Affirmation: noun: the assertion that something exists or is true.
That is the actual definition of affirmation, according to the dictionary. My definition of an affirmation is quite different (and probably a whole lot more negative). I consider it brainwashing…brainwashing myself, of course. Now, I do not mean to attach such a negative connotation to the word affirmation (because it is intended as a positive influence), but the fact remains that I view it in just that way.
As my body is changing, my life is changing, my mind is changing. The problem is these changes are not happening in linear kind of way. My body is changing much faster than the rest…especially my mind. I have talked before about the importance of getting the mindset in order, but I find I still struggle with mine. Not because I want junk food. Not because I think I cannot accomplish my goals. My mind is having a hard time with the “I am not fat anymore” concept.
I have talked about my disconnect many times, and I have talked about it with my therapist (and my trainer). They both came back with the theory/idea of affirmations. I must “brainwash” myself into believing what I do not believe right now.
I am athletic.
I am fit.
I am thin.
Those (in my opinion) seem like straight up lies. Lies. I am being encouraged to lie to myself. I thought that was a bad thing. My therapist always says, “Fake it ’til you make it!” That, in essence, means these affirmations will not be lies forever. Eventually, after I tell myself these things for so long, they will become truths. I will be athletic. I will be fit. I will be thin.
The point is getting your mindset to a place in which it starts to *believe* these affirmations. Then your life will follow. If I am athletic (and my mind believes it) I will do athletic things. If I am fit (and my mind believes it) I will do things that will show off or enhance my fitness level. You get the idea…
My biggest obstacle is (and always has been) this crazy mind of mine. I associate athleticism with organized sports. I will never play organized sports. So, my association is that I will never be an athlete.
The purpose of my affirmation (I am athletic) is to break down my previous conception of what athletic means and associate my new lifestyle with it. I workout four to five days every week. I have pretty good endurance at this point (I think). If anyone else fit that criteria, I would probably consider them to be athletic…but I cannot seem to do that for myself. Interesting…
Another “brainwashing” technique that I have been encouraged to trying is studying myself. Looking at pictures of me before I started this journey and looking at myself now. I am to comparatively look at my entire body…look at it critically. Study how rolls *used* to look and how they look now. If I can convince (brainwash) myself into seeing those physical changes, my disconnect should be lesser (or completely go away). That is the theory anyway.
I do not really intend to be so resistent, but I just have a hard time thinking I will ever love myself again (and I probably should not even use the word “again” in that sentence). This line of thinking is, obviously, not doing me any justice, though. I *must* get myself out of that funk…and quickly. The only purpose all that negative self-talk serves is to sabotage my progress (and possibly create a detrimental relapse into morbid obesity).
..and so, here I go…forward facing into the phase of my life in which I lie regularly to myself in hopes of convincing myself I am athletic. I am fit. I am thin. I love myself.
Do you have a positive or negative outlook on affirmations? Do you use affirmations (either verbal or pictorial) or “brainwashing” techniques on your journey? If so, what are your most-used affirmations (if you do not mind sharing)?