Weighty Matters

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Changing the Failure Mindset

on November 17, 2015

I’ve been thinking of myself as a failure because I have not reached my goal weight, even almost four years after my weight loss surgery.  This mindset does mean things to me emotionally, mentally, spiritually and, ultimately physically.  It wreaks havoc with my eating disorder.  Anything that results in me feeling or thinking badly of myself can trigger disease-related eating and relapse.

For a couple of weeks, I was thoroughly depressed about the situation, much more so than I’ve been in years.  I was constantly caught up in failure feelings, beating myself up, joy-less in spirit, at least where my physical improvements and recovery were concerned.   I wanted to anesthetize the feelings and mood in carbs and sugar.  That all just made me feel worse.

Then, for some reason last week, I pulled out of it.  I recommitted to my program and got back in touch with feeling good about myself.  Positive feelings beget more positive feelings.  I went several days without a single starchy carb and wasn’t grabbing for handfuls of chocolate, other candies or other sugar-laden foods.  Even through the bad weeks, I’d continued with my kick-butt rowing classes but now I could note positive changes in my body shape, appreciate the increased strength, better range of motion and other benefits.

I felt powerful inside and out and took the time to really acknowledge and experience the upswing.

This led to me really investigating my mindset and laying out the reality check to sift and separate the truth from the distorted thinking.

These statements are false:

  • I’m a weight loss failure.
  • I can’t do this.
  • I’m weak-willed.
  • I’m unhealthy.
  • I suck.

These statements are true:

  • I have not reached goal weight.
  • I have lost and am maintaining a weight loss of around 140 pounds.  (I have never maintained a significant weight loss for this long a time!)
  • Sometimes I fall back into relapse eating.
  • More often, I eat sanely and on my recovery plan.
  • When eating sanely and on plan, I overall make far healthier food choices.
  • I am physically active and stronger.
  • I haven’t lost weight in total number of pounds in the last two months, but I know my overall fat-to-lean muscle mass ratio has improved.  There are fewer pounds of fat, more of muscle.
  • I am determined.

Looking at those lists, I am so happy to see that I know the lies from the truths.  I’m also happy to see that the positive list is twice as long.  It is amazing that positive thinking can lead to such positive change.  My mindset over the last week has completely changed for the better.  I’m not wallowing in despair or steeping my spirit in depression and sadness.  I have returned to celebrating the good, real, strong progress that I’ve made.

 

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5 responses to “Changing the Failure Mindset

  1. jkgutter22 says:

    Good for you that you have maintained such a huge loss!! I have recently lost 30 and am going for at least 30 more. I joined weight watchers where I learned that loving my body regardless of size and having a positive body image at my current weight actually can make a huge difference in weight loss compared to people who have poor self image. I have also been in OA for the past 4 months which has changed my life and taught me that I don’t have control over my food and that I need to let go of control of my food and life and not be in charge of everything if I want success. Not to say I’m not responsible for my actions, but I’m not in control. I meditate daily and get enormous peace which also changes my mindset. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to lose weight and not feel obsessed about it which for me is HUGE. Good luck!

  2. bhnmt says:

    I love this post, and I love your list of statements that are true. Well done.

  3. sleeveforme22 says:

    The scale isn’t the measure of absolute success. Those NSV are crucial – you are doing great!

  4. I’m happy to see you recognize the strong place you’ve earned you way to. I think your readers tried to point out how well you are doing overall, but nothing beats seeing it for yourself. Yea, reality checkpoints!

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