This week was difficult for me. I went through some rough patches with a few people close to me (yep, all at once) and after a conversation with my sister and a heart-to-heart with myself, I made some big realizations.
When I lost weight, it wasn't just my body that changed. I changed. The way I think about situations, the way I react to hardships, and the way I approach life's difficulties is light years away from my mindset at 230 lbs.
I didn't just strengthen my body. I strengthened myself.
I am in control of my own destiny and I am in control of my own happiness.
I was surprised at the way I reacted to a particular situation this week. I'd gone through something similar several years ago and at that time, I had just sat back, gave in and let myself be walked all over and defeated. I think back on that now, and I wonder why in the world I did that.
My sister (who, like me, has a psychology degree) said that when I was heavy, she had noticed that I was often that defeatist. She saw someone who had given up. I was of the opinion that I was fat because of genetics and there was nothing I could do about it, so why try? Obviously, that attitude translated to other areas of my life. I had no confidence in myself, my job performance was in the toilet, and I saw no need to change since I thought I would fail (even before I began to try).
Fast forward 92 lbs lost and a few years later to this past week. Faced with a nearly identical situation to that one that had earlier defeated me, I stood up. I faced it head on and I didn't back down. I very easily could have just given up again. With this particular situation, it would be extremely easy just to give up.
But I picked the hard way. The challenging way. The way that had me fighting for what I thought was right.
How did this happen? Why did I completely change my approach to the situation? Well, the weight loss transformation is not solely physical, it's also mental.
Throughout my transformation, I had to dramatically alter my perception of exactly what I was capable of. When I was heavy with no confidence and no fight, I never thought I would be able to lose 92 lbs. I never thought I would have the ability to fit into a size 4 pair of jeans.
But the fact that I did that translates to life situations. Since I eventually got to the point where I stopped giving up on myself and my body, I stopped giving up period. I refuse to be defeated in all aspects of my life now, not just my weight. I don't give up on my relationships with family and friends. I don't give up on challenges at work and because of that I am extremely valued by my employers. When I sometimes feel overwhelmed with how busy I often am, I don't shut down or run away.
I push through, knowing I'll feel better for it. Because that's how it was when I was losing weight. Yes, it was hard, it wasn't always fun, but I pushed through, again, knowing I would be better for it.
There are a lot of obvious benefits of weight loss. Your overall physical health, warding off illness and disease and so on. But one benefit that people might not think of is that mental factor. The strengthening of the mind, attitude and of the personal resolve.
If anyone reading this is wanting to lose weight and you think you can't do it, well, you might think that now. But once you get going, you'll realize you can. You'll realize that not only can you lose weight and change your body, but you can also completely change your mind.