Friday, September 16, 2011

Lose Weight by Changing My Mind - my weightloss journey begins today

I’m overweight. I’m no longer obese but I’m still overweight. I’m thinner and fitter than I was three years ago and that’s great. I’m now fat and fit. That’s, according to research, much better than being skinny and unfit. It’s not good enough being fat and fit but I’m half way there. Go me!

The journey to being half way there began almost three years ago when I looked at a photo of myself and realized that I looked like a frigging air balloon. The person I saw wasn’t me. I didn’t recognize myself in the photo as the person I really am. I did, however, recognize that it was the way I looked.

It was unhealthy. I felt old. Little things were going wrong with my body and there were pains that weren’t there before. I realized I felt far too old for my age. I realized I needed to change.

With two failed marriages behind me, two abusive marriages, I was in no state to tackle the weight problem head on. I knew I would fail if I did. I’m an emotional eater and I was still emotionally raw. I was going to eat no matter what.

I decided to break my journey into three steps. First I would get fit or at least fitter. Secondly I would emotionally fit or at least emotionally fitter. Thirdly I would lose weight.

Today, I believe I’m ready to start tackling the weight issue.

If you’ve read my blog before you know that I’m currently battling with an issue of a relationship that isn’t working. You may say that this is not the time to tackle the weight because this must be a very emotional time for me. It would seem like it’s completely insane of me to even think of starting my weight loss journey now and perhaps it is. My gut tells me though that it’s not. My gut tells me that this is somehow connected and now is the time to tackle this too.

We live in societies that provide for unlimited choices when it comes to food. We can’t escape food. It’s everywhere and we’re wired to want it when we see it. We’re programmed to want it when we see it through advertising. Much of our existence revolves around food and if you’re anything like me you spend a lot of time thinking about what to eat and when you’ll do it, or what not to eat and when not to do it. Then you eat it.

I’m fully convinced that what I’m now embarking on is not a weight loss journey as much as a brain washing exercise. I have to convince my mind that I don’t need as much food as I’m currently eating and that the pleasure I get from not eating crap foods far outweighs the limited pleasure I get from eating a chocolate bar not to mention the guilt trip that comes with eating it

I have to convince my mind that in order for my health to be good and perhaps even improve even as I get older the most important weapon I have is food, the right kind of food, and the most destructive thing I have working against me is food, the wrong kind of food. I don’t lack the knowledge needed to distinguish between the two. I already have all that data available right in my head including the exact calories in most of the foods I encounter every day. I’ve been obsessed with it from time to time.

When I quit smoking some 12 years ago I realized that I was never going to make it with will power. I always got to three weeks and then I found an excuse, usually related to feeling stressed, for lighting up and only have one, then two, then three…

I switched tactics, and this was before I knew anything about affirmations and self-hypnosis, and I started to list all the negative things to do with smoking I could think of every time I lit up. It smells bad. It costs too much. It makes me stink. I have to go outside to do it. On and on I went with listing the negatives until one day I felt repulsed when I lit one up. That’s when I stopped smoking. It wasn’t easy battling the cravings but what always stopped me from lighting up was the repulsion I felt, and that I still feel now. I’ve tried putting a cigarette between my lips and I just can’t bring myself to do it and I’ve lived with two smokers since I quit so there were cigarettes around.

Important lessons were learned from this “experiment”. I learned that habits and beliefs form a very important part of how we do things and why we do them. I learned that I can break habits and that I can form new beliefs if I want to. I also learned that it’s not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of effort. The good news is that the effort really pays off.

Your mind will resist anything that is trying to reprogram you. Your mind will find ways to put up a fight and to trip you up. The trick is to recognize them for what they are and begin to enjoy playing mind games with your own mind and you have to be prepared to wait for the result. Brainwashing yourself takes time. (This is why we have ad campaigns; one ad wouldn’t work as well.)

If you think you’re a fat person then you’re a fat person. If you think you can’t lose weight you’re not going to lose weight. If you tell yourself that you need to diet then go about restricting what you eat odds are that you’re going to fail at least in the long run. If you on the other hand treat it as an experiment in reorganizing your mind’s priorities you have a completely different game on your hands. You’re in control as long as you allow yourself the time to play the game.

My goal is to reprogram my brain to want the right kind of foods and to start abhorring foods that are bad for me. If I read a list of ingredients on a chocolate bar wrapper most of them sound pretty awful. I don’t like any of that. If that’s what makes up the chocolate bar the question is Do I really like chocolate bar? Based on what’s in them I don’t. Now I have something to work with. If I start drooling over the thought of some cookies and begin to think about all the fat around my tummy and how bad I look in a bikini I will eventually if I keep that up start to associate the cookies with my beached whale look. It’s going to take some time though to override the programming that tells me I get a cookie when I’m a good girl and I’m always a good girl, right?

I’m going to post sporadically about this reprogramming experiment. I will not diet. I want to make that very clear. I will change my mind and my attitude towards food. I will attempt to reprogram my mind to see food as fuel and to start to recognize when my tank is already full.

I will keep you posted on the techniques I’ll use, none of them are scientific, and what my discoveries are. I will keep you posted on my failures and my successes. We will do this together if you decide to keep reading. All the posts about this will be tagged Lose Weight by Changing My Mind. If I can do this then so can you and you can do it with anything you want to change in your life.

And you may wonder what this has to do with my current relationships issues. Do you? Well of course it’s all related because this is about taking control and becoming the pilot of the vessel that is me. If I can reprogram myself when it comes to food I can do it when it comes to what people I allow into my life and the kind of relationships I choose to have.

Hope you stick with me on this one! I would love your comments!

1 comment:

  1. If you can quit smoking, then you can do anything!

    ReplyDelete

Have your say. Go on! You know you want to.

Featured Post

It's Day Something of my Radical Something-Something Project

You can't trust me. I set out on a new and shiny path and I don't follow through. I feel a little like that about my whole life a...

Popular posts