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 . ;)
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