This week I rewatched one of my favorite Disney movies, Pollyanna (1960).
The story centers around Pollyanna Whittier, a recently-orphaned girl who is sent to live with her heart-hardened Aunt Polly. Pollyanna’s contagiously optimistic outlook ultimately transforms her aunt’s life as well as the once pessimistic tone of the entire town where they reside.
We discover Pollyanna’s ability to see half-full glasses everywhere isn’t a unique, superhero-like trait, but rather the result of her upbringing. Her father experienced an “AHA!” moment after reading the quote from former President Abraham Lincoln, “If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.”
Pollyanna’s father realizes it’s not difficult to be critical. Human nature has a natural proclivity for focusing on the negative. If he wants to lead a family of trailblazing optimists, they’re going to have to work at it. As a result, he invents “The Glad Game.”
When faced with a disappointment, their challenge was to find a silver lining about the situation. She ordered a doll and Amazon delivered crutches? No problem. She could be glad they didn’t need to use those crutches. Sundays bum her out? No problem. There are six whole days before she has to face that day again. Sick in bed? No problem. She has the opportunity to receive loads of love and encouragement from her community.
Like an Energizer bunny of hope, Pollyanna keeps going and going, sharing her message of optimism. And, in the end, nothing outlasts her positive spirit: not criticism, not depression, not even a life-altering injury. Nothing is capable of successfully stealing her joy, because she never leaves space for negativity to get comfortable.
There are so many great tools to help you have success in the keto lifestyle: macro calculators, Cronometer, delicious keto recipes, and loads of YouTube channels like ours. But, for real joy on your keto journey, I highly recommend learning to play, “The Glad Game.”
There will be times when you’re tired of explaining the keto life and feeling “different.” There will be weeks when the scale doesn’t move, (or worse, moves up). There may even be moments when you think to yourself, “I wish I could just go back to not thinking about what goes in my mouth. Life use to be so much easier when I didn’t care.”
Those thoughts may seem harmless, but they can easily take root and become a strangling weed to your progress. It’s best to immediately take those thoughts captive and look for the good. For example, yes you’re different in the way you eat. But, you can be glad you’re also experiencing a very different level of good health than those following a Standard American Diet. Yes, your numbers on the scale may not be where you want them to be. But, you can be glad they aren’t what they use to be. Yes, it may have been easy to make quick food decisions when you didn’t care about what you were eating. But, you can be glad that now you do prioritize your health and well-being. Determining to like and care for yourself is a major victory!
Playing the glad game with your thoughts may feel strange at first. But, practice makes progress. You have what it takes to turn your frown upside down.
Now, that’s a reason to be glad!