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Doing It Anyway

But Barbara dutifully wrote out her reinforcements—statements that expressed a belief in the future possibilities to conquer present realities. “I was 70 pounds overweight when I wrote out the card that said, ‘I am a 120-pound woman.’ I was snacking on spaghetti and garlic bread when I wrote, ‘I love raw vegetables. If I am tempted to graze, I reach for the raw veggies.’ I was out of breath after getting dressed in the morning when I wrote, ‘I walk a mile a day.’ Those reinforcements contrasted so wildly with the way I really lived that I could hardly bring myself to read the cards.”

Barbara took the cards home despite her skepticism. “I showed my mother,” she said. “Actually I would have liked to have brought her a stack too!” Barbara put the cards on her nightstand, intending to start building good self-talk habits into her life. Instead, the cards collected dust for the next three months.


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