Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Power of Words

Lately I have been thinking of the power of words.  It is crazy to me how much pain they can inflict or how much joy that can bring.  Not only that, they have the power to control and change our behaviors.  For example, the kind words that I've received on this blog and through MFP have kept me continually motivated and truly make me feel like I am succeeding at something.  It's brought me more happiness that I thought I could find through an online community, and it has motivated me to continue going.  I know I've said this before, but you guys are awesome.  Truly.

On the flip side, my thoughtful hubby was trying to give me a compliment the other day but he ended up accidentally hurting my feelings!  I was changing clothes and he said something to the effect of "You're looking great...your underwear isn't holding on for dear life anymore!"  It was nice he noticed a difference, but man...that end comment stung.
He definitely did not mean anything mean--he was genuinely trying to say something nice.  Sadly enough, the underwear in question were actually new and purchased when I was at the highest weight and I got a fitting done to make sure they fit so I really don't think they ever looked like they were hanging on for dear life (I hope not at least!).  Truthfully, I think it was more his perception of how I looked in the underwear (knowing I was overweight and thus seeing them being too tight) rather than the reality.  Either way, it was very difficult for me to focus on the positive part of his words but I made a very strong effort to.  Why?  Because in the past I chose to look at the negative which would always make me depressed and I'd run to the freezer and grab the ice cream or purposely ditch a workout because I was feeling angry or upset.  Where's the logic in that?
I don't know why I find this funny, but I do.
In any case--it doesn't matter whether or not the underwear fit me well back then.  The point is that it does now, and he can physically see the change.  I can too.  And it is the results that make painful words less powerful.  I think that my own self esteem issues got in the way and turned a compliment into something painful.  It's a cycle I've seen before with me, and I'm trying really hard to break it.  Looking at the negative is the quickest way to fail. 
How do you stay focused on the positive?

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