One of the things that has helped me be the most successful in this journey is my mental strength. In fact, I had never realized just how mentally strong I was until I began this journey. However, I feel like it’s important to note that mental strength isn’t something that someone is born with- it’s something that is developed through deliberate choices a person makes that either further reinforce their mental strength into a state of victory or demolishes it, causing them to live in a mental state of defeat. I believe that the battle with weight loss is fought not on the scale, treadmill, kitchen, or gym- but in the mind.
While I believe mental strength is something that comes from a series of deliberate choices, there has to be some help in being able to make those choices in the first place, for me- they are my mantras. Mantras are phrases or words that I repeat in times when I need some extra strength, focus, and motivation to make a right decision. An example of one of my most common ones is: “When I say NO to this food (or choice), I am saying YES to myself and my goals- and if I say YES to this food (or choice), I am saying NO to myself and my dreams.” For me, when I make a decision to eat something I shouldn’t, 99% of the time it is because I have allowed myself to believe that it really isn’t that big of a deal to have that cookie, chips, or bread- but these mantras cause me to remember that while the one cookie may not cause me to gain 5lbs, it is leading me down a path of mental defeat. And it is when decisions like that pile up that you find yourself a few weeks down the road 10lbs heavier (or stuck at the same weight) and feeling like a complete failure. On the flip side, when you decide that you aren’t going to say NO to yourself, your goals, and your dreams anymore because of the temporary satisfaction a chip or cookie brings, you feel proud, strong, and invincible. Nothing is worth that- and you are building that mindset of victory with every decision.
The other day I looked back at some of the notes I had made for myself at the very beginning of this journey (96lbs ago) and I found it SO interesting how much my mantras have changed between then and now- which I believe shows growth just as much as the scale has.
My Mantras 96lbs Ago:
- I REFUSE to let FEAR cripple me and kept me fat ANY LONGER!
- I am just at the STARTING POINT.
- If I am not embarrassed for people to see me chowing down at a restaurant I shouldn’t be embarrassed for them to see me changing my health and life at the gym!
- People aren’t there waiting to judge overweight people for coming to the gym, they are there for their own workout!
- I am the ONLY ONE who is going to push me to do this!
- I will PUSH MYSELF TO THE LIMITS if I want to accomplish things I never thought possible- I will prove myself and everyone else wrong!
- If I don’t want to have to do this for the rest of my life, I’ve got to give it MY ALL!
- When I only can do a few minutes on a machine…it’s more than I did yesterday!
Reading those reminded me of just how much fear I dealt with at the beginning of this journey- I was so afraid to be judged by people at the gym, so afraid to face the facts of just how out of shape I really was, afraid that becoming this fit, thin person I desired to be wasn’t really possible. What’s amazing is that for the most part, those thoughts never even enter my mind anymore- that’s what victory will do for you.
My Mantras these days are a bit different:
- You are the only one that is going to push you to your limits- you can’t wait for someone else to, because they never will- it’s YOU. Also, no one is going to say no to this food for you.
- This food (insert temptation) doesn’t love you- YOU’VE got to love you.
- You are a living success story- you aren’t still trying to become successful or prove to yourself you can do it, you have already become successful and now you are just living out that successful life.
- If you were on the Biggest Loser, would you be doing this/eating this?
- There is nothing you can’t do- no one can put limits on your but yourself and if you CHOOSE not to, the sky is the limit.
- You are no longer controlled by food or the desire of it. Food is fuel and that is it. YOU are truly in control now, not food.
- The fat on your body is just as serious as if there were cancer in your body- it will kill you, so take it that seriously.
- You are worth more than the temporary satisfaction that comes from something that will later make you question yourself.
I’m not quite sure I can see as clearly the common thread in these new mantras like I was able to with the old ones but I think now, I my mental struggle is more with realizing my own strength & resolve and not allowing the fear or even the question of going back to the way I was enter my mind.
The truth, I’ve been struggling mentally. I think part of it is partially induced by hormones (aka- it’s that time of the month) but I’m craving things I never usually care for and am having a harder time saying no to things when I used to not even flinch. I’m not doing horribly by any means- shoot- I lost 4lbs last week- BUT I’m definitely in fight mode right now. And I have to let myself know that THAT’S OKAY. It’s OKAY that I’m encountering temptations, it’s okay that I’m having some unhealthy cravings, IT IS OKAY. The only thing that’s not okay is eating out of control or giving into the temptation. I need to remember that all this temptation and craving means is that I am being given another opportunity to reinforce the commitment to myself that I’ve made & the person that I’ve become.
I choose to live FREE. Free from being driven by any craving or temptation, Free from the control of food, Free from the control of negative thoughts. I am living in the FREEDOM that comes from knowing I am worth saying NO to temptations and cravings & I am WORTHY of living the healthy, fulfilled, and fit lifestyle I am enjoying at this very moment.
**Proof that I’m victorious**:
PW Weigh In: 260lbs
CW Weight In: 256lbs
Progress: -4lbs (Meaning: I am only 4 pounds away from losing 100lbs!) It's SO close I can TASTE it!
I hope all this has helped someone realize their strength lies not in fate, personality, or genetics but in the power that comes from their choices.
Have a great weekend everyone & would LOVE to hear some of the mantras you use on your raod to VICTORY!