Friday, February 1, 2013

The Psyched out in the Work Out,

I had a rough week, healthwise and realized yesterday that I felt like I was losing motivation, so I thought that I'm exam that a little bit today. I'd love your feedback too!

Keeping motivated while losing weight is so difficult, but what about when we become our own worst enemy?  What I feel isn't talked enough in relation to weight loss is the psychological effect, especially in people that lose a large amount of weight. It's hard to look in the mirror every day and see a different person, even if you like the person that you're seeing in the mirror.  Basically--you know when you put makeup on, pout your lips all sexy like and take a picture to display yourself in all of your peacock glory on Facebook and you think to yourself 'damn I look pretty good in this picture!' Well, when I look in the mirror now, I feel like I'm looking at that styled up 'skinny day' picture of myself.  When I lost weight in college, I thought I looked good and I was happy with how I looked, but I don't remember looking in the mirror and feeling like I was looking at a different person.  This would sound great, and in many ways it is, but it starts making you question people's motives for being nice to you (would that person still like me if I was fatter?), it starts making you want to scream, "but that's not me!" at the mirror, and it can start planting seeds of doubt in your mind.

I started watching Biggest Loser recently.  Just for the record, that show is a lot easier to watch, guilt free, if you are busting your own butt trying to lose weight. The first week I watched, I found myself jogging around my kitchen, and house for a half an hour to alleviate my guilt at watching people sweat that much on camera. While I may not agree with some of the elements of the show, the fact that they are trying to get to the psychological root of the cause of weight gain is really important. What made you gain this weight, and kept you from working to take it off? Despite what society tells us, it isn't because we are all lazy slobs. Each of us has our own reasons, and they aren't as clear cut as we'd like them to be.  These reasons that we gained the weight in the first place are what are sabotaging our ability to lose weight. When I was gaining weight, I'd be permissive--oh well, I was good yesterday so I can be bad today.  Now it seems that I'll be on a great streak and then...sorta taper off, allow myself to eat more, work out less etc. and the weight loss will stop for 6 months.  In a way, I think I do this subconsciously because I need time to adjust to my body, see the differences, and learn some maintenance.  As long as I'm not getting lazy and gaining the weight back I think this is okay, because I try to use this time to work on living a healthy lifestyle where I'm not constantly gaining weight, but able to maintain my weight.   I worry when people lost weight too quickly that they never get that adjustment period and it's far too easy to start gaining the weight back.

My new year's burst of energy started to suffer greatly after I got sick last week and was feeling pretty blah this week.  My lung capacity has suffered, and I'm not sure if it's from illness or from not using my lungs like I used to (singing, playing flute, screaming at people etc.).  The thing that I'm not giving up on, is tracking calories. I started using MyFitnessPal, and since I have friends on there that see me track every day, that accountability has kept me in line.  Knowing I have to write down what I'm eating is keeping me from losing my mind, and frankly, it takes a lot less food to feel full so I don't feel like I need to stuff myself.  Also, let's be honest--if people can see that you ate Chinese for lunch, Pizza for dinner and Oreo's for a're going to feel a little guilty, and not want to do it again. I swear that wasn't what I ate yesterday (just for the record, I still kept it under my calorie limit!) To get back on track, I'm heading back to Zumba tonight, because just getting there will help me feel like I'm back on track, and cardio really breeds a desire to do more cardio!

I went to the gym last week (the day before I got sick) and the gym trainer gave me a bare bones work out, and set me up on cardio for the day. I thought I was going to die. I can do some interval training, but my stamina sucks right now.  I didn't realize that I was sick, I just thought I was tired, and I pushed myself really hard and only got 20 minutes of cardio in. That was discouraging, but the next day as I lay in bed shivering with a 102 fever, I understood that I did well listening to my body and stopping when I did.  I

So I need to keep motivated, and keep MOVING, but I need to stop feeling guilty about not being good enough. I need to just be...enough. I need to be ME, and love me, and embrace all that I have learned and all of the knowledge that I have gained.  I also need to come to terms with this new person that was hiding in this fat suit. I need to come to terms with a falling ass, and boobs and lots of loose skin, and know that those are a hell of a lot better than being 300lbs.  I need to come to terms with getting colder a LOT easier than I used to, and finding myself doing loads of laundry that consist of almost nothing but work out clothing.

So I leave you with this -- why did you gain the weight? Why do you want to lose it? What is your motivation, and how can you help motivate the people around you?  Are you scared to lose the weight you've held onto for so long?  How do you deal with seeing a different person in the mirror? What psychological challenges did you face?


  1. My weight gain has always come with pregnancy. But this last time, it was the back-to-back pregnancies that kicked my butt. Having 3 kids in 4 years is hard on your body, but when two of them are 1 year and 6 days apart that is really rough. I am pretty sure that is where my back pain came from....that and weight gain.

    When I was pregnant with my last, I was put on bed rest due to my high blood pressure (preeclampsia). Add to that having an emergency c-section and my body was kaput. I beat it up pretty badly.

    Shortly after I had my last baby, my husband lost his job. It was 2008 and everyone was in some sort of economic crisis. We ended up moving in with family and getting put on food stamps in order to feed our family of 6. We were both pretty depressed at that point, and I gained about 20 extra pounds then.

    As of right now I am at the heaviest I have ever been. I know this, but I have yet to have that "a-ha" moment where I really want to do something about this. Sure, in the past I have tried sparkpeople, weight watcher recipe books, starving myself, pretty much any stupid gimmick (and some not-so-stupid ones) to lose some pounds. But like I said, that epiphany was never there.

    I honestly think you have to get to a point where you give yourself no other option but to get healthy. Success won't happen until you are fully committed. I would just like to know how to MAKE yourself get to that damn moment! lol

    1. Basically...I'm tracking my food and keeping active. The biggest thing for me was the community. I joined a weight loss challenge on facebook and though I probably will never win, it kicked my ass into gear and when I joined Myfitness pal, it gave me a bunch of people to add and see how they're doing. I'm terrified that when I stop taking ADD meds I'll gain back weight, so what I need is to instill a bunch of healthy HABITS into my life so that I enjoy fitness, I enjoy eating healthy and I won't fall back onto bad habits. Don't try to do everything at once either--more slowly is better and then you won't notice the difference.

  2. I have been in therapy for longer than I care to think about and this is one question I still can't answer. I know that some of my weight comes from the medication that I take but not all of it. I eat when ever I'm happy, sad, depressed or angry. So basically anytime. I have however, in the past few months lost between 20 and 25 lbs but don't know if it's because I've gotten more active because of the change in medication. I know that I don't sit on the couch and feel like all I want to do is sleep or fall asleep sitting up. I can climb the stairs without feeling like I'm going to die and my back doesn't hurt as bad. I do need to figure out what the root cause of the weight gain is and see if I can reverse it. I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing what I see now. I guess this is something to bring up with my therapist.

    1. Awesome job on the loss. Lose a little and feel a little better and it should help you lose a little more. Even if you can't do much--get up and walk around your apartment more, set a goal to yourself to walk up the stairs to the door and back 3 times a day--something little that just gets you moving during commercial breaks. You could just get up and get water every commercial break---stuff like that will help you keep moving, and give you more energy. I love TV, but it just zaps my brain and leaves me a lethargic mush ball.


I love comments and promise to read all of them! If you have a problem posting just email me at eileenkward at gmail dot com