When I turned 30, I started to gain weight. I promise you, I could smell bread baking and gain 5 pounds. It seemed like overnight, something in my metabolism changed, and I collected weight like black pants collect lint.
My body image issues dissolved with those negative, accusatory thoughts, and by this time I had a realistic view of myself, strengths and imperfections alike (click here for that story). I could eat and enjoy food with friends, but now I had the problem of controlling my weight, a true problem, not a perceived one. As I mentioned, my brain tricked me into not worrying about what I was eating since it wouldn’t change how I looked TODAY (Click here for that story).
Then came 2006. My mom’s health began to decline, and I moved 800 miles from the east coast to the mid-west to help care for her. I rapidly gained 30 pounds that ballooned into 50 pounds, on top of the turning 30 weight gain, after the move. Can someone say stress eater? It was not pretty. Here I am, one day before my fortieth birthday, quite the pudgy gal. My body mass index (BMI) actually classified me as obese.
As the number on the scales went up, I became increasingly disgusted with myself. I knew better. I’d studied nutrition as part of my nursing program. I knew the potential consequences of obesity. Looking back, on the other side of fat now, it’s easy to see that while a spiritual transformation propelled me towards health, there was still a lot of stinkin’ thinkin’ going on. There were a lot of things I believed to be true that were in fact lies. Thoughts like:
- I don’t have the self-control I need to change my eating habits.
- I don’t have time to exercise.
- Healthy food won’t taste as good.
- Eating healthy takes too much time.
- Eating will make me feel better.
- I am powerless to make healthy changes.
- Losing weight is too hard.
How many of these can you identify with? What other thoughts are holding you back from making healthy choices? If I’ve learned anything about making positive, sustainable life changes, it’s that your mind has to be in the right place first. Winning the battle of the mind is what ultimately led me to permanent weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
So what thoughts, or beliefs, are driving your actions? Your choices? Is it time for you to wage war in the battlefield of the mind?