Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Attitude Adjustments

I'm constantly amazed by how often I need to remember how important my attitude is. A couple examples:

As I've mentioned before, I work at a chiropractic office. It's part-time, just Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for about 8 hours a day. It pays just enough to pay the bills and give me a little spending money. I was so happy when I got hired - a month without working had done a number on me - but then I got an interview at Weber State University and suddenly my attitude took a nose dive. I started to see that my boss could be a bit of a jerk. And the office manager is a diva that creates drama and tends to throw people under the bus for things she does. I started dreading going into work. I really wanted the WSU job - it was full-time so more money and included health insurance, free tuition, and life insurance. I loved working at SUU and was thrilled at the prospect of working on a university campus again.

Last week, when I found out I didn't get the job (they said they really liked me and would have hired me but the gal they hired had a little more experience at a university), I had to re-evaluate my attitude. I started remembering the positives about my job. It's really nice to have the weekends off (there are a lot of jobs that would require working weekends) and a couple days during the week to do whatever I want; write, exercise, cook, run errands, etc. With my better attitude, I stopped dreading going to work. Yes, the doctor may be a jerk sometimes and the diva still gets on my nerves, but I also work with two really awesome gals that make work a lot of fun. I'm comfortable with my job responsibilities and am getting to know the patients. And, I'm incredibly thankful to have a job at all with money coming in!

I stepped on the scales not too long ago and it showed 175 lbs. I grimaced! I actually grimaced. Yes, the number hasn't significantly changed in quite awhile, but I still can't believe I was bummed at weighing 175 lbs. I once weighed 350!

Lately, I've been thinking of myself as being "so fat". A big part of this is due to the excess skin around my thighs, arms, stomach, and breasts that make me feel and look bigger than I would otherwise. I'm losing good habits and starting up bad habits again. In the two months I've lived here, I've stopped exercising as much and have started eating desserts and snacking more. These contribute to the disappointment I feel about myself and my weight loss. I remember thinking I was so skinny as I was able to fit into the theater seats without killing my hips. Or as I tried on smaller sized clothes than I wore in high school. When I thought of myself as skinny, I acted like I was skinny - being more active and being more in control of my eating. Now, I focus on the skin around my stomach, my saggy breasts, and the other areas of my body that aren't "perfect".

My friend Ashley wrote to me about how our thoughts about ourselves can help or hurt us in our goals; weight loss, quitting smoking, anything. If we think of ourselves as fat, we become fat. I know this first-hand as that is what happened as I grew up. I was taller and bigger than the other kids my age and decided I was fat (really just hit puberty sooner) and eventually fulfilled that belief by becoming obese. As I lost weight, I was so proud of myself and felt so good and those feelings fueled my desire to continue to lose more. Now, as I've hit a plateau and with only 15 lbs to lose to hit my doctor's recommended weight, I can see how my attitude has shifted and thrown me off the path I want to be on.

Instead of telling myself I need to lose weight and focusing on my imperfections, I need to tell myself how great I feel and how skinny I am. My brain will register that I'm skinny and will help me act like a skinny person. As I remember to appreciate my thinner body, I'll feel more comfortable in my own skin again, and will remember to love the feeling of running and walking and will do both more often. Instead of hearing the words "fat" and "bigger" repeated over and over, my brain will hear "pretty" and "amazing" and "thin". And that's what I'll become (or stay).

Instead of telling myself to stop eating desserts and stop snacking, I need to focus on eating good foods. My brain doesn't need to have chocolate cake repeated over and over - it tends to ignore the "no" in front of those two words and starts craving cake. So, I'm trying to say apple over and over again. Fortunately, I love apples, so it won't be a huge deprivation. And, I'm sticking with my 80/20 rule and will give myself the pleasure of chocolate every now and then. And, I'll keep telling myself that I'm satisfied and not hungry at all, then I won't feel the need to snack as often.

I know how to lose weight, I've lost A LOT! I'm hoping that my new attitude helps me at what I've heard and am learning for myself is the hardest thing to do - keep off the weight. I refuse to allow myself to gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose. I believe my attitude adjustment will go a long way to helping me accomplish this goal.

I'm no Pollyanna, but I really do believe that looking at the positive side of life and the situations found therein can make life a lot more enjoyable. I'm blessed to have so many positives in my life and remembering them puts a smile on my face even when I'm as blue as I can be.


Booklogged said...

So true! When I was in high school I felt like I was huge and now I am huge. Funny thing is that I feel thinner than I felt then.

Years ago I read a book about how powerful our subconscious is and it will bring to pass those things that we truly believe about ourselves.

Another thing I learned is that when we judge others and focus on their faults we actually develop some of those same negative characteristics. "Judge not that ye be not judged."

What we believe in our heart and repeat over and over in our self talk materializes in ourselves. Best to focus on our blessings and the truly remarkable things in our lives - like books, running water, trees, windows, warm homes, friends, family, avocados, uplifting blog posts, nieces, life after death, the love of Christ, sight, light, pillows, sleep, etc, etc. Thanks for lifting my spirits today, Julie Beth! You're one of my blessings. I needed an attitude adjustment.

Heather said...

Aw Julie, you have made my day w/ this blog entry. I completely agree w/ attitude being the fuel of whatever we are feeling. Thank you for sharing!!

Cardine said...

Good point about attitude, and I totally agree that just our attitude affects so many things for better or for worse. Sorry about not getting the job at WSU, but I am really glad that you have a job!

Also, I am committing to change my attitude. :)

tearese said...

You looked wonderful when I saw you this summer, and I'm sure you can keep it up you've always had such a positive attitude!
I agree, I remember I really liked my job in Seattle at one point; it was the easiest job in the company, I got to walk around and could talk at my work station, I had lots of free time, and I got paid quite a bit more than my coworkers because "temps" had a different pay scale.
But then when I thought about how other departments probably saw me as lower than them (even though I knew I had more education) my pride would get the best of me and I'd hate my job. Or when I listened to coworkers complain about various things and people, I'd start to agree with them and become negative as well..
As far as body image...like everyone else I could name issues I've had, but its only been recently that I"ve felt my body could definitely benefit from some good exercise...unfortunately, I've never learned to motivate myself in that area, and I really need to work on it! I could take some pointers from your example fur sure!

warnser said...

You are not Fat!
You've lost/got half of what you used to have. HALF!
In fact I can't remember the last time I was 175. Anyway from what I've seen, you're looking good.
Also good luck with work, I'm sure you'll have plenty of good opportunities there. I too am realizing how part time feels, but I've got to say, it's not all bad, though I would like a little more moolah. Ü

Sarah said...

Thanks for this post... it helps me to put things into perspective! :)