In case you’ve forgotten, I’m on summer break, meaning it’s 10 am and I’ve only been out of bed for an hour. But don’t you worry: that hour was very productive, filled with cardio and breakfast and coffee. Plus, I have a very busy afternoon planned, including Skinny Girl Margaritas and walking by the river. So, see? Break isn’t that amazing. It’s almost like being at work.
One thing break has given me is plenty of time to read, write and think—three of my favorite things in the world. And since weight loss is pretty much what I’m about right now, it’s not surprising that the topic has dominated my time. Let’s cut the crap: if losing weight were as simple as eating better and working out with no thoughts or feelings behind it, we’d all be thin and amazing looking. Because really? Eating healthy food feels good. Working out really doesn’t suck that much, does it?
What I’m thinking about lately are the feelings behind it. Why do I want to eat poorly if I know it makes me feel bad AND doesn’t help me lose weight? What real satisfaction do I get out of skipping the gym when I know I feel a million times better after I’ve been? I’ve been thinking a lot about the negative sort of connotation we associate with dieting: “I CAN’T eat that!” or “I HAVE TO go to the gym.”
I read a great article in Runner’s World about a so-called “Former Fat Girl” becoming a marathon runner. Obviously, this was inspiring to someone who wants to become a runner, but I really loved reading what she had to say about making choices. She started turning her “I can’t” mentality into looking at all the things that she COULD do.
I’ve been trying to do the same thing. Instead of telling myself I can’t eat something, I try and frame it more positively: I can make a healthier choice than eating a gargantuan cupcake. When it comes time for the gym, I try and focus on the fact that I can stick to a commitment I’ve made to myself, and to my boyfriend to support him. While there are still moments of weakness, when I think about it this way, I can hear that little voice in my head saying that I can do things, I can make good choices instead of hearing the incessant whining and bitterness that I can’t eat everything I want to.
It’s almost frightening to think of all of the complexities I have in thinking about food, working out, my body and how intimately aligned those things are with my self-esteem. But instead of ignoring them and shoving them under the rug, I’m trying to deal with them head on and learn as much as I can through the process—hopefully making this not just a physical change, but a mental one.
Since so many of you have reached out and said you’re doing the weight loss thing too, what little tricks are you using to be more positive?