My mom has always taught me, “Well, I know this was difficult for you, but what can you learn from it?” That has been the umbrella to my life, what can I learn from this situation? What can I learn from this terrible friendship, what can I learn about my thought patterns, how can I forgive my past?
I didn’t really notice my thought patterns until I began focusing on my behaviors. Bingeing on alcohol and food, the scale number increasing, and not feeling one hundred percent happy definitely opened my eyes. I began to ask myself, Why am I doing this? Why does this keep happening? I began to start catching my thoughts and analyzing them. I couldn’t believe how many negative thoughts about myself happened throughout the day. The scale increased by 2 pounds. Well I will lose it. No I won’t because I’m fat as shit. I ‘ll never lose weight. I always fail at diets why even try? I don’t like the way that I look. I feel uncomfortable. I can’t do this. This will never change. The scale consumed me, fear of it increasing, which it always had. As I began to catch the thoughts, I wanted them to change. I began researching and reading, other ways to fix this struggle within myself. I started to read about positive affirmations and after my half marathon I thought, well I will just turn every day into race day. Okay, today is race day, only positive thoughts to finish the race, to finish the game strong. That worked for a couple of days to a week, then in came the negative thought troops “STOMP, STOMP, STOMP!” How do I get the positive thoughts to stick? Reading affirmations wasn’t really working, telling them to myself in my head was slightly working, but not strong enough.
I realized that these negative thoughts have been happening since I was a child. What made these negative thoughts so strong? As I reflected, I noticed that I fed into these negative thoughts. I believed them! Every day, I was feeding the army and giving them strength! I kept sending the negative thought army out into the field, I allowed the army to stomp all over my mind. Then I learned, these thoughts were consistent, so consistent that they became a song in the background. I heard it, but I wasn’t tuning into it. These words were influencing my behavior, my patterns. I was giving this troop tactics, access to my past, access to my secrets so that they could win on the battlefield.
There was a time, a few years back, when I took a fitness class at my local gym. It was a group of people who go through different circuits, trying to get their best time. It was hard! Pull ups, flipping tires, running, push-ups, all different types of exercises. After a point, my mind kept telling me to quit because it so hard. But what is great about these types of classes, is that I am in a group dynamic different than an exercise class. I wanted everyone to finish the circuits, so we all cheer each other on. There is a sense of camaraderie within the group, because we all just finished these extremely difficult exercises but together! The other amazing thing about these classes, is it pushes me past my comfort zone. I remember flipping a 60-pound tire down the designated path, out and back, out and back. In the blistering heat of the summer, that was one of the toughest tasks I had ever tried. During my last rep, I was getting slower and grunting. I honestly thought I couldn’t do it and almost gave up. But my group was there, they began cheering me on. “Come on Stassia! You’ve got this! You’re almost there!” Those chants are what got me through. It was from this class that I realized, this takes a lot of positive thinking and it actually increases my positivity because I continue to break through my comfort zones. My boyfriend had mentioned to me one day “Boy that class must be really good, you just seem so much happier and more positive.” Well, he was right! It was as if I was strengthening my mind as well as my body.
I wasn’t able to continue the class because I was moving and the classes in my new town were too expensive at the time. So this entire, amazing experience became shelved in my mind. It became an all too distant memory and I didn’t really think about it until now, until I became consumed with my negative thinking and bingeing patterns.
Just recently, at my new local gym, they were offering a 6-week group training competition starting two-weeks after the New Year. Signing up allowed participants access to their boot camp and special forces classes. There motto has always been “The Solution instead of the Resolution,” I loved it. I thought, Maybe this is the solution to my thought habits. It was time to send my mind and body to boot camp!!