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Inspiration Corner: Using Negative Motivation in a Positive Way

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Good morning and welcome to Inspiration Corner. Today I want to talk about motivation. Now generally, positive motivation is better than negative. I'm not a fan of negative reinforcement, but sometimes wake up calls can do wonders. I've had several throughout my life, but I going to talk about the most recent one.

The Histamine Intolerance (HIT) is a fact of my life. I have finally accepted that fact. In case you don't know what HIT is, here’s a two-part blog that I wrote about it: Part one, and Part two. HIT is a convoluted condition, and a mind numbing balancing act.

Unfortunately, HIT also makes it very difficult to do the low-carb that I need to keep my blood sugar in check. I can’t have lunch meats, eggs trigger me, leftovers are out, I can’t have nuts or nut butters, no fish or shellfish, all legumes are out, soy is out, no pork or pork products, so my choices are limited.

I've been dancing around, trying to find ways to make this work. And I know there is a way, but it requires sticking to a rigid schedule. And so far, I've been resisting that, I think out of anger. First, I have the food allergies, then I slipped into type II diabetes brought on by stress affecting my hormones, and then came the histamine intolerance. Or rather, the HIT came to the forefront. Both my doctor and I believe that I've always had it, given all my past symptoms, but it's just never been this full-blown.Not Happy!

So, yeah, I've been kind of having a temper tantrum of sorts.

But, a little over four weeks ago I took the drastic (for me) step of actually giving up my lattes. Coffee beans and caffeine both create inflammation and the inflammation makes my joints and muscles extremely sore.

(Before anybody suggests switching to tea, it is off-limits with histamine intolerance and it makes me sick as a dog. And the coffee beans themselves cause inflammation, so decaf still presents a problem).

No CoffeeI have tried to give up coffee several times before, and always slipped within a week or two, going back to my beloved lattes. However, something this time shifted.

Maybe I’m just exhausted by the muscle aches and the joint pain. Maybe I’m finally ready to do everything I need to in order to feel better. Whatever the case, I’ve tucked my espresso machine away in the garage and I no longer drink coffee.

I also took up yoga again. I am having wonderful results with it. It calms me down, it’s helping me not feel so tense, but last night, I came to another ‘blinking light’/wake up call. I realized that my weight is really impacting my joints.

Now, I've lost a lot of weight over the past few years, but I still have a lot of extra weight on my body. And my joints have been damaged enough through the years from one accident or another, and from the inflammation, that they just aren't able to handle it well. So, last night I decided to face the fact that I really need to get some more weight off.curvy woman

I don't expect ever be "thin" and that doesn't matter to me. I'm not even looking to get down to a size 10 or twelve—I haven’t been that size since I was about twelve years old. But...if I can get myself down to a size 16-18, my joints will be much happier.

Which brings me back to the low-carb, which is the only way my body will give up weight. (Please note: I am NOT looking for any advice on losing weight/etc.. I know what works for my body, and my doctor agrees).

The low carb is also best for my blood sugar and my blood work. I thrive on it. HOWEVER...with the HIT, it means that I’m going to have to stick to a very strict schedule of eating. And I hate having to answer to the clock for food. Basically, it means that I have to cook small amounts of meat about four or five times a day.

low carb dietWhich is a pain in the ass. It especially seems like a pain to cook one small hamburger patty, or too small pieces of chicken breast, that many times per day.

But, this morning I woke up accepting that I want to underscore the help the yoga is giving to my body. I need to do this. The negative motivation from the joint pain and muscle aches has become an inspiration for me.

So now, I'm turning the negative into a positive. I did that with giving up coffee. Instead of focusing on "I have to give up coffee" I made it a choice: "I don't drink coffee."

So I'm going to do that with sticking to a strict eating regime. “I choose to give my body the nutrition it needs in order to function best" rather than “I have to eat this way.”I choose a healthy life

I am also carving out a treat day a couple times a month, because it's important to have that safety valve. But even then, I will be planning my meals out in advance so I don't just go off beam.

I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this today, except to say that sometimes negative motivation can help us make necessary changes. But then, we turn it around into a positive focus. And we don’t embark on these changes out of self-hatred or loathing, but out of the desire to become the best we can be. To feel good, to strengthen our health, to accomplish a positive change. So yes, I’m making changes so I can feel stronger and better. And if that requires more discipline, so be it.

Casting CursesRemember — tomorrow is the release of Casting Curses! Maddy's fifth book will be out, and it's got an ending that I guarantee will leave you with a smile.

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Print/POD edition will be available within a couple of weeks.

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