Monday, July 30, 2012

It's All in my Head

Yesterday was a very surprising day for me.  After a week of not working out and some careless food choices, I still managed to drop over two pounds.  It wasn't luck.  It wasn't magic.  But, it wasn't necessarily physical, either.  Truthfully?  I think I lost that weight mentally.  Meaning, it was my mental thoughts that brought on that loss.

I know I mentioned all of this yesterday, that I had discovered the magic secret of losing weight and all that.  That my mental wellness plays a big part in my weight loss success.... but I want to go a little more in depth with it.  Mostly because I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, and because I didn't really know what else to write about today.

Over the course of my blogging history, I've made many references to having voices in my head.  Some are good voices, some not so good.  I guess they are kind of alter egos that appear out of nowhere to either bring success or destruction.  But, most people associate hearing voices in their heads to some kind of mental disorder.  They are not those kinds of voices.  My voices aren't telling me to hurt anyone, they aren't telling me to do things I shouldn't do, and they aren't causing me to be paranoid.

But, they are there.  The good voices and the bad voices.  Some days I hear voices that tell me that eating a candy bar or a bowl of ice-cream won't hurt.  They tell me that I deserve to reward myself with a sweet treat now and then.  They tell me that I don't want to work-out because I'm too tired or I deserve to rest.  Those are the bad voices.  The voices of my past life when my food intake was more related to my emotions than fueling my body.

I still hear those voices, occasionally.

Then there are the good voices that tell me to stay away from all junk food, to drink water, to exercise, and then remind me what benefits and rewards I deserve and will receive when I do those things. 

I used to think that there was no real control over when or where I would hear the voices.  That they would just appear out of nowhere.  That the voices were an internal battle I had to always prepare myself for, be on guard for....without any warning or control.

What I've learned, however, is that those voices are completely controlled by me.  In a sense.  What's going on in my life, how I feel, my stress level - they are all the triggers and motivators for those voices. 

Even though I said I didn't want to revisit my past when I started this new chapter in my weight loss, it's needed right now.  I have to go back and recollect in order to make my point. 

Two years ago, I was still in college.  I was busy ALL of the time, my stress level was at the max, and sometimes I didn't know if I was coming or going.  But, apart from all of that, I was happy.  I felt like I was overcoming a huge milestone in my life - going to college to fulfill my career dreams.  I soaked up the stress like a cat laps up milk.  It was rewarding - something I loved.  That was also the time of my life where I had the greatest success with my weight loss.  I lost a huge amount of weight in a short period of time - not because I was starving myself or doing anything crazy.  I was eating very mindfully, I was working out on a regular basis, I was pushing myself to do things I didn't think I could do like boot camps and 5K races.

Once my schooling was over, I basically jumped off of a cliff.  My happiness diminshed.  I was smacked in the face with the realization that just because I went to college and earned my degree didn't automatically grant me my life long wish.  Doors were closed in my face everywhere I turned, and my mind began shifting in to a place I didn't like being.  I was depressed.  I felt like a failure.  And with those thoughts came the rushing back of the majority of all the weight I had lost.

It was my mental state that controlled my weight loss.

Now, all that depression and feelings of failure are gone.  I got a teaching job.  I am overwhelmed and stressed about the next couple of weeks.  I feel like I'm so busy I don't know whether I'm coming or going.  But, I'm losing weight.  Five pounds gone over three weeks may not sound like much to some - but it's the most weight I've lost in a very long time.  Not only that, but I feel confident in my weight loss efforts. 

I sometimes cringe at some of the decisions I make - eating something I shouldn't or skipping a work-out when I said I would do it.  But, the bad voices aren't there congratulating me - the good voices are there encouraging me, telling me that I will keep going.  And they are right. 

I know I can lose the weight, now.  Regardless of how fast or slow my progress is - I'm still making progress each week.  That's because my mind is on board, it's supporting my efforts, it's encouraging me....and most importantly?  My mind is happy.

Till next time . ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter


  1. extremely deep post and it sounds like you understand yourself a lot better now looking back on your journey. I think looking within is a lot harder than just staying stagnant but once you deal with some of the problems, it really does help you move forward.

    Good luck with everything. I was just the opposite. I was miserable in college and afraid of the future.

    1. Thank you! I really think my big change came with this new job. I wanted to get rid of the negative persona I had for myself, and completely focus on what I was working towards. To do that, I really did have to look within to see if I was ready and face the demons that caused me to fail so many times before.

      I kinda think this is really it this time.

  2. This battle is won or lost in the mind for sure. If we want to change our lives, we have to change our minds. Until that happens, nothing works.

    1. You said that perfectly. I really resonate with that each time I watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Each of those people have some type of internal struggle going on that caused the weight gain - and unless they are willing to face those inner demons, they can't succeed. I am very much that way. I had to face my inner demons before any form of weight loss success would happen.

  3. I really do believe that losing weight is a mental thing!
    I understand that you are definitely going to be more stressed until school starts and you get into routine.
    You are going to have a fantastic year!!

    1. Actually, I kinda like the stressed, overwhelmed feeling. It helps keep me focused. It's a good stress and a good overwhelming feeling - so it's a lot easier to manage. LOL

      And thank you!! I really feel like I'm going to have fantastic year. Teaching, losing weight - the two things I've ALWAYS wanted to do. :)

  4. What you think about, you bring about for sure!!

    THis may sound crazy, but I'm also jealous of your bad voices that tell you that you deserve to rest or that you deserve a sweet treat. My bad voice tells me the exact opposite - that if I rest I will be fat. If I eat something, I will be fat. It's a really mean voice. I can't fight it. Yes, it does keep me on track for the most part, but sometimes it can really ruin a good day - like my birthday! WHy does the bad voice have to come out when birthday cake is around? Why can't it just leave me alone and let me enjoy a celebration? Ya know??

    UGH. Everything you wrote in this post makes sense and I can relate to it ALL.

    1. I wonder if my bad voice will change once I lose weight? I know that I've heard the voice you speak of, though...sometimes when I look in the mirror. I hear a voice that tells me I made myself that way, the fat represents my weakness, and taunts me constantly about whether I can stay on course and do what I keep saying I will do. I don't hear it as often now, being that my state of mind has changed for the better. I look at myself in the mirror more often and am reminded why I'm doing what I'm doing, that what I'm seeing isn't permanent.

      I guess time will tell though, right?


Tell me what's on your mind - I love to hear from you!