us up and make us soar.

Your Turn: Ever struggled with this? How has thinking positively helped you live a better life?

*Waving to Gabrielle Meyer, Melissa Tagg, and Alena Tauriainen! Thanks for the inspiration, ladies! You make me a better me.
**Photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

6 comments:

  1. Waving back to you, Linz! I'm big on thinking positive...and hoping. Not that I'm always good at it. I just happen to think it's a better way to live life than thinking negatively or not being hopeful. :) Here's the thing: I often hear people say they don't want to get their hopes up because then it's harder to deal with disappointment. BUT...I think the more we get into the practice of thinking positively and hoping in God, the less power disappointments have over us. Not that we don't feel the initial sting of disappointment...but it's not as strong when our minds are in the habit of jumping to the truth of God's faithfulness and intentionally putting our hope there.

    Something I'm continually working on. :)

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    1. Something I'm working on, too! I love your outlook on disappointment, because that's always been my fear as well.

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  2. I'm waving at you, too! God has really been working on my thoughts for a long, long time. The battle is waged in our minds. The Bible tells us what we think in our heart is what we become. Through choices, actions and behaviors, you change your life to either reflect the positive thoughts or the negative ones. I love that you're choosing to look at eating healthy and exercising as a way to be healthy, live longer and be active. Those positive thoughts will translate into a better you. Keep going! You inspire me to do it, too!

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    1. "The Bible tells us what we think in our heart is what we become."

      That is such a powerful thought. And challenging for sure!!

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  3. Waving back and cheering you on, Lindsay! I love that you are becoming stronger and healthier so you can lift your children and be stronger. YAY! Body image is such a HUGE issue in our culture. I agree with Melissa, thinking positively and hoping in God will never disappoint us. Go, go, go!!

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    1. Body image really is huge. And it's so hard to overcome. I want to look a certain way...but why? Because I want to be perceived as attractive? That's not why God tells us to remember our bodies are a temple. He is more concerned with the function of our bodies and not what they look like. We should be too.

      I wrote a post-it today and stuck it to my computer monitor. It says, "Change your focus. Not weight loss, but more energy, strong body, strong mind, healthy heart." :)

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