Think you are weak because you reach for food when stressed out? ... Guess again.
I had a fantastic thought this morning that I just had to share before I head out. In survival training, they taught us the "Rule Of Three" in prioritizing needs.
You WILL die if you go more than...
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter
3 days without water
3 weeks without food
- And that depends GREATLY on the circumstances... times could be drastically shortened depending on the environment.
That said, what is the FIRST thing people think of when they are lost?...Uh Oh, what am I going to EAT? (second place is OMG! how will I charge my phone?) -but I digress...
According to the list, food is at the bottom. So long as you can still breathe, your first priority is to set up shelter immediately lest you perish from exposure but yet we think about eating. That is why chocolate bars and sweets are included in survival kits. They are easy calories and they reduce psychological stress levels and that helps manage emotions in a survival situation...Wow, and to think that some meatheads say that comfort eating is purely psychological, a crutch for the weak or doesn't truly exist. Comfort eating is embedded DEEP in the biology of EVERY human being, it only takes the right stimulus to bring it to the surface. It is a "knee jerk" reaction
The first thing they tell you in survival training is to stop, assess your situation, and manage your emotions. Why? because even with the best training, panic kills. Loss of emotional control leads to irrational thinking in a situation where every decision can be life or death.
Your most important tool you have in your kit is between the ears.
The key to success is not simply calories in and calories out. While this matters, the FIRST rule of weight loss survival has to do with emotional stability and keeping a clear head.
For years I have been digging to get to the bottom as to why I have enjoyed a measure of success this time while the other times were "false starts" I now concretely know why. Because I changed from the inside out. Studies generally show that only a minority truly have a metabolism that prevents weight loss... sorry, that's just science. I have been told by other members of our family that "we have a slow metabolism... that's why we are overweight.." Sorry, calling BS on that. My problem is glandular... I have an overactive mouth gland.....and emotional issues that stimulate it.
The two biggest reasons I have enjoyed a measure of success... I say measure because I am not a goal weight yet...
1) I did something that brought out the best in me.. I trained and raced. It boosted my self confidence, something that was desperately lacking. I needed to remind myself that I am not a failure and that I am strong. The emotional strength that came from taking on big challenges and seeing them through no matter what has done more to enhance my journey than any singular thing I can think of. Like a submarine, you have to have sufficient strength on the inside first before you will achieve any significant DEPTH.
2) I cured myself of scale-itus. This disease is fatal. The panic brought on by normal fluctuations on the scale has killed more journey's than any other thing I can think of. Fail to fix this and you will die of exposure. Scale freak-outs destroy motivation and momentum. Take the time to learn WHY it is fluctuating and understand what makes your body tick. Ignorance is not bliss, it is deadly. Every "gain" is not necessarily fat and fat is all that really matters in the end. Be offended if you wish but this is truth. Having observed many over a LONG period of time, I have concluded that no one succeeds long term while still being driven by scale panic, they emotionally go in circles like someone lost in the woods. Master it and live.
3) Getting to the bottom of what is really causing pain. All I can say is that this is a never ending process for me. Therapy, talking to a friend, blogging, it all helps to get it out there. Once it's out there, it really seems to help. Problems have a way of becoming solutions when exposed.
Add in the stresses of daily living, deadlines, family matters, etc... and you can be bathed in fight or flight hormones on a daily basis. That is a potent mix.
I truly believe that the key to long term success goes far beyond the do's&don'ts. It lies in the heart.
Find something that makes you strong and helps reinforce your personal strengths. Find ways to cope with scale obsession, don't just toss it in closet and think that the problem is solved. Face it head on, learn about your body and figure out why you are defining yourself by a number. Look for other ways to measure progress and success. Remember, statistics show that successful "losers" define their weight by a range rather than a number because they understand that that is going to fluctuate.
Keep asking yourself why until you get an answer, then get to work on it.
See you in the winners circle.
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