Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trying NOT to take it too seriously

This post has been bopping around in my head for awhile now, occasionally when this happens I have hard time expressing exactly what I'm feeling so hang with me nah! Yes, You read that post title right, I'm trying not to take it too seriously. When I say it I mean food, diet, and micro managing every meal.

One thing I've learned about myself, since deciding to overhaul my life, is that I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. This isn't surprising in the least to anyone who has ever struggled with their weight. Whether you struggle to gain, lose, or maintain. Any struggle in this arena, I believe perpetuates an unhealthy relationship with food. For those of you in the struggle to lose/maintain arena with me, this is how the up cycle goes.... You eat to make yourself feel better, which works temporarily, until you feel poorly the next day, you eat more trash, gain weight, wash rinse repeat. Next thing you know, you're picking apart your body in the mirror with angry frustration. It's an ugly cycle. One that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to completely stop, but it is a cycle I have learned to manage. Baby steps and one day at a time.

For me personally, I find putting pressure on my self to hit certain counts, leaves me obsessing about food. Continuously thinking about where my next meal is coming from and perpetually hungry. Forever tutoring myself over what I can't eat, because I'm feeling deprived, and it consequently makes me feel miserable. Putting pressure on myself this way also made social situations dreadful. I would avoid lunch invitations in the office, find any excuse not to go out to eat on the weekends, or attend dinner at someones home. Constantly hungry and yet always feeling guilty, because all I ever wanted to do was cheat myself. I felt powerless. It was frustrating, and it was humbling. I thought I was past feeling controlled by food.

This would accumulate into binge eating.  I'm not proud to admit that, but that's exactly what would happen. One or two numbers would be off, and I'd think welp there goes the day. As I'm coming out of my summer slump, and the weight is coming back down, I feel I know myself better. I know what I can and can not expect of myself in terms of food. I know with certainty that my weight gain was all me. While no one has said to me, You look like you've gained weight, it was something I could feel. Something I could see on the scale. Sure, it was only 10 pounds, but it always starts when it's only 10 pounds. It terrified me. I am frightened of the old me. I never want to be her again and I will do anything to avoid going back there.I was struggling with personal issues and relied on old habits. The ugly vicious yo-yo cycle. Learning to manage the cycle has been key. Wriggling back out of this weight has been humbling and challenging. Yet, I'm glad it happened. I learn more about myself during struggle than in triumph, and now I feel I can turn to different avenues to avoid the yo-yo cycle again.

I've been able to dig myself out of the gain by focusing on what does work for me.

1. Focusing on fitness. Instead of measuring success based on the scale, I've focused on everything I can do physically. Pushing my body harder each work out. Lifting more weight per set. Challenging myself to see how fast I can run one mile, just because. Exercise makes me incredibly happy. Completing more sets than I did last time, and seeing my body do what it couldn't two weeks prior. Fitness leaves me feeling strong in all aspects of life.

2. Allowing a cheat day. One day a week, usually Sunday, I allow myself to cheat. I don't think about calories or carbs, and I don't feel guilty. In day to day life, eliminate trigger foods, stop buying it. If you don't buy it, you can't eat it- a-hem peanut butter. I have not purchased peanut butter since August. I've been sticking solely to PB2. Surprisingly, I don't miss it one bit.

3. Focusing on all of my wonderful qualities that are not physical, and the things I can control. Things I can control: how I feel, choosing to be happy, choosing to see the good in all situations, being kind and thoughtful towards others, and the positive energy I bring into my space. When I'm happy it's easy for me to do well with food. Food has no power over me.

4. Looking in the mirror each day and naming five things I love about appearance regardless if I'm having a fat day or a skinny day. Shutting down negative self talk is essential for me to succeed, making a concentrated effort to talk to myself the way I would talk to my friends.

5. Refusing to let a number on the scale or a tag in my pants define my mood. Last month, I found myself beating myself up over buying a size 8 and not a size 6. Shut it down. The world doesn't give two shits what the tag on the inside of your pants says, and neither should you.

Looking for the positive in every set back has been great for me. I've learned more about myself in the last few months than I have in the last few years. I am so proud of myself for shutting this cycle down and not self destructing as I would have in the past.Will I ever be completely satisfied with my body? Probably not. I'd love to tell anyone struggling, You'll reach your goal weight and life will change. You'll be so happy with your body and it will be easy to maintain. Unfortunately, that's not true. I know this will be a life long struggle for me. My hope is that one day I can be completely happy in my own skin. To me, that's the ultimate prize.

Presently, I'm focused on keeping my calorie and carb counts low. I'm not aiming for any specific numbers per day. Just eating when I'm hungry and making healthy choices. The crazy part? I'm struggling to reach 1200 per day, and I'm not even hungry. I am a firm believer that weight loss ten times the mental challenge, than it is a physical one. Never underestimate the power of positive thought.

Ran 7 Miles before Breakfast = Feeling like the baddest chick in town

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15 comments:

  1. Keep going girl! I'm there with you in the daily struggle with food! Sometimes I calorie count, sometimes I don't but I feel better and more satisfied if I just make healthy choices and don't let the numbers run my world! You are doing and looking great Gisele!!

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  2. This is a great post! All of the things ring true for me too. I love #5 and telling yourself to shut it down :)

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  3. I can really relate to this. It is honestly why I do not count calories. I do not even have a true designated "cheat day". I loosely try to avoid sweets during the week but if I slip up I don't stress. When I was really strict during the week I always found myself binging on junk food come cheat day and I realized it just reinforced my bad habits.

    I really love this blog and this particular post really helped me change the way I view food and my body.

    http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2013/03/add-not-subtract-2.html

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  4. Love this post!! I'm totally with you. I'm pregnant now (18+ weeks!), and it's been hard to be ok with some of the changes in my body... which leads me to sometimes comfort myself with food, and yadda yadda the cycle continues. I lost weight a few years back and it took me a couple years to find a good equilibrium (but I did get there). These new changes are throwing me for a loop but I think I'm doing ok :)

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  5. Love Love Love this post -- thank you for writing this! I'm currently doing a nutrition program + workout schedule thru my gym & have been TOTALLY battling similar thoughts about feeling guilty about my food, avoiding time with friends because it wouldn't fall in line with my plan, etc. This so hit home with me - so thank you! One small step in the right mental direction came for me last night - had committed to 2 nights of extra cardio per week, but ZERO motivation to run or do spin....so rather than sit on my couch & ditch, I got out & walked two laps at dusk at a local lake. It felt great! Baby steps right?! :) Thank you again!

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  6. THANK YOU for this post! This is exactly how I feel. I have become so obsessed with the scale and size of my pants that I'm forgetting what I've accomplished along this journey - a half marathon, a love of strength training and running and becoming a more positive person all around.

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  7. This is so so true. I KNOW it's a mental battle and I'm trying to remember that and motivate myself that way too. I've been going to the gym consistently now for 5 weeks and it seems like it's not working. I know that's not true, but I want to SEE the numbers change and they really aren't yet. I have to keep at it and just remember I AM making great choices for my health.

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  8. 7 miles before breakfast?!?! you ARE the baddest chick in town!!!! that's awesome.

    its a mental battle for me too, that this year I have been losing at, but I am working on it!

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  9. I love love love this post - you hit the nail on the head with the whole thing...I have been so totally stuck, but today I feel better, I feel confident and a measly 1.5 mile run gave me that feeling, and reading this post - thank you lady friend :)

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  10. LOVE THIS! It's like you read my mind!!! Keep up the awesome job!

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  11. I cant express how much I love this post. You just wrote everything Ive been thinking! You are awesome!

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  12. I love EVERYTHING you said. I couldn't agree more than with what you said in your #1. I do things like challenge myself "just because" and its so rewarding! Caleb and I have been working out for over a month now and I'm FEELING better, I've lost a few pounds, but still need to lose about 5 more...more than anything though I just want to be healthy and toned...more lean!! Thank you for your constant encouragement!!!!! You're BEAUTIFUL!!

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  13. I'm mental game pro here. This post is spot on!!!

    www.beautifullyawkward01.blogspot.com

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  14. You are awesome! This totally rings true for me - I've been following you for a little while now and you totally motivate me! Keep it up! I love seeing new posts and I know that I need to be more accountable over what I eat, how much activity I get, and how much I sleep. It's always a struggle, but knowing I'm not the only one makes it hell of a lot more bearable.

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  15. Thank you for this post! It's reassuring to see that I'm not the only one that struggles with this and that it can be beat. Thanks for sharing your strategies!

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