Monday, January 18, 2010

Channeling Stuart Smalley

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
--Stuart Smalley

In the '90s, Al Franken had a character on Saturday Night Live named Stuart Smalley. Stuart had a self-help show called "Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley" and on the sketch he said cheesy things meant to build up himself and others.

When I watched the show as a teenager, I remember laughing hysterically. I thought, "Who could be SUCH a loser to actually need to say that crap to themselves?"

The answer, as it turns out, is me.

After years of resisting the idea, I've come to realize that it's not a bunch of bunk. Your self talk means more to you than you even realize - or at least it does to me.

And if you think about it, it makes sense.

For years, I've told myself that I wasn't good enough. I told myself that I didn't get hit on, didn't get the job or promotion I wanted, or didn't get the love that I needed because I simply *wasn't* good enough.

The funny thing about you and I: we always want to be right. So what you look for in life, you WILL find. Personally, I looked for ways, subconsciously of course, for life to prove that I wasn't good enough, wasn't worth enough, or wasn't worthy of love. And if you've read my blog for long, you know of all the ways that I've punished myself for those beliefs.

The thing is, if the first thing you think when you look at yourself naked in the mirror is "Eesh. I am fat!" then you reinforce to your subconcious that you *are* fat. That thought is reinforced every time you pass a mirror or even a clean window where you catch your reflection. Worse, the feeling that you reinforce to yourself is disgust.

For me, it became such a continuous thought of myself as being gross and fat, that I started to believe that I couldn't be anything different. What's more, it's actually changed my memory. I remember me struggling with my weight when I was a kid, especially a teenager. But when I looked at a random picture this weekend I saw that I was a normal kid with a normal build - through my freshman and sophomore years in high school. But I *felt* fat. And so, that is what I became. My brain wanted me to be right...and what you think you are eventually becomes what you are.

I bring this point up because I think that this time of year, many people are looking for a miracle cure, a miracle pill, or some THING that someone will write or say to help them lose weight. And what I'm hoping they'll do instead is take a moment and evaluate their own self talk.

Because even if you still look at yourself in the mirror and cringe, you can start changing your mindset by having a new affirmation.

As you know, I've been about the same weight for the last 9 months. At first, the weight coming off was so easy! As I read other diet/healthy living blogs, I've realized that those that are successful are the people who believe that they can do it.

In celebration of that, I've decided that I need a new affirmation - something that will help me stay on track. My subconscious needs a shot of hope right about now and on the off chance that yours might too, I'm sharing my affirmation.

I adapted this affirmation from a contestant on "The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now" special that aired last November. For the life of me, I can't remember the contestant's name that had an affirmation speech. If any of you remember his name, I'd love to give him credit for it.

Without further ado, here is my affirmation:

I'm Anne - healthy, sexy, and great.
I am easily reaching my goal weight
of at or around one sixty-eight.
Hokey? Yes. Does it need some work? Probably. I'm sharing it to let you know that you can start from anywhere. Your affirmation doesn't have to be perfect, just as you don't have to be.
As hokey as it sounds, the funny thing is, when I say my affirmation, I feel better. I realize that I'm saying it - not just for the 32 year old me - but for all the me's that I've been in my life.
Sometimes I say it for the 13 year old me that was teased for being fat on the bus.
Other times, it's for the 16 year old me that was too scared to accept a prom date request because what if he put his hands on my waist and felt my fat rolls?
I say it to help the 18 year old me that ballooned in weight who wanted desperately to believe that she wasn't the cause of her parents marriage ending.
And I know that the 25 year old me who was told that I was just too fat to be attractive by her boyfriend needs to hear it.
Just as the 30 year old me that believed that her boyfriend was justified when she found that she had been cheated on needs to know that SHE was and is worthy of love and respect.
For all of the me's I have been, I'm promising to make myself a priority. I'm promising to not look to others, or food, for validation of my worth.
I am enough.
I'm promising to say it, daily, until I believe it. And since I always want to be right, I'm saying it, daily, until it's true.


Slackey said...

Yes, yes, yes!! You can do it Anne! I'm so glad to see you making a commitment to be positive with yourself. In my experience, looking at the positive is one of the most helpful things I've found.

Also, Stuart Smalley is one of my favorite SNL characters ever. :)

Margie M. said...

You are sooooooo worth everything you want for yourself! Don't ever forget it. I enjoy your blog and your honest, forthright posts.

Amy Pousson said...

Man, I am so glad I read this today. And that I did it in the morning. My goal for the day is to come up with an affirmation all my own. I also just realized I referred to myself as a slacker on my own blog...not so positive. Thanks for the kick in the pants! :)

P.S. He's now junior senator from MN!!

anne h said...

I said the same thing.
Who needs that?
I do!

POD said...

This is a great post -- intention is just as important as the words -- maybe that is just my brain. Make sure your intention is right there too.
(what the hell do I know!?)

Kellie said...

YES! Absolutely! Changing your inner dialog is so important. And you have proven that you can do it! You are worth it!

Great post!


Lisa said...

YAY!!! I really think this will work for you! You so deserve to be happy !