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Sunday, January 05, 2014

Mentality - by one definition means:

Noun 1. mentality - a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
mind-set, mindset, outlook

I've often thought that if I could get "out of my own head" sometimes that I would not have any trouble losing weight. The mentality, or mindset, that most often trips me up is the "all or nothing" mindset - the one that says "you screwed up - do what you want now and start over another day". Where did that come from? How did it become my life's mantra? When did I begin to see something so complex as so black and white?

In an effort to get out of my own head I am seeking to change that mentality this year. So I ask myself "if I make a poor choice or series of choices and it is not an *all or nothing* situation, then what is it? And how can I prove it?"

Let's take a concrete example. Say I have not exercised in days and my food intake has been okay but then I find myself invited to Friday night happy hour where I indulge way more than I should have on food and drink. The scale goes up and my mood plummets the next day. It's Saturday and I decide that I will begin again on Monday. Why? What's wrong with saying - hey, that was fun last night, but now I have to get my butt in gear today? Mental attitude - that is what. Most of the time I find I have a good mental attitude, but sometimes I fall into that pit and can't seem to crawl back out. You know I'm simplifying this of course...But I look over the past several months and I have watched the scale climb back up 15 pounds - how did I let that happen? Mental attitude. "I'm stressed at school (work) it will even out later, I'm just going to get through the holidays", then all of a sudden "I'm ready to "start fresh" it's a new year"! Wait, what? There must be a better way. I want off this teeter-totter. I want a new mindset.

For starters the scale has power - too much power. It's a tool, not Jillian Michaels. It's my friend when I like the number and my screaming degrading enemy when I don't. I'm a smart woman - I know that my body is more than a number on the scale and my success can be measured and proved in many ways. The number is just a number. So in order to change my mindset on what constitutes success I am going to create a motivation board which will help me create a new mindset by constantly reviewing and memorizing quotes I like to replace the "all or nothing" quotes I currently use in my head (start tomorrow, etc) and also keep in the forefront of my mind the success I have had and changes I have made.

Here are some examples of things I want to track and say to myself:

How do you feel today?
Progression with exercise endurance - times and distances, weights
Body measurements
Sleep
Attitude/Mood/Energy levels
Changes in food prep, additions to help with sugar addiction, ways of eating healthier
Photographic evidence of how far I've already come
Feel good and motivational quotes about exercise and well-being

Change takes time and new habits take practice. Last year I learned how foods affect my body and how my body responds to exercise. I learned and practiced how to like foods not because they taste good, but because they make my body feel good. This year I want to take the next step and for me that is making a change in my mentality about what it means when I over indulge and about how I view success. This motivation board is my first step - my "let's go team"! I will continue to gain control over my health this year. I will post a picture when my board is complete. I'm excited to create a new mindset in 2014!
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