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 Motivation: Positive VS Negative

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PostSubject: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:46 am

What kind of things do you say to yourself to motivate yourself?

"Come on you fat sack of shit! do you want to be fat forever? look at those fat rolls, you are disgusting, you think boys like that? You want to end up obese and ugly? move your ass!"
Or
"You can do it! You are strong! Believe in yourself, come on only 5 more times, that's it! You did it! Keep going, stay strong. You are going to look great! You are going to feel great!"

What we tell ourselves and what we allow our selves to be told and believe can really effect the outcome of our goals. If you are the type who prefers negative reinforcement I advise you to read some of these linked articles.

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"Every time you’re going on a negative motivation, you’re giving away your energy, this is why the outcome will be most of the time undesirable. Except a few rare situations in which your fears are real, you’re only picking up socially conditioned fears. There’s no real danger there. You think you’ve done something appropriate in order to survive, but the danger was a fake. And you feel cheated. Frustrated. Ashamed.

If you’re braking the circle of fear, your motivations will be based on curiosity and service. Out of the fear circle, you can create and share. You can learn. You can experiment. You can enjoy."


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"There is only so much time that negative motivation can carry a man.
This motivation is meant as a temporary assistant - not as fuel for every-day actions throughout life. This motivation is "crash and burn", its end result is always bad if used to pursue values."


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"Motivation is often the fuel that keeps the engine running. When the motivation turns negative, it can fuel the engine but more likely it will stall the engine."

So after reading these informative write ups, we see that negative motivation is rooted in fear, and positive is rooted in the pursuit of happiness.

So do you workout out of fear you won't be healthy, beautiful, well liked if you don't? OR do you work out with the pursuit that when you do lose weight you will be healthy, beautiful and well liked, and that will make you happy?

There is a huge difference, and it will greatly effect the outcome of that which you pursue. Through negative reenforcement and negative motivation, the out come can not and will not be positive. Instead you are training yourself to hate yourself unless you are perfect, and you are training yourself to actually hate working out, eating healthy, and when you finally do reach your goal you won't be as happy as you think.

Negative reinforcement is something that anorexic girls often do. They tell themselves they are a failure, weak, stupid, ugly, fat etc and that they will only be happy if they weight 90pounds. Then they get to 90 pounds and here's the shocker; they aren't happy, so they think they will be happy if they go lower. This is just one example.

This not only applies to what you tell yourself, but also what you allow others to tell you. What would you look for in a personal trainer?
1. Some one who encourages you to do your best, pushes you on like a friend with a gentle hand wanting to help. Some one who cares about YOU, your goals, your limits, your feelings, and what you really want (which is to be happy and healthy). Some one who congratulates you on your success and ensures you that you can do better on your short comings.
OR
2. Some one who yells at you to move your lazy ass, pushes you around, says your best is not good enough. The don't congratulate you on anything, in stead they ignore it and demand more. They don't care about you, your family, your goals, or your feelings. They don't care what you want, they only care what they want, which is to make you skinny the fastest way possible, regardless of the health effects or dangers. They don't care if you are happy with yourself, only that your ass is smaller.

As we have said, negative motivation taints what it touches, it's not to be used in everyday situations, and especially not when in the pursuit of happiness. It's not only the outward psychical results that you want, but also the good positive feelings associated with that. To abuse yourself, or allow yourself to be abused can be very detrimental and very long lasting. Don't convince yourself that you 'deserve' that. Love yourself! Or else you are no better then the battered and abused wife who stays with their husband because she thinks she deserves it.

I try to share this with people. It seems so obvious to me that 'positive' is good and 'negative' is bad.
(can we say 'duh' people?)
But what i get in return is people lashing out at me, telling me that I'm wrong.
Now I can accept when I'm wrong, I have no problem with being wrong. Being proven wrong to me is something to be celebrated for it means i have been brought to a new level of understanding. It means I'm now smarter.
But in this case I can say with confidence that I'm not wrong. Negative motivation brews negativity, and negative results.

I feel I am only trying to help inform good people about what bad results can occur when using negative motivation to achieve positive results.
Some times I wonder why so many people think THIS is a good trainer.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I would think it's pretty obvious that she is a terrible, hateful, power tripping negative woman. Yet I hear all the time how much people 'love' her.
Then it all seems to make sense.
Though in this world:
It's hard to convince the battered wife she deserves better, even when she has a broken arm, a black eye, and is crying.
It's hard to convince the anorexic she is not fat, even when her bones are sticking out, and she is suffering from malnutrition.

It's simply hard to convince people who take abuse, and abuse themselves that there is a better way.

-end-
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:15 pm

Another GREAT article worth reading:
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Quote :
There are two types of motivation: negative motivation and positive motivation.
Negative motivation is a little like fool's gold - it seems great on the surface but it is ultimately ineffective and unsustainable. Frankly, negative motivation is what most people are used to. Most people, who struggle with weight, absorbed a lot of this growing up - they were punished and reprimanded, but very rarely got the support and encouragement they needed. In school they got a lot of red pen marks on their schoolwork but not a lot of positive remarks. The focus was on what was missing - what should be fixed or corrected. Punishment for perceived failures in their childhood has fueled destructive patterns of behavior in their adulthood.

When we talk about weight - many people want to change because they don't like themselves. They view their weight as an outward manifestation of their inner self-hatred. They judge themselves for being heavy. This leads them to make choices that involve self rejection and support their self hatred.

When someone doesn't like themselves often the choices they make are unconsciously "set up" to fail. The failure supports the unconscious position they have taken - that there is something wrong with them.

Extreme diets and extreme exercise programs - where pain and self denial are intended to bring about a positive result - are classic examples of a plan destined to fail because it is rooted in negative motivation. But people who don't like themselves use these "diet programs" to essentially punish themselves. These diet programs are outwardly focused. There is some outward image, some goal weight that the person is pursuing. Outwardly focused ideals usually deny the inner experience.

When someone hires a trainer or joins a fitness boot camp they may be unconsciously looking for someone to yell at them and punish them. In this type of scenario there is no room for vulnerability or weakness - in fact that is what is judged as "being their problem". They believe that they lack willpower, or that they aren't committed enough. As they lose weight they refer to the heavy "self" with contempt. They use expressions, such as, "I am becoming a new me". They are trying to distance themselves from the vulnerable and weak person who got so heavy.

But inside they are vulnerable (that is the good news) - the patterns of behavior around food have been the best way that they have known how to cope with the pain, stress and challenges in their lives. It is only through self-acceptance and self-love that they will ever be able to release weight. Only when exercise is fun and intended to be fulfilling can it become a lifelong practice. When emotional needs get met rather than denied or suppressed then food can become sustenance and nourishment for the body again. Negative motivation and self judgment cannot be the foundation for lasting weight release.

Remember: Weight related issues are almost always about more than just the amount of food we eat or the amount of exercise we get. The key to sustainable weight release is to examine the "why" behind the choices we make and our relationship with food and our bodies.
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:52 pm

Thanks for the links, those articles are really interesting.

I totally agree with positive over negative reinforcement. The whole "I'm fat, woe is me, I won't be happy until I'm thin" thought routine sends me into binge mode faster than anything. Then, of course, I feel like a failure, which leads to even more negative thoughts.

Another general note based on my personal experiences: I'm way, way more successful in losing weight when I'm happier in general. I think it's because I tend to motivate myself more positively when I see exercise and eating healthy as putting the cherry on top of my strong, beautiful self, rather than fixing a massive flaw.
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:52 am

Goodness, that was pretty eye-opening. I haven't watched that show in forever. I bet they picked her as a trainer for her negative reinforcement aspects and other reasons to get good ratings. I'm not sure how far I would go, could go if she was my trainer.

This also made me evaluate my own motivations when I work out. LOL, when I do well I do add smiley faces to my exercise journal so I must be leaning towards the positive reinforcement side. Anyway, that reminded me of a guy I look to for fitness advice, Vic Magary.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] -- look for those videos. He has helped motivate me often. I really like his workouts in general (although his blog is no longer in session) and reference his blog from time to time.

Thanks for this post Cemetery!
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:47 pm

Good articles & good topic to bring up. Some people see the negative reinforcement as just another "push" to keep going. But if I had some woman who is already in shape & not struggling like I have struggled with my weight, I wouldn't be as motivated to go back. Sure it's easy to sit back & tell me to push harder & how I don't want to be a fat slob all my life but guess what?! I never WANTED to be this way, I just let myself get this way which is why I AM going to change. A majority of us started this life change for ourselves. We weren't happy with how we looked or felt & we wanted to make a change. As selfish as it sounds, I'm here for myself. Sure, there are other reasons that keep me going but ultimately, I want to feel good about myself 24/7 & the only way to do that is to keep myself motivated. The support I get from my friends on Lose It & even my friends on Facebook gives me that something extra. I've seen how people at work are starting to eat better & look to me for support & I don't want to let anyone down, especially myself. I've been doing this for almost 3 months & these past 3 months have been some of the best & I can't wait to keep going. So I guess my point is that motivation needs to come from within all of us & the outside POSITIVE motivation is just the cherry on top. No one needs a Jillian nipping at their heels to keep going Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:39 pm

Whew Cemetery! You opened up a big ass can of worms for me on this post...

Ever since you posted it, I've been thinking about whether I use positive or negative reinforcement. Honestly, I use both Crying or Very sad : one probably healthy and one probably not so healthy....

For a long time, I solely used used and accepted negative motivation. It was all I thought about; it was all I heard from anyone else. That's not that they weren't saying positive things - I only heard the negative. I can tell you for certain the negative motivation did not work for me! Not one little bit. It was a horrible cycle of hating myself, trying to do something to change it, hitting a bump in the road, determining that I failed, and back to hating myself...rinse, lather, and repeat for years. I always said that if I lost the weight, I would be happy. Then let myself be unhappy if I didn't lose the weight. It's a lot like most 'bad' things: a horrible, damaging cycle.

Now I try to be happier, to be more positive, to not let the negative bother me. But I still think that I am angry at myself for all of the years of damage that I have done, and that anger still controls part of my behaviors. There are times when I stand on a scale or look in a mirror or try on a smaller size and I think, "Good job...see you can do this." And then there are those other times when I berate myself for a setback or call myself names. The truth is I am fat (just not as fat as I was). I've been a weak, pathetic slob for a lot of years. Sometimes those things get said more than once a day...What's different? Now I can turn around the negative. Yup I'm fat, but I'm getting closer to not being fat. Or I can shut down the negative voice. It doesn't matter that I was weak and pathetic, I am NOT that person anymore. Whatever changed in my head (and I don't know what that is) has made the difference.

That being said, I would love to have Jillian Michaels as a trainer. Not because she is good. Not because she is slim and trim. But because her horrible reinforcement would give me the opportunity to yell back! And I thrive on getting to say what I want to say when I want to say it! I think it would be hoot to tell her to go to hell or say fuck you to the establishment! I wouldn't really be yelling at her...I would be yelling at myself. I think I could own those feelings and put them to rest.

I guess the moral of the story (if there is one) is that I need to stop being angry, push past the negative and look for the positive. Thanks for the thought provoking post!
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:17 pm

@ LivenLaughnLove

It's ok to be selfish with this, you are after all doing it for yourself. I know society tells us that being selfish is wrong, but some times it's right. And when it comes to weight loss, it couldn't be more right.

@Natasha
Stop hating yourself Natasha.

By saying you are still fat, just not as fat, you are pursuing the "glass half empty" type of mentality. Why not change the way you talk to yourself and instead say you are thiner, and plan to get thiner? Other wise you will be 'fat' all up until the last pound before your goal weight.

I'm not saying that all trainers should be cheerleaders, i would perfer a strong trainer, but that doesn't mean an abusive one. Heck i would love to give Julian a piece of my mind, but i wouldn't let her touch me with that type of trainer personality she has.

I submit for you another article talking about JM in particular.

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I would be pleased to know your thoughts.

I believe if you want the outcome to be positive you can not include negative motivation. I know it's hard to get rid of it, but if you want to succeed it's the first place to start.
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:10 pm

Thanks for the other article Cemetery!

I don't think I hate myself as much as I did...that's a step in the right direction I figure! But low self esteem and self-hatred/self-loathing that take place over many years and come through many different avenues into your life are not as easily fixed as losing 100 lbs. Believe me when I tell you that! And I wouldn't actually say that losing 100 lbs has been all that easy- just easier than fixing the phychological bullshit.

I now make it point to stop me from constantly berating me. I know that I'm my own worst enemy, but in the middle of all of that, I'm my own best cheerleader. I found out that if I couldn't change my own mindset then I certainly couldn't expect the world to see me as any different - 100 lbs lighter or not. When I see something that I don't like about myself, I do usually fall into the trap of saying something like "look at that fat, lazy ass in the mirror." Yup I do it...lol I did earlier today! But now I do consciously stop and change the feeling at the time. It gets changed to not as fat and lazy as it was...not perfect behavior but goin down the right path. Will I ever change that mentality? I don't know. But I do know that I'm going to try every day to make it a little better. And in reality that is all that I can do.

That being said...in the article I loved the reference to Mommie Dearest ...nice and the reference to S&M, I also thought that one was quite appropriate!
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:14 pm

yeah it's taken me a while to get over being my own worst enemy too.
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:18 pm

I guess that's one of the benefits of seeking out other like-minded people who share your goals and frustrations...no one is alone if they let others know that they are in the same boat...it sure makes rowing the boat easier when there are friends to help Very Happy

cheesy line ended...for now!
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:23 pm

mmmmmm.... cheeeese *drool*

Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Motivation: Positive VS Negative   Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:29 pm

Laughing
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