I often get asked how I continue to eat healthy on a regular basis or avoid the temptation to eat mounds of cookies. I also get asked how I continue to push myself to workout six days days a week. With the nature of those questions you may think, this girl has it all together, and I could never get there. You may also be thinking there is absolutely no way I would be able to give up those delicious cookies. Well, if I am being honest with you, I am far from perfect. I have had my days when I wanted to give into temptation (and believe me there are days when I’ve stuffed my face with cookies). There are days when I really don’t feel like working out, but one thing that has truly helped me is to change my thinking.
what I’m talking about is turning a negative into a positive
so how do you turn a negative into a positive?
Has there been a time in your life where you told yourself you couldn’t have something and it only made you want it that much more? Have you ever experienced when boundaries have been put in place and you want to do everything in your power to break them? Does the idea of working out feel like torture to you? I think there is something in humanity where anytime we know we should do something that is good for us or best for us, we want to do the opposite. We are all guilty of this at some point or another and the key is to identify the thought and redirect it.
i am going to show you exactly what I mean and how to apply it to fitness
1.) Eating a healthy diet. – Like I said before I am no where near perfect and I have had those days when I cheated on my diet or ate more than I should have. In all honesty I don’t think you should keep yourself from never having a piece of cake again or eating several french fries again. In reality, moderation is the key and every once in a while is okay.
Now going back to turning a negative into a positive. This is how I look at it. When I tell myself I can’t have something I want it that much more. So what I do is turn the thought around. Instead of thinking about all the things I will not get to eat, I think about the things that I do get to eat. For instance, say I have decided I am going to cut back on how many cookies I can have. My first reaction is often anxiety because I don’t like to feel restricted. If I take that thought, however, and think about the fact that I am going to get to eat a delicious steak later or cheese quesadilla, like I said earlier, I do enjoy the food that I like but in moderation, this takes the pressure off my mind, and opens me up to enjoy the food that I have planned out for myself that day.
2.) Working out. – For a long time the idea of working out felt like torture to me. No joke, it would take me sometimes over an hour to finish a workout that was only suppose to be about 40 min. The reason for this was a result of taking breaks in an effort to talk myself back into it. I truly wanted to give up so many times, but I knew I had to make a change in my life. After struggling with my weight for the majority of my life I was sick of feeling tired, heavy, and out of shape. So I would workout for a bit, then hop on youtube to watch videos of people who had been successful. After watching a few videos and deciding that if they could do it I could do it, I was successfully able to complete my workout each time. However, it wasn’t until I discovered I could change my perspective that I was able to find real satisfaction.
This is what I did. Instead of thinking about my workout as something I had to do to lose weight, I thought about how it made me feel afterward. I focused my mind on how my energy was increasing, how much stronger I felt, and the fact that it really didn’t take a lot of time from my day. It did take some time for my mind to catch up with this concept, but by positively reaffirming how I felt about working out it wasn’t long before I started to look forward to exercising everyday. If I miss a workout now, I actually experience sadness. Never in a million years did I believe that could be me.
3.) Other areas of your life. – The idea of turning a negative into a positive has dramatically affected many other areas of my life. For many years I had a hard time seeing that my life was worthwhile and pessimism was the name of my game. If anything bad happened or didn’t go the way I wanted it to I would blame the situation or point the finger at those around me. I would often think, “nothing ever goes right in my life” or “why is life so hard for me.” I also got to a place where how I felt was impacting the people that were very close to me at the time. I didn’t wake up every morning and plan to make others hurt as a result of the emotions I was experiencing, or act out in anger, but sadly I did. For a long time I also kept myself from going after my dreams because I thought nothing goes right for me anyways so why should I try? It wasn’t until my life was completely turned upside down that I realized I either had the choice to continue on this path or I had to figure out a way to change it.
Have you ever been in this place? If so, are you ready to make that change? This is what I started to do. I began to take ownership for where I was in my life and the things that I had done. I also started to train my brain to turn a negative into a positive. For example, my car started to die last summer. In the past I would have gotten overwhelmed and asked “why me”, but instead I took an experience that could potentially be a bad one and I decided to look for a solution. I could have very well let that situation overcome me, but on the flip side I realized that this is just something that happens and I could make it better by trading in my car and purchasing a reliable one. I took a situation that appeared to be a negative and transformed it into a positive. Was it inconvenient to have to purchase a new car? Yeah maybe, but now I have a brand new car and I know that for at least a several years the likelihood of having car problems is very low. By making that decision I felt so much peace and the whole process went very smoothly.
If you have ever been in a place in your life where you feel like nothing is going right or you’re having a hard time getting started on the right foot, remind yourself today that you have a choice to turn it around, and that nothing is impossible! It may take a while for you to feel peace at first, but if you actively try to change any negative into a positive eventually it will become second nature to you.Published in