Monthly Archives: March 2015

Lack of Self Love is the Cause of My Weight Gain

If you asked me, “Maria, do you love yourself?”, immediately I would respond, “Yes!”.  Logically, I do think I love myself. But then I really thought about it the other day, if I loved myself, then why do I sometimes catch myself speaking negatively about something I did?  It’s like the old tape is pushed play immediately after I catch myself doing something I know is not good for me (Ben and Jerry are not my friends, I don’t even know them! Never met them once in my life!).

This topic came up in the weight loss support group this week.  We were discussing self-love and one of the members talked about how she finds herself talking negatively and sometimes she doesn’t even catch herself, it just ‘happens’.  Can anyone relate? I know I can!

I started thinking about when the negative thoughts come up for me.  I’ve really noticed them when I overeat, because that’s been my focus.  Are there other situations or incidents that trigger when it happens? Once I asked the question, I noticed the negative ‘let’s berate Maria now‘ tape was playing during times I didn’t even realize.  For example, I was wondering why I was feeling so bad about myself last night.  I couldn’t put a finger on it until this morning when I was talking to a friend.  It was because I acted badly with my son and I started immediately beating myself up.  It starts when I start barking out orders to pick up his stuff or put away his things etc. When I get into that ‘Mom mode’ (or drill Sargent mode), I become a different person in a sense, one that my family resists and who I don’t like either.  I don’t know what it is, but it seems like I comes from my mother.  Even thinking about it upsets me because I’ve spent half my life saying “I will never be my mother!” and when parenting, I have to be honest, I’ve adopted some of her bad habits.  It’s what led me to rebel and move far away from her when I was in my 20’s.  It took a while (1 hour), but I redirected myself by taking responsibility, apologizing to him and now hopefully I’ll learn from it and things will improve the next time around.

I constantly remind myself, this is a journey which has led me to learn the basics of self-love and I’m still learning.  The good news is I’m seeing the frequency of when the negative self-talk occurs. Some days will be great and others will show me there’s more change that has to happen.  Through this process, I can say, I am learning the art of patience and it’s good for me in many ways.  It took me many years to discover myself and become aware of these negative patterns and it will take time to replace them with healthy thoughts and behaviors.

One thing I can say without a doubt, I’m so grateful God has pointed this out to me, otherwise, I would still be, in a sense, living ‘in the dark’ and just the thought of that is disturbing.   Can you imagine how many people would feel better about themselves, improve their health and feel happy if they started to recognize their own negative patterns and made small changes to think differently about themselves?  I believe it can happen!

Choose to ‘Be’ Confident

This week my focus was to try and get back on track with healthy habits so I can move myself in the right direction.  Overall I have to say it went better, not 100%, but better.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve struggled with loving myself and feeling confident about losing weight given my history.  I believe confidence comes from a decision we make to ‘be’ confident rather than waiting for something to happen to us to ‘feel confident’ which is what I’ve done in the past when it came to my weight. I also heard the other day how confidence is directly related to competence. I agree.

When I reached my goal weight before, I was extremely confident with my health and how I looked.  However, when I gained it back, my confidence plummeted.  My thought patterns sounded like this, “I don’t know how to lose weight and keep it off. I’m a failure. I won’t be able to lose weight again and keep it off so why bother trying again? It’s useless, losing weight might be easy but how the heck am I going to keep it off for life?”  This is the tape that’s played in my head ever since.

This week at work, I had a big meeting to attend and I had to present. The meeting was brought together unexpectedly and the attendees were going to be people I heard were ‘tough to deal with’ and I was nervous.  I had to manage my thoughts and emotions if I was going to be on my game.  To prepare, on the drive to work, I performed positive affirmations, and got extremely animated about it, to the point where others passing on the highway probably were calling medical services or were at least contemplating it.  The music was blasting and I was screaming at the top of my lungs (very therapeutic I might add). It felt amazing. I went to the gym, had a great workout and arrived early at my desk while listening to Louise Hay. I was very productive and 30 minutes prior to the meeting, I went into the Ladies room, looked at the full length mirror and started going through the affirmations again. I jumped up and down, smiled and went into a positive rant.  It felt great. I came out of there, ready to go.

Got to the meeting, met all the players and when they came to me to present, I took a deep breath and started presenting. I was on fire. I smiled at every attendee and it felt great.  When I was done, I took a deep breath and on my exhale, said mentally, “I’m sending love to everyone in this room.” I smiled at each individual when it was their turn to present and I was thinking, “I send love your way, you are loved.”

What an amazing experience. I was so grateful.  The actions I took in the morning boosted my confidence and I realized at the end of the meeting, I made the decision to be confident not matter what I encountered when entering into the meeting.  If I can apply this with all aspects of my life, how much progress can happen?

Have you experienced similar situations where you knew you could do something, starting having doubts but you ‘decided’ to be confident and move forward?  How can this be applied to living a healthy life?

Taking the time to heal

I have to be honest and tell you, I did not want to post this week because it has been up and down.  I can’t pinpoint a specific event that happened, but my thoughts and emotions were erratic and I didn’t get to the gym.  I was off track and felt ‘disconnected’ if that makes sense.  My morning habits suffered and I know that’s a big piece of it.  The good news is when I least expected, I had positive thoughts.  Instead of the normal ‘beating myself up‘ routine I’ve been so used to, I actually stopped (when I noticed) and redirected my thoughts.  The only thing is, the repetitive thinking crept back in and depending on when I ‘caught‘ it, either I was successful or I wasn’t.

I started the week off by planning meals, cooking and prepping on Sunday.  However, when Tuesday rolled around, it was like everything was tossed out the window.  I realized I wasn’t sustaining my positive frame of mind and it impacted my emotions.  Again, probably because in the mornings, I didn’t have the time to sit in silence to pray, meditate and set my mind in the right direction.  If I wasn’t working on myself this year, I wouldn’t have thought twice about my thought patterns. It would’ve taken me longer to identify the source of my unhappiness. I’m grateful to see the progress and look forward to the day where it can happen in minutes.

To improve my mood, I registered for a meditation retreat. In the past I would have been skeptical about going to one, but not now. Taking the time to relax and learn different techniques to calm myself and refocus thoughts will improve my health and well being.  Not only that, but it teaches you how to connect and ‘trust’ yourself again.  This has been a major focus since the disconnection is what created the unhealthy ‘diet mentality’ that’s wreaked havoc on my mind and body from the beginning.

This weekend we have some activities planned and I’m looking forward to the time with family and the time to be in silence. I will reset and start again.  Is it frustrating? Only if I focus on the negative. This is a life long journey to heal my mind and body.  Instead of worrying about the scale and counting calories, I’m focused on learning how to trust myself again, to connect with my body to identify true hunger, satisfaction and ultimately to learn what makes me happy. This is the way to sustainable and lifelong health. It may take longer than I would want, but I lived the ‘diet’ route so long without success, I’m now ready to heal no matter how long it takes…