Posted by: Brenda | March 8, 2012

Day 4: Mindfulness Reinforced

This morning we had a morning movement class at 7am. I’ve never been one for fitness classes because I feel like I can’t keep up, and this morning was no different. About half-way through my left leg (which has nerve damage) really started to hurt and I could feel myself getting frustrated to the point where I wanted to cry because I couldn’t keep up. So, I did something I would never have done prior to my stay here and talked to our instructor after the class. She made some suggestions that I think will enable me to enjoy the class a little more and not feel like I have to keep up with everyone, like using a fitball for the cardio portions that involve a lot of leg movement. It’s little things like this that I can take home with me, so I can keep doing these exercises when I leave in another 3 1/2 weeks.

I went to a lower body conditioning class after breakfast, and again found myself being frustrated. My brain is wired to view it as a competition and trying to keep up just frustrates me to the point I don’t want to go back. I need to re-wire that part of my brain so I see it as one of the fitness instructors put it yesterday: “My pace is the pace.” It’s definitely going to take time because I’m not used to thinking that way. I want so bad to be able to keep up and do things when my body can’t. Listening to my body is not easy for me when my brain is telling me something completely different. One other thing I need to start reminding myself is that something is better than nothing. Hopefully, as the weeks go on, remembering these affirmations will become more and more frequent and I will stop feeling like I have to keep up.

At lunch, we had a silent meal so we could focus more on the food and each bite. I can honestly say it is the first time in my life I’ve actually “tasted” cucumber. Normally, I just shovel it in without really paying attention to what I’m eating. It was actually really nice, because I stopped eating long before I normally would. I think perhaps it might be something I try to incorporate once a week when I go home (maybe at lunchtime in the office). I know one other thing my family will be proud of is that I tried another new food today: Black Bean Soup…and it was Yummy!

This afternoon we had a class on affirmations and found that one thing I could do when eating down my emotions is to stop and ask myself “Is there anything that could help me feel better right now?” I also learned that doing affirmations in front of a mirror can be a good way to go, because when the negative self-talk starts up you turn away and repeat your chosen affirmation(s) and then turn back to the mirror. You can repeat that as many times as you need. One other thing I never realized is that it takes saying an affirmation 300 times for it to create a new neural pathway through your brain. However, the interruption of the negative is more important than the affirmation.

We all wrote down 3 positive self statements. The first one starts with “One thing I like about myself is _” followed by “One thing I am good at is _” and finally “I am _.” So my three positive statements were:

  • One thing I like about myself is my caring nature
  • One thing I am good at is singing
  • I am human

I think taking the time to just realize these three things about myself is almost like an affirmation in itself. I just have to remember to take the time to do it every day.



  1. Nice! You sing? I was in several choral societies. I am not solo material, but I enjoy singing in a group. I am the webmaster and designer for Quincy Choral Society’s website.

  2. Yes! You see, fitness and exercise should not be about what everyone else can do. Every one is different, and is at different levels. Good for you for asking! Never be afraid to ask. Exercise should help you, not hurt you!!!!

    Also, eating slower allows your body more time to hit that full trigger. Eating fast, your stomach can’t keep up!

    I have heard that “reprogramming neurons” takes time, but it is so worth it, so keep it up!!

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