I’ve been successfully losing weight again since I started blogging about leadership about a month ago. It was the missing piece for me right now.
Because I’m at the stage where I know what to do, I’ve lost the baby weight twice before. I know how to eat healthier, move more and approach fitness strategically. But this winter I got tripped up frequently because I had a bad attitude about it, and about life.
Or at least a bad mental state that I would easily slip into. I’m sure other educated stay-at-home moms know the feeling, the funk you can get into when you’re at home with little kids, changing diapers, doing laundry, and cleaning up messes. When I felt lonely and bored, I would eat sugar as a pick-me-up. And when I got past those emotions, I would get stressed out by work – because I don’t actually just stay at home with kids – and then I would eat something sugary or high-calorie.
This winter I was in a cycle where I knew I wanted to make a change, but I just couldn’t get the long term to consistently outweigh the short term when it came to handling my emotions every afternoon. I kept sinking back into this place of self-pity.
I started to intentionally seek out books to read that could help me with my mentality. One that seemed to help was Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins, especially the parts about transformational vocabulary, and life metaphors. But I was still missing something.
And then I decided I wanted to get back to blogging, I thought really hard about what all of my interests, and experiences, and potential readers had in common. And I came up with the idea of leadership as the core theme for my motherhood blog.
So in order to write about things from that angle, I started thinking about my ideas, and approaching my life from that angle.
I can’t wait to get into the different ways this is starting to improve various areas of my life, particularly parenting. But if you know me or have been following my blog, you know that weight loss has been a sticking point for me. I thought I was done having kids. I had lost the weight after my third son. I had one more, and it’s taken me longer to lose the weight. It’s hard to get up the umph to do it, and I need to. I won’t feel like myself until I do. I won’t really respect myself until I do. That seems harsh, but if I know I want to, and I know I can, but I haven’t, then what does that say about me?
So my lack of effort this winter was also grating on me, but I was stuck in that cycle like I mentioned. And then I started taking action. I started blogging about leadership, and I decided I needed support, and that I shouldn’t have to pay for it. So I got the word out and gathered a small group of mom friends in a facebook group and I started sharing my food log every day. Super boring. But they’re so awesome they didn’t mind. And then we started talking about our goals, and how often we want to exercise. Now I’ve switched to just sharing when I exercise, but posting my food log for almost two weeks to a group of friends did several powerful things.
It broke my sugar habit, and met my need for connection, and got me thinking and acting like the person I want to be. I believe a leader is above all someone of honesty and integrity, and so the journey of leadership has to start with being true to who you know you are or should be. I guess a closely tied idea would be that of self-control, and when you are addicted to sugar, or any other chemical, or technology. If you rely on a regular fix to meet an emotional need, you can’t take ownership of your life.
If there is one thing we must teach our kids, it is ownership, and to teach it we’ve got to model it.
So thanks again to my baby weight loss group. (If you want to join us, send me a message on Facebook.)
Thanks for providing a safe place of accountability for me to feel both the pressure of leadership and the safety of friendship.
Connecting with all of you regularly about something that means so much to me, is so much more rewarding than the food I’m not eating anymore. Writing that seems clear and yet insufficient. I don’t know how to explain the fact that I feel so much better now. And I think it’s a culmination of some books I’ve been reading, inspirational speakers I’ve been watching on YouTube, connecting and reconnecting with friends on Facebook, deciding to have the mindset of a leader, committing to write regularly again, and finding happiness in the midst of a strict whole foods diet.
I’m changing my relationship with food. For weeks now I haven’t been eating dessert with my kids. They are eating less frequently, but still enjoying the occasional donut on the weekend, and we got several kinds of popcicles to celebrate the recent onset of amazing spring weather here (finally!).
I’m feeling better and more energized, eating minimal sugar and processed foods. Now that I’ve overcome the psychological hurdle, I’m starting to really think about attempting to do the Whole30 and follow those food rules for a whole 30 days. That would be more of a logistical challenge, but a way to prove to myself that I have truly made a shift in my life. Because a few months ago I would have thought that there was no way I could make it.
I bet the logistical challenge will be easier than the mental one.
This post originally appeared on energyformoms.com.