I recently wrote about being grateful for the small, every day things in our lives that often get taken for granted. I've found that applying that to my life has made everything seem so much more positive and I'm going to make sure that gratitude becomes part of my daily routine. It is so easy to become self pitying when things are tough, when you've had a bad day at work, you're stressed, you're tired and grumpy and just can't be bothered pasting on a smile. Quite often, this has been me, but I want to work towards changing this and becoming an all round more positive and thankful person.
I don't like to think of myself as negative, but in all honesty, I do tend to look on the bad side of situations and it is definitely not something I like about myself. In the last few months, I have been really focused on trying to be more positive and focus on what's good in my life rather than the things that I want to change. I've started to carry around a little note book where I jot down things I'm grateful for throughout the day among other things.
When I am feeling stressed, I tend to become a massive Negative Nancy. If I have something coming up that I'm nervous about, I can't seem to focus on anything but that and I definitely don't live in the moment as all I'm thinking about is a not-so-nice situation that I don't want to have to face - and let's just say that there a lot of things that make me nervous. I tend to get irrationally grumpy with people around me and have a constant knot in my stomach and often get some pretty bad tension headaches - it really is incredible what negativity does to the body! In fact, for most of last year - this was how I felt 24/7.
Reid and I have been trying harder to be fit and healthy over the past few months, not that we were particularly unfit or unhealthy before, but Reid joined the gym and I started updating my fitness DVD collection with a few very intense Michelle Bridges workouts and started shopping online for some pretty motivational Lorna Jane gear. I started to set my alarm for around 5am each morning and getting up to do a 50 minute workout DVD before getting ready for work. I got into making green smoothies filled with kale and spinach and fruit. I started utilising healthier ingredients in all of my cooking - things like: unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut oil and coconut water. Immediately, I felt more positive. I felt like I could face anything the day wanted to throw at me and my attitude towards stress gradually started to change as well. Our bodies are pretty incredible and I have spent most of my life really hating mine and to be honest, there is still a lot I would love to change about myself.
The last few weeks, we have slacked off a bit. Sleeping in and being a bit lazier, and funnily enough, I've started to notice changes in my mood and my general outlook. As I mentioned in a post before, I've started taking some medication to help with my anxiety (definitely not something I decided to do lightly) and this has had a few unfortunate side effects in regards to my body. I spoke with my doctor about it and she admitted that I would find it harder to lose weight because of the way the medication is affecting my metabolism and hormones. I found this a bit deflating. I wasn't necessarily changing my routine in regards to exercise and diet purely for weight loss, but I was definitely hoping my body would change a bit more willingly that it is seeming to. So, good old Negative Nancy popped up once again. I started to feel like there was no point to exercising most days and that things weren't going to change anyway (which is untrue, it's not impossible, just harder) and gradually I slipped back into feeling negative about a lot more than just my body. I've started to become really paranoid about the way people view me. I feel like everyone thinks I'm overweight, that I'm obviously not eating well (even though I am) and that I'm starting to look like a whale and I was putting in so much effort for nothing. Plus, some of my family members are pretty open about telling me they think I'm fat, whether or not they're joking. I was starting to not even want to eat anything in front of people - dangerous territory! It was only yesterday that I realised I needed to snap out of it. I am not obese. I am not unhealthy. I have a husband who loves me and I need to treat my body with respect regardless of specific results I might be looking for. I'm never going to be a size 6, and nor do I want to be! I don't want to be thin, I want to be healthy. I want to be happy with the way I look, not cringe every time I look in the mirror. It is so easy to talk negatively about ourselves and I do it far too often.
So, yesterday when I got home from work, I did a workout and started to look online (www.movenourishbelieve.com.au) for some positive motivation and to give myself a bit of a reality check. Reading Lorna Jane Clarskon's books More and Move Nourish Believe help me out there as well. Being negative in general does absolutely no good whatsoever. I am grateful that I have a body that I am able to move and I am grateful that I have the ability to choose nourishing foods to fuel not only my body but that make me feel good about myself. Even if I don't see the results I want, I know that exercising is only going to make me a happier, more positive person in general, and I deserve to look after myself regardless of what other people might think of me.
In short: move over Negative Nancy! I don't need or want you in my life anymore! :)