Friday, February 20, 2009

The Mental State of Losing Weight

Last night, I didn't feel like riding my bike. I was pretty tired and just wanted to sit on the couch and stare at the TV, melding into the fabric and becoming one with the furniture. I wanted to zone out. Not move. After all, I had biked the previous 4 days AND had strength trained twice. I deserved a little break, right? After all, I was tired.

But I got on the bike anyway. I told myself I would get on that bike even if all I did was pedal once every five minutes. I would sit on that bike even if I fell asleep and toppled off onto the floor. Why??

Because I want to have a fit mindset. I worked hard for the past 2 weeks pulling myself out of a rut of inactivity and overeating, and I'll be darned if I am gonna let myself backslide. Even if I didn't burn that many calories or get my heart rate up very much, I wanted to maintain the *habit* of getting on that bike every single day (except my one day off on the weekend). I knew that skipping one ride makes it easier to skip the next one, and the next one, until you're just *thinking* about exercising instead of doing it. I didn't want to go there again. So I got on the bike.

It's all about the mindset for me. If I am the fat girl, I am thinking about eating all the time. Thinking about all the food I wish I could have... fantasizing, wishing, moping around because I can't have a cheesecake. The fat girl mindset is the voice that tells me to eat more, eat junk, and skip exercise. It also is the voice that, when I wake up in the morning, says, "I hate my life." For a good part of the past ten years I have battled that voice. I never *really* hated my life, mind you. I am very blessed. I LOVE my life and am grateful for it. But THAT VOICE, it would ring in my groggy head first thing in the morning after a sugary binge, when I would wake up and hobble to the bathroom in pain and it would echo, "I hate my life." I never want to hear that voice again. Because frankly, when I am out of the sugar fog and am eating healthy foods, I *never, ever* hear that voice.

Last night I dreamed about candy all night. I had the most vivid dreams of peanut butter cups and M&M's ever. I ate them all night long, even after I would wake up to pee and then go back to bed. And I wasn't dreaming them on purpose, either. (I sometimes actually *try* to dream of a specific food I am craving or a buffet so that I can enjoy eating without any calories attached). But the dreams last night were so vivid that I actually was worried about gaining weight as I woke up. But then I remembered that I didn't *really* eat candy, so i was OK. And I didn't even want candy. I want vegetables.

Last night was one of many stepping stones to a healthy life. I got on that bike. Sure, I should have gotten on it earlier in the day so I wasn't exhausted, but I had no time yesterday. I was gone most of the day. So my options were limited. When I finally got the toddler in bed and finished some laundry, it was 8pm and I was dragging. But I knew I *needed* the habit of biking daily more than anything at this point, to stay in the groove. So I slunk down the stairs to the newly-set-up family room (where, by the way, now I have a clear area for the toddler to play or watch TV right next to me while I bike, so it should be much easier to bike in the mornings WITH her from now on). I hopped on the bike, set it for 30 minutes, and got going. I didn't push it too hard; I left the resistance lower than usual and I definitely pedaled more slowly. My heart rate didn't go way up, either. But I accomplished my very important goal of continuing to establish a daily exercise habit. No excuses. (Of course, if I was sick or something, I'd cut myself a break here, but I was just tired). I rode about 5 miles instead of the usual 7, but I am so proud of myself for sticking it out for the full 30 minutes.

Losing weight is about changing your mind. Changing habits and thoughts and losing the old voices that kept us fat and unhappy. It's hard but please know it is so worth it.

The scale is showing a change, but I'll save that for Monday's post :)

If you missed my review of the Beck Diet for Life, check it out. And have a super great weekend, with lots of healthy choices and movement! I'll be posting my menus all weekend either here or on Twitter.

35 comments:

HopeFool said...

I am proud of you too!

moonduster said...

That's a terrific mind-set to strive for!

Vudu Princess said...

That is great. It really rings true for me. Sometimes if I only have enough time to run a few miles, or am too tired to do anymore than walking even less than that, I think "why bother?". But like you said, it's part of getting in to the habit, of not letting yourself down. I've just begun to make that connection, and it's nice to hear someone else thinks the same way.

Emily said...

Way to go, Lyn! Thanks for writing about how hard it is to stay motivated. You're working hard and it shows.

Lucrecia said...

Very inspiring! Last night I left work with every intention of working out for an hour. Within 20 minutes of picking up my kids I was so frustrated with their antics that I let it drain the energy out of me. Instead of taking my frustration out on exercise I just sat on my butt all night, then felt guilty about it. Healthy no?

bbubblyb said...

Way to go Lyn, good post.

I soooo agree it's about just doing it even if you aren't in the groove. I know when I first started this journey I made a bet with a coworker for "100 days" of exercise and I ended up doing 98 out of those 100 (had 3 days I could miss). I really believe that first bet is what got me where I am today. For me, no matter how many times I fall off the wagon with food as long as I don't fall off the wagon with exercise I know I'm going to be ok.

You're doing great, hope everything else is going ok too *hugs*.

somebodys mother said...

I can identify so much with today's post. Mindset, changed habits, keeping the fat-unhappies away. It's friday it's been a good week. Here's a little something from my healthy-giggly girl voice in my head: when I gain weight and my clothes don't fit any more we say I have out-grown them. If I lose weight and they don't fit anyomre does that mean I've in-grown them?
Have a fabulous weekend

spunkysuzi said...

I just want to give you a big "hug" You are doing great!!

Karen said...

Awww way to go! You're totally right about setting a routine and sticking to it -- consistency and "getting into a groove" is definitely a part of successful weightloss! Congrats!

Barefoot Pixie said...

I love it. This post is me to a T - including dreaming about food, although I've never tried in purpose. Usually it's me running away from a food.

You are doing so well!

Lee said...

"Losing weight is about changing your mind."

So true...and it doesn't matter how much weight you want or need to lose to be healthy. It starts with changing your thinking.

WTG, sistah!

Tena said...

Awesome, Lyn! Keep a pedalin'!! You must be reading my mind! Somedays I tell myself "I'm only going to ride for 15 min. cause I'm so tired." Then when I get on the bike and get outside time is no longer the issue. It just feels so good to be out there! And afterwards I feel like a fit-person not a fat-person.

BTW, we got the Gel-pro mat and are so happy with it. I'll post about it soon. Thank you again so much for having the contest!

Foodie McBody said...

This post literally brought tears to my eyes because I had a day like that yesterday. I was scared to work out (because I thought it would be hard? What??) and sat here procrastinating ALL DAY. Finally I made myself go into the garage and get on the rowing machine. And you know what (duh) -- it felt awesome. It really felt like I turned some kind of corner. This morning, I got up, went to gym with no resistance, I was just happy to go.

Foodie McBody said...

PS. I follow you on Twitter and my username there is "skeeto."

Beanie said...

Keep peddlin' a$$ woman :) You're an inspiration. I had to laugh when you mentioned your dream and commented on whether you needed to count the points...well I had a similar one and blogged about it if you'd like to read ;) http://beaniesbloging.blogspot.com/2009/02/very-tasty-dream.html

Congrats and keep plugging away, I love reading your blog!

Debbie said...

Good for you.

Habits that a good for us always seem to be the hardest ones to form. Good job at persevering

Hanlie said...

Great perseverance, Lyn! I'm pleased that you are motivated again!

Today I didn't feel like cardio and weight training after my Pilates class, but I knew I had to do something, so I went to a stretch class instead. It was so hard, but very rewarding... I'm glad that I didn't simply go home!

Karyn said...

Lyn, this is one of the most inspiring posts you've written! At least for me. Your decision to get on the bike, even if you just pedaled once every 5 minutes just so you do not get out of the routine is an eye opener for me!

Thanks for sharing this.

Lady Downsize! said...

WTG Lyn! I'm so glad you were able to override that 'fat' voice and do what you knew had to be done. This is a mindset that I am still struggling to singe on my brain. Me and 'fat' me have been boxing it out far too long, and I know all too well what is to sit on my fanny back with my eyeballs glued to the TV. I need to get that attitude to just do it! I am definitely a work in progress.

ani pesto said...

Such a great attitude, it's been a pleasure and an inspiration to watch your journey back to groove from rut. I'm looking forward to the news Monday brings :-)

**runs away to figure out how to control my dreams to consume virtual calories instead of real ones.. that's a rocking idea

JennyCaliGirl said...

I loved this post, Lyn. Just today, as I was standing on the treadmill, about to workout, I said to my husband, "I'm just not in the mood for this..I really don't wanna do this." He said, "Then don't, you don't have to." He's sweet, but I knew that I'd feel better if I did....so ya know what? I worked out. I did it. I thought to myself, who cares if I'm not in the mood?? That is a lame excuse. Once I started, of course I was so glad I did it. :) You inspire me, Lyn. <3

Sarah said...

I have that voice too, and the mental is the most difficult part of trying to lose weight. I feel so inspired by your determination!

Ria said...

Great post, Lyn - and congratulations on a great week - it certainly sounds like you've got your groove back!

Pubsgal said...

Too true! You know, I always thought that people who were fit were always rarin' to go when it came to exercise. And I've come to realize, after reading blogs & such, that a lot of the enthusiasts have to push themselves to get started or to stay on routine, too.

ptg said...

You are a true inspiration - way to go on getting ON the bike even though you didn't want to, making your feet move even though they felt like lead, and staying IN the habit. You rock!

Bethany said...

Great job, Lyn! You are having such great success. Good for you keeping on even when you don't feel like it! Now if I would just do the same... :D
Bethany

MackAttack said...

Wow, Great job. Sometimes it's about doing what you don't want to do. Thanks for being an inspiration!

Vickie said...

I had food dreams most of the way down the scale - I think it might be fairly common - because I have read other bloggers say the same thing. Mine made me feel VERY BAD - I would wake up in a panic that I HAD actually eaten things that I was no longer willing to eat/put in my body. Even after realizing that I had not actually eaten them - that it had been a dream - I never felt 100% safe on those days - it was like a yellow alert.

Vickie said...

On the clothes thing
I always have referred to it as

under grown clothes

and

de-spreading feet

sonia said...

Once I gave into dreaming of food (specifically pizza), and let it happen - while losing weight - after a while the dreams turned into day dreams, then after a few months, became fleeting cravings.

They still show up here and there, but, not as intense or as long.

Congrats on turning cardio into a habit. You are doing great : )

oxo.

VeeGettingHealthy said...

Good for you for doing what you knew your body needed as opposed to what your taste buds and fat-girl mindset wanted. (I can say that ... I'm a very fat girl!). Wonderful for you! Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

Mary - A Merry Life said...

Good for you. This is so true... changing your mindset is almost more important than anything else you can do. I really needed to read this today!

Jennifer said...

I love your blog! So inspiring to me! I've never had a dream about food but I find night time snacking very hard. You are doing great!! Keep it up! WOO HOO!!

Susan said...

Just another voice to say "Good for you!" With your attitude you are sure to be successful!

antgirl said...

Yup. I talk about mindset a lot, too. It's all there. It can be changed. It takes time and you're right, it is worth it. :)