Rising Above Negative Self Talk

  Aug 3, 2016  |  #Eats

Hey guys! How are we today? I wanted to touch on some things relating to negative self talk today that I think many of us can relate to, and of course show some yummies!

Speaking of… This pizza lasted like .5 hours.

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza

If I do x, then I’ll be happy…

Negative Self Talk

We’ve all been there and said such things. And after writing this post, I’ve realized that there are certain contexts where these types of sayings may be completely acceptable. Let’s consider these real life situations. 

For example:

If I get all my work done, then I’ll reward myself with girls night out –>  Sometimes we just need motivation to finish what’s on the docket, you know?


If I get my long training runs in, then I’ll feel better prepared for my marathon –> 100% true. There is smart preparation and there is lack of preparation. I hope to stay away from the latter.


Oatmeal with farmers market strawberries, frozen bluebs, bananas, and topped with a gracious scoop of PB and cinnamon

But, in other contexts, these “if, then” statements can be damaging.

If I lose 5 pounds, then I’ll be happy.

If I eat that cupcake, then I’ll feel guilty.

If I don’t exercise, then I can’t eat dessert.

You guys, these are all examples of crazy talk.

By saying or thinking these things, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment if we eat something, or engage in something, or don’t commit to something.


Recipe Testing Cookies
A bunch of chickpea chocolate chip cookies (okay, half the batch) I’m recipe testing!

If I get that promotion by age 30, then I’ll be happy –> Why can’t we be happy with “right now?” Where we are right now? There’s nothing wrong with having goals and being motivated to get that promotion, but why should that dictate happiness? It’s an accomplishment, sure, but then there will be another promotion to chase. Enjoy the now. 

If I get x amount of likes on this post, then I’ll get more followers –> Ugh. The ups and downs of social media. The thinking that we have to post this amount of times so people see our posts, or that we have to put up 3 blog posts a week or people will stop reading is irrational. Your tribe is your tribe. Whoever wants to read and support you, will. Whoever doesn’t, won’t. 

[Tweet “Your tribe is your tribe. Whoever wants to support you will. Focus on them.. and lots of good eats #wiaw”]


Lunch at Chopt with Ed after giving a hydration and nutrition talk to a marathon training group.
Lunch at Chopt  after giving a hydration and nutrition talk to a marathon training group.

I don’t want to get the wrong point across here. It’s very important to celebrate accomplishments and achievements. We worked hard for those, we went out of our comfort zone, we reached a goal or milestone, we did something amazing. 

Not all “If, Then’s” need to be tied to negative habits and futile emotional circles. I think “If, Then” statements can be great for rewarding ourselves (in non-food ways) for work and accomplishments. They can even be motivating. (Though I stress rewards in non-food ways. Giving yourself permission to have a cupcake if you work out is not a reward. You have that permission any time of the day).

If I buy new running shoes, then my feet won’t hurt as much. This is sensible and probably a safe decision for my running if I’ve been in my old shoes for too long.


kind pressed bar
The Kind Collective was “kind” enough to send me some of their new pressed bars. Made with ONLY fruits and veggies – no extra sugar! Verdict: This was delicious.
choc chip blondies
And Georgie’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars

But for those that are damaging… What if we tried to reframe them, or look at the “if” equations as ways to bring us up, rather than degrade ourselves?

If I don’t lose 5 pounds, I’m still the same person with the same values. No one will love me any less.

If I eat that cupcake, I’m going to enjoy it because I really want it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

If I don’t exercise, it’s because I didn’t feel like it. Or because my body needed rest. Or because I had a busy day. Or because you don’t need a reason.

[Tweet “Why “If, Then” Statements Can be Damaging to our Health #rdchat via @bucketlisttumRD”]


tuna meatballs
Tuna meatballs with a sweet potato and roasted veggies and avocado

Or how about using “If, then” statements to help with anxiety or mood, or boost our confidence.

If I take a bath, then I’ll feel more relaxed.

If I spend the time researching and reading about something, then I’ll feel more comfortable explaining it to someone else.

If I tell someone how I feel, then I will feel less stressed about having it bottled up.


Talenti, negative self talk
Always end on a sweet note. A healthy dose of Talenti ice cream. My absolute favorite.

There’s no easy answer and we all are different. But in no way is negative self talk positive for anyone. Let’s take some pressure off ourselves and make a pact that the next “If, then” statement we say, or think, or do, will be a POSITIVE one.

Thanks Amanda for letting us think out loud today.

Have you ever said or thought an “If, Then” statement without realizing it? Please share. 

60 responses to “Rising Above Negative Self Talk

  1. Yesss I cannot agree with you more on this! If/When statements drive me NUTS because they not only lead to disappointment – they often stop people from doing the things they love or stop them doing things because they’re scared because they turn it into when and then statements;

    When I’m xxxxxxxx, then I’ll xxxxxxx
    When xxxxxxxx happens, then I’ll xxxxxx.

    We really are our own worst enemies!

  2. I think the whole negative self talk thing is so hard to avoid – especially as women. I’m making a big effort to chill on it, because I really don’t want my kids growing up and remembering me as the mom who was always putting herself or worse, thinking it’s normal.

    1. I think it’s a challenge, like you said. for me, just realizing it was happening was the first step to helping me feel better about it because I could come up with some alternatives for dealing with it.

  3. Love this so much! Staying positive is definitely the only way to go. I really like that you said sometimes you don’t need a reason for whatever you choose to do like skipping a workout one day etc. Such a healthy and realistic way to be.

  4. LOVE this post. I am so glad that I found your blog, I definitely will be on regularly now! I’m really working on staying more positive myself. I recommend subscribing to TUT daily emails, they have really helped me with this.
    – emma

  5. time out…tuna meatballs!?!? I must try these asap…yes yes yes I can so easily slip into these type phrases but I have learned to RECOGNIZE when it happens and i”m working on turning that negative into positive…part of the battle is just recognizing when it is happening!

    1. I think recognizing it is one of the most important parts of awareness, and then retraining our minds to get ourselves out of it or find a different way to deal!

  6. Yes! I am definitely guilty of struggling with this off and on. Why do we do this to ourselves?! I feel like im in a great place with food but man…in the past i definitely guilt-ed myself if i ate something bad, skipped a workout, etc. Great reminder post–ill definitely be sharing this one!

  7. I really love this post. Totally guilty of some of those thoughts, especially around food and exercise. But I’m working on it!

  8. LOVE this so much!! The if then statements are so damaging to our health. They cause us to overthink and create disappointment for ourselves. Taking those statements out of my vocab and self talk has caused me to make great progressions in my mental health and well-being!

  9. Awesome post~ I definitely fall into this trap. I tend to be very hard on myself and set super high expectations. I think setting goals is awesome and so is self discipline. However, it is when we take these things to the extreme that they start to become negative. I am trying to be more mindful and grateful for the present moment. I think embracing where you are at in your journey is super important, and something I need to remind myself of more often!

  10. This post hits close to home. I tend to be a pretty results driven person, so when I fail to get the outcome I’m looking for, I’m hard on myself. I love the reminder that says, “if you wouldn’t say it to a close friend, don’t say it to yourself.” I would never berate my bestie for getting a bad grade or eating lots of chocolate after a stressful day. Why would I do that to myself? Thanks for this <3

    On a another note, your eats look scrumptious and so pretty! Those Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies are whispering my name. Happy Hump Day to you 🙂

  11. I do this all the time.

    But I did a good one today. IF I buy new running shoes THEN my knees will stop hurting. So, I bought myself a new pair (after getting properly fitted)!

  12. So. much. truth. I think most of us don’t realize it, but we live our whole lives saying “when” and “if” and “someday”. Living like this, it’s impossible to embrace the moment and find peace. I’ve learned that sometimes when I have these negative thoughts, I have to purposely DEFY them just to prove to myself “see, nothing bad happened!”. Okay, enough of the deep stuff. Now to gush over that glorious looking pizza!!! I’m heading to NYC, so hopefully I can find a place with a good gluten free crust. When I went a few weeks ago I had the most amazing pizza with broccoli and chicken on top. Devoured it all, craving it again!


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