Today’s post follows on from yesterday’s in which I talked about last week’s mindset lesson, compliments of my weight loss program’s leader, Michelle Bridges. (Argh, sorry about the long, convoluted opening sentence!)
I’ve already talked about Michelle’s advice for those on the program who were (and are) second-guessing their efforts and not confident that they can lose weight by staying on course and following the nutrition and exercise plans. In yesterday’s post I took heed of her advice that I need to take responsibility for my health and my body and, to quote Michelle, “The days of your meal plans looking like a children’s party are OVER!” (And… I’ll just take one moment to mourn the loss of my frivolous indulgent ways before moving on….)
Michelle tells us we need to trust the program, trust her AND trust ourselves and our own bodies. She has great faith in the human body and suggests that it is our heads (our mindset and thinking) that are most likely to screw everything up.
She reminds us that the first few weeks of this program will be hard as we are trying to undo years of bad habits. And, again quite bluntly, she tells us that we (ie. meaning me) didn’t get to be over 100kg by eating healthily. She claims that by giving us our exercise and meal plans SHE is doing the thinking for us.
We need to keep it simple, she says, particularly in the early stages as we are ridding ourselves of bad habits and negative thinking. Most importantly, she says we need to STOP OVERTHINKING.
I recall I’ve mentioned one of the very few self-help books I own is called, Eating, Drinking and Overthinking. And it won’t require you to read more than a couple of my blog posts to know that I am a huge overthinker. I analyse everything to death. And after its demise I re-think it more!
Michelle commented on the voice in our head (or several voices if you – like me – have the health-conscious angel on one shoulder and pudgy all-about-instant-gratification devil on the other!) which says, “I don’t wanna train today. I’m too tired.” Or, “I can have this piece of cake. I deserve it.” She suggested we acknowledge that the voice exists, but ignore it.
The program is specific enough that we don’t really need to think at all – at least until we are strong and sensible enough to be able to make the tough decisions. She often talks about ‘robot-mode’. When it comes to our meals and exercise. DON’T THINK, JUST DO! She says.
Neither in this round, nor in the first round of the program did I follow Michelle’s menu or exercise plan to the letter, although I stuck to her guidelines: 1200 calories a day; and 6 days a week of exercise. It did indeed require a bit more thinking or planning to ‘do my own thing’, but (other than the blip of the last couple of weeks) it has worked for me.
But – as an overthinker – I want to take heed of her advice about ‘just doing’ it. Or, JFDI – more specifically.
Michelle’s been very ‘zen’ about exercise lately and tells us much of the battle is about ‘just turning up’. As a control-freak and competitive perfectionist (self-diagnosed!) I know that IF I feel apathetic about getting on my exercise bike… I can tell myself I’ll just do 10 minutes. That’s all. Ten measly minutes. But… I can almost be certain that once I’m on there I’ll stay on for the whole 30 minutes I’m supposed to do. Failure doesn’t sit well with me. But sometimes the thought of the entire 30 minutes can be overwhelming. It’s those times (and occasions like that), that I need to kick into robot-mode and NOT THINK and JUST DO!
Sure, I’m not at a point yet where I need to lay clothes out on the floor next to the bed so I get up at the crack of dawn and automatically don my exercise gear and get out of the door (well… only cos I’m not exercising in the morning), but I do need to stop second-guessing myself. With a lot happening outside of work at the moment I’m trying to exercise at lunchtime. It’s a challenge for me as I feel a tad guilty about leaving in the middle of the day for an hour. But… no one else cares. I’m sure about that. In fact they congratulate me on my red face on my return. Instead, I need to just grab my bag and go. Robot-mode.
When I’m at home on a weekend and pondering on my lunch options – usually fantasising about the more-satisfying popcorn, versus other healthier options – I can take an hour or longer to make a decision, weighing up both options. Again and again. Similarly, it’s at those times I need to ‘just do it’: make that healthy lunch and not wonder if I’d prefer something else. Of course I’d bloody prefer foods filled with preservatives, fat and sugar to make it taste better… but, I have to remember, I’m not a 5 year old who is trying to negotiate with a parent to eat ice-cream for lunch.
I’m an adult. A grown up (apparently). I need to make the hard calls. I need ‘man up’. I need to stop thinking. And I need to Just Fucking Do It.