January of 2016 I was convinced I was a lost cause. I agreed to work with Ryan because he seemed so convinced he could help me and I was out of options. Day One – 276 pounds. After 1 week I weighed 272. I had lost 4 pounds. But honestly, I was not impressed because if you’ve dieted as much as I had, you know that the first week you always lose more — blah, blah, blah. Week 2 I lost 2 more pounds. I was still not real impressed. Week 3 I lost 3.5 pounds — he was beginning to get my attention.
Then Week 7 I lost 3/4 pound. Nothing (my workout/food) had changed. Week 8 I lost 3/4 pound. I immediately resorted to “See, nothing works for me. I’m cursed.” Thank God Ryan didn’t really listen to me much. Week 9 I lost 1.5. Hmmmmmmm. I thought. Week 10, I lost 6.5 pounds. I kid you not. Once again he had my attention. Maybe he does know what he is doing I thought. Week 11 – 2 pounds and Week 12 – 5.5 pounds.
I was competing (I don’t really like that word in this situation) in a 12-week challenge and I had lost 33.5 pounds in 12 weeks. I continued to lose weight from that point on and I have not gained it back 2.5 years later. I had a ton of belief in my trainer and very little belief in myself. (Yet I was the one doing the work.)
You would think I’d be happy with that (weight loss). You would think that my life would be rainbows and butterflies. But my mental condition was fragile. I cared very little about myself and a whole heck of a lot about what other people said. One thing I did know was that what I was learning from my trainer, no one else in my whole life had taken the time and patience to teach me. And — it was working.
Do not assume that just because someone is losing weight, they are doing fine mentally. Once I was taught the tools to successfully drop the weight, that became routine for me. But the picture I held of myself had not changed. I was easily swayed by others opinions. There were others who lost weight faster than me and they would suggest to me – you should do this or you should do that. That got in my head. There was the fact that my trainer was leaving the gym. That one scared me to death. I didn’t know how to be successful without him.
Anxiety in my head would play things out to years from now. If my trainer leaves, I won’t know what to do. I’ll put the weight back on. I’ll get so heavy that I get really sick again. I’ll die young. Anxiety is a whole lot of what if’s. It is NOT a fun way to live. It’s tough when a part of your brain know that you shouldn’t feel that way; yet in the other part of your brain that is all you are thinking about.
In the beginning of the weight loss journey I realized that the mental battle was as important as the physical journey. I had a tight circle of friends that I could confide in and who could “talk me out” of being too anxious. Exercise helped me stay positive. Swimming especially made me super happy. I did not change overnight. I did not wake up one day and Ka-bam I was no longer anxious. It’s been a process.
I’ve actually devoted all of 2018 to getting strong mentally and it has worked. I am happy. I am not afraid like I used to be. I’ve eliminated things in my life that caused me to worry – like certain tv shows, certain movies, the I-70 app on my phone, negative social media accounts to name a few. So if it seems as if I’m a pretty happy, positive person it is because I am. I’ve worked diligently on it.
If you struggle with anxiety, so did I and so do I still at times. If you feel scared or anxious because of your current weight or health, I get it. I’ve been there. But I am a living, breathing example of someone who turned their life around. It was not done overnight, but it is being done. If you have patience, and you can be consistent, you can most definitely do it too. I will continue to write about overcoming anxiety. I will tag them anxiety making it easier for you to search the word anxiety in the blog search bar. (That will lead you to everything I have written on the subject.) I believe in YOU! #samehere