A little over two weeks ago, I lost my grandmother, a woman I have loved for 26 years with my whole heart, someone who played a big part in raising me to become the woman that I am today. I’m sharing this with you because in the past weeks of gathering pictures, watching old 35mm films of her younger years, and of thinking how within earshot that I was her granddaughter, she has taught me one more lesson that I would like to share with you all. Be proud of who you are and of what you’ve accomplished.
There were hundreds of times where I sat at her kitchen table, negative thoughts swimming through my head as I reflected on the meal she just fed me. And as I told her, “Grandmom I’m stuffed. I can’t eat anymore. I’m not hungry,” she would respond that I needed to “sweeten up my mouth” or that the little piece of dessert she had set before me “wasn’t enough to dirty my mouth.” And ultimately I’d give in, have a bite (or five) and end up hating myself for it. But therein lies the problem! So many of us look at ourselves and only see the flaws: numbers on the scale that we don’t like, an extra pinch of skin that we’ve deemed unacceptable, how we measure up in comparison to the Hollywood Elite, or the one meal where we went astray. We dwell on the negative, of not being where we want to be or who we wish we could be.
We aren’t proud of ourselves and are plagued with such self-doubt that when we have these slip-ups, when we give in to temptation, we sink further into the negative hole we’ve already placed ourselves in. We don’t give ourselves credit for all the positives, for the strides already made, the pounds lost and calories burned. We only see the negative, and never stop to look at ourselves as (someone like) our grandmother’s do: with pride.
So the next time you have a re-lapse, slip from your diet, or have any sort of negative self-doubt, I’d like you to learn from my grandmother and turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. How? Use the following steps:
- Stop. When you notice a negative self thought, stop it in it’s tracks. Recognize it – and write it down if you need to.
- Ask. Ask yourself whether it’s helpful right now. Chances are, it’s not!
- Choose. Choose a new thought to replace it. Think with pride.
With time and practice, you’ll start to notice that you are changing the way you talk to yourself and the things you think about yourself, until you’ll eventually be able to stand before the mirror, look back at your reflection, and see nothing but pride shining back.