Fitness-Internal vs. External

When you lose 65 pounds a lot of people ask you why? What made you change? What was the tipping point?

I have had to think about this a lot. There were a lot of artificial reasons, like I wanted to look better, my dad had heart bypass surgery really young (and that’s where I was headed), etc. etc. I could go on forever about all the little negatives that come with being overweight. Like restrictions on horse back riding, zip lining, and not being able to shop in stores. That’s not what this post is about. There were a lot of things that contributed, it wasn’t any one thing.

Really though, when I dig deep and think about what really made me change, I realize that it was because my body didn’t reflect my character.

I knew deep down I was more disciplined, more ambitious, and more strong than my body reflected. My outside didn’t match my inside.

Most people would describe me as a type-A. Hard charging, goal oriented, analytical, tough, strong, and disciplined. When I was super overweight, I knew my body didn’t align with my character. I knew I could do better and prove to myself that I was better.

Even though I’ve lost a lot of weight, I still struggle with my character matching my body sometimes. I pick eating the brownie over my goal of doing a pull-up and then beat myself up. I go out and eat too much instead of remembering how sluggish I feel after doing so.

Sometimes my internal character isn’t enough. Sometimes my fast brain (Read the book “Thinking fast and slow“) takes over my slow, more long term thinking brain. The cool thing is that this has progressed over time. It started with me not even thinking about thinking about eating the brownie. This evolved to being aware of that I’m eating a brownie. Then, it became I’m eating this brownie, and I know I’m eating it because I’m feeling stressed/angry/upset. Now, it has evolved to I’m eating this brownie and it is not in alignment with my character and goals. Yet I still eat the brownie.

I can tell this is starting to evolve again. I have been a lot better at portion control at events recently. I said “no” to the second donut at work. I have started walking a lot more places than using my car. Most of all, I’ve been getting PO’d that I am killing it at the gym only to sabotage myself in the kitchen. That’s OK. It’s ok to get mad to change yourself. If anger is your motivator then use it!

If you ever hear anyone say or preach “you should just cut calories and increase exercise” like it was this easy switch to flip, then you know the frustration of trying to do just that simply. I can’t. There are a lot of tactics that I employ to make this easier on myself. Because my fast brain seems to win out on my slow brain often. If I can put in tools that beat my fast brain, I can win. I’m all about winning. None are effective all by themselves. Some work for me and won’t work for you.

Here are some tools that help that internal motivation voice win:

  • Portioning food. I love peanut butter filled pretzels and would eat a whole bag. Instead of bringing the whole thing to work, I separate the big bag into 8ish small bags and bring one to work. I know I can eat the whole thing and know about how many calories it is.
  • Drinking diet soda when I’m craving something sweet
  • Chewing gum
  • Sleeping in my workout clothes
  • Meal prep, and to make it even more easy buying pre-made salad mixes
  • Putting a picture of Rhonda Rousey on my phone background
  • Doing a life experiment (Three, three challenge) My experiments generally need to be short term and easily doable.
  • Having an Instagram account to post to and following only insiprational people
  • Working as a fitness instructor
  • Going to fitness classes so I have an instructor motivating me
  • Going to fitness classes when I know cute guys will be there
  • Making friends at fitness classes/groups to hold me accountable
  • Having goals (hit the 30min 5k! Now going for the pull-up)
  • Boy anger
  • Variety

This isn’t exhaustive, but this is all I can think of for now.

Things I would like to try to use:

  • Printing a pic of myself in a bra and underwear and putting it somewhere private so I remember how I don’t like how I look (Controversial tactic, I realize.)
  • Getting into a bet
  • Finding a S.O. to workout with me/hold me accountable
  • Buy an instant pot to add variety to my diet and efficiency
  • Speaking my goals every morning

Again, not exhaustive, and always looking for new ideas.

What are you doing to keep yourself moving?

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