Monday, April 20, 2009

The Mental Side of Weight Loss

Anyone who's followed my progress for a while will know that I'm a diet book junkie. There aren't many out there that I don't own and have read through. Lately I've found that I'm not as interested in books that talk about eat this/not that, and instead am drawn to those that speak to what keeps me from eating this and not that. Over the years I've found some good ones and I feel like each one adds at least one solid tool to my weight loss tool chest:

This was the first of such books. It gave me so much to think about and so many great tools when it came to attacking those mental barriers - I've read it all the way through at least twice, and have highlighted all the parts that really spoke to me so that I can easily review them.

Like the "Thin Commandments" This book is just chock full of tidbits. What I love about this one is it all set out with assignments and daily tasks to help make the ideas permanent.

An excellent companion to Dr Becks book. Both really highlight how to recognize the irrational thinking that we use when allowing ourselves to overeat. "The Feast Beast" can be a bit challenging to get through. Dr Trimpey's writing style is very... clinical... but she gets her point across and it is all so powerful that it's worth the time to plow through.

Mrs Castillo recommends that you 'Stop Dieting' to lose weight - a technique I've never been able to put into practice, but that doesn't make the rest of what she has to say any less valid. She's got some excellent exercises that delve not only into solving the overeating issues, but getting you to exercises as well.

This is my latest book. Mr Gabrial suggests you stop dieting, and use his techniques to, instead, turn off the fat program in your brain. Again, I can't tell you why I don't/can't stop dieting. Fear of being 500lbs is probably part of it :) BUT I love much of what he has to say. His methods of visualization, and other mental exercises are explained better then any other place I've read them. And his explanation for turning on the weight loss program in your brain explains my recent experience with lack of cravings or interest in any food but what's on my plan.

But, Mr Gabrial's thoughts on visualization brought up something else for me. You see - I was on a plan a while back, on a program with a coach and I was seeing progress and success like never before. But something happened and I never really figured out what. I fell off the horse, I fell HARD and never managed to get back up, until, 2+ years later I've gained back the 40 lbs I lost and 30 more! It still stuns me to think about and it makes me cry to go back and read those blog posts... what the hell happened!?

Well a little thought popped into my head last night, my husband and I were talking about how both of us tend to be perfectionist. How we have a habit of dropping out of things we feel we won't be 'the best' at. I was telling him that I had to overcome that idea when I did Lavaman, and as I continue to do races. I'm no where near 'the best'. Heck right now I'm struggling to be 'middle of the pack'. But I've found some kind of peace with that - I've found that by changing my mentality, by focusing on the fact that I'm better then the 100's of people I know who have never even finished a Triathlon... There's a certain level of perfection in just being there and doing it when others haven't and wont.

But what about weight loss?? Well one thing I didn't blog about (I wish I had) was all these creeping negative thoughts that I kept holding at bay. I had surounded myself with photos of bodybuilders and fitness models in an attempt to motivate myself and give myself inspiration. But more and more I found negative thoughts popping into my head. "I'll never look like that" "No matter how much I work out I can't make my legs longer or my breasts perkey." "excercise can't give me long flowing hair..." I had come up agaist my inner perfectionist and even though I never ended those thoughts with "Why even bother" I do have to wonder if that had a lot to do with me 'giving up'.

It's certainly something to watch for, and the awesome thing is, now I know how to answer that when it does come up.

And, as if God (or the universe if you prefer) was reinforcing the thoughts I expressed to my husband last night - I got this in the mail today:

Hello from David Greenwalt,

In the last Club Lifestyle success tips email I discussed
how anything worth doing is worth doing poorly for
a while. I also discussed how anything worth having
is going to take a period of discomfort endured until
real success is achieved.

What If I Don’t End Up As Good As …?

Sometimes the roadblock to weight-loss success is a
feeling that you’ll never measure up anyway so why
bother. To that thought I say the only person you should
compare yourself against is yourself. Less than one
percent of us has the genetic ability to look like
a model. But we all have the ability to be leaner and
healthier than the average American.

Your obligation is to do your very best. Don't worry
about how that compares to someone else. Just do it.
Everyone is unique. Everyone has their own special
contribution to make. You'll only discover yours by
taking action. If you decide in advance that you'll
never be as good as so-and-so, then you forgo the opportunity
to find your own unique skills. Winners refuse to even
acknowledge the competition, by blazing new trails.
Comparing yourself to others will only bring you down.
Set off in your own unique direction. Get into action
make it happen.

Be sure and stay tuned for the next issue of Club Lifestyle
tips. In it I’ll discuss how the only way to grow is
to make mistakes.

Sincerely yours in health,

David Greenwalt CSCS
Leanness Lifestyle
Muscle Audio

P.S.: Share this message with a friend—just please
leave it intact as is.

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