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Part III–Spiritual Repairs

 

First off I’m sorry to disappoint if you thought this was going to be more of a “religious” post. I’m of the opinion everyone has a right to their own beliefs and I like to keep mine to myself. I admit spiritual may sound a bit misleading then, however it’s the best word I can think of to describe this part. So here we go….

I will admit to you that the physical repairs, I get it. Its hard but I get it. The mental repairs again, even harder, but tangible and I am beginning to understand it. This one is the strangest and most difficult for me. The reason being is it has to do with attitudes and what you say to yourself in your head. (Don’t deny it, we all talk to ourselves, some just have more voices than others.) Smile

One of my major “spiritual” struggles is to be more positive. You see I’m a planner by nature. I always plan for the worst that way you can never be disappointed. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism, maybe its just pure logic. Either way its tough to change. Its tough because its not tangible. I mean there isn’t some prescriptive guidance to fix it. Sure there are thousands of books on how to be more positive. But reading about it and doing it are two every different things. I’ll even go as far to say that I wouldn’t want to be one of those love everything, crazy positive people. But again its all about balance. My scale tends to shift to the not so positive side. I’m not excusing it. I just don’t classify it as negativity. But lets face it, whatever you call it, I end up looking like the glass is half empty guy.

How do you fix it? Well again something I’m learning is that negativity comes from being the victim or having a victim mentality. Now when I heard my therapist tell me I had a victim mentality – first I was angry, then I was shocked, then I began to disagree. I will never nor have I ever seen myself as a victim. I’m just not the type, If I don’t like something, or want to change something, I will. However come to find out that isn’t all encompassing. I’m not like that when it comes to weight, exercise, eating or those types of things in general. I asked my therapist to prove it. Yes, I’m that kind of client. I just don’t believe I have a victim mentality for those things. She told me I had already proved it. She had asked me a few questions for example: “How did I feel when: I got on the scale? ate something healthy? exercised?” and more I cant remember. She reminded me I said I felt frustrated, angry, like I “had to”. In other words – “powerless”. Damn it. I hate it when she’s right sometimes.

This is where it gets really hard and well a bit “fluffy”. She told me a story about a book where the main character survived a Nazi death camp during the holocaust. But not how you would think. The main character took the power back in the one place they couldn’t take it away from. The mind. The mind was freedom. Nobody can control your thought, feelings, attitudes. It’s the one thing nobody can touch but you. I know that is an extreme example and I warned you it was going to get a bit “fluffy” from here on out.

In other words I am acting like a victim when I say in my head, “I have to work out”, “I have to eat right”, “I have to fit in these clothes”, “I have to….”.  There is a big difference in those statements when you WANT to. “I want to eat healthy”, “I want to work out”, “I want to fit in these clothes”. I’m beginning to see its not so bad when in my head I can tell myself I want to do something instead of because I have to. Its mind boggling to me because I’m not like that in any other aspect in my life, except this one. The ultimate freedom is the ability to choose your feelings and attitude in any given circumstances.

I still hate the word victim. But for lack of a better term I get it. For me this is the hardest part. I don’t want to do something unless I think I am good or successful at it. I had figured that out once. But I didn’t know I had. When we were on the show there was a point for the last couple of months I was at my wits end and stressed to the max. I hit a major plateau. (You have no idea the pressure to lose a large a number as possible on those shows, for example the latest Biggest Loser “winner”) That pressure doesn’t come from Chris or Heidi either. They do everything they can do, to get you to not succumb to that pressure. But I digress….sometime during that plateau, I accepted my plight and let it all go. When I did the weight began to just fall off.

In our society we put so much pressure on ourselves to eat a certain way, look a certain way, etc. You can be happy at 400 pounds and extremely unhappy at 200 pounds. I’m living proof.  That’s because it has nothing to do with the weight, size of clothes, or even what you eat. Its not holding onto all the anxiety , stress and negativity. Its choosing to eat something good or bad. Its choosing to exercise hard core or go for a walk. Its choosing if there is something you want to change, choosing to change it. Not change it for someone else, but change it because you want to.

Of all my struggles this one is the most difficult. But this is the one only you can fix. You might be different, but for me this one thing is the difference between success and failure. Its not exercise, food, etc. If I don’t fix this, I don’t think I can be successful.

Back to my last post…last week was one my lowest points. I was out of control. Everything was out of control – eating, activity, pressure, anxiety etc. I had some very good weeks before then. I was talking to an expert, I was doing all the right things. But last week for a reason I don’t know yet, it all fell apart. Fiercely independent, wickedly smart and very driven are great attributes to have when your on a path to success. They are the absolute worst attributes when you fail. You don’t ask for help, you get frustrated because you should be able to figure this out and you put more and more pressure on yourself to right the ship.

I think I have a good idea of what I need want to do to make things better. Maybe you can relate, maybe you can’t, maybe you agree maybe you don’t. All of which is ok, because the biggest reason I am writing all this out is so that when I do fail again (and I will) I can read it to remind myself a few things.

Sorry this one was so long. But it really is the most important and difficult topic, well at least for me it is. Which brings me to our last part this week, Part IV……see you tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Wow! This is good stuff, Jason! Very insightful, seriously. :-)

    A long time ago, someone told me to speak in terms of “I’m able to….” instead of “I have to….”. So now, when I don’t really want to do something, I think, “How lucky I am. “I’m able to work out today!” or “I’m able to eat healthy today.” It’s probably cheesy but it really works for me because not only do I remember how lucky I am, it also reminds me that I CAN do this.

    You got this!!! :-)

  2. Sheila Matson says:

    Dear Jason,
    What an inspiration you are! To hear you speak your truth, and to be man/woman enough to admit one’s failures or omissions is a great freedom. You are inspiring many of us, who watched your and Rachel’s journey. I can only imagine the pressures placed on the participants – we just see the finished/edited version.

    I now relate to the victim mentality. I am 68 years of age, and have struggled unsuccessfully for years to get hold of my weight. I am 200 lbs. now, and know I “should” do something – however I was stuck with the difference between “need to lose weight” and “want to exercise, eat better, etc.”

    Thank you, sincerely, and I look forward to the rest of your posts. Blessings and abundance to you and yours.

  3. Donna Rochna says:

    Awesome! You have a gift for writing!

    I feel like I have been in a rut for SO long, that I can’t even remember when it started. The biggest change in my life was when my youngest was diagnosed with epilepsy in October 2010. Finally, three and a half years later I sleep somewhat well because we have better control of his seizures. Those three years were he’ll on me, my marriage, and my oldest son (he was terrified that my youngest was going to die every time he had a seizure.) I used to get up and exercise at 5:30 am. I stopped when his seizures started because I was afraid he would have one and I wouldn’t hear him. Also, because I never truly pet through the night again after that (jumping up to check on him every time he coughed or made a sound) I was too exhausted to want to exercise. So, I don’t know if that is just my excuse or just me trying to figure out how I went from being in decent shape to letting myself go again.

    I think it helps to read your posts and know that just because you had the opportunity to go on the show doesn’t mean your life is magically fixed. You both had to do the work yourselves. On top of that, you were faced with the new obligation of being a “reality star”…that seems like added stress.

    I appreciate your honesty. Trying to “balance” parenthood, marriage, and everything else life hands us is tough.

  4. You nailed it. And I agree, you have a great writing voice :) Thank you for being so honest, and I hope you know you are not alone! One of my favorite things about Weight Watchers are the meetings. I know they are not for everyone, but it’s my own form of “group therapy” similar to your own individual sessions, and it is a place I can finally feel ok to ask for help on things (I’m also fiercely independent and the last to ask for help when I need it, because I want to figure it out on my own first). My meetings are hit or miss, but thankfully my latest group and leader is wonderful. It sounds like you have someone to help you already, but I just wanted to put it out there for anyone else looking… Weight Watchers helps me, and I find their meetings invaluable to my weight loss journey. I finally admitted I couldn’t figure it out and do it on my own… I need help and guidance every. single. week. The times I don’t want to go to the meetings are the times I always need it the most. Weight loss is so mental, it’s ridiculous… and that part gets so glossed over all the time, when people concentrate on food and exercise. Unless your mind is in the right place, you can’t execute control in food and exercise. So good for you for getting your head in the right frame of mind, and I really applaud you for speaking out! :)

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