Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Happy State of Mind - Regarding health and body image

A little while back I posted about those last 7 lbs, and how I said I didn't care about how fast they melted off and that I planned on enjoying myself a little more during the holidays.

Well, the last 10 days or so I've been weighing myself every day and getting disappointed with the lack of results on the scale. I've even upped my workouts, moving up to 2 workouts per day and what else have I done? I started counting macros again.

Really Erin?

What ever happened to "letting it happen, and relaxing a little bit?" -- Because obsessing over the scale and counting macros is not relaxing in the least bit. I need a mental health intervention.

I have an interesting little story to tell... for about a year or so I have been CONVINCED that I had developed a handful of food allergies. I convinced myself of this to the point where I avoided soy, gluten and dairy like the plague - as though it really did harm my body. I even developed my dreaded skin rashes again - all over my body, to back up my new theory. So I finally went to see an allergist to get tested for basically every food I come in contact with. My whole back was tested with a plethora of food tests - and a basic "Histamine" test spot (which always produces a reaction) to make sure my body was reacting properly.

Well, absolutely no foods at all tested positive for an allergy. I'm not allergic to any foods whatsoever. The only reaction I got was the darn Histamine test spot. You would think I would have been elated with these results. But I was so convinced that I had food allergies that I felt disappointed. The Doctor sent me home with some basic skin care maintenance information that I already knew about, and that was that.

A few weeks went by and I took the same care of my skin, ate the same foods... even ate a few things I shouldn't have because "why not? I'm not allergic!" -- And you know what happened? All those rashes that were on my skin before completely cleared up.

Why? Because my state of mind changed. I was not stressing about all the foods I was putting in my body. I wasn't worried anymore. A weight had been lifted and I had an answer on a piece of paper that told me my body would not reject these foods and make me feel miserable. So I ate them, and nothing happened. My skin got better. All this time my own mind was the enemy here, and that is what was making me miserable. The stress of it all.

I'm telling this story because I think it speaks volumes about how a "happy state of mind" can have such a positive effect on what is going on inside our bodies. It shows me how powerful our minds really are, and when the mind is at peace... so is the body.

So what do I take from this story and how am I applying it to my "weight loss expectations?"

I am putting my scale away. I will weigh myself every couple of weeks, just to make sure I am maintaining and not going off the deep end. I am going to stop counting macros. I will log my food and calories for a little while longer to establish my portions, but then I will eyeball it and fuel my body based and what it wants and tells me it needs. The only thing I will try to keep going strong is my water consumption. I truly believe drinking a gallon a day has done wonders for my health. Hydration has been essential for my workouts and daily life. I hope letting go of some of these habits of mine will allow me to release the constant stress and worry about my daily consumption. I don't want to worry why the scale went up 1.5 lbs in a day... I don't want to care about that. I just want to live healthy and eat healthy and continue being able to do the things I want to do. I want to try new recipes and love my food. I want to enjoy food, and enjoy cooking again. I want to learn to love my body in the skin I am in today - and yes, I will be thrilled if I can someday be in the 130's - but until then, the 140's have been pretty good to me.

I really don't have anything to complain about.

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