The Power of Negative Thinking


I’m sure you have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”, right? Well today I’m here to tell you that you are what you think.  The power of positive thinking is a real thing. Unfortunately, so is the power of negative thinking. I dare say it may even be the more powerful of the two. I’ll tell you why– because for most of us it’s so much easier to believe the negative things about ourselves, and the more you believe something, the more power it has over you.

Case in point:

If you’re a regular follower of my blog you know that this weekend I celebrated both my wedding anniversary and my grandson’s birthday. You also know that I am on a ketogenic diet. If not, now you’re caught up. I decided ahead of time that I was going to take a break from eating keto to fully enjoy the festivities of the weekend (can we say birthday cake, everybody?). After a 60 pound weight loss I felt confident enough in my commitment and willpower to get right back on keto when the weekend was over. I was right. I succeeded in that goal. But here’s the thing…

I have found that when I’m sticking to my diet and seeing the success on the scale (and the measuring tape— I’m down a total of 50 inches since January!), this is what I see when I look in the mirror:


Sunday night, after a weekend of eating pasta and pizza and bread and cake and all the wonderful carbs that I usually don’t eat, I felt pretty bloated. My belly was not very happy with me. As I was brushing my teeth getting ready for bed I looked in the mirror and saw this staring back at me:


A big, fat, smelly, pig. Ok, I admit these images might be *slightly* exaggerated for effect, but it worked, didn’t it? My point is this:

When I’m sticking to my diet I believe that I am successful. That I’m powerful. In control. I see myself in a positive light. When I look in the mirror, I admit that I probably see myself thinner than I really am. But that’s OK because it’s almost like I see my vision of where I’m headed and it keeps me focused on that goal. But as soon as I allow myself to cheat, even though it was a planned cheat, I believe that I have failed. I look in the mirror and I don’t see that thin, powerful woman anymore. I see a big fat failure– literally. I see my double chin and my flabby arms and all the other jiggly stuff. What’s more, I see stuff that isn’t even there. Just like I see myself thinner than I am when I’m thinking positive thoughts, I see myself as a hideous troll when I’m thinking negative thoughts.

The reality is I’m still the same me. The reflection in the mirror isn’t changing that much from day-to-day, moment-to-moment. It’s the reflection in my mind’s eye that is so fickle, and it’s a direct reflection of what I am thinking and feeling about myself. The good thing is that I can handle that now. In the past, those negative thoughts were enough to make me quit trying, but not anymore. I’ve come far enough in my treatment that I can recognize garbage when I smell it and slap it right out of there with some positive self talk. I am still powerful. I am still in control. I did not fail, I succeeded. I made a plan and I stuck with it. A few days of unhealthy eating does not reverse all the progress I’ve made. I am that thin warrior woman on the beach. She’s inside me and I’m working on bringing her to the outside. I will keep fighting. I will win. I’ve got this.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8




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