Well I want to touch on a few things that people do to themselves to create roadblocks to their own weight loss success.
I should also tell you that on my journey, I have done all of these and still do them on occasion. That is why I love my wife so much for keeping me on track. She sees when I do these things and lets me know it’s time to focus again.
I also tell you this so you know I am not talking theory. I have been there and still struggle with some of these today.
I have always said the biggest challenge in weight loss is the mental aspects more than the physical.
So what are these roadblocks? The first one is to look in the mirror and still see the “old” you. The “fat” you. Do you who notices your weight loss the most? People who don’t see you every day, and especially people you haven’t seen for a number of months. You look in a mirror daily when shaving or whatever, and you don’t see the changes.
As a performer, I have had to get used to having my picture taken. I have mentioned before that as a fat guy, I hated cameras. I knew I was fat. I didn’t need photographic proof.
Often when I post pictures from my shows as a ventriloquist to my various social media outlets, I get comments from friends all the time along the lines of “Wow, you are just fading away!”. I used to think they were blowing smoke up my…skirt…because when I looked at the photo, I would think there was no difference but now I really try to see what they see.
My wife is a scrapbooker and she often goes back through our old photo albums to put pictures into scrapbooks and get rid of the extras. As a side note, we used to take a LOT of photos. She will occasionally find one of me from the old days and I have actually looked at them and almost didn’t recognize myself. I was in such denial back then.
Now I can look at these photos and see those differences. My gym, like most, has a lot of mirrors and occasionally I will catch a glimpse of myself and think “Hey, it IS working.”
Here is a couple of those early pictures. One was taken the day I joined TOPS and the other a year or so before that. I look at them now and think, “Wow. I could have died. I could have left my wife and kids without a husband and father.”
By the way, that’s my wife’s purse in the photo.
If you have been on this journey for a while, go back into those old albums and look for those pictures and you will see your progress.
If you are starting out, save those pictures. I know it is hard but when you look back on them as you go down this road, you will amaze yourself.
The next thing I want to tell you is to not spend so much time INSIDE YOUR HEAD.
I can still do this a lot if I am not careful. I heard a lot of negative comments over the years, from grade school on, about my weight. Along with that went the judgement about being fat and out of shape. They said I was not only fat, but lazy, stupid, unclean etc etc. I started to believe my own press.
That is an old term from the golden age of Hollywood. They used to have press agents part of whose job was to create backgrounds for stars. For example to say Humphrey Bogart came from the streets in a tough neighbourhood, when in reality he came from a family of privilege. They said his famous lisp came from an injury to his face in a street fight. In fact he was hit in the mouth accidentally at a country club.
Some actors used to start acting like the characters they played and it was called believing your own press. I started to do that. I kept those comments in my head and believed them myself, and in some ways, kept punishing myself for them.
I have to work daily to remind myself to give me credit. I eat healthy most of the time, I am going to the gym, I am helping others and in my other world as an entertainer, I make people laugh for a living. Not bad if I do say so.
So how do we knock down those roadblocks?
The first thing to do is to be honest – about the past and the present. You need to be able to look back and say “Yes. I was out of shape. I made bad food choices and didn’t exercise” but you also need to be able to honestly look at yourself now and say “I may not be there yet, but I am on my way.” Encourage yourself for what you have accomplished. “I am eating better, and I am exercising more”.
The next thing, and I am saying this as much for me as I am for you, take a mental broom and sweep the negative thoughts and images you have of yourself out of your head. Once you have them out, change the locks. Don’t let them back in.
Don’t allow anyone else to create any more roadblocks, mental or otherwise. Don’t build them yourself.
I am not saying be Polly Anna with a big smile on your face all the time. I am saying be honest with yourself. You have made mistakes in the past, as we all have. However, you are turning things around. You know it is not going to happen overnight, but you are doing it anyway.
You know it is not going to be easy, but you are doing it anyway. For these things alone, you deserve a pat on the back and a congratulations!
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.