Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Head Games

On this crazy journey I've been on for the last few months, I've come to realize that weight loss is almost all in your head...if not 100%. At least it is for me. 

I have tried countless times in my life to lose weight and have had times where I was fairly successful (though never as successful as I am now). Yet every single time, I ended up reverting back to my old ways. What the heck, Brain? Y U sabotage me? 

I've been trying to figure out what makes this time different than all the other times and it is definitely my brain, no doubt. My head is "in the game" this time. I'm all in. 

The most successful time I've had prior to now was before a wedding where I was a bridesmaid. But I did it for the event, not for ME. Once the event was over, I went back to my old ways - even though I didn't think I would - and not only gained back what I'd lost, but a lot more with it. And trust me, it didn't need friends tagging along.  And now that I think about it,  I think that's the very definition of yo-yo dieting! Just NO!  

And that is not what I'm doing this time. This time, I'm changing my life, my brain, my thinking. Myself. Will I have times where I "splurge" - absolutely. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and to be able to eat healthy the rest of my life I will need to have times where I can have cake or cookies. If I deprive myself of everything, I fail. I know me. If I think about not ever having another piece of cake, it's all over. This fat lady has sung.  

And I have learned something else about myself! There is a huge difference in me planning on splurging vs. eating something on a whim or out of "peer pressure." 

It really hit home after a graduation party a few weeks ago. But I have to go back to the Las Vegas trip to explain. Before I went to Vegas, I had splurges planned. How I would allow myself to "cheat" but I hesitate to use that word because if you plan it in and stick to the plan, is it really cheating? Is that a trigger word? Negative internal conversation that hinders progress? Possibly. Anyway, I knew I'd be drinking Cokes and eating things I don't allow myself normally. And that was fine. It was planned. And I stuck to it and didn't overdo anything but still allowed myself to eat and drink things I don't normally. All in moderation, right?  And I was mentally prepared for the scales when I got home. And I handled it well! I was sort of proud of myself.

Fast forward a few weeks to the graduation party. I formulated my plan. (LOL that sounds ominous, but I assure you it wasn't an evil plan, just one piece of cake to celebrate with everyone else.) And then it happened. Of course, we were at a Mexican restaurant. I love Mexican food. And it started. Everyone else was eating all the things. So I said aloud something to the effect that I didn't know if I wanted to splurge or not. And maybe I said it aloud secretly hoping someone would encourage me. Looking back I think that's exactly why I said it aloud. And I love my family to pieces but they're nothing if not obliging. So people started saying things like "oh go ahead, you DESERVE IT!" Encouraging me, assuring me that one meal wouldn't hurt anything. And I caved and had several things I shouldn't. Once I started, I just went totally off the rails. But it wasn't like Vegas where I planned it and knew it. I felt dirty.  Like a weak-minded "fat person" again.  I felt like a failure. 

For me, weight loss is so tenuous, and so much in my head that this was not good. I ran the gamut of emotions. I failed. I suck. I'm weak. And then I got a lot angry with myself and a bit angry (as much as I'm ashamed to admit it) at them.  "Well THEY caused it! Don't they know it's hard enough living there with everyone else eating whatever they want, 95% of which I can't have?  Don't they know things like 'one bite won't hurt' and 'you deserve it' are detrimental to me?" Of course, they didn't cause anything. I did. Me. But it took a few days to gain some perspective and start figuring out how it happened, why it happened, why it was so different than Vegas for me mentally. And of course there were people there who were seeing me 95 pounds lighter for the first time and I felt pathetic shoveling all the wrong things in my mouth in front of them. That was another clue for me - what others think about what I put in my mouth does not matter. At all. And because I allowed myself to do that, unplanned, and because I felt like I failed, all those old thoughts crept back in. 

Honestly, it scared me more than anything. I was terrified I was going right back to my old ways. Just like every other time. 

I guess what I'm saying is that as amazing as the weight loss is - continues to be - the most amazing part is what has happened, is happening, in my brain. My thinking. Seeing that I am stronger than I thought. That I can succeed. That even with freak out moments and glitches and slip ups I can still overcome and get my head right again. I'm learning so much about myself on this journey that the weight loss is almost secondary. Almost.



  1. You have been so brave to really think about this and work with it! I am so proud of you and your acoomplishments <3

  2. SO.MUCH.THIS!!! I think you have hit the nail here...it is most of the times our brains that messes it all up. So glad to see you are getting your brains rewired to the you you want to be!!!

  3. SO.MUCH.THIS!!! I think you have hit the nail here...it is most of the times our brains that messes it all up. So glad to see you are getting your brains rewired to the you you want to be!!!

  4. I am very proud of you!!! You are doing so very well. I know, with our God's help, you will make your goal.

  5. You nailed it-plain and simple. Thank you for this post. My weight loss still feels very tenuous also. And it's hard. You have worked so hard-and it will continue to take work, but you are right, it's a whole different way of living and thinking.

  6. You are doing geat ahd keep up the brain games