Saturday, March 22, 2008

fitness starts in your head

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I read through Deanna Adler's site about her journey to health. She was minutes away from scheduling a gastric bypass surgery, and found herself giving one more shot at loosing weight the natural way - through hard work and determination.

I am inspired by her motivation to loose the weight without drastic measures. More importantly, I have found the need to take a closer look at the emotional issues that can drive weight gain, and difficulty in getting rid of unwanted weight. Shows like The Biggest Loser (one of the only shows for which I'll turn on my TV) put weight loss and fitness in the national spotlight, and in recent seasons have dealt with the concept that emotional struggles can have a profound impact on our ability to loose and keep off weight. I don't often put myself in the category of someone with emotional troubles. I have led a charmed life, to be sure. But as I read portions of her story, I found myself wondering if perhaps I, too, am dealing with self-worth issues.

It's so easy to dismiss our weight struggles as something strictly related to will power or self discipline. Certainly, there are problems with the kind of diets we eat. But to think that those might be the only problems would be to hide our heads in the sand.

The journey to health and fitness isn't something that can be done independent of everything else in our lives. We have to integrate an attitude of wellness into every aspect of our being - the things we do and think with ourselves, and the things we do and think about the people in our lives.

Take a careful look at your attitude about yourself. Do you define yourself by what you do? Is your value defined by the people in your life, the money in the bank, or the way you look? These shouldn't be the areas where we find our value. From a Christian stand point, I would say that our value can come from only one source, and it's not a value that we can decide, or decline. We can, however, refuse to believe that we have worth apart from the things in our world, and that is where some of us struggle in the self-worth department. As you move forward in your journey to health and fitness, take an inventory of yourself. Deal with past emotional struggles in a constructive way. Talk with someone about your struggles, and make an action plan for repairing your heart.

If we're going to get fit and healthy, we might as well do it all the way around, right?


Anonymous said...

Hey Carrie, How cool that you linked my site!

I think you're on to something that you need to take a look at self-worth issues. I love the show The Biggest Loser too. One thing that it shows me is that the equation of eat less and move more really DOES work if you're willing to put in the time and effort. The other part, though, is that you have to do the inside work AS WELL if you want those changes to stick.

Far too often we hear stories of people who have really put in the hard work for a certain period of time and lost a great amount of weight but then once they reach their goal, they quit the intense workouts and the strict eating plans. If they haven't done the emotional work, the old patterns come back into play and all the weight that was lost sneaks back...along with really terrible messages of how they've blown it.

I was in a similar place as you where I didn't think I had emotional issues. But the fact is, there was a reason that I knew the basics of losing weight; eat less and move more, but I just didn't do it.

I would bet money that you'll find the same thing. There's something that keeps you from making the healthy decisions you know you need to make. It's probably something really small but there is some link in your mind between your self-worth and making healthy decisions. If there weren't a link somewhere, you'd already have been doing it for years and years.

Good luck on your journey and finding your junk and getting rid of it. Forever!

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