After having lost 115 pounds in the last year and a half you would think I have it all figured out, right? Well, maybe, maybe not…I’ve certainly learned a lot about weight loss, living a healthy lifestyle, motivation, and I’m really excited to share all of my experiences with all of you. But does that mean that I have it 100% together all of the time? No! Often, even though I know the right thing to do, I don’t always make the right decisions. I’m sure that’s true for everyone. Just because I’m blogging about my experiences doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect! I had a reader ask me earlier this week to share some of my personal issues and the things I struggle with daily. Here are five:
Yes, I struggle with self esteem issues. I think most women do. I think anyone who’s ever had a weight problem will still have some issues that linger even afterward.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and still see a fat person. Maybe not as fat as I was, but still pretty fat. I don’t know if that will ever go all the way away. It’s a form of body dysmorphia. I somehow internalized the idea that I was a fat person long before I was even a fat person. So, it just makes sense that it would be hard to get rid of that label in my mind even as the fat goes away.
I try not to think about it, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. I try not to give it a voice, but when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable it attacks. We all have our issues about ourselves that we don’t like. Mine jump out at me every time I look in the mirror.
I also struggle with never being good enough. If I exercise for 30 minutes, I feel like I should have done 40. If I did 40 I should have done an hour. I feel like everyone else in the world is out there doing an hour and I’m not. I feel like they are all doing cross fit and I’m doing Jazzercise or something with my grandma and Jane Fonda and I just don’t measure up. I don’t spend enough time working, blogging, studying, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, sleeping.
Sometimes I think that everything I do, I don’t do it well enough, fast enough, long enough, or as good as the girl down the street. Sometimes I think I don’t spend enough time with my kids. I fear maybe my kids are going to grow up to be thugs because I don’t have them enrolled in enough extra school activities. The people I talk to seem to have their kids in like 75 activities each. I must be selfish. I spend too much time blogging. And for what? Sometimes I think no one will want to read this blog when they find out I’m a fraud. I ate chicken wings the other day. My seven year old said to me, “You shouldn’t eat those if you have a blog.” Even he knows. Geesh.
I have to look at myself in the mirror and remind myself that none of this is true and that I am good enough, that I’m not fat. That I’m really good at what I do and I deserve to believe it. I have to remind myself or I forget. I wish that weren’t true, but it is.
Does my weight loss and healthy lifestyle come first in my life? The answer to that would be no. It’s on my mind all the time. I have daily activities that I never miss, like logging my foods into My Fitness Pal, and checking in with all of my Social media groups. I am committed to it. But where does it actually rank in terms of the time I allot for it each and every day?
That is a very different story. I have a lot of demands on my time, as do all of us. I have my family, my three boys and the mailman. My full-time job, where I just got a promotion. My blog. The time I spend studying about weight loss, nutrition, self-improvement, blogging, and finance (I do work in the financial industry, fyi). There’s also our extended family. There’s the running and upkeep of the household, including shopping, cleaning, etc. Then there’s my weight loss. Now I do a great job with cooking healthy meals and meal prep and planning. Exercise is where I tend to fall short.
I haven’t made it a priority consistently like I should. I do exercise, and I do exercise regularly, but it’s not to the extent that I would like, meaning I will have exercise planned for an evening and then not be able to follow through with it because of a litany of other things that will come up and that I will allow to take precedence. This is no one’s fault but my own.
3. Limiting Thoughts
I have always been my own worst enemy, and I have held myself back from so many things simply by being afraid to take the leap. I have lived in fear of failing. I’m such a good negotiator. The problem is I negotiate myself right out of ever doing the things I want to do. I may have a brilliant idea, but before I act on it I will poke so many holes in it that it can see the light of day.
I’m not a pessimist, or a realist, I have just lived a life where I was scared of falling. I’ve learned to push myself outside my comfort zone because that’s where growth starts to happen. I know that the only limitations are the ones I have placed on myself. I need to let go of all of these thoughts.
I’ve learned to stop telling myself no, and to stop telling myself I can’t do things. And to stop trying to think of reasons why something won’t work.
I hate hearing excuses from anyone. My kids, the dogs, the mailman, anyone. I don’t know why I should be any different. I shouldn’t blame anyone else for my struggles and I shouldn’t try to make excuses or rationalize or anything else. No excuses. Just do the work. Eat the right food. Stick to the plan. Honor the commitments. If there’s not enough time in the day, then what is it that I’m doing that needs to go? Most certainly there is something.
If something’s not working and I’m trying to convince myself it’s the computer’s fault or someone else’s fault, certainly not my own, I’ve had to learn to walk away from it and come back to it with a fresh attitude later. I can’t afford to spin my wheels on things that aren’t valuable to me. I can’t let that be the reason I don’t reach my goals.
No one else is going to be the reason I don’t achieve what I want to achieve and I am not going to hold myself back anymore either. Once I started taking ownership of everything in my life things started changing for me. When I looked around at work said, here is the part I’ve played in this problem and here’s what I can do to change it, the difference was night and day. No more passing the buck. Take ownership. No excuses.
While I still struggle with coming up with excuses why I can’t find the time to exercise or why I can’t get to that next weight loss goal in the time I’ve set, I really try to be tough on myself with this one. Making excuses and blaming others is just not a good look.
I still have the desire to eat way too much food sometimes. The good news is, I can identify my triggers a lot better than I used to. They include hormonal changes, emotional issues or stress, boredom, and allowing myself to get overly hungry. When any of these triggers occur, I usually know what I’m doing before I start doing it, and I check in with the decision making team in my head to see who’s on duty.
Is it cool Summer, who let’s me eat what I want, or is it mean Summer, who tells me to suck it up and eat some almonds? A lot of time mean Summer is off duty, and the party is on. Granted, she doesn’t go on long trips like she used to. She always comes back way too soon to clean up the mess.
The struggle is to stop while I’m ahead, or before I get too far behind. I still make an effort to log the calories I ate, even if I ate like a crazy toddler at a birthday party. If I ate four servings of Swedish fish, then MFP is going to know about it.
The good news is, in all of my binges over the last year, I have been able to look at these with an objective eye. They aren’t failures or shortcomings. I’m not a crazy person. (Well, if I actually thought I had miniature versions of myself living in my head making my decisions for me good cop/bad cop style, I might be, but that’s just an analogy.)
Anyway, I’m not crazy. These are biological issues for the most part. One is brought on monthly. At least I know why I’m having crazy cravings during that time and it’s not just a lack of willpower.
One is brought on by stress, I have worked on a lot of stress management tools over the last year and a half, so no more of the eating whatever I want because I cried this morning mentality. I have come up with some better coping mechanisms than eating.
As far as boredom goes, I know the only time I eat out of boredom is when I watch TV. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV these days, but I do watch some. I know I need crunchy snacks that I can munch on mindlessly and endlessly if I’m having a desire to chew. Veggies are that perfect snack.
Not allowing myself to get too hungry has to do with proper meal planning and being prepared throughout the day. I have to make sure I have enough protein in my breakfast and lunch and that I have a healthy snack on hand at work. If not, I’ll start checking my drawers for cracker crumbs. For real. I’ll eat any gross, stale, thing I can find if it gets bad enough. Then, by the time I get home and I’m cooking dinner, forget it. Something salty and something sweet. By the handful. By the time dinner is cooked I’m not hungry.
So there you are 5 things I struggle with even after losing over 100 pounds, aren’t you glad you asked? As you can see, I am perfect by no means. I am a work in progress. I love myself some days, tolerate myself others, and drive myself and the mailman crazy on a lot of days as well. There are so many things to be learned when walking a weight loss journey. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back.
Sometimes the progress is emotional rather than physical. It took a long time to get here, and I am proud of every pound I have lost. I want to encourage everyone who is losing weight to look deeper than just the physical. Losing weight is so very important for your health, but your emotional health needs to be cared for as well.
The key is to keep moving. Stay inspired daily. It’s a huge part of weight loss success.
Here are a few other posts you may enjoy:
Let me know your thoughts!