Thursday, June 30, 2011
Lets Talk About "Honesty"
I recently made a video on my Youtube channel about being honest with yourself and not making excuses for your poor behaviors and poor food choices. Basically the video went along with my last blog entry. In this video, I talk about the fact that even though I have lost about 90lbs (soon to be 100...mark my words) it doesn't mean I don't still have "food issues". I received a comment on that video. This is that comment:
"...you seem so "in control" with your food...like you have no trouble always eating healthy and making healthy choices. So when you say that food is and always will be an issue for you, its like...i dunno...its like you're normal. lol I mean sometimes I watch your videos and I think "Damn, she really has her shit together. She's homefree and has this beat! I'm Jealous!" So to hear that you still struggle makes me feel like I could be where you are someday...."
I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this comment! I loved it for its honesty. This person was willing to admit that he/she had a perception of me that I was easily accomplishing this idea of losing weight. I think thats the trouble sometimes with making these Youtube videos. People see where you are now, and they see where you came from, but unless they've followed you from the very beginning...its hard for them to really understand how long it took you to get here. How hard you had to work to get here. The struggles you've had and are STILL having to get here. And guess what folks? I'm not even "here" yet!!!! According to my doctor, I'm still about 30lbs overweight!!!! Hows that for perspective, huh?
I really meant what I said in that vlog. I am someone who has a problem with food. I used to be embarrassed about that, but now I've seen that I'm not alone in this. Its no secret that most Americans are overweight. MOST of us in this country have an issue with food, the problem is that only a handful of us address this issue and do our best to overcome it. I no longer feel embarrassed about having a "food problem". I will always have this internal struggle going on in my head when someone puts a chocolate bar or a dessert or a super appetizing pizza in front of me. I will always have "the devil and the angel" on opposite sides trying to convince me to lose control (which is the devil side) or to stay in control and do what I know is right and good for my body (which is the angel side).
In my personal opinion, addressing this internal struggle and learning how to deal with it, without becoming overwhelmed, is the key to long term success with weight loss and fitness. Its so easy to become overwhelmed with these voices talking to you all day about food choices. Think about it this way, food is something that will always be in your life. Everyday. No matter what you do. You simply cannot "stop" having food in your life. So think about how overwhelming that can become. An alcoholic can stay away from booze. A drug addict can learn to stay away from the drug. But a food addict? How can they ever "stay away" from food??? The answer is: they can't. Food is a necessity to life. THIS is why it can become so overwhelming. I believe this is also why eating disorders are becoming so much more common within our society.
In my personal experience thus far, honesty has been the one thing that makes it all not so overwhelming. When I'm honest with myself, it calms down the angel and the devil on my shoulders and it helps me to clear my thoughts. By honesty, I mean really thinking about why I react to certain foods the way that I do. If you sit back and truly try to assess why you feel you have no power to resist the ice cream, the pizza, the chocolate, then you'll start to learn about your own behavioral patterns in regards to food. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that you deprive yourself of anything (even the things you know to be "bad"). Deprivation is a whole different topic that maybe I'll touch on in the next blog entry (hint hint). Instead, what I'm suggesting is trying to take the power away from that food. Educate yourself about the food that you, seemingly, cannot resist. Here's an example: For me, I used to feel powerless around donuts. If one was placed in front of me, I would seemingly have "no choice" but to eat it. Then I heard something about donuts that kind of "hit home" for me. Someone told me that donuts were one of the only foods that have ABSOLUTELY NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE. I really got to thinking about that. I researched it, and found this statement to actually be true. There is NOTHING in donuts that does anything for your body. There are no nutrients, no vitamins, no fiber, NOTHING! After I learned this, it made it so much easier to simply just say "no thanks" when one happened upon me in the future. Do you see the process that I'm talking about? I educated myself about that food, and the more I learned about it and what it does (or in this case, what it doesn't do) for my body...the "power" it seemed to have over me, just vanished.
So what am I saying in this entry? I'm saying this: Lets all be HONEST with ourselves. Lets admit that we have an issue with food. Lets not feel embarrassed about telling others about this problem. Think about it, if an alcoholic became a friend of yours and they said, "Hey, can we not go to bars or places where there's a lot of drinking? I'm trying to overcome my problem with alcohol" would you laugh at them? Would you think, "Wow! What a loser!" ??????? No. You wouldn't. You would appreciate their honesty. You would want to be helpful. You would want to be supportive. Everyone else in our lives is the same in this regard (well, assuming that they're good, kind people). So why should we feel embarrassed about admitting our issues with food? We shouldn't! Admit it, be honest, and you might be amazed by the support, love and encouragement you receive from others in your life.