Weight Issues and Mind Games: I am familiar with the challenges of finding and maintaining a healthy weight and body image both personally, and as I have worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor over the years. It’s one of my favorite subjects. As far as our health and well-being are concerned, I think it is extremely powerful.
What got me thinking about all of this was actually a sort-of funny thing that happened recently. It all started when I stepped on my home scale. Now, I know we all have different relationships with the scale, but I’m the type to hop on it once or twice a year, just to be sure that I’m within a normal range for me. I shy away from weighing myself too often, as I don’t want to get obsessed with it. I know our weight can fluctuate a pound here or there, and I simply prefer to go by how my clothes are fitting, and how I generally feel. (It hasn’t always been this way, but my full personal story will have to be another post. If you wish.)
Well, this time recently when I got on that scale, it showed a weight about eight pounds LESS than my normal. Funny, it was just after the holidays, and I hadn’t noticed pants falling off of me or anything. I was really surprised! But I can’t lie–I LIKED seeing a lower weight than usual. I had not been trying to lose weight, but seeing a lighter weight was like a little free gift. Obviously, it felt great!
And you know what I noticed after that? For the next day or two, I had a THIN-PERSON mentality. I felt good, and I wanted to keep it that way. I think I nibbled a little less. I probably walked a little taller. I went light on dessert, and I was pretty sure that I looked rather skinny in my skinny jeans.
But hold on for chapter TWO:
One of my boys had a doctor’s appointment later that week. He happened to weigh himself at home just before we left, (hoping for some weight gain, of course.) Then as usual, the nurse weighed him when he first checked in at the doctor’s office. Seeing that the weight at the doctor’s office was HIGHER than the home scale, my boy was super excited. He yelled out–“Mom! Our scale is wrong at home! I’m more than FIVE pounds heavier than I thought I was!”
I was excited for him. For about one second.
Until it hit me: That means…
…I had not LOST any weight, but quite possibly had gained a couple of pounds!
Sure enough, as each family member weighed themselves later, it became very clear that our scale was at least five pounds on the light side.
The boys were stoked.
But this whole psych experience only served as a reminder of something I really already knew.
Something that I TRIED like crazy to communicate to my clients when I was personal trainer.
Something that if I could BOTTLE IT UP and hand it out, would be a great help to a whole lot of people in their own personal weight, and body image journey.
I was reminded that the greatest DIET TOOL we have is our own MIND.
Remember, when I thought I weighed less, I ATE like someone proud to weigh less who wanted to keep it that way.
When I felt GOOD about myself, you might say I wanted to keep the ball rolling in that direction, so I kept the positive behaviors going…which in turn creates a snowball effect.
Now there are some of you out there who, if you thought you had lost five pounds, would go celebrate with a hot-fudge sundae. I get that.
Most of us, however, respond to positive news the way I responded to my perceived weight loss. Most of will feel so good about a little success, that we are willing to go the extra mile to keep it that way–or even improve on it.
And sadly the reverse is also true: When we are feeling lousy about ourselves, we tend to “feed” the behavior that got us there. (excuse the pun.) Our human nature can get us feeling so negative that we don’t want to begin rolling that ball…up hill. It’s just too hard to get started. OR it might be an easy start, but it gets hard really fast. And then we buy into the belief that we are always going to be this way, and this is just WHO. WE. ARE. (By the way, this same mentality can apply to a multitude of other areas of life…my messy car, or disorganized file cabinets just to name a few. ;))
BUT NOW, I ask: What if you could see a weight of five…ten, or more pounds lighter on your scale right now?
Would it motivate you?
Would it give you the confidence you need to push the plate away a little sooner? To skip dessert? To workout?
What if you started to believe that underneath it all, YOU ARE the person you WOULD LIKE TO be…What if you could BELIEVE That your TRUE SELF IS the IDEAL self that you have simply not yet achieved? What if you chose to LIVE, EAT, and EXERCISE as if you were the size/shape of the IDEAL YOU that you want to become?
I happen to believe that our thought life plays a huge role in our behaviors…Diet, exercise, and far beyond.
How is your thought life?
Do you agree that how you think about yourself plays a huge role in how you take care of yourself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences with your thought life and your health (or any other area this speaks to you!)
And again, let me know what else we should talk about here…
Now that we opened this can of worms…we might as well go for it! 🙂
PS. To be fair: My Chapter Three was when I had my own doctor’s appointment a week later, and my weight turned out to be EXACTLY the same as it was one year ago…And I’ll be happy with that. 🙂