Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Team Lean: Mind Games

The new year has been rung in, so it is now time to get ready for Team Lean.

I am more than a number; I am more than my weight. I want to be healthy, to nourish my body, and take care of it. But I am a goal-oriented person, and if I am going to do this, I need to set my weight-loss goal.

I am 5' 5", so the top end of my healthy BMI is 150 pounds (CALCULATE YOURS HERE). Anything more and I'm overweight (and I'm at 163 now). At a minimum, I need to lose the 13 pounds necessary to be at a healthy weight.

I feel most comfortable with myself when I'm in the 130s. 130 lbs is exactly halfway in the green healthy band of BMIs, but I've found 130 nearly impossible to maintain. 138 is much easier for me—a nice size 12. So, that's my goal: 25 pounds of weight loss.

What's also important is that I KNOW I can do this. And that's critical because weight loss is just as much a mind game as it is physical discipline.

I gained weight with every child I had. My fourth pregnancy and birth were the toughest by far. After I had my fourth child, I lost 40 pounds. As such, my fifth pregnancy was much easier. But after my sixth pregnancy—twins—I was very obese, weighing in at 245 pounds the day I left the hospital.

So I worked. HARD. I ate less and exercised more (that's the only way to do it, by the way, excepting radical measures). And I lost 100 pounds, plus 8 more. It was a big deal to me. I got to wear the clothes I wanted to and didn't have to shop in the plus-sized section any more.

But bad habits are hard to shake, and that scale has crept up again. Phooey.

Just knowing I am capable of this, that I've done it before, is very helpful as I attempt to lose weight again. If you are embarking upon a weight-loss journey, try to think of some difficulty you have overcome: a college degree? pregnancy/birth? There is something in your life you have succeeded at. Draw from that and apply it to this.

I'm a visual person. I want to be able to see what I've done, and that's hard when I'm dealing with weight loss. It's hard to get an accurate perception of yourself.

Here's my system: I take two mason jars and place a marble for each pound I need to lose in one jar, leaving the other empty. As I lose weight, I move marbles into the empty jar. When they are all moved over, I have reached my goal. Simple, visual, and effective.

What mental tools do you use when you try to lose weight?


  1. Way of life. I never diet (or exercise, though I would like 2 walk daily). I dropped meat, dairy, & processed foods from my way of life, & the pounds melted away. Way of life makes weight a non-issue.

    1. That's so true! My husband cut out gluten, dairy, and processed food (as did our entire family) and dropped over 30 pounds. For me, though, the culprit is sugar, plain and simple. If I eat it in moderation, I do fine. For the last year or so, I haven't been successful at that, especially over the holidays. So...bye bye, sugar!