|Posted by Amanda Reed on March 3, 2015 at 1:00 PM|
I've seen it from time to time in my facebook groups. I heard it regularly while I was doing Weight Watchers. And I have experienced it more times than I can count. "I just can't get my head back in the game." "My give a care is broken." "My get up and go got up and left." "I know how to do this, but for some reason I just can't recommit!"
Mind control. You've fallen victim to a timeless trap, a black hole in the space between your ears. It is no respector of persons, thin or thick, old or young, healthy or sick. It is the fear of every dieter who has ever lived and the great nemesis that continues to taunt the maintainence end of the journey. Your own worst enemy is YOU.
How can we hope to succeed in this battle to take back our health when our own thoughts continue to side swipe us? Some do great for a few days and then hit the weekend and think thoughts like, "I've earned this". Others start the morning renewed and confident only to be blasted out of the water left and right by donuts at work and free pizza at lunch.... a dinner out with a loved one to celebrate a birthday and "why shouldn't I have my cake and eat it, too? After all so-and-so only has a birthday once a year."
The next thing you know, you've slipped into this abyss. You cry out for help and hold out your hand, hoping that someone will reel you back in, but it doesn't work. It isn't their hand you need... it's your own.
Today I hit 80 lbs lost. I've been faithfully on this journey without relapse for about 8 1/2 months. How have I done this without falling off the wagon? I'm going to try to explain here.
I went deep... to the painful places.... to the forgotten hurts and sorrows... to the parts of my life that I never wanted to face. I found the WHY. You see, for many people gaining weight has as much to do with the battlefield of the mind as it does with food. For me, eating things that hurt me was how I punished myself, because down deep inside I was convinced that I was bad and unloveable and a terrible person. I got to the why of that as well, and began to purge myself from it. (A lot of prayer and crying and forgiving others and accepting God's forgiveness was involved in this!) This is the first step. Free yourself from the core reason for why you got here in the first place. (This can be a lengthy and painful process. Find someone you trust that you can confide in if necessary, or journal about it if that will help. Just do it!)
From there, the next step is changing how you talk to yourself. By nature, I have always been pessimistic, but after I got that mental and emotional healing, I embraced optimism and positivity. I began to think myself happy, so should you! It's time to start carving some new brain pathways! Everytime you have a negative thought, you need to combat it with something positive. Everytime you start to feel bad about something, count your blessings. You've been telling yourself, "I can't do this!". It's time to say that you can.
What you eat can also help battle hopelessness. Did you know that there is actually a protein in wheat that causes depression and mania? Dr Davis of Wheat Belly talks about this. It's the same protein that makes you crave wheat and gets you addicted to it. They put wheat in many things purely so that you'll eat more of it. Have you ever eaten just one Twizzler? That's right... wheat (plus sugar, a winning combination). I urge you to ditch wheat completely if you want to feel better. Of course, the next step is to eat extremely high (healthy) fat and very low carb. Because fat is necessary to carry the happy hormones around your body, decreasing fat in the SAD (standard American diet) has led to insane numbers of people, including children, being put on antidepression medications. Simply increasing your fat intake is going to boost your mood.
When you fell off the wagon, I'll bet it wasn't to eat more eggs and sausage... it was likely for some sort of naughty baked good and there was wheat flour in it. It's like quitting drugs and getting clean and then thinking you could go back and have one more for old times' sake. Suddenly you're more addicted than you ever were before. How I wish I'd understood that years ago!! My philosophy here is to never deprive yourself, instead make swaps. Eat indulgently. Whipped heavy cream with some stevia or splenda or Swerve and some cocoa powder is a completely safe dessert, with lots of scrumptious fat, that will remind you why ditching wheat and sugar is totally worth it. Have that extra bacon... dip it in a melted Lily's chocolate bar if you want!! Feed yourself so much healthful delicious fat that you feel satisfied and the cravings are kept at bay.
When you get to those places where there's donuts and pizza and cake, be prepared. Don't be sideswiped without backup! There are hundreds of alternatives that are just as good, if not better, than their wheaty cousins. Maybe some keto donuts in your cooler will be just the ticket. Have some nuts or a string cheese in your bag. But even more than that, have positive thoughts in your arsenal.
Instead of "I can't have that":
Instead of "That looks good":
What do you need to replace in your internal diaglogue?
Arm yourself!! In this battle of the bulge, the bulge is in your brain.
Never go into a battle of whits unprepared. Always have a snappy comeback! Don't be your own worst enemy anymore.
And remember, this is the rest of your life so mistakes are bound to happen. They don't have to be the end of the world, but that decision is up to you.