Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Dec 26

Christmas Eve in Chicago and Hate-Loss Challenge Info

How was your holiday weekend?  I hope each one of you had a joyful yet peaceful one. 




My husband and I spent Friday evening in Chicago and had a nice view of the river (and the gargantuan new Trump Tower) from our room, as well as a giant window seat where we spent the majority of our night sitting side by side, sipping wine and looking out at the festive lights all across the city.




I received exactly what I wanted for Christmas this year: 24 solid hours with no phones ringing, no bosses calling either one of us into work, no dogs demanding to be petted, walked, entertained (sorry, dogs – you know I love you!) and above all else, being able to sit together and talk about anything and everything. 

We did walk up and down Michigan Avenue for a couple of hours and let me tell you, it was insane!  So nice to come back to our quiet window and watch the madness from up high!




On another note, I’ve been receiving a few emails and comments from readers asking for more details regarding our upcoming Hate-Loss Challenge.  Today I thought I’d give you a good idea on what to expect should you decide to join – we begin in only a few days!


1.  Positive Reinforcement Sheet:

If you were part of the Challenge last year, you remember that our month was entirely focused on mindfulness.  I asked participants to create a Positive Reinforcement Sheet (or use the one I had made) that contained positive, affirming words, and spend time each day repeating those words to themselves.  I kept my copy in my car, on my mirror and on my refrigerator.  This gave me several opportunities to think and/or say positive thoughts about myself (which is not an easy exercise if you’re used to putting yourself down all of the time.)  After the first couple of weeks, the words came easier and I actually began thinking differently about myself as a result. I received a lot of positive feedback from those who used this exercise and was told that it turned out to be very helpful.

We will be using a Positive Reinforcement Sheet again for 2012’s Challenge.  Being mindful will allow you to meet each moment with full-awareness.  Filling your mind with these positive thoughts will serve as a reminder to be more compassionate with yourself.   Eliminate insecurities that are weighing you down by giving yourself the love and respect you deserve.



Positive Reinforcement Sheet:


Hate-Loss Challenge:

During the month of January, 2012, I am vowing to make a resolution to have pride in myself, no matter what size I am- each and every day. January will be the month that I set in motion a healthy habit to rid my vocabulary of words that aim to destroy my self-esteem. By the end of January I hope to have set a permanent habit into motion as I continue to feel better about my value, importance, and place in this world.

Rules: At least once a day I must attempt to use one or more of these words in my vocabulary about myself:

I am….

strong, courageous, beautiful/handsome, creative, kind, better, unique, remarkable, open-minded, intelligent, confident, conditioned, fascinating, pleasing. I will say the words out loud. I will listen to how they sound as they are defining me!

Off Limits: Words I will try to refrain from using: failure, undeserving, incompetent, lazy, no-good, fat, unattractive, stupid, sloppy, defeated, unworthy.

One Final Consideration: It’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to have off-days, but I won’t let negative thoughts consume me. I will pick myself up, dust myself off and make an effort to never, ever let destructive words define who I am.



There will be a permanent copy of this sheet along with all of the other information you need on the Hate-Loss Challenge tab at the top of my blog.


2.  Weekly Topic List:

In addition, I will have a specific topic prepared for each Thursday update. I will post that week’s topic every Monday morning. This will give you a chance to think about and write your post for Group Therapy Thursday.


3.  Group Therapy Thursday

This is a virtual meeting place to come together and work through our concerns, feelings, frustrations or breakthroughs that we’re experiencing during the challenge.  It’s also where we can support each other and offer advice.  All participants will post about their progress on Group Therapy Thursdays.   You may write about the challenge on your blog as often as you’d like; just remember that everyone will meet back here at Fat Girl Wearing Thin every Thursday where you will do one of two things:

If you run a blog: share with your readers about your involvement in the Challenge.  Post about your interaction with the Positive Reinforcement Sheet as well as that week’s topic.  You will then visit my blog and leave a comment with a link back to your progress post so that other participants can read, visit, and connect with you on your blog.

If you do not run a blog: Simply submit a progress report in the comment section of my blog each Thursday. 



  • The official start of the challenge is January 1st, 2012 and will run until January 31st, 2012.
  • At some point before January, create your own Reinforcement Sheet or print out a copy of the one I’ve created and keep it in a place where you will see it every day: on your bathroom mirror, in your car, in your purse, in your gym bag, on your nightstand. These are the words you will use to describe yourself for the month.  When you say the words, I strongly encourage you to say them out loud. It is important to hear the positive words being used to describe you, and it validates the word(s) you are saying.  This is not an easy exercise.  You may feel self-conscious, foolish or ridiculous at first, but it’s important to keep saying them.  Who better to shower you with praise than you?  Eventually these words will become easier to say and negative thought patterns will hopefully begin to soften, making you more aware of the many exceptional things that define you.
  • Weekly Topic Ideas will be posted on my blog every Monday.
  • Group Therapy Thursday dates are: January 5th, January 12th, January 19th, January 26th

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Have a great Monday!



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  1. Sounds like a lovely way to spend the holiday:)

  2. Carbie Girl says:

    Isn’t Chicago awesome? *sigh* Expensive as all get out, but so wonderful <3 Sounds like a lovely, peaceful Christmas!!

  3. Hanlie says:

    I love your window seat! I wish I could have spent Christmas like that!

    I can’t tell you how much I need this challenge! It’s either that or an exorcism. I’ll definitely work on my PRS this week… Thank you for doing this again!

  4. Paula says:

    I love this challenge and you can count me in. This is exactly what I need right now. I’ve been so hard on myself the last month or so that I feel terrible about myself. I am printing my copy of the Positive Reinforcement Sheet. I look forward to the weekly topics & will work at being involved in this all month long! I think this will be the perfect gift for me.

  5. Beth says:

    I’m glad you had a great trip to
    Chicago! I can’t wait to do the Hate-Loss challenge Ellen!

  6. Melody says:

    I just found your blog and this sounds like a great challenge. Isn’t Chicago gorgeous night or day? I miss the midwest sometimes.

  7. Tim says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas in Chicago. I love the window seat. I bet the view looked fantastic at night time with all the lights on!

  8. munchberry says:

    Thursday group therapy. What a splendid idea.

    Your Chicago trip ~ such a good way to close out the year. Glass of wine in one hand, person you love in the other and nothing to draw your attention away from him except the serene view.

  9. Laura says:

    It sounds like you had a perfect “no” traditions Christmas – I hope you and your husband started building new ones! I’m excited for the challenge – I think it means SO much when we can simply be nice to ourselves! I think that is the first step towards being nicer to everyone in our lives! Can’t wait!

  10. auntiekim says:

    Sounds like a perfectly blissful holiday. I’m so glad you had a peaceful day, 100% devoted to yourself and your husband!

    I will be participating in your challenge. It’s going to be rough since January is my busiest month of the year at work (stupid year-end close and audit!), but I will find the time because this is important. It kind of goes hand in hand with the book I’m reading right now: Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater. I heard about it from one of the other #WEverb11 participants and I’m loving it. So easy to read but exactly this type of stuff…letting go of things, finding peace for your mind…all stuff I need to work on! Looking forward to the challenge!

  11. vickie says:

    I already had a post ready to run with recaps of your challenge from last year. Have added link to this post too.

    I think you need to ditch the name ‘hate loss’ and call it something positive. I totally GET the idea is to loose the hate. But I think our eye should always be looking forward or toward what we want, our goal. I think this is a positive challenge and should have that type of name.

  12. vickie says:

    Last year, I always used the words ‘Ellen’s Postive Self Talk Challenge’ talking about your challenge.


    I just went back and looked and realized that was my mind making it positive.

    I just realized you called it Hate Loss challenge all last year. So I can understand why you continue with the same name.

    I don’t know what to suggest, just saying, stands out to me. Honestly, sort of makes me cringe to see you with that wording.

    No matter what you do, I will call it Ellen’s Postive Self Talk Challenge (honestly, because that is how I now think).

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Vickie. It never occurred to me that the name would invoke a negative connotation. This gives me some food for thought for 2013’s challenge. You can call it anything you’d like; I’m just very grateful to you for helping to spread the word about it :)

  13. […] you were here for my previous years’ challenges, you’ll remember the positive reinforcement sheet I created. Basically, we used verbal affirmations to help rid our vocabulary of words that aimed to […]

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