What are you carrying around with your extra weight?

I’ve been carrying around an extra 15 pounds all year.

Yes, after sitting comfortably at my “fighting” weight for years, this year has thrown me for a loop. There is a lot left unsettled at this time in my life and it’s manifesting in my bodyweight.

Did you ever hear about the trainer who gained 70 pounds and then lost it again all in an effort to see what his clients went through? I kind of feel like that trainer. Except at least he can say he did it on purpose. Whoops.

During this mini-struggle, I’ve noticed changes to my mental health. I always preach about how fitness and nutrition affect your mental health. I totally believe that. But there’s this gray area where even when you’re doing those things, you’re fighting through a lot more.

It’s like the extra pounds you’re carrying around are holding you back from hitting your goals. They’re like little toddlers hanging on to your ankles as you try to walk away. And you just can’t shake them off.

Or maybe it’s like you’re fighting through a windy rain storm. You’re trudging forward, but the wet grayness makes it much more difficult to get from Point A to Point B.

I think those extra pounds manifest in different ways in our lives. It’s as if every pound represents an emotion or physical trait that is really hard to get over until it’s just GONE. It’s like every pound is a pound of bad mood.

So, if there are 5 pounds maybe 1 is shame, 1 is irritability, 1 is lack of sex drive, 1 is defeat and 1 is sleepiness.  Another 5 pounds might represent muffin top, regret, anxiety, self-consciousness and disappointment.

I’ve noticed that even though I’m mostly doing the same things I’ve always done, some of those emotions (and the muffin top) just won’t budge. They stick around even though I’m aware of them, even though I’m aware they don’t serve me.

That of course makes it so much more tough for us to lose weight. We can WANT to let go of those things, but it’s like they’re literally mixed in with the triglycerides and fatty acids.

The good news is fitness and nutrition work. We can overcome a LOT of mental issues by sticking to the program, honoring our commitments to ourselves and making progress. We can also acknowledge that it’s a process. It’s not fast and it’s not easy. But, as we make progress, we can nail those issues to the “long gone” board. We can leave them in the past.

So, lets say you lose a pound this week. Can you let defeat go away with it? Can you send them both packing and ask them to stay lost forever?

Then next week, let’s say you lose two pounds! Great job. That might mean irritability and anxiety can take a hike. Maybe pound number 10 and 15 can mean your sex drive  makes a comeback and that muffin top is banished!

So, take the time to consider what you’re carrying around with your extra pounds. What negative emotions? What negative circumstances (clothes not fitting)? Name them. Acknowledge them. Notice how they’re keeping you from success. Think about how you can overcome them, how you can outsmart them. If nothing else, think about how you can outlast them. Outlast them on the path you’re already on.

Then, as you lose each pound, nail one of those negatives to each one you lose.

Let them both go at the same time.

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