Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Power of Positive Thinking

My regular Thursday Weight Watchers meeting was canceled this week so I went to one today. Are you ready for this? Because I wasn't.


That's the charm I received from WW. I didn't know there was a 75 pound charm. To see my earlier charms click here. This week I lost 1.4 pounds. That means I am now in the 150's! I weigh 158.8 pounds. I tell you, I am really amazed at the concept of being 75 pounds lighter. If you were to strap 75 pounds on my back and tell me to take a walk I'd probably collapse. How on earth did I carry that much weight? No wonder I needed a nap every day. Thank you to every single person who visits this blog, to those who cheer me on - this blog and your support have been really helpful to me on my journey. I am now 8.8 pounds from a "normal" weight.

I did pretty good with my goal to carefully track this week. According to my tracking I went over in my points by about 10 but I lost this week and that's all that really matters to me. I'm going to keep this up. I will start a new week of careful tracking tomorrow.

I recently got to thinking about the power of positive thinking. It's a cliché but, I think, only because it's true. In college I hated math, algebra more specifically. As a joke I started making only positive comments about algebra. What started out as a joke became more serious when I decided to see if I could change my feelings about algebra. When I first started saying things like, "I love algebra, it's my favorite subject", my mind would chime in with, "liar, you hate it", or some such other response. After a while that inner voice gets quieter and quieter. Sort of brainwashing I guess. All I know is it worked. I went on to tutor math in college and even got a job teaching math for a while.

I incorporate these ideas into my weight loss and fitness journey whenever I can. One thing I have learned is to stop saying things like, "I suck at hills...". Now I say, "In the past I have struggled with hills...but I'm working on changing that." Maybe I'm overboard on the power of positive thinking but I really feel we have to stop saying negative things to ourselves if we want them to change.

My big thing is running, what's yours? I used to say, "I hate the run" or "I'm not a good runner". Now I say, "The run is challenging for me but I'm working on it and getting better". It may sound kooky but it works! I'm getting better at running and I no longer hate it. "Historically the run has been my most difficult sport but I'm training and getting to be a better and better runner." Sounds funny? Wait until it starts working! "I am a good runner....Running feels good....I am going to make huge gains in my running....I enjoy running." At minimum I believe that by stopping the absolute negative statements we open ourselves up to the possibility that things can change and improve.

Speaking of running. Thank you for all the treadmill tips. My favorite suggestion was intervals. I didn't get bored in the early weeks of c25k and I think it was partly due to knowing there were changes and challenges every few minutes. With intervals I'd bet I get the same effect. I have a 29 minute run tomorrow and if I end up doing it on the treadmill I will definitely incorporate intervals.


  1. I think you have it dead on with the positive thinking. Two years ago I could not swim. I have DNF'd races solely because of the swim portion.

    Now I tell myself all the time that I am a strong swimmer.

    CONGRATULATIONS on reading 75 pounds that is magnificent!!!

  2. Way to go earning that 75 lb. charm!!! What an incredible accomplishment...I'm so proud of the MENTAL work you've put into the last several months hon. It is the furthest thing from a diet. You've really changed the way you think, experience, and respond to your feelings!!! You are an inspiration!

  3. CONGRATS!!!! 75 lbs!!!! WooHoo!!!! That is so awesome. You have no idea what an inspiration you are to me.

    You are so incredibly right about the positive thinking! It has really carried me so much further than I ever thought I'd go.

  4. That's fantasic! Way to go!

    I tend to live my life in dread of being corny (preferring snide and sarcastic, apparently), but I think you hit the nail on the head about the positive thinking thing. It really, really, really does make a difference, and if the worst thing about thinking that way is that you feel corny (talking about myself here), there are a whole lot of worse things to feel.

  5. Wow, that's amazing Michelle. I got to thinking, 75 pounds, seriously...that's what my 10-year old son fact, that's what my MOM weighs, although, she's only 4'8". =)

    Very impressive!

    I like the whole positive thinking thing too, that's super helpful. I often lecture my friends on how they say things to themselves that they would never say to other people, you know what I mean? Why do we talk to ourselves so poorly then? Would you ever tell another runner in a race, geez, you sucked at that hill, or gosh, you're too slow to be out here running...then WHY would you dream of saying it to yourself? I mean, honesty is good and all, but a little tact goes a long way!

    Anyhow, back to my point, I'm glad you're focusing on the positive. It seems to be working really well for you. And last, I'm so glad you like the intervals tip, you'll have to let us know how that works out for you. Congrats again, and hope this week is even better!

  6. That is so awesome about losing 75 pounds! What an inspiration you are to everyone out there who thinks they can't do it.

    I totally get your point about positive thinking and I'm going to start incorporating that into my daily life and my workouts. I think I've overcome the swim fear and now I just need to work on the bike. It's all good thoughts from here on out!

  7. You know what I think already. You are the most inspiring of all sit next to me and play girls. Nice to shed those rice bags. I'm positively following along in your footsteps. Might even catch you ; )

  8. Congrats! You are doing great. Love the charms WW gives you. I am doing it on my own this time and should have thought of some kind of charm idea, since it gives you something to reflect back on as far as your accomplishment. Keep up the good work!

  9. Wow! I admit I noticed a big difference between your before and during photos, but I had no idea you were that dedicated. What an inspiration you are! And you are so right about positive thinking. Not to pun but, 'You're proof positive it works!'

  10. Hey Michelle!

    That is an awesome effort!

    I TOTALLY hear you on the running.
    My negative talk was so strong it was a firmly held belief, along side things like "the sky is blue" I'm just back from a 5km treadmill run followed by Body Balance (A yoga, tai chi, pilates class) and when the time came to stop running and go to the class I was actually disappointed....Me the girl who simply couldn't run...didn't want to stop at 5km

    My voice now says, running is good, I think I can actually do it!

    Hopefully one day it will say "I am a runner" "I love running!

    LOVE your blog!

  11. YOU'RE A SUPERHERO!!! That 75lb charm is something to cherish and keep close at all times.

    I have been trying the power of postive thinking myself and although at first it sounds corny, it helps!

    You're almost there. Keep it up gorgeous!

    xoxo from NY!

  12. Congratulations on this great milestone! I am a new reader of your blog, which I came across randomly through the WW message boards. You are truly an inspiration! I have done the weight loss game so many times in my life (I am 40), and now with 'just' 30 pounds to lose - find I really want to do it differently this time, like focus on fitness and working out, and being 'strong'. The thought of me running makes me (and everyone else I know) laugh, let alone quitting smoking and just moving period! I used to be in great shape (weren't we all ha ha) and loved how I felt after a good workout. I miss that feeling but don't know why it's so difficult to just 'do it', get started I am currently in my 'planning' mode, psyching myself up I guess.

    When I read through your posts at the beginning of your journey, I feel like it could be me talking! Your success and energy is very inspiring, so congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience this way!

    Cyndi from Ohio

  13. Leah Smith Knoxville, TNJuly 17, 2008 at 7:17 AM

    I have been reading your blog for awhile and I just wanted to say congratulations on 75 pounds gone!! I am going to recommend your blog to my running group. We are all new runners and we did our first 5k on July 3rd. I would love to be able to do an ironman someday.

  14. Thank you for the reminder about positive thinking! What a much needed kick in the butt!!!

    Congrats on the 75 pounds gone!! I'm also highly jealous, the weight watchers in my area just gives magnets for those goals! I'd much rather have a charm for my keychain (they do give the 10% keychain and for charms they give the 16 week, the goal charm and the lifetime charm.....I've been gyped!)

  15. Congrats on the 75 lb loss! WAY TO GO!

  16. Damn.

    That's it.



  17. CONGRATULATIONS to you Michelle! A huge accomplishment for you.

    I know that doing this is a giant thing and I hope you are basking good feelings about your hard work.

    Love the positive thinking reminders. Always a good reminder for me.

    Also, thanks for all your nice notes on my blog. I appreciate them.

  18. Wow! That's impressive and fabulous. You should be so proud of yourself. What an example of positive thinking.

  19. Congrats! Such an accomplishment! and you are so right about strapping on 75lbs and try to do the day with it. I think of that in terms of my weightloss todate (40-43lbs) as I carry just ONE of my children (25-30lbs) up 2 flights of stairs and die. I think (same as you) how could my body do it before??!!

    You are an inspiration. Thank you!

  20. Rock on Sister!!! But could they make the charm look less like a chocolate donut??? or maybe its just me and PMS craving chocolate!

    Seriously Congrats 75 pounds freakin' awesome.

  21. that is AWESOME!!! I am so happy for you. that is such an accomplishment!

  22. I read about your wonderful achievement on Jessica's blog and had to come say congrats! That is so awesome and inspiring - way to go! Love your positive thinking stories too. Keep up the good work...

  23. You ROCK and are such an INSPIRATION...

    As a teacher (and a parent), I tell my students/kids all the time to talk and think in the positive rather than the negative. I talk about the self-fulfilling prophesy. When we say, "I can't" then we doom ourselves to "can't" but when we say "I can" well, you're proof positive of what THAT leads to.

    Congrats, congrats, congrats!

  24. Congrats on the 75lb loss!! I'm a new reader to your blog and just love it. I'm also a weight watcher and aspiring triathlete so I love to read about people in the same position as me!!

    Thanks for the reminder about how important positive thinking is!

  25. 75 lbs!!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!

    I always think of your positive attitude when I am about to give up on a long run. Keep doing what you do!

  26. WOW! Great Blog on Positive Thinking!!

  27. dude, you rock! way to go!

    you are an inspiration to all of us aspiring losers out here in blog land.

  28. Hi Michelle, thanks for coming to my blog - yours is so inspiring and you look amazing! Great going to lose 75 pounds - you have helped me refocus my energy and determination!

  29. I love the charms, and the 75 pounds charm is WAY cool! Congratulations!

    I truly believe that the mind is a powerful thing, and the power of positive thinking can get us through anything.

    I should try that for algebra, too. ;)

  30. Congrats on the charm!

    I do agree that you need to feed yourself positives. Lately I've been telling myself "These hills are making me stronger!"

  31. The 3 of us here .. together .. have lost over 100 pounds with WW. Sweet Pea lost 50 of those.
    Wish we could have been at your meeting because it is so energizing to applaud the winners (big losers).
    You are so much a WINNER!!!

  32. Thanks for being an inspiration. I have only been reading your blog for a short while, but it was what I needed to get myself back to WW and out on my bike again. Thank you :)

  33. WoOoOOOooooOOOooOOOt! I'm so glad I was there to see you receive your 75lb. award. Go, girl!! You rule! =-)


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