Sometimes the weight loss process feels more like psychotherapy. Now is one of those times.
Many of us out there say that weight loss is more of a mental effort than a physical one and I agree with that 100%. Once you get your head in the game your body naturally goes there too. Bridget puts is so eloquently in her blog subtitle: Free your mind and your feet will follow.
It isn’t my body that’s been having trouble with weight loss lately, it’s my mind. My mind says that I’m too tired to work out or that I don’t want to work out because I’m considering trying something new and that scares the bejeezus out of me. It’s my mind that’s afraid of failure, not my body.
My body knows that it is strong and that it can do more than my mind allows. My body knows that it doesn’t need the excess weight it is carrying. My body knows that I’m too tired all the time because my iron is too low again. Yet my body has trouble communicating with my mind.
Like a bad marriage, communication has shut down. My body is trying to tell my mind that it’s capable of getting stronger, faster, thinner, healthier, and better. My mind is stuck inside itself, fretting over “what ifs” and “what abouts.” It obsesses over the numbers and associations between weight and various incidents. It thinks about milestones and fears failure. Without realizing it, though, it fears success even more.
My mind has serious co-dependency issues.
Co-dependency is one of the most misunderstood behaviors out there. Most people believe that a co-dependent person needs people all the time. The reverse is actually true. A co-dependent needs to be needed, they need to take care of people, they need to fix them and their problems.
The co-dependent never feels good enough and generally has self-esteem issues. Worst of all, though, the co-dependent is always afraid that the bottom will fall out… because it always has.
My co-dependent mind isn’t afraid of success because it’s afraid that it can’t handle it. It fears success because it fears that something will happen and it will lose it. You know how they say “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?” My co-dependent mind thinks that they’re full of shit.
My co-dependent mind thinks that as long as I stay in the comfort zone it won’t all fall apart. It remembers that things fall apart when you try to make things better. Keep expectations low and you won’t be disappointed.
I would say that my co-dependent mind needs to be bitch slapped but the truth is that it needs to be nurtured. It needs to learn to communicate with my body and stop being an enabler when my body feels like sluffing off. It also needs to develop confidence and trust in itself.
It’s nearly impossible to come from a household like mine and not be royally fucked up. It also isn’t very socially acceptable to admit this or talk about it in a public setting. Sorry.
I have to acknowledge it, though, because that’s the only way to overcome it. I hate coming across (or feeling like I come across) as this broken, screwed up girl but I’m taking that risk for the sake of honesty. While I’m not broken anymore, I am still a little screwed up. Who isn’t?
Last night, my mind and body were at odds again. For once my mind needed the workout and my body needed rest. As usual, my mind won the battle. I was having a moment and despite it being 10:30pm I needed to do something that would take every little bit of my attention and work off some angst.
I went but I was not well prepared. I had no water bottle and paid for it less than ten minutes in to the run. With eight minutes left I made myself stop because even thought I knew that I could push through to the end, I also knew that I shouldn’t. My mind had finally started hearing my body.
I went home and had strange dreams. When I woke up this morning I was feeling really under the weather (which really says something in Seattle!) but somehow felt better for this whole realization.
We're all a little bit broken. In so many different ways. But there is also beauty in that brokenness, if we let ourselves see it. And healing the broken parts can't start if we don't first acknowledge where we struggle.
So amen for you saying it out loud, your struggle.
And double AMEN for realizing that your body knows what's up. Your body wants to be healthy. It wants to give you everything you need for a long, healthy life. You just need to let it.
Wish it was as easy as it sounds!