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I want to hear from people who have made dramatic (positive) changes in their lives

missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
edited August 2010 in Parent Cafe
I was so inspired by Chintzy's post on the diet/exercise thread about losing 70+ pounds, getting into couples therapy, etc. I would like to make a few fairly dramatic changes in my life, but can never seem to do it.

If you have made a dramatic, positive change in your life as an adult, I'd love to hear about it. Please share what motivated you to do what you did.
Post edited by missypie on

Replies to: I want to hear from people who have made dramatic (positive) changes in their lives

  • EPTREPTR Registered User Posts: 3,974 Senior Member
    Well, I have found that as I mature (I won't say how mature I am) that subtle changes can create dramatic results.
    I have learned how to set limits on the way that people treat me by altering the way that i respond to their words or actions. Ten years ago I would never have believed that I would someday be able to advocate for myself effectively in difficult situations but I am doing it more and more and the more I do it the easier it becomes. I also find that it garners respect from those around me much more than being the "yes" person that I used to be.

    This may not be the dramatic change that you are talking about but taking on this new approach to interacting with others has created dramatic changes for me.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    Will watch this thread with great interest.

    Is there a specific post by Chintzy that you are referring to Missypie? (post #?) I looked back a few pages on the thread but thought perhaps there was one post that was particularly inspiring to you.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    Great topic! I'm in the same boat as you missypie, and have beaten myself up over my failure to make the life changes I want to make. So I'm eager to hear some stories from fellow CCers.

    To encourage you for now, I'd like to say that I'm starting to understand that it isn't always a rationalization or procrastination to tell myself that the time just isn't right yet. It might be patience or the wisdom of self-knowledge. There's one particular goal I want to accomplish and I'm seeing that I'm gaining motivation daily and also that my circumstances are lining up such that accomplishing this goal next year will be much easier than it would have been in the past.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    Hi all, I feel like I've been reading along long enough and finally feel like jumping in with my story. I'll try to keep it short. At the risk of sounding like a Lifetime Television for Women movie, I hit a crisis point in my marriage back in March and decided to CHANGE MY LIFE. Joined a gym (okay, we've actually had a family membership at the Y for years, but finally went there), got a trainer, found The Daily Plate on Livestrong.com to track my diet and weight loss, got a therapist, and joined Overeaters Anonymous, a twelve step program based on AA for compulsive overeaters.

    I've lost 70 pounds, finished the Couch to 5k program this morning, and have never been happier. H and I are in couples counseling and whether or not the marriage survives I feel strong enough to handle it.

    So who should play me in the movie?

    Isn't that terrific?
  • NYMomof2NYMomof2 Registered User Posts: 5,948 Senior Member
    That is terrific, missypie! Thanks for starting this thread. I'll be checking in, looking for role models.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    I think part of the difficulty in making changes is that few of us are single, self-employed empty nesters. Old habits and patterns of behavior are reinforced, encouraged or expected by others.

    To give a very simplistic example, let's say one's family has a habit/tradition of having big bowls of ice cream every night before bed. If one person still loves ice cream but can't take the calories anymore, what is to be done? Convince the whole family to stop? What if they won't? Watch everyone else eat ice cream while you're dying for some? Again, this is not my situation - just an example.
  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 Registered User Posts: 14,810 Senior Member
    ^^^^Wow, that's amazing.

    Interesting comment about marriage counseling. Not saying that her positive changes have adversely affected her marriage, but it does happen. Sometimes when one person makes dramatic, positive changes, those close to them resent it, feel threatened by it, guilty that they are not doing the same, or terrified that the "changer" will no longer be satisfied with the one who has not done the same soul searching or lifestyle changes.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    Totally. :)

    A couple of years ago I made a pact to lose some weight and get healthier through exercise. I succeeded in losing about 15 pounds and feeling SO much better. That ONE thing, helped me to have the motivation and initiative to change MORE things. So maybe starting strong with one goal will lead to others.

    I am now needing this "burst" of motivation again. I think much of it has to do with family changes (kids growing up, moving out/on, etc.) and the need to redefine myself.

    So as I said, I look forward to some stories on this thread.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,303 Senior Member
    Interesting comment about marriage counseling. Not saying that her positive changes have adversely affected her marriage, but it does happen.

    She said her marriage was at a crisis point before she started making the changes. One of the changes was to get into couples counseling.
  • dmd77dmd77 Registered User Posts: 8,663 Senior Member
    There's a book I've been re-reading lately (as in, restarting when I finish it): Switch. It's about how to make changes that actually stick.

    I've been finding it very helpful in redirecting my inner emotional elephant in accordance with my intelligent rational desires. In my case, it's been about recognizing that I have triggers. For example, at about 4 PM, I open the refrigerator door and eat the first thing I see. So now, in the morning, after breakfast, I make my afternoon snack of fruit and yogurt and put it front and center ;-) I know this sounds stupid, because how hard is it to make fruit and yogurt? Apparently, it's hard enough that I was eating chocolate bars instead. I have not lost 70 pounds but I have lost 9, very slowly, over the last five months.

    One suggestion that the book makes is that the more specific you are about your plans, the easier it is to follow them. So... it's not "go to the gym tomorrow afternoon", it's "go to the gym at 1:30 tomorrow."
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,470 Senior Member
    Okay, it may seem like a silly thing from a less than well-respected source, but somewhere in the last 10 years, I heard Dr Laura on the radio talking to a women who had been so unhappy with her husband and she had been such a victim of all the bad things he did.

    DrL had told the woman to treat her DH like he was the man of her dreams for a month, no matter what he did and call her back. I heard the call back and it seemed to work pretty well. So, I thought, "What the heck" and I gave it a try.

    I learned that I could (most of the time) choose to treat DH better than I felt or better than my mood and that really in the long run it worked well. The better I treated him in small ways, the better everything went all day everyday. The small changes I made caused much larger changes in him......then the better he treated me, the better I treated him.

    I, like every other mom with kids in school, PTA, assorted sports team, college apps, ECs, my own commitments, etc, was generally running on empty, and had nothing left for myself let alone DH.

    At about the same time I was making the changes with DH, I made some changes with my choices. Our kids had outgrown some activities and I reined back my previous over-committed to community service schedule. I realised in hindsight that I was going going going and doing for the others, but too exhausted to be any fun with anyone.

    By making my schedule more realistic, I began feeling less stressed and just better all around and that also gave me the energy to do more with & for DH. Now we are empty nesters and we actually like each other and enjoy our time together. Not every minute of every day, we still disagree & argue & get cranky, but overall, we are both incredibly supportive of each other. And I like it.

    So, what did I do? I got real about what I could and could not accomplish and do it well. That gave me more energy and I focused a lot of that new-found energy on DH.

    I had previously been entertaining a bit of the typical mom martyr complex.

    It was not huge in a week or a month, but over a few years I can see we took a different path than we might have otherwise.
  • abasketabasket Registered User Posts: 16,774 Senior Member
    Somemom, that is an interesting concept ^^^ A month is a LONG time though....:)
  • anxiousmomanxiousmom Registered User Posts: 5,736 Senior Member
    Does using Crest whitestrips count? ;)
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,470 Senior Member
    abasket- yup, a month is a long time and sometimes no matter how much better I knew the rest of the day would be, I still felt B***** and could not do it, but when I could, it usually worked.
  • eddieodessaeddieodessa Registered User Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    Anxiousmom - You cracked me up! Actually, I just got "The Care and Feeding of Husbands" from the library yesterday. Certainly, I do not agree with everything. But am enjoying some helpful hints, etc. (It's Doctor Laura.) And the different ways that men and women communicate is extremely interesting to me.
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