Weight loss is all about eating healthy foods and working out, right?
Not even close.
The first lesson of the weight loss game is that losing weight is... well... I'm not sure on the precentages, really, but mostly mental, and only a little physical/diet.
I am quite sure of this.
To lose weight, you really have to shift your thinking and your priorities. Sometimes, it's harder to change how your brain works than it is to get to the gym.
A part of that shift in thinking has to do with your feelings. For better or worse, a lot of us are stress/comfort eaters: we eat when we're stress or need to feel comfort. I used to never think I was one of those, until my grandma died last winter. Suddenly – I mean, literally, five minutes after she passed – I wanted to eat every single thing I could get my hands on. I didn't care what it was. I didn't care that I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to eat, because all of my comfort was gone, and I was stressed and hurting.
So, if you're like me, you'd eat – but would you really feel any better afterward? I never really did, but I thought I did. Not only was I in denial, but I also had huge hefty feelings of guilt and regret.
I used to go through that back and forth all the time with my eating, even when I wasn't under a stressful situation. I'd get fast food, thinking it was what I wanted (NOT what I needed, obviously, but I wasn't even thinking about what nutrients my body needed), and then I'd feel so much guilt and regret after eating it. Or, I'd have an insanely lazy day, sitting around watching TV all day, and I'd feel guilty about that, too. I knew I could've been up doing something physical, so I'd regret that entire day.
I got so tired of feeling that regret and guilt all the time, every single day, most of the time after every meal. It gets so old.
When you start taking care of yourself – the working out, the eating well – that guilt goes away. It's like magic.
You're eating better and working out, so you're proud of your choices.
You just feel free.
I saw this on a weight loss blog once (again, sorry, I can't remember which one), and it completely changed my thinking (and, yes, I'm bolding this for extra emphasis): You'll never regret a workout.
So now, any time that I feel like cheating – running through a drive through or skipping a workout in favor to watch TV – I think about that phrase. There is no doubt I would encounter those old feelings again, guilt and regret. If I ate well and worked out, well, I could think about anything else, feel anything else, other than focusing on feeling bad about myself and my choices.
Time spent at the gym or preparing a good meal is not time wasted, not even in the slightest.
So keep that idea in mind: by taking care of yourself, not only are you losing weight, but you're also losing those old nagging feelings of guilt and regret.