Weight – Loss Mindset, Death and Being Mindful
It has been an odd couple of days mentally for me. It started with my weight-loss stalling, which is total OK with me. I become immediately frustrated by the number on the scale and decided to reiterate my goal and my desire and to be mindful of my inner voices.
As the weight-loss stalled over a couple of days, I could feel the frustration exploding inside me. Add to this that I could hear the irrational voice gaining volume. Saying critical things like “We are not doing this for the fun of it” and criticizing me at the same time. This time I didn’t give into the internal criticism and I didn’t let it bring me down.
I basically took 2 mental steps backwards. Climbed in the internal helicopter and tried to locate the source of the internal criticism. Over the last few days, I have been thinking about my dad. I am 48 and my dad passed 35 years ago. His sudden death and the years that followed have left some pretty visible scars both physically and mentally. Basically, everything stems from this time period and frankly, I keep finding rocks to turn over.
One thing that no one every mentions about when a love ones pass is that you never actually get over it. My own father’s death still lurks in current events and it is both good and bad. How so? For example, when getting married, I missed my father being present. When having kids and all the wonderful questions children ask brings back the spirit and memory of my father. With the beautiful memories always comes the unfinished business. Some of the unfinished business is best left alone and with age, I have discerned what to leave alone as it serves no purpose rehashing past regrets and from the age of 13 -20 there are many things that are buried under the category I call “survival”. I did many things to just get by.
So these inner critical voices actually stem from this time in my life. It is hard to admit and hard to fix. I am my own worse enemy riddling my adult life with negative self-criticism. I have done this all my adult life and nothing is ever good enough. Part of me wants to call this a “disease”. I think of the movie: A Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe where as an older man during one of the teaching lessons the Nobel Peace Prize commission sends a man to see if he is mentally ill and potentially embarrassing. Russell Crowe looks at one of his students and asks while pointing to the man from the Nobel Peace Prize commission and says something like: “Do you see him? Is he real?”
I feel this way about this internal critical voice. I ask myself: “Do you see him? Is he real?”
I have decided to acknowledge the internal critical voice by accepting its presence but giving it no active voice or say.
For me the real issue lies right here. This is the core challenge. I keep getting fat, I yo-yo many times. Losing weight is not the issue, it is a symptom of something else. That issue is how I treat myself, how I speak to myself, how I allow these “demons” to bring me down and berate me into submission. Eating is the symptom, I used it since my father died as a way to comfort myself from the emotion, spiritual and mental pain. That habit, I carried with me into adulthood and it is clear to me as ever before. Can I stop? I want to say “HELL YEAH” but the part of self realization that is most important is knowing when you need professional help. I am not sure I need professional help but I am open for it.
After my father passed my mother did 2 things that were very smart when looking in the rear-view mirror. The first is that she sent me almost immediately back to school. The routine of getting up and going school was good. I don’t remember much of the first 2-3 years but I know I went to school almost everyday. Routine is important as it helps oil the wheels of time. The second thing is she sent me to counseling. I hated it at first but I recognize now that it laid the ground work for getting past the grief. So I am not afraid to get help, it can move the small pebbles from the shoes of the soul that in return help use climb the difficult mountains in life.
I have kept at it, I am still on the plant based diet. I feel good, I feel the frustration of inner critical voice and I am examining my life. Things are good.