What a mind game this is for me. Eating healthy.
Some days I have it. Some days I don’t. The mental aspect, I mean. The piece that really makes the difference for me.
When I shared, some time ago, my desire to be normal with my eating, this was a piece of it. And some days that piece is a square peg that won’t fit into a round hole no matter how hard I try. But some days that piece fits together with all the other pieces and completes the puzzle with little or no effort.
Recently, I had a few very easy weeks. I didn’t know why and I didn’t question myself. I just accepted that the switch had flipped and I was not only eating well and less, but the mental aspect was there. My thinking was… well, I don’t know what my thinking was. But I know what it was NOT. And it was not obsessing about food or feeling deprived or anything along those lines.
This past week, however, my thinking was labored.
So, because I often get caught up in over-analyzing things, I have spent some time wondering what changed. What’s different. And how to get back to where I was. Because I like that mental place better:)
I think it started with my trip. Some of the off-plan things I ate. And over-snacking on the plane. Which in and of itself was not really so bad. But when I got home I brought with me some travel snacks that I don’t usually keep around and my mind kept visiting them. And wanting them. And I suspect the stress of some things going on at the time was contributing even though I was not consciously thinking “I am stressed so I want to comfort myself with food.” And I didn’t feel well, either allergies or a cold, something off. I wasn’t drinking as much water or eating as many vegetables. I didn’t even exercise as much as usual. It was all sort of slipping, just a bit. Not enough to worry me that I was on the road to “out of control.” But enough to set of a little alarm in my head. Ding, ding, ding, you ding dong. (Oh now I am thinking about the chocolate cake Ding Dongs!)
I like myself better when I am the person whose head is on straight about eating. I like life better. I want to be back at that place that was feeling great and filled with optimism and almost, dare I say it, easy. I’d like to say I know exactly what to do to get there. But what I know is that it really isn’t about DOING anymore, it is about thinking. And being. Which in turn lead to the doing.
Once upon a time I thought that I just needed to DO it. Me and Nike. And maybe, some days, doing it is enough. But my new paradigm is about what is going on in my head as much as what is going into my mouth. I keep reflecting back to the few recent weeks when I felt different. Felt good. Felt right. Felt close to normal. And that feeling is what carried me through the days of eating well, not the other way around. Maybe it’s a chicken/egg conundrum. The action vs. the mindset. But it sure feels to me right now that my mindset is the missing piece that keeps the puzzle from completion. That the mental aspect is driving the other aspects instead of the other way around.
As I sit here and write this, and ruminate, and speculate, it strikes me how often on this journey I have changed my thinking. Let’s say I have “evolved” my thinking. Puts a more positive spin on it, I think.
My husband has forever been espousing that exercise is mostly a mental game. Clearly, the other components of healthy living are, for me, as well. So time to get my head in the game again. And out of the food gutter.
Did I make sense here? Any mental game playing in any aspect of your own life?