During this journey I’ve been on with Sparetire Project, I have come to understand how much MY emotions are tied to how I physically feel and vice versus. Of course, many of you out there would probably agree or say something to the effect of, “No Shit, Dumb Face.” However, while this seems to be something everybody knows and understands, it’s not something we tend to know or understand when we feel like crap. And that’s the interesting part.
Hindsight, is always 20/20. You’ve heard that phrase a bazillion times. But it is incredibly appropriate when you look at your own weight fluctuations and spikes in relation to your commitment to a fitness or weight loss routine. Folks, have heard me say, “If you started a year ago, where would you be today?” And that phrase mixed with the Hindsight comment are incredibly important. Sure, we can track all our data, but in the end it only gives you perspective on where you went wrong.
How do you take that PERSPECTIVE you gained and turn it into ACTION TODAY? What stops you from taking that measured data and turning into the plan to get you were you want to be?
Now, if you’re like me, and you’re reading this with a lovely little bunch of padding around them hips or that belly, you’re probably identifying with me. You know what your predilections are. You know your genetic limitations. You know what works for you. You’ve been in ‘slim’ mode before. You know this… right? So, what keeps us from making that logical step?
Your Emotions do. If fitness was a strictly logical process, everyone would have 5% body fat, and be able to run the L.A. Marathon. It is not. It is as much of an emotional process as a mental process, probably more so emotionally, because we often confused the mental with emotional, because it all happens inside. Take me for instance. Last year when I started, I had a was managing a well run department for a company in Hollywood. Everything was going smooth at work (give or take working in Hollywood). I was attempting to start a little cottage industry around content creation, and it was exciting. Home life was great. I was dropping weight and feeling good.
Then around August, circumstances beyond my control forced me to make some decisions that threw all of that into chaos. And I don’t know about you, but I do not Thrive in Chaos. I survive it. This was an emotionally difficult time for me. I lost parts of my life that were and had been important, and that was difficult to come to turns with. I was stressed out constantly. I was working too many hours, getting little sleep and I was genuinely un-happy. Because I was unhappy, I didn’t FEEL like going to Bootcamp, or that run, or that extra work out. I emotionally felt terrible, and my body soon followed suit. I justified it in my head. I felt I deserved ‘a little break’. I could have that non-slow carb meal because gosh darn it… I earned a little reprieve. My emotions necessitated comfort, and comfort is the least path of resistance. Before I knew it, everything was stagnant and everything wasn’t working anymore.
This is what really primarily explains my up and down journey the last six months. It really isn’t, “Oh Slow Carb doesn’t work” or “You’re working out too much”. It’s the lack of consistency and dedication brought on by emotional distress. The yo’yo’ing in weight was due to the up and down of my emotional state. And it wasn’t just needing comfort, that cropped up. I was at times simply distracted by life and I forgot I was on this mission. But then I realized that I was yo’yo’ing and that created more stress, more unhappines, a greater sense of failure and ultimately….
SHAME SPIRAL! WEEEEEE!!!!
So, I knew what to do. I knew what decisions I had to make everyday, but I still struggled. Why? My Emotions were in flux. The steady methodical journey I was on became less calm, less zen, less logical. It became a roller coaster ride of emotions, and that ride damaged my ability to stay focused daily.
Now, how frickin’ familiar does that sound to you?
This was one of the reasons I wanted to do this blog. I wanted to discuss that emotional journey you under-take when you choose to change your body. The body and the emotions are tied together. They aren’t separate. You can’t really address one without the other. People like me, have learned this the hard way. It’s not enough to have just a plan for weight loss. It’s not enough to be committed. We also need that emotional plan to address and support the swings we are bound to go on. It’s the toughest most under-discussed part of the FITNESS industry. The industry has books and metrics and data and devices and tools and guides and all this to deal with the FUNCTION of weight loss, but so little discussion is made towards the emotional impact of attempting to lose weight. The best you get are phrases like, “Do you want to be fat forever” and “Suck it up, Fatty!” But It’s not just about taking care of the body, you have to address their state of mind. I don’t think people consciously choose to be obese or overweight. No one says, “Gosh, I’d like to be really fat, I’m gonna go to McDonald’s and start working on this right away!” People don’t realize they are until they realize that they are. So, you can’t just Flip this switch mentally and NOW you’re going to lose weight, because for some people… emotions easily, unknowingly, over-ride the logic centers of the brain. If this wasn’t true, you’d never hear about the sorority girl who ate a box of cookies in her closet. That’s not the action of a rational person. It’s the action of someone under emotional duress.
When we decide enough is enough. When we decide to change our lives, we have to continue to understand this. In some ways, trainers and coaches have to understand this. It’s about taking care of the mind and your heart in that process of taking care of your body. And I for one think this is incredibly difficult. What do you think?