self-explanatory

Posted: November 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

Thank you to everyone for the get-well wishes and prayers for Peter’s grandmother. As far as we know, things stand pretty much the same right now. All we can hope for is as much comfort as possible. Also, thank you for sharing your love or dating stories. I loved reading them! Check out the comments if you’re in a mood to say “awwwwww”.

Do you remember my cardio session yesterday on the machines? Well, I discovered one other plus to it. The magazine reading! I haven’t picked up a magazine in forever. I read through the October Parenting issue and came across quite a few interesting topics.

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Should there be a law forbidding smoking in the home/cars of those with small children? Hmmmm….I hate the thought of young children being submitted to 2nd hand smoke, but how could we even implement that?

Do magazines still have the same prowess in media despite the rise of internet information and other forms of media? I know I haven’t picked up a magazine in months because of blogs.

Although the above provide room for two very intriguing discussions, a different article caught my eye. It was an article about parenting, but it really struck me as something that could apply to our relationships with our bodies as well. The effectiveness and importance of using explanatory language instead of accusatory/emotional language. What does that mean?

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The article discussed how, in parenting, kids do not respond well to yelling and frustrated statements from parents. Comments like “Can you not clean up your toys? Are you that helpless?” won’t reach a child best. It shared how using explanatory language can more effectively discipline and guide children to appropriate behavior. Saying, with focus and calm attention to the child, “I see toys that need to be picked up. You have 5 minutes to put your toys in their bins.” will, apparently, prompt the desired action.

I’m not starting a discussion on parenting though.  Leave it to me to take that topic and relate it to how we relate to our bodies and ourselves. How often do thoughts like this come into our minds?

  • I can’t believe you! You can’t even control yourself around this food at the party. You’re eating way too much. Ugh.
  • You will never lose this weight because you’re a failure. You can’t do x, y, z and you can’t get in shape either.
  • You aren’t as pretty as her. You aren’t as in shape as her. You aren’t as fashionable as her. You aren’t… You aren’t… You aren’t…

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We can get caught up in using that emotional or accusatory language instead of the realistic nature of explanatory language. If we used explanatory language with ourselves, I imagine we would gain confidence. Accusations against our looks or abilities set us up for failure by putting a cloud of doubt over us. Placing negative emotions on situations can shadow solutions and the opportunity for change and growth. Accusatory and emotional language, I believe, keeps us in a perpetual battle against ourselves.

Explanatory language, on the other hand, could look like this:

  • I had a stressful day at work. I feel compelled to eat a bunch of chocolate to hide those emotions. It is okay to feel that way. But will the food really help? What can I do to calm myself instead?
  • I feel frustrated that my diligence in eating better and working out isn’t showing up in the smaller sizes/weight I expected. I just want to give up. But, body? You do feel better and stronger. Maybe we should keep it up.
  • I have cellulite on my legs. It’s there, but maybe it isn’t as much as I thought. I also ran three miles today. That’s really awesome!

Removing the emotions and stating the facts can help us clarify what we really need. Sure, it may not always work, but it very well could motivate us to take a step in the right direction. Worth a shot I would say.

  • Have you ever thought about language being emotional or explanatory? Do you think the difference could impact our self-appreciation?
  • Do you still read magazines? Which types/ones?

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37 Comments to “self-explanatory”
  1. Becca says:

    Smoking in cars with children IS banned in parts of Canada. 🙂 I dont know how it actually works, but it’s the law!

    I really dont read many magazines, muscle and fitness his and hers is about it now, and even that isnt all the time

  2. I think smoking in front of children is a form of abuse… don’t get me started! I get very passionate about these sorts of things!

    I have never thought about my language like that and I love it! It will help me figure out why I am feeling a certain way and how to control it rather than placing shame or guilt on myself.

    I read Runners World religiously!!

    Have a great day!!

    • Tina says:

      Yea, it REALLY bothers me too. I would love there to be a way to stop it…but how realistic is that? Many people who smoke in front of kids likely wouldn’t give a crap about a law they know is hard to enforce anyways.

  3. I think I am a very emotional person to be honest — and yes I speak to myself in an emotional way. Or, if I feel somewhat snubbed at work I immediately think that I am a horrible worker and everyone hates me — when in reality there could be hundreds of reasons for why someone says something the way they do. Maybe they are having a bad day or maybe they just lack emotional intelligence and have no way of knowing that their words hurt. I try to give others a break and I try to give myself a break as well.

    As lame as this may sound, I just wish no one smoked. Period.

  4. Julie says:

    I hate seeing pregnant women smoke and people smoking while pushing strollers with children. It all makes me so sad, but the worst is seeing a car with all the windows rolled up with one cracked just a bit and the car filled with children and smoke. I don’t know how they would enforce no smoking in the home, but it is def possible in the cars!

  5. Smoking should be banned period. What gives you the right to pollute MY air? Yuck! My parents smoked my entire life. My Mom passed from lung cancer and my Dad STILL smokes! My brother too! I don’t get it? Such a stinky habit!! (Just my opinion anyway).

    • Tina says:

      I understand how it can be hard to stop, but what I never quite understand is WHY start when we know so much more about it now?

      • I know! Really! I know it has to be very hard to quit & I respect anyone who is really trying to. I can’t imagine how awful the with drawls would be! But I’m with you. You know it’s a horrible habit, so why even start it?

  6. Nic says:

    There are a few people in my life that are very passive aggressive, so when I speak to others in a critical way, I think about what I want to say and how I want it to be heard by the other party. I don’t put nearly as much thought into speaking to myself. But I really like the idea that this article conveys. I will definitely start to listen to myself and how I talk to myself (does that make me sound crazy?) 

    My MIL gifted me a subscription to Women’s Health and my Mom gifted me a subscription to Real Simple. I look forward to getting both mags in the mail every month. They are a fun treat!

  7. Ryan and I did a pre-marriage counseling session once, and our counselor talked about the same thing in terms of how you interact with your partner. I think this kind of “language lesson” can be so applicable to so many areas of life!

  8. I think that self talk/language is totally emotional. When I have a bad day, I immediately start to put myself down about things that have NOTHING to do with the situation. Horrible!

  9. Meg says:

    I’d never thought about self talk being emotional but that sure makes a lot of sense.

    I still LOVE magazines! I like Women’s Health, Glamour, and Better Homes and Gardens.

  10. Julia says:

    This is a really great reminder on how to talk to yourself and to your spouse. Thanks!
    Keeping Peter’s grandmother in my thoughts and prayers!

  11. Maura says:

    I banned a lot of magazines from my reading list a couple of years ago – the US Weeklies and OK! Magazines of the world. There is so much negative talk, criticism, and an invasion of privacy that I decided the only way to fight back would be to stop reading/giving them my dollars. PerezHilton.com is probably at the top of the DO NOT READ list for all the same reasons. I still find myself cheating with People Magazine though…never said I was perfect!

    I’m a little torn on the proposed smoking ban – I don’t condone smoking, particularly around lil’ sets of lungs, but what people do in their own home is their business to a degree. We don’t make laws that force parents to stock their cabinets and fridges full of healthy foods…and childhood obesity is a huge problem in this country. Probably not the most popular opinion, but just my thought.

    • Tina says:

      I somewhat feel the same way. I would LOVE there to be a way to stop kids from being exposed to 2nd hand smoke…but like you said. How can that be possible? How can we control someone’s home? And agreed that childhood obesity is just as big a problem that affects health!

  12. Melissa Roby says:

    I love Parenting magazine….great articles and fun crafts! It is one of the many….many…A LOT of magazines that I subrcribe too. When my husband and I got married I told him that he would always have to put up with my magazine obsession…..I am the type of person that will watch a movie while flipping thru a magazine…..Love your blog!

  13. Eliza says:

    I think slowing down and noticing your self talk is the first step. Every time a negative thought flies through your brain, try to catch it and hold on to it, and replace it with a positive thought.
    You can also use a journal to keep track of negative and positive self talk. Some people find that daily affirmations give them a positive thought to bring into their mind throughout the day.

    • Tina says:

      I love the journal idea! That’s really cool. In the article, the mom even mentioned that she had stickers for her calendar. She got a star each day that she consistently used explanatory language over emotional with her kids. Then, she got little rewards like sleeping in on a weekend for every 10 or something.

  14. This is the perfect post to help one of my clients right now!!

  15. Sarah says:

    Hello, I just found your blog through HLB.com and wanted to know if you were comfortable saying what city you are from? I have been looking for bloggers from Savannah and have not had any luck finding any. Thanks! I will be returning, like your message a lot 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I’m in the metro Atlanta area. I love Savannah!! I wish I lived there. I do have some family (aunt/uncle/cousin) who live on Tybee and would love to make it back down there sometime soon.

  16. Natalie says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog – hope your pregnancy is going well!

  17. Rachel says:

    TV and magazines are my favorite way to get away from reality for a few minutes.

    I get Rachel Ray delivered and when I’ve had a particularly terrible day or I’m sick I get the trashy tabloids from the grocery store (US weekly, People, etc.). I try not to do this too often because they are a money suck.

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  19. Natalie says:

    I think smoking in cars with small children should be banned! It definitely would be hard to police but it has to be so damaging to those little lungs!

    I don’t read nearly as many magazines as I used to either…there just doesn’t seem like enough time. I am guilty of picking up an US Weekly or People during my cardio at times, though 🙂

  20. I still read mags… mostly just Competitor, Shape, and SELF, sometimes Fitness. Blogs are nice, but I like tangible things that I can take places without being overly wired. Printed text is still easiest for me!

    Sending positive vibes to Peter’s grandmother.

  21. This is a great post!

    I find that when I am already stressed out, it is much more likely to succumb to those kinds of thoughts, and I need to step back and think, “whoa. This isn’t real – I am upset, let’s figure out what’s really going on.”

  22. Katie H. says:

    Great post Tina! I do read magazines, although they are really frustrating me. A lot of it is redundant, poorly researched information. From now on I am only reading Real Simple, Runner’s World, Cooking Light and Yoga Journal 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I think that’s why I stopped reading magazines. A lot of the ones I read just got extremely repetitive. Cooking Light and Real Simple are actually two I wouldn’t mind having a subscription to.

  23. I definitely read magazines, but only purchase fitness ones like Oxygen, Muscle and Fitness Hers and Fitness Magazine. I’m not really into fashion and would rather learn tips and tricks on healthy eating and workouts than clothes. However, when I fly, I always end up buying an Us Weekly or Star magazine for the plane ride. It’s so ridiculous to read those silly magazines, but it’s kinda like an indulgence when I’m traveling- helps pass the flight time easier HAHA!

  24. I do read magazines. I love to hold them in my hand and flip the pages. Very tactile where reading online is not. I tend to retain far more info when I have the book or magazine too. There were studies done ages ago about that very thing. Though with the new techno generation, that may be invalid at some point as people get more used to reading on a screen.

  25. I still read a few magazines, but like you, I read way more blogs now!! Runners World, Allure and Cosmo are my favorites. RW has great, interesting articles, Allure is more directly beauty-related and less “diety” than most women’s mags, and Cosmo is just fun.

    The explanatory/emotional thing is really interesting. I definitely do more emotional thinking, but now that I’m aware of it maybe I can make more of an effort to turn negative thoughts around!!

  26. I would honestly like to believe we wouldn’t have to actually create a law about smoking with children in the car. It seems like common courtesy to not do so. But I know that’s not always the case. Ugh.

    I mean seriously… I smoked for a number of years and wouldn’t even think about doing it in a public place where children were a good portion of the crowd! But maybe that’s just me…

  27. I love looking through magazines, but I don’t have any subscriptions right now. I feel like I get more from people than I do from magazines. I think because I work at home too, it feels more like I am interacting with others more than if I was just getting info from a magazine.

  28. I have wanted a law that you couldn’t smoke in a car w/ children in it. While I’m all for smoke if you want (The Lover does), I’m not in favor of endangering a child’s life b/c of YOUR habits. That’s not even giving them a chance. And I’m a former smoker.

    My subscription to Fitness end next March. I used to get really excited when I got one and now I’m “MEH”.

  29. I get Cooking Light … but that’s about it. My mom gives me her old Oprah and Real Simple magazines but I end up putting them in the bathroom and my husband will flip through them 🙂 I forget about them.

  30. I haven’t read a lot of magazines lately because I just get so sick of hearing the bs in them. The only magazines I think I have picked up in the last 6 months were Fit Pregnancy and I think a few fashion mags because I like to se the outfits and then try to piece my own version together. To me magazines are just not like they used to be..too much garbage in them, lol!

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