Negative Storytelling

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Today, I finally conquered Superflow at Y2Yoga.  Rumored to be the hardest yoga class in all of Charlotte, I normally walk out/drop into child’s pose at least three times during the 90 minutes class.  One of post-marathon non-mileage fitness goals was to make it through an entire Supuerflow class without taking a break – I’m so proud of myself for finally doing it.


I have to say that the beginning of class was rough.  The negative voice in my head was in FULL FORCE today.  People often assume that I never, ever have negative self-doubt or Fat Talk (because of Operation Beautiful), but I’m still just a normal human being.   Everyone struggles with feeling like they aren’t good enough at one point or another.  And Superflow class is filled with very fit, very pretty, very flexible women with hundreds of dollars of stylish yoga clothes on.  It can be intimidating!


So the stories started in my head:  You aren’t a yogi.  You’re body isn’t looking all that good post-marathon.  Shouldn’t have eaten those Christmas cookies! That shirt is really unflattering.  Your back hurts.  You can’t do this.  Superflow is too hard.  Blah, blah, blah, blah


It went on and on for at least 15 minutes until I finally realized what I was going and demanded that I turn off the story.   I don’t even really believe those things – why am I thinking them?


Once I shut myself up, I was able to have a very happy, very relaxing, very awesome yoga class!  I left feeling positive and good about myself.


It’s so helpful for me to see negative self-talk as a story.  It’s a story you tell yourself, and then you will begin to fulfill it to make the story true.  On the flip side, you can tell yourself a positive story, and then you will have a positive experience.


Lesson learned!


How about a story about my awesome lunch?


Oh hummus.  I love thee.


A hummus and spinach sammie with an edamame, feta, and craisin salad.



I went back for seconds.  So good!


Do you struggle with negative storytelling?  About what?  How do you flip it?



  • Lauren @ Clean Eats in the Dirty South December 7, 2010, 1:30 pm

    i <3 roots hummus! yum. try their spinach kind!
    i still struggle a lot with negative stories and thoughts. it's especially tough coming out of an eating disorder, but when it happens i stop whatever i'm doing, look at myself in the mirror and say, "STOP!" out loud, and then list off positive affirmations. 🙂

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 7, 2010, 1:33 pm

    Negative storytelling — yes, I do it too sometimes. Okay, I’ll confess – I have ugly feet (they could be worse I guess). My point is that whenever I think about it, I try to start thinking about what they do for me… the places they take me, the shoes they wear, how fortunate I am to have them at all. There’s always a positive for every negative.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin December 7, 2010, 1:36 pm

    I do suffer a little bit with negative storytelling but I really try to “turn it off” like you did. I try repeating positive mantras instead and usually it can stop the storyline before it gets too bad.

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 7, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Honestly, I know this is a problem for every person, but I think women face it more. We are taught to criticize ourselves in the face of other women and men, and I think women deal with this for their entire lives (which is why GOTR is so important!).

  • Rachel December 7, 2010, 1:38 pm

    I definitely struggle with negative storytelling. It is shocking to me sometimes how naturally I fall into it every single time and have to consciously work my way out of it and change the story.

    Someday I’d love to not automatically be negative about myself. It really stinks!

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life December 7, 2010, 1:39 pm

    If I start in on negative self talk, I try to immediately shut off my mind and start with a fresh new thought. I actually imagine the negative talk getting shipped away and never coming back! Glad your yoga class was great!

  • Whitney December 7, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I, too, sometimes struggle with negative thoughts about different things and realize that I am very fortunate that I have my health and there are people who are suffering a lot more than me. I find that when I put it into realization such as that it helps me to remember what is really important in life and it’s not how a stupid shirt looks. All you have to do is read the newspaper and see how fortunate you really are. 🙂

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday December 7, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I think everyone struggles with negative self-talk a little bit. Sometimes more than others, some people more than others.

    Usually once I start, I continue doing it and being progressively more negative until something triggers in my head that makes me realize that I’m being extreme and unreasonable.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) December 7, 2010, 1:43 pm

    I struggle with negative story telling with work sometimes. I feel like I am not a business person, but here I am with my own company trying to prove myself wrong 🙂

  • Becky December 7, 2010, 1:43 pm

    Congratulations on making it through the class! You are awesome! I’m about to go to yoga myself, so this post was a great reminder to just BE in the class, and not think too much.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) December 7, 2010, 1:45 pm

    YES! I do it with cooking. It is so hard for me to talk positively about it. I always shrug off good things as luck. I think it is so easy to fall into that trap, but I am working on turning that kind of stuff off all the time. Congratulations on the class! That is a huge accomplishment!

    Ok, the sandwich, I am doing that tonight for my dinner only on a savory waffle. We have to do quick and easy tonight since my son has a chorus concert. That sandwich just looks too good!

    • Jane December 7, 2010, 1:53 pm

      Oh my gosh Sarena, I do negative talk with my cooking too! I have friends over and am always apologizing for the food, and they’re like, “The only negative thing about this experience is that you’re apologizing too much!” We need to cut it out!

      • D December 7, 2010, 5:27 pm

        I do this too! It’s so crazy. I’m living with my parents for 4 months between undergrad and grad school, and since I don’t have a job during this time and they don’t ask me to pay for rent or food, I’ve taken on some of the household tasks, like ALL the cooking. I love to cook and I really enjoy it, but every time we sit down to a meal I always feel compelled to be like, “Is it bad? What can I improve on? Rank this meal!!!!” and they get soo annoyed. The weird thing is that I don’t think my cooking is bad, and neither do they (they ask me to cook things all the time and ask me to bake for their friends too!) but it’s an automatic response to shrug off praise and ask for a critique.

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow December 7, 2010, 1:47 pm

    I love that you show how HUMAN you are! :))))

    Yes, that negative voice can practically create a Lifetime movie in my head if I let it! One of the greatest lines a coworker shared with me is to learn how to observe your life without emotion. Not that you REMOVE emotion from your experiences but a bad day, a negative voice, a failure is a chance to learn. To observe and to grow.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 7, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Oh I definitely struggle with it! I think, like you said, the first thing is to recognize it and stop (which is easier said than done). I often have “arguments” with myself in my head…for every negative thought, I try to think of two positive things until I stopped the negative self-talk.

  • vanillavivante December 7, 2010, 1:50 pm

    Have you ever heard of narrative therapy? I’m currently editing a book about it, and think it’s such an amazing concept (and one you are referring to whether you know it or not!). Basically, you take weak/thin narratives about your life and flesh them out to include social/cultural/familial contexts and conceptions of power and agency – so you end up with new, stronger, and more complex narratives about your own life. glad you are adept at silencing the negative/weak stories 🙂

  • Mrs. Muffins December 7, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I definitely do that to myself. It’s nice to hear you admit you do it too though! The toughest thing for me is when I go into something feeling SO positive and then once it’s gets hard I’m like, “oh yeah, nevermind, I can’t do this.” It’s so hard to turn that thinking around!


  • Jane December 7, 2010, 1:51 pm

    I am also in yoga class with kinda raggy 5 year old shirts and pants. 🙂 I don’t think other people really look or care what I am wearing, though. I find yoga is really great for helping me turn off ALL voices in my head and focus on the work of moving, it’s awesome!

  • Kelly December 7, 2010, 1:52 pm

    We all do it sometimes, it’s really so difficult to stop. Congrats on making it through the class though!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 7, 2010, 1:53 pm

    I think my negative storytelling was more of an issue in my teenage years, but it still occasionally comes up. Love the looks of that hummus… hummus and edamame are one of my fave combos right now! 🙂

  • Shayla December 7, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Yes I definitely have. I’ve had similar moments such as yours in the gym, surrounded by other gorgeous woman all wearing LuLu Lemon, and my mind starts racing “I want a new top! Your hips are too wide. Your butt is looking squishy. You should do more squats and lunges. You shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate last night. You shouldn’t have had that extra glass of wine.” And then I reach a point where I just start telling myself that I’m being ridiculous and too self critical. And then I start giving myself healthy affirmations, “You’re beautiful on the inside. That butt and those hips take you through spin classes and running. Your husband thinks you’re absolutely gorgeous. You treat yourself right with healthy food and exercise most of time, and life is too short to not have indulgences!”
    It’s an ongoing cycle – but I’m at least able to stop myself, realize that I’m being ridiculous, and then remind myself of the wonderful life that I have, with an amazing and loving husband and family, and that I’m healthy and happy. That’s what matters most in life – and I’ll forever remind myself of that 🙂

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 7, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Thank you for this — I needed it today. I went to hot yoga last night with my boyfriend (who is an INCREDIBLE yogi) and basically talked myself out of having a good class because I was being so negative and hard on myself. I kept thinking, “You’ll never be as flexible as everyone else in this room… you might as well stop trying” and “Your balance sucks.” It really ruined the practice for me because all I could think about were my limitations — never did I stop to think about how it doesn’t matter… no one receives a gold metal for being bendy at my yoga studio! 🙂 I hope tonight’s practice is better for me, and that I can stop comparing myself to others in the class.

  • lindsay December 7, 2010, 1:58 pm

    first – that salad looks AMAZING! Yum!

    i definitely think negatively sometimes…my worst habit is comparing myself to others – friends, bloggers, colleagues, etc, but honstely, thankfully, this has decreased as i have grown older, more confident and happier with myself.

  • Lisa December 7, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I do struggle with it. It’s hard to look for a silver lining in things when there’s a lot of negative stuff happening to me (like right now). I try my best to think positive but it’s HARD.

  • elise December 7, 2010, 2:03 pm

    i rarely comment but this post, as simple as it was, IS SO AMAZING. often we forget how simple/normal negative talk seems… so even though a lot of us sign onto the grand notion of positive thinking and operation beautiful, reminders about how the LITTLE THINGS LIKE THIS add up to the big problem is so necessary. THANK YOU. day changed for the better.

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:52 pm

      that you elise!

  • Leanne December 7, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Great story but I don’t know why there is a random picture of a horse lol!

    I find it extremely helpful that when I start getting down on myself or have negative thoughts bombarding my brain… I stick to facts:
    example: in your case this morning the facts were that you were keeping pace/doing all the moves and that’s that! 🙂

    It’s easier to see things clearly when you momentarily take the emotions/feelings out of it 🙂

    hope this makes sense!!

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:52 pm

      I like the concept of just sticking to the facts instead of adding your own narrative!

      • Leanne December 8, 2010, 3:03 pm

        It really helps shut off all the nonsense! 🙂

  • gabriella @ embracement December 7, 2010, 2:06 pm

    negative talk was a MAJOR part of my life for a while, so it was extremely difficult to break the habit. what was harder is kind of accepting the fact that sometimes it’s okay to feel down and have those thoughts, that I’m not a “bad” person because one day I don’t like my thighs, it’s the actions that result in the negative talk that are worse. if it happens, I try to remember how it took over my life in the past and that I would never want to risk that happening again. And then I tell myself a few positive things about myself out loud. I feel like speaking them aloud, even to myself, overpowers whatever my mind is saying.

  • Ashley @ Ashley's Adventures in Alaska December 7, 2010, 2:06 pm

    I struggle with the negative thoughts, but love the idea of treating it like a story! I try to be positive, but get so wrapped up in comparing myself to others. This totally reminds me of “eat pray love!” (I’m exposing my husband to the fabulousness of e,p,l right now. He’s still not sold.) You choose your thoughts. You control them. Great reminder!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss December 7, 2010, 2:07 pm

    I think it’d be really nice actually having a challenging yoga class!! There isn’t anywhere around here that really offers yoga..and even though I’m certified, it always seems more challenging when being instructed. It sure would feel great.

    I sometimes get those negative thoughts, too. And then snap out of them and think “what the heck? Where’s that come from??” I think it all has to do with our attitude. It’s much easier to bring ourselves down when we’re already in a “defeated” mood.

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 7, 2010, 2:09 pm

    Congrats on making it through that class! It sounds like a killer!

  • Jen December 7, 2010, 2:23 pm

    I’ve been doing negative storytelling way too much lately; I’m finishing up my first semester of grad school, so I’m under a lot of pressure and I think the negative self-talk is a symptom of being really stressed out. Lately, it’s been “you’re a terrible writer, you’re not smart enough for this program,” plus “you’re not exercising, you’re out of shape”… I think it’s an attempt to identify the source of stress in something flat and simple, but it’s definitely not helpful. I’m trying to reign it in, and my boyfriend definitely helps me snap out of it.

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:51 pm

      I’m glad your boyfriend sets you straight 😉 Sounds like a nice guy!

  • Rachel @Balance and Blueberries December 7, 2010, 2:28 pm

    Thanks for these thoughts. As a classical musician, I battle negative noise like crazy! “Am I good enough?” “What do these people think?” “What if I mess up?” It’s pointless!

  • grocery goddess jen December 7, 2010, 2:33 pm

    Oh yeah, I definitely have to deal with those voices! I’m reading Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone! And it’s very much about talking back to the excuse about why you can’t do something – we’re all amazing creatures with a spiritual connection, and those voices telling us we can’t simply aren’t true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this, and congrats on making it through superflow!

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie December 7, 2010, 2:35 pm

    One of my tricks is to go back to a recent point in time I didn’t feel this way. Like, “Really, my butt is fat? But I was JUST checking it out in admiration yesterday. Actually, what’s really going on here is that I didn’t get any sleep and I am taking it out on my lovely butt. Hello, nice butt!”

  • Bonnie December 7, 2010, 2:43 pm

    Thanks so much for this post, Caitlin! Wow…it sure is timely. As a personal trainer, I can totally relate – people don’t expect me to struggle with those same thoughts and issues, and sometimes it’s hard because they roll their eyes if I ever say anything, so I often end of not verbalizing those thoughts. It’s good for me to be around certain people where I can let it out (my husband – he’s so patient!) and my mom (she understands), but we always try to come back to the point of looking at the bigger picture and injecting some Truth into the situation. It’s tough to stop that negative self talk – even though I tell my clients not to do it! – and was reminded through some things I read in Isaiah this morning that I am loved, valued, and worthy – that God sees me as righteous even though I am not. Wow. If HE loves me, I should probably learn to love myself and affirm, not tear down, myself. Thanks for this reminder – twice in one day. 😉

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In December 7, 2010, 2:48 pm

    Thank you for posting this! It’s so nice to see that you struggle with the same thoughts.
    And CONGRATS on class!! I remember the first time I got all the way through Bikram i was beaming!

  • Heather December 7, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I get the nasty little voice in my head sometimes too. I had one the other day when I was looking in the mirror at my arms, thinking they were too jiggly. I told myself to stop pointing out the negative, and if I was unhappy with it to do something about it.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Graduate December 7, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I use to be really bad about negative storytelling, especially when I first entered college. I was so concerned about what other people thought about me that I really struggled for the first year or so to figure out who I was! But lucky for me, I met the greatest group of friends in the entire world who accepted me for who I am and they have taught me soooo much. I don’t know what I’d do without them. Because of them I’ve quit worrying about what other people think of what I look like, who I am, etc. I live in the moment and for the first time in my life, I’m doing what I want to do and how I want to do it. 🙂

  • Camille December 7, 2010, 3:07 pm

    I definitely struggle is negative storytelling, especially at places like the gym. My mind starts working against me and saying things like, “God, Camille, look how skinny these girls are. Would it kill you to stop eating cookies?”
    And then I remember the price I would have to pay to look like those girls. Maybe they are naturally build like that, maybe not, but I am definitely not. It isn’t worth giving up holiday cookies or putting in an extra hour at the gym that I could be spending at home with those that I love.
    What is worth it is to look the way you naturally look and not try and change yourself to look like everyone else!

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:50 pm

      Oh i love this comment!!!

  • Amber K December 7, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Totally and it’s almost always about my appearance. I try to remind myself not only that I am beautiful (as we all are), but that also looks are only skin-deep.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 7, 2010, 3:20 pm

    I am such a negative story teller – it’s mostly about myself and my appearance… and it totally is triggerd when I am upset about something ELSE!!! I hate when that happen, because it puts me in a funk for days.

  • Lauren December 7, 2010, 3:21 pm

    Thanks for this awesome post! 🙂

  • Amanda (Eating Up) December 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I try to put things in perspective. I know some days I won’t feel that great very easily, but I know that other days I will feel awesome all the time. Life is all about handling the highs and lows!

  • Rachel December 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Negative storytelling has plagued me most of my life. When I let it get out of hand I’m sucked into bouts of depression.
    When I am successful at holding back those thoughts, it’s usually because I’m replacing them with something else. Finding something to distract me and reasons to be positive defeat the negativity.
    It’s so great that you set the goal to complete the yoga class and congratulated yourself when you did! That’s the way to end the untrue story!

  • Allie December 7, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Its nice to know everyone isn’t perfect and that even the most confident people can have moments of low self esteem, thanks for sharing!

  • Marina December 7, 2010, 3:41 pm

    I do that all the time, but I’m trying to stop it as soon as it starts. I just shift my thoughts to something else, and convince myself I’m good enough, strong enough and successful at anything I want to do

  • Karen December 7, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I think I’m only just discovering how much negative self-talk I do to myself :/
    Like Mrs Muffins above, I tend to dive head-first into things with all kinds of enthusiasm. But when the going gets tough, I quit. WTF?

    The other day, I decided to do a 20 min yoga sesh before my 100 push up challenge (along with the squats and sit up challenges). I got through 3 of the 5 sets for the 3 different challenges and I was feeling it. I found myself saying, “just stop. It’s too hard. You are’t going to be able to do this, so who cares?”
    I gave myself a mental slap in the face and got moving. I finished that day and moved up a day in the challenge yesterday!

    I was actually surprised at this behavior! You would think that by 37, I’d have this kind of thing identified and under some kind of control. Go figure. But I’m on the look out now!
    Thanks, as always Caitlin, for your inspiration!

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:49 pm

      I love the idea of a mental slap. LOL!

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous December 7, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Yes, quite often unfortunately. I’m really hard on myself when it comes to my eating habits and the way I look, but when I remind myself of how far I’ve come, I immediately feel better.

  • Liz @ IHeartVegetables December 7, 2010, 4:00 pm

    I love hummus so much! That sandwich looks delish! I was going to make vegan mac n cheese tonight, but now I might have to have hummus… 🙂

  • Cindy Robinson December 7, 2010, 4:13 pm

    This could not have come at a better time. Over the past few months I’ve really been working on myself from the inside and staying as positive as I can and believing in myself. I’ve recently taken on a new venture and starting my own small business while working full time. And today, all the energy vampires got to me and I broke down with all the self doubt. Man it sucked. But then I thought about you and how hard it had to have been at first with your book, I bet you hit a lot of road blocks. So I wrote a list of all of my fears, and then couteracted them by writing the truth down. I got this idea from Angela’s blog 🙂 It really helped. Thanks for being an inspiration. Sorry for the novel 😉

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:48 pm

      I love this idea, Cindy. It’s so powerful to write things down and then counter them.

  • Charlie December 7, 2010, 4:20 pm

    I struggle with negative storytelling, mostly regarding school. My program is really competitive and when I know someone is better, I tell myself I’ll never make it. At first, it was my boyfriend who had to remind me I have good grades, do voluntary work and everything I can do. Now, I’m able to say that to myself… about half the time ;).

  • Heather December 7, 2010, 4:32 pm

    I agree, some yoga classes are intimidating to me too! Sometimes I feel as if people are really using the classes to wear as little as possible and perhaps find a date.

    When I start looking around at all the pretty girls with perfect pedicures and start comparing mt calloused runner feet, I draw a mental bubble around my mat and try to focus on my yoga and smile.

  • Jessica December 7, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Calling your negative talk a story is a good idea since it really is just something you’re making up in your head that can sometimes be a far stretch from reality. A while ago I realized that repeating my negative self-talk is basically the same repeating a mantra. Even somewhat innocent things like “I’m tired” if thought/said over and over again start to become more true and take a hold of you. I believe that mantras can be a very powerful tool but I found that I was full of negative mantras. Now I try to substitute them with positive ones and the more I focus on them the closer they come to reality. “I am full of life and energy; I am capable; I am enough”

  • Lauren December 7, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Congrats on making it through the yoga class! I struggle during runs sometimes, especially when I see faster runners. I try to change my thoughts to positive ones where I convince myself to keep going or push myself, so I can challenge myself and improve myself instead of comparing to others.

  • Sarah December 7, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Oh, tell me about it! I’m trying to get back to exercising and one of my BIGGEST problems is going through the workout thinking ‘I can’t do this’. Today I had to take some breaks during my workout because it was really tough. That’s when my negative story went into overdrive: “I suck at this. I’m just not meant to be very fit. This is impossible. My tummy’s too big…” and on and on. However, I didn’t quit, and at the end I felt great. But I was still telling myself that I suck. 🙁
    It never occured to me to try to replace this negative dialogue with a positive one. It seems so obvious now that you mention it! lol. Thanks, I think this will really help me with my workout tomorrow.

  • julia December 7, 2010, 5:04 pm

    eeerrrgghhh. I am riddled with negative self talk. I seriously am my biggest critic; about everything too, from career/education, to appearances, to athletic performance, to finances, to my living situation, everythings! It’s soooo bad too. Things I would never ever ever even imagine even whispering to my worst enemy. I dont know why I do it either. Should be my new year’s resolution to be easier on myself for a change! 🙂

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:47 pm

      That should most definitely be your new years resolution!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 7, 2010, 5:24 pm

    I suffer from negative storytelling a lot. I am getting better at working myself out of it and not listening to it, but it does sneak up. When I had to essentially stop running for a few weeks, I kept telling myself how fat I was getting, etc, when in actuality, I didn’t gain any weight and my waist line didn’t change.

  • Katie December 7, 2010, 5:33 pm

    The storytelling analogy is a really good way to think about it.

    I do that a lot when I set a goal and then don’t believe I can achieve it.

    I also do it when I just feel in general hopeless about the world. My old therapist used to say “that is just your depression talking, it can change how you think and tell you negative things”. I have bipolar disorder and I tell myself that sentence a lot when I get in a depressed mindstate. I think it can apply to everyone though. Just thinking about how those negative thoughts aren’t really YOU and you can fight them.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) December 7, 2010, 5:36 pm

    I do everyday. I’m working on trying to end it!

  • Sarah @ EatRunGarden December 7, 2010, 5:49 pm

    My negative storytelling usually goes like this: I didn’t push myself to do something I should or to keep going then later I am kicking myself and cursing myself for not doing more.

    Also that salad sound so good.

  • Loc (Blogger Boy Run) December 7, 2010, 6:11 pm

    I do the negative talk too, especially around finals!

  • Emilie December 7, 2010, 6:15 pm

    I had a similar yoga practice the other day, where the negative thoughts just kept coming! Instead of focusing on the negative thoughts, I reminded myself continually to focus on being present in my body, and to think more about what I was feeling *in* the poses and my body and not what I was feeling *about* the poses. Banishing the negative thoughts is definitely a process, but it really does help to have a method for dealing with them. That way you can default to something familiar and not let them overwhelm you.

  • Kelly December 7, 2010, 6:47 pm

    I will admit that I usually do assume that you never suffer from Fat Talk or Negative Self Talk. Maybe it is because of your book or maybe it because of how self confident you come across. It honestly makes me feel better know that even you suffer through it too. Not because I want you to have to experience it too but because it makes me feel like I am not alone and that even the best people out there sometimes do it too. I struggle with Fat Talk to the point that it is almost ruins my life. Sometimes I refuse to go out with my husband or with friends because I don’t like the way I feel about myself. I have missed many a good times, holidays and special moments because I get caught up in the world of self doubt. I am working on it but I would be lying if I said everyday wasn’t a struggle.

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:46 pm

      Don’t let the story in your head hold you back from life!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 7, 2010, 7:09 pm

    I still get those voices sometimes too, especially when it comes to comparing myself to others. Whenever I’m at the gym and see someone running for a really long distance, I start to feel like I’m not good enough for only running 3-4 miles. When that happens, I just have to remind myself that being able to run even for 3 miles is amazing!

    Congrats on doing the whole class without a break today! That’s a huge accomplishment. 🙂

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks December 7, 2010, 7:29 pm

    I do suffer from negative storytelling. I have problems turning them around though. It’s probably my greatest struggle. Sort of hard to turn them off after 20-something years of believing every single negative thing I thought about myself, you know?

    But I keep working on it.

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:43 pm

      I think that’s all you can do is to slowly work towards minimizing and maybe eliminating. you don’t have to be perfect!

  • Krista (kristastes) December 7, 2010, 7:49 pm

    I am going through that right now, after gaining about 10-15 lbs from marathon training. I’ve been curbing my post marathon negative self talk with thoughts of “well I can run 26.2 miles!!!” 🙂 Yoga does wonders to calm the mind…especially at the end of a class!

  • Nath December 7, 2010, 8:05 pm

    I might be the master of negative storytelling out of all my friends..It’s also really hard for me to accept compliments because I tend to not believe them. Reading your blog has really helped me to limit the negative self talk though and, as this is my first comment, I wanted to genuinely thank you for that!(wrote a similar thing on mama pea’s blog today, because you both have inspired me so much)Lots of love from Germany!

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:42 pm

      Thank you so much Nath! 🙂

  • *Andrea* December 7, 2010, 8:06 pm

    those negative voices are so strong when i do yoga!! i live at home still in a suburb outside of boston where 99% of the mothers in town don’t work (not judging) and have KILLER bodies and wear all the lululemon clothes. i feel sometimes like others are judging me when i can barely do downward dog with my heels on the ground hehe. i love what you said!

  • Joanna @ Drizzle of Sunshine December 7, 2010, 8:09 pm

    I definitely have those moments of negative storytelling a lot! I have pretty low self esteem and it’s because I can’t stop those negative thoughts in my head. I, like many readers have posted, can’t accept compliments very well. I’m working on this. It IS a skill to stop those negative thoughts. What I do to try and stop it is literally say “STOP.” I tell myself to focus on the now and on the good things that I did do that day. I also pray a lot.

  • Ffion December 7, 2010, 8:30 pm

    First time commenter but long time reader here! I’v finally decided to come out of my blog-closet, I’v started my own blog, and am hoping to be more active in the comments! (I’m finding this all to be a bit weird- I feel that I know you pretty well after following your life for pretty much two years, but you don’t know who the hell I am!) So I guess this is me introducing myself 🙂 Hellooo.

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:41 pm

      Hi Ffion! Welcome to the blog world.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life December 7, 2010, 8:44 pm

    So very true about the story- we should all do some editing and re-writing 🙂

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) December 7, 2010, 8:49 pm


  • Melissa December 7, 2010, 10:30 pm

    Of course! I have negative thoughts and since I was little compared myself to others. Personally speaking, definitely something that needs to be worked on.

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad December 7, 2010, 10:38 pm

    That brand of hummus is awesome! The best I’ve ever bought at a store.

  • Kiran December 7, 2010, 10:54 pm

    I just started home yoga myself learning thru DVD and haven’t mustered the strength to join a class. I’m actually intimidated since I’m back to basics and might not be shape like others. I think I’m just getting ahead of myself. I love your idea of how you’ve turned your negative self talk into a positive story 🙂

  • Laura (Starloz) December 8, 2010, 12:48 am

    i hear negative thoughts then i look over blogs, get idea on being healthy & realize i’m not the old laura anyone, new laura is better than negative comments

  • maria @ Chasing the Now December 8, 2010, 1:51 am

    I still struggle with self-doubt and negativity, but I know it’s something I will overcome when I am supposed to. In the meantime, I love thinking of it as stories I tell myself. How cool?!!

    • Caitlin December 8, 2010, 2:41 pm

      Yes, sometimes it helps just to observe your thoughts as an outsider!

  • Wei-Wei December 8, 2010, 4:30 am

    I do it. A lot. I can’t say I’m trying to stop… 🙁

    • Wei-Wei December 8, 2010, 4:36 am

      I’m sorry if my honesty offends everyone out there – I know that negative self-talk is something that everyone is trying to beat, but honestly… I’m tired of fighting against it. Call me lazy, call me uninspired, but that’s exactly that I am – I’m tired of fighting it. Being empowered is not something I want to be right now.

  • natalie @ December 8, 2010, 7:23 am

    i struggle with this too, especailly while running, i just try and remind myself of where i have come from to achieve what im doing..

  • ubigb December 8, 2010, 8:14 am

    And here i was. Thinking about how fit your back looks on your next post.

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good December 8, 2010, 11:22 am

    Great post! I truly believe that there is power in words, and although it may sound corny, we really should, “Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative…”

  • LauraJayne December 8, 2010, 4:11 pm

    I am SO glad you posted this. Since I’ve lost the weight I have, people always assume that I never have “fat talk” or negative talk, but I do – worse than I did when I was overweight! I work hard to quell that voice in my head – and sometimes the voice still wins! Great post!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed December 8, 2010, 7:45 pm

    Great post, Caitlin! I try to flip my negative self-talk (which only happens occasionally and is always silly, petty and largely superficial things) by remembering operation beautiful & just switching it off – as you say. Totally works. Love yourself – snap!
    Heidi xo

  • Kelly December 9, 2010, 3:51 pm

    A reader recommended your blog to me because I (eerily enough) just wrote a post on the exact same thing.

    It’s way too easy to get a negative loop playing in your head without even realizing. The fact that you’re aware of it is a huge success. Reprogramming that loop into something positive takes some effort sometimes, but it’s totally self-fulfilling: If you start seeing the positive, you react to the world better and you accomplish more, and as a result, the world around you becomes a better place to.

    Congrats on defeating your negative inner voice and reaching your goal!

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