Thursday, January 22, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts

A wise blogger wrote to me after reading my recent entry at Refuse To Regain. She said: “Don't be so hard on yourself. Nobody's perfect. And let me tell you something I've learned along the way. Nobody wants to listen to someone complain about how fat they are or how fat they feel. It gets old real quick. I learned this the hard way. Find something else to complain about...like the weather.”

She’s right. I HAVE been a whiney ass lately. I suspected this was true even before I got her email, but I didn’t really acknowledge it until today when I was on my way home from the gas station and I listened to myself yell to no one as I drove down the street.

I was mad because a selfish/ignorant/belligerent/assholeofacollegestudent pulled up to the gas pump I was OBVIOUSLY waiting for. When he swerved his beater around me and up to the pump, his girlfriend turned around and laughed at me from the passenger seat (I think she pointed, too, the little b-word). I thought about the scene from “Fried Green Tomatoes” when Kathy Bates smashed into that chick’s VW Beatle after the little b-word stole her parking spot. I fantasized the boy and his girlfriend looking on in horror as I squealed in delight while I rammed his pathetic little car with my Jeep, and when I was done, repeating Bates’ infamous phrase: “Face it girls, I’m older and have more insurance.”

But the gas station was packed, there were too many witnesses, and the police station was just down the street. Not to mention I might have blown the place up, gas being explosive and all.

What’s at the heart of my rants and complaints and negative self-loathing is sometimes easy to identify. Other times…like now? Not so easy. But since losing weight and changing my attitude and and blah blah, blah, I’ve learned I have to sit down with myself and dig into the feelings rather than ignore them. Ignoring them only causes food to go in my mouth. Well, after the yelling in the car, that is.

When I got home, I started figuring it all out by thinking of something happy, namely Claire, which led me to remembering one of the songs my daughter sings to her when Claire’s sad. It’s from the show Yo Gabba Gabba (which you have to be a toddler to appreciate) and it’s called “Think Happy Thoughts.” I’ve watched Cassie sing this to Claire several times, and by the time Cassie gets to the chorus – “Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts / That’s what you gotta do. / Think happy thoughts, happy thoughts / and a smile’ll come back to you” – Claire’s tears have dried and she’s back to her happy self again.

So I’m thinking maybe it’s not always about figuring out WHY I feel the way I do. Maybe I just need to deal with the feeling, acknowledge it, and find a way to move on that doesn’t cause me to repeat the hurtful/angry/self-abusing behavior. Maybe I just need to think happy thoughts sometimes to get over the rough spot instead of shoving food in my mouth or whatever it is that satisfies me for two minutes.

My happy thoughts today of Claire led me to a satisfying emotional place. I no longer want to pummel that kid’s car. I’m not calling myself “fat” or any other name. I’m not “all there and together” necessarily, but I can feel what I feel in the moment without further self-degradation. And I’m not bitching about how fat I am or feel. That’s useless. Makes no sense.

Sure, the things that are bothering me and worrying me are still present, but there’s no need to take it out on myself or others. Life’s just like that sometimes. Hormones, bad moods, worries and complaints. That’s just the way life is. You gotta take it all in stride and think happy thoughts sometimes.

14 comments:

  1. again dont beat yourself up about not beating yourself up. i heard a great saying sounds cliche..."dont stuff your face, face your stuff. " When watching the biggest loser its amazing how much they CRY. A therapist said its because they are not stuffing their faces and facing their stuff which is sometimes painful. Its years to de-code in ourselves the split hair reaction to eat when feeling frustrated, mad, angry, lonely. But its possible to do. Not perfectly mind you but better than you did before when we all had weight to lose. Go easy on yourself. Just like you do for those you love.

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  2. I've been Miss. Whineycrankypantscantstandthisweather lately as well. BUT I must say that even though we joke aloud to ourselves about our momnesia suffering brains...we cannot and should not call ourselves fat...You are an absolute inspiration and today you made yourself even more real by admitting you called yourself that dreaded word...and you are NOT that dreaded word!!!

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  3. Thank you for giving me a lot to think about. I also agree with the previous comments!

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  4. I had to think about this for a while. First - it was a thought provoking post for me. And I loved what you wrote. I also loved the comments above mine (especially the first one - who I wish had signed her name. . .).

    I am wondering - on a scale of 1-10 (1 being feeling down, 10 being up) how you rate your emotions/feelings/thoughts/state of being? In other words - what is your swing from low to high?

    I started doing this - with my therapist - so she could sort of 'see in' to how I was feeling. If we were talking about something - did it drag me down to a 1 or did it make me feel like a 10?

    My greatest accompishment (to date) seems to be holding myself EVEN between 4-6. I pretty much stay there all the time. My previous hold was between 1-4.

    On some level I really don't want to hit the 10's. Because I think if I go that high - I will also swing back to the 1's.

    Even feels much better to me.

    I am curious if this strikes a cord with you too.

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  5. Great post....as always. :) Lynn, I can't tell you how much I'm feeling the exact way you're feeling. Down, ~just plain Blah! I suspect this cold gray weather has a lot to do with it. It could be the fact that I'm not close to where I should be on the scale. I guess I've been attending my own pity party for quite a while. Nobody else is in attendance but me. Well, me and my Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls. ...Which have led to more rolls. If you know what I mean? I just try and remind myself that no matter how blue I get, it'll get better. The sun will come out again. ...And I will put down those rolls. lol Ah yes, jackass non-drivers. They make me realize just how someone could have road rage. Deep breathing and happy thoughts keep me from pulling a Kathy Bates on someone. :) I'll send you some hugs and smiles and just know that Spring will be here eventually and all will be right again.

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  6. I love reading your posts Lynn and I can't say I've ever thought of you as someone that complained. I mean we all complain sometimes but I never got that from you. I can say one word that always jumps out when I read your posts "hopeful".

    Thanks for the post it hit home today.

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  7. A friend pointed me to your blog. I loved this entry. Thank you for making me "Think Happy Thoughts".

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  8. Lynn: Boy, can I empathize with you! Earlier this week I was in some kind of funk. Man, I feel so bad for the loved ones of mine who came in contact with me! I'm attributing it to hormones... I finally retreated to our bedroom and went to bed VERY early. I needed to get a 'happy body' and the only way I knew how to do that was to sleep. What you say about the 'happy thoughts' song is so true. I think adults need to take 'time-out's' just like kids do to adjust their attitude. The problem is, we don't allow ourselves to do that. Or, worse yet, recognize that we need to do that. I was just so happy to read that others have the same kinds of moods!

    Love reading your blog. You're such an inspiration!
    Karen

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  9. Great comfort food for thought.

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  10. I agree Lynn and this post comes at time that I really needed it. I have been so down on myself the last few weeks and this only reminds me that complaining about it is not going to make it better. Thanks for just being you!

    Mara
    http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

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  11. You guys made my day. I was feeling so alone in all this, even though I've been thinking happy thoughts. While I'm not glad many of you are in a funk, it's good to know we can be in one together, I guess.

    Vicki, I will have to give that some thought, the 1-10 thing. I've not thought of rating my emotions that way. I'm a pretty even-keeled person most of the time. Probably like you, somewhere between 5-7 most of the time I suspect.

    The weather always has something to do with it. I really have a hard time making it through January. I love looking at the 10-day weather forecast now and see February in there now. While it's still winter, it's not January, you know?

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  12. I have to say, when I am eating sugary stuff, my moods are whacko. I am a total nutjob if I am bingeing on sugar. It severely affects my moods and state of mind. Once I get off the poison, it's amazing how the fog lifts and it is so much easier to influence my own state of mind (such as thinking happy thoughts).

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  13. I've learned that thoughts really do become things, so I've had to acquire a whole new way of thinking. And I'm so much happier as a result! It was so worth it!

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  14. I am humming the lyrics to the Yo Gabba Gabba song at my desk...I have a 20 month old & Noggin seems to be on our television at all times! Thanks for a great post!

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