16 September 2010

Polarizing Words

"The more polaraized you become in your thinking, the more extreme your reaction may be."  ~Susan Albers


All-or-nothing thinking has long been a pet peeve of mine, although I've been guilty of it myself. It was my then-boyfriend that pointed out to me that when I say that somebody "always" does something, that's a lie because I don't know what other people ALWAYS do, because I'm not ALWAYS with them. I can't say "I'd never do that" because in a different situation, it might just be the best option there is. 

A friend of mine has about 8 lbs to lose. She doesn't let herself get heavy, she's trying to be more fit, and attempting to be the best version of herself she can be. I applaud that and wish I would've thought of it when I was 8 lbs overweight.  The other day, however, she had a bad weigh-in. She was up a pound or so instead of down, despite her hard work. How frustrating!  In walked the skunk. Black or white, no shades of gray at all. Since she had failed to lose weight so far, she was never going to get the results she wanted. The only thing to do was reach for the leftover nachos. She didn't want to hear about hormonal weight, or muscle mass weighing more than fat mass, or anything else. She wanted to eat. The day was ruined and she was going to have an eating day. No suggestions of stopping at an eating morning. She was mad and done for the day. 

I realize through her that this is one of the things I need to avoid. If I have a fatty snack, that doesn't mean I have to eat crap all day. I can turn it around RIGHT NOW and do better going forward. How can I give this advice to somebody else and not even heed it myself? And it's not just eating and moving - it's day-to-day living. I'm going to try living "in the middle" more, not expect perfection. In so doing, I will eliminate some of the frustration that pushes my emotional buttons.  I don't ALWAYS sabotage myself, I didn't FAIL by getting fat, I haven't RUINED my body. I gotta change the mindset of having screwed up and focus more on the progress and the good things and affirming my worth and dignity, my effort and persistence.

Using polarizing words not only makes me sound like a big fat whiny loser, it keeps me in that mentality. Gotta change that thinking so I can change my world!


  1. I so totally agree, Lanie. Black and white thinking = bad...shades of grey will save your life. Too bad about your buddy. It is frustrating, but when you have only 8 lbs to lose it gets even more difficult. I'm with you, I wish I would have stopped the madness when I was 8 lbs overweight, but alas, that is not my journey. I have so much more to learn.

  2. Oh this is me. All or nothing. I need to work on it!

  3. Your day is NEVER complete unless I FAIL to amuse you, so...I NEVER have that problem! I am ALWAYS thinking positive thoughts, except when DISASTER strikes and everything is RUINED!

    Here's one: I will love you for ALWAYS!

  4. Just found you blog and I love this post! It's so true about polarized thinking, and I so often find myself doing the same thing! And I so hate it when I hear others say "always" and "never"!

    I agree about one slip shouldn't ruin a whole day! So true! It's one slip in that moment,and the moment passes, not a binge that lasts 16 hours! At least it doesn't have to be!

    We all so need to be gentler with ourselves.

    Thanks for posting this!

  5. That's interesting-using polarizing words doesn't draw anyone to you, as the word implies-it repels! Too cool. Sorry a little nerd humor.

    Polar's Mom

  6. Hey girlie! I have an award for you on my blog!

  7. I really like this. These words are some they teach you to avoid in relationships, so why wouldn't you avoid them in the most important relationship in your life? The one with yourself. Great post.

  8. Yes, focus on the good things. But more important believe that you can do this and that you are worth it. I believe in you. You can do this. For you, first and for your daughter and for your future grandbabies. Yes, grandbabies. Do. It. Yes. You. Can. You. Are. Worth, It, Turn it around. Now.

  9. Wonderful - and true....
    Which makes it even more wonderful!


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