I saw a PBS special with Dr. Amen and his book “The Amen Solution: The Brain Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off.” One of his brain healthy ways to lose weight is “Killing the ANTS.” He’s not talking about the little creatures that crawled around in your 5th grade ant farm, but the Automatic Negative Thoughts.  Those ANTS often keep us from losing weight.  I realize that I have so many negative thoughts that go through my mind about my weight every day.  I was reading an article and a lady said she thought about being fat every time she got dressed.  I wish I only thought about my weight when I got dressed.  But anyway, I decided to Kill the ANTs today.  When I looked at my reflection and saw that extra roll on my side, I told myself something positive.  I said “you had a protein shake for breakfast, you started out the day the right way.”  Later this evening, my little sister actually invited me to meet her at the gym.  She told me she was working out for an hour and a half, and asked how long I was staying.  “I don’t know” I told her as she gave me a disapproving once over look.  When I got up to the indoor track, the little ANT voice said, “you haven’t worked out in a week, you’ve never gone that long without working out, you’ll never get back to Week 5.”  I rejected that thought, and did 5 extra minutes of the warm up walk.  I decided to do one more day of Week 4 before actually moving on to week 5.  I was so shocked, after a week of being super-busy/tired/lazy, that I was able to complete all 4 interval runs.  It felt so good.  I wasn’t even exhausted after my run, so I didn’t have a good excuse to leave the gym.  I sat down for a few minutes to catch my breath and then got on the elliptical next to my sister.  We pedaled and talked for 20 minutes.  She still had a half hour advantage on me, which of course bothered my competitive nature, but I was satisfied just to get moving again.

  1. Killing the ANTs sounds very much like the Spark People’s article I read today about arming yourself against excuses. We’re working together, I see, on combating negative self-talk. Woo hoo. I think we both need gold star stickers to post on our mirrors or calendars. For each day we Kill the ANTs or beat down those inner voices, we should get a gold star (it’s better than treating myself to a klondike bar).

  2. I think killing the ants is a great idea! I have been struggling a little with week 7. I can seem to get myself to do the 25 minute run! I will run for 25 minutes but it’s more like 10 min run, 2 min walk, 5 min run with 2 min walk until I get to 25 minutes. I am hoping this will get easier the more I try but I am pretty disappoineted in myself, especially since the guy next to me ran for 30 min without stopping. It was hard to kill the ants on this one. 🙁

  3. Way to go, finishing your workout! I really like this, I’m going to start killing my ANTs too!

  4. Thanks for this book mention—it looks so interesting–I need to pick this up. I tend to get negative when I have a bad week and I keep thinking of the journey!!!

    Reminds me of the reframing and anchoring we talk about at WW. I always keep the worksheets and look back at them to remind me I’m still trying.

  5. Thanks so much for this post. I started the week by saying it was going to be a very positive, happy week, boy has that been hard to stick to! I didn’t realize how quickly my thoughts turn dark and negative. I’m going to work harder at Killing the ANTs, being proud of where I am today, and working to improve myself in the future.

  6. Killing the ANTS sounds like a great strategy. And in the front of my mind as we combat our annual invasion here! (When it gets dry, they come in looking for water. Sigh) I am struggling with motivation to lengthen my runs, so maybe I need to look for those internal ANTS and start exterminating! Thank you for yet again showing me a different perspective.

  7. Tex Queen you’re, in addition to Killing the ANTs, we need to non-food rewards for sticking to the plan.

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