I’ve gained 10 pounds.
I’ll be honest, being a coach, this leaves me a little embarrassed to admit and feeling like I need to hide. But I’m not going to.
I’m going to talk about this weight gain because I think it’ll help a lot of people feel like they’re not so alone in their own struggle.
I want you all to know that it happens to the best of us. Even those of us that may have overcome and seemingly won this fight before.
This 10 pounds came on slowly. I don’t weigh myself, so I thought this bulk came from lifting. But when I got real honest with myself, I couldn’t deny it anymore……I was sportin’ a bit of the dreaded muffin top again.
See…..this year I’ve made a huge life transition and with that major change, I felt very anxious about my future.
So how did I deal with it?
I ate. I ate so I could disconnect and distract from all the discomfort.
And please, before you tell me I should love my body and accept it as it is, don’t worry. I totally do.
This is not about me hating my body. Quite the opposite. I love my body and I know when I eat out of anxiety, and not to fuel it, I’m actually being a jerk to it.
That’s not loving my body…..it’s actually abusive to it.
My body has been such a faithful servant. It’s done exactly what It’s designed to do…. It stored excess fuel as fat tissue. It truly is an amazing machine. And actually, my body is completely neutral in this whole drama of gaining 10 lbs.
This isn’t about my body at all. It’s about me and my crazy brain.
What I find so fascinating is how all this mental weight I was carrying around ended up on my waistline.
It proves to me over and over again, that what’s in our brains ends up in our material reality.
Now, I could beat myself up and say I should know better. But that’s not helpful. Instead……..
I’ve made a decision.
I’m going to stop this pattern before it gets out of hand.
I’m not going to say I’m not going to be anxious and overwhelmed anymore… because I know that’s impossible. But I can change how I react to these feelings.
How? First I’m going to allow all of them in instead of pushing them away. Pushing them away just adds to their intensity.
- Close your eyes and take three huge breathes in and out.
- Allow all the thoughts and feelings to wash over you like a wave. (Anxiety and sadness are nothing more than feelings. They won’t kill you.)
- Next, just notice the thoughts that pass through your awareness…..think of them as the floaty suds on top of the wave. These could be thoughts like:
- I’m not doing enough.
- I’m not doing it right.
- How am I ever going to get it all done?
- I’m never going to be able to _________.
- Just allow them to come. Don’t judge, don’t try to get rid of them…..believe me, they’ll never go away. The more you allow them, the more they lose their grip.
- And now that you’ve witnessed that chatter for a minute or two… Ask yourself…… now what? Now that I know all the feelings and thoughts that are causing me to eat when I’m not hungry…
- What’s my next logical step? What’s the next easiest small step I can take?
And do that thing.
Maybe it’s going for a walk. Maybe it’s cooking a healthy meal. Maybe it’s not eating after 6pm. Or maybe it’s deciding to watch TV with idle hands.
Just DECIDE to do something other than buffering with food.
Don’t let your brain go into confusion or overwhelm. Don’t wait for the bad feelings to stop. Only ACTION will make them subside.
For me, I’ve accepted the fact that with any major change I’m going to feel anxious. Change causes uncertainty and uncertainty can make us anxious. But I can learn to tolerate anxiety without buffering with food.
I know exactly how to get this done. It’s easy.
Here is my plan of action. It works 100% of the time if you actually do it consistently (and why I strayed from it is a topic for another blog).
- Eat 2-3 meals of whole food, mostly plants. Add in small amounts of healthy fat.
- Stop snacking. Especially in front of the TV and computer and after 7pm.
- Stop eating past satiation. If you’re truly hungry later, you can eat later.
- Cool it on the booze. It’s pure sugar and it’s making you fat and restless at night.
- Drink water. Half your body weight in oz.
- Move your body 30 minutes a day. Git schmitzy. Add in 15-30 minutes weight training 3 times per week.
- Go to bed and get some sleep. 8 hrs would be good.
Easy right? There’s no major hunger, there’s no major time commitment.
So why don’t we do it?
Because it’s easier to eat than feel our feelings.
But easy doesn’t get me what I want…..and I want to feel better.
And I know you do too.
Wanna join me?