Truth. I HATE it when my shirts don’t fit. And right now, many of my shirts don’t fit. As I continue to work towards my 2013 goals, I am beginning to feel my progress. I set out to be able to do 10 consecutive strict pullups. This is a feat difficult for most men, let alone for a woman. The female musculature is simply not predisposed to pullup success – a sad truth. With that said, some physiological change is required.
Good news – my back is becoming stronger. Bad news – my back is becoming bigger. With the strong athletic figure and small bust, I struggle to find shirts that are both comfortable and fit reasonably well. As my lats grow, my athletic tanks and sport bras are becoming too tight. Ugh! For the girl who still sometimes sees the ‘fat girl’ in the mirror – this is a difficult reality. Thoughts of disappointment, defeat, and fear rush to my forebrain as I attempt to squeeze into a shirt that fit just fine last month! And I am doing all of the right things! I am becoming more fit! I am slowly losing those few pounds! I AM ON TARGET!!! So how do I manage?
I could stress over the fact that my shirts do not fit. The truth is, I did throw one shirt to the floor out of frustration. But what good would obsessing over the fact that my shirt does not fit do me? So I must exhaust this frustration and the negative thoughts that quickly flood every inch of my being. I’m not going to go into too much detail of thought stopping, click the link for some great information and action steps.
Negative thoughts that occur on a frequent basis can be very frustrating and interfere with normal everyday functioning. You can become preoccupied with these thoughts and therefore unable to focus on other issues. For example, when my workout shirt is too tight, my workout is what suffers because I am distracted!
MY thought stopping…
Like any skill, thought stopping takes practice. In fact, it took me years to master and I still struggle from time to time with using it successfully. My strategy:
- Identify the negative or obsessive thoughst = I hate it when my shirts don’t fit! Which translates to, I must be gaining weight, which translates to, I am getting fat again.
- Identify the POSITIVE TRUTH = I am getting stronger and am able to do more pullups than I did last month.
Then I must:
- Recognize when a negative or obsessive thought is present. (The hardest part – AWARENESS.)
- Clear my mind, focus on my breathing – feeling the air come into and out of my lungs. ALL my focus is there.
- Repeat my POSITIVE TRUTH.
- Return to life and the tasks at hand.
Now, sometimes my mind immediately returns to that negative thought. This is when step 3 is critical and I have to repeat my POSITIVE TRUTH to myself over and over and over. Sometimes I have to speak it out loud to an empty room. Sometimes I have to speak it to the mirror. Whatever it takes.
Thought stopping is not about eliminating the negative thoughts, but rather, it is about reducing the frequency of negative thoughts and increasing the frequency of the positive. Negative thoughts will never go away completely – we just need to learn how to effectively manage them!