I’ve been thinking lately about my previous efforts to lose weight and I’ve noticed a few things. My biggest problem I think was that I always addressed food and exercise separately (either going on a diet OR exercising) and that I NEVER addressed the mental aspects of why I binge on junk, why I don’t exercise, why I allowed myself to build up this much fat and let my fitness fall to that of someone twice my age. I guess that’s what attracted me to the 12WBT program – it’s a total package. I also liked that instead of packaged meals it will teach me to cook healthy versions of foods I normally like to eat, and introduce me to some (hopefully) new favourites.
Then I started thinking specifically about exercise. I have always found diets much easier to stick to than exercise plans, and so I started thinking about what causes me to stop once I’ve started. What I realised shocked me. My body starts to try and sabotage my efforts! I’ve always known the mind was a powerful thing (have been known to be vomiting for a few days when there is something I am supposed to do but really don’t want to but medically there is nothing wrong with me) but this is ridiculous. Here I have been trying to do something good for my body, something I thought I wanted and yet my mind was somehow convincing my body to throw up road blocks. There’s a pattern too:
Week 1: utter exhaustion. Can’t wake up in the mornings. Seem to need to sleep 16 hours a day.
Week 2: blisters.
Week 3: Head cold symptoms.
Week 4: Hips ache
Week 5: random muscle cramps
Week 6: Knees hurt
I must admit the knees is a new one as I’ve never gotten this far through the cycle before. I’ve always given up at one of the previous road blocks. I think I’ve only been to Week 5 once before and that was when I’d paid for a group of PT sessions. The stupid thing about me giving up previously is that if I had just worked through each road block as it comes up instead of giving up, they actually go away. I still have occasional days where I need more sleep but its nothing like week 1. My blisters have almost completely healed. Headcold – gone. Hips and muscle cramps – barely a twinge this week.
It’s almost like my body is asking me “Do you really want to do this?”, “Are you sure you are ready?” and trying to give me an option to back out gracefully by blaming it on one of those factors instead of on myself (excuses anyone?). It’s tried doing it with food too – cravings for things I hardly ever eat normally but now think I MUST have.
So instead of looking at them as sabotage attempts, or road blocks, I’ve decided to look at them differently. They are tests- making me recommit to my goals every time a new one comes up. So far I’ve been passing with flying colours and I’m quite proud of myself for that They are also farewells. Each time one comes up I am saying goodbye to an excuse that used to hold me back. I’m not scared of them any more. I’m in awe of the power my mind has over my body, and am determined to harness that power and use it for good instead of harm (and hoping that if I can turn the conscious mind around the sub conscious will follow). I’m actually rather interested to see what it throws at me next… and how long it takes before it stops trying to test me and starts working with me.
You see this time I KNOW I’m going to make it all the way through. I know it because I can feel the fears associated with what my life will be like when the weight is gone – when I can no longer use my fat as an excuse for holding back in the rest of my life. Those fears are real but they aren’t debilitating, because right along side them is this optimism about the things I will be able to do.. and about the things I’ve already started to do. Each day the fear subsides just a little and the optimism burns just a little brighter. I am winning this war… and for me it is a war – with numerous battles against inner demons and a lifetime of bad habits. I have lost battles in the past but I have learned from them. I’m equipping myself with the right arsenal this time – fighting the battles simultaneously on all fronts so that dreaded mental stuff can’t outflank and do a sneak attack on me. Most importantly I’m getting myself the right support troops:
– The fabulous people I’ve met on these forums and in the facebook groups that I know I can lean on when necessary and that I hope know they can lean on me too.
– The inspiring people I’ve met in person who have done previous rounds of 12WBT and turned their lives around
– and my “intell cell”. The people involved in the 12WBT program themselves. Exercise gurus, nutritionists etc that are giving me the tools I need to get this done.
When I look at that I see what a formidable army I’ve got around me. It’s both humbling and empowering. I know that its me that has to do the day to day “dirty work” but its also me that gets to reap the rewards.
I can’t wait for the round to kick off fully but in the mean time I’m really enjoying the battles I’m already winning.