I wrote this post about 10 days previous to going to the Olympia this last weekend. I have been so busy I wasn’t able to post it but thought it was something some of you may be able to take something from. So here it is:
BALANCE AND THE POWER OF “DOING IT FOR YOU”
Thinking a lot today about balance. Happiness. What truthfully makes me happy. My mind is going a million directions and a million miles an hour. Why? I know why. Because last night my actions didn’t align with my core desires. Last night I ate more than I thought I should. I ate because I felt hungry. I ate to feel content, to feel full, to satisfy what I thought was my desire. I think what we often don’t realize is that in those moments of “coping” aka using food to make ourselves feel better, we really are just ignoring our subconscious mind. We are ignoring what is at the root of those actions. We are ignoring our inner self. I am guilty of it. Very guilty. But I have started to recognize this and I have a strong desire to address it, come to terms with it, and figure out a way to change it. Change it to better me, to know myself, to fully understand myself and live a more balanced fulfilling life.
I have posted about my personal struggles many times. I wrote a very in depth article about my mind and the way I view food, nutrition, and the constant battle that goes on in my brain. I am happy to say I have come a long ways since I wrote that article only a year and a half ago. I feel I have made leaps and strides in my ultimate goal to find balance in my life, but I can admit I am still not fully there. I am still struggling with my own demons and I am still very much finding my way in this industry and world.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have a constant sub-conscious pull to focus all my efforts on the long term desire to have children. But of course, I also have many career choices that are very closely tied into staying very lean and feeling happy in my own skin. I know better than anyone that competitors are their own worst self critics. It is very hard to be happy with your body when you have seen it at its best. The feeling of being incredibly lean is indescribable. You are happy with the way you look, the way your clothes fit, with the way you feel (sometimes) but often times you are also just as unhappy with what you have to do to maintain it, to keep it. You are unhappy when you go to bed hungry but happy when you wake up to take your selfies (lol, its true). You are unhappy when you are tired and hungry but happy when your clothes fit comfortably and every outfit looks good. You are happy when someone leaves a comment on your progress photo but unhappy when you realize you still aren’t as lean as you could be. Its a constant battle regardless. So many mental battles along the road of finding yourself, especially in an industry so hyper focused on appearance.
That brings me to my next thought. I have realized some things about myself and about others that I find interesting. It seems a lot of people have a tendency of rebellious behavior within them. If someone tells you that you cannot do something, you want to do it most likely. Why is this? Is it something we learned from a young age due to the constraints our parents put on us? Whatever it is, I have noticed it a lot with myself and my fitness goals lately. What I am getting at is this; I see myself self-sabotage in certain ways when it comes to industry goals. I think some of this has to do with my subconscious resentment towards the constraints I have felt but a lot of it has to do with feeling like I am being asked to do something to make someone else happy. For example, I know I want to feel good in my skin- I have personal goals to maintain a body I am proud of. I felt I was able to do that fairly well after getting done with my last prep for a few weeks. But as soon as I have someone telling me “I have to get lean” or feel that I am setting goals for others like prepping to look good at the O, I start to notice myself self sabotage in certain ways. I start to notice more binge episodes, more “I just don’t care’s” come out of my mouth, more of the “Fuck-it” mentality. But what happened to my goals? I still have MY goals.. so why am I doing this now? And thats just it, because the forefront of my mind is focused on doing something that is for someone else, not for my own happiness.
Dieting is never easy. Food is a necessity and we need it to survive. Anytime you restrict a necessity you will have periods of struggle. But the struggle isn’t as hard when you are doing something for you. When you WANT to do something to better yourself, and not for the benefit of other people is when it will play out the way it is supposed to. Our subconscious mind is so powerful in the way it plays out into our everyday actions. I truthfully believe that. If we can really tap into our sub conscious and ask ourselves “Why am I really doing this? What is causing this behavior?” then we could all answer most of our own problems. Sometimes its completely unrelated. Often times we will turn to food to temporarily make us forget about something, make us feel better, make us “live in the moment” only to then fill our minds with more anxiety, more worry, more mind games.
Instead we need to take a step back and realize what is really happening. For example, as someone who has always prided themselves on being efficient and professional with my work, it bothers me when I do not respond to work emails or inquiries in what I believe is a timely manner. But sometimes I validate this and just say.. a few hours from work is okay. But ultimately by putting it off further I create anxiety around it and it is still in the back of my mind. Instead of just getting it done and feeling good about accomplishing that piece of my personal satisfaction, putting it off often times has led me to overeat. I know those things have really no correlation but the more I looked at that happening the more I was able to associate the two things and how not dealing with my subconscious anxiety and stress was unfolding into my actions regarding food and the desire to want to fulfill that anxiety- I basically was trying to fix something completely unrelated with a temporary bandaid of the way food made me feel for those few minutes of eating.
These are the types of things that will ultimately lead to a balanced, healthy life. Recognizing the “why” is the first step, but untangling it is really the hard part. My biggest advice for those of you wondering why you may yo-yo diet or seem to be in a never ending mind game to find balance… I recommend analyzing situations and what is at your core. Changing your mind set on them can change your life. Our subconscious plays such a huge role in our outcomes. Take back control with your goals by changing the way you view them. Do them for you and only you. Repeat it to yourself, “I am doing this for me” when you feel the urge to fall off the wagon. And then re-evaluate what else may be urging you off your path.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale
UPDATE: A few days after these thoughts, I was feeling MUCH better about things. I posted this on my Instagram account and wanted to repost how changing my mindset had affected me:
“Feeling REALLY good the last two days. Sounds silly but I feel like I have started to acknowledge how much focusing on doing things for yourself rather than others really makes a difference in your everyday actions with health and fitness. I have been focusing really hard on positive reinforcement with myself, viewing the gym in a positive light again and repeating to myself when things feel hard “I’m doing this for me”. I’m back on a mission to find my balance and am happy again. After realizing I didn’t have to shoot at the O, I of course ate some things I had been craving and it totally threw me off track. That’s always my fear when I go to that point of restriction, not just the physical rebound but more so the mental. I was justifying eating more again only to find myself feeling guilty about it the next day. I fasted Wednesday morning and thought ALOT about my mental state. Like I mentioned, I feel I was allowing my focus to be on others rather than myself. I was allowing resentment, anxiety, and fear of failure to play out in my self-sabotaging behaviors. I wasn’t dieting and working out for me anymore, but for what I felt others expected of me at the O. Once I turned that around and got back to focusing on me- I found my groove again. My happy place. Because I eat healthy for me. I work out because I like the way it makes me feel. I eat in moderation because it IS possible to not feel deprived but still be comfortable in your own body. I take care of myself because I have a desire to live a long healthy life, not because I want more likes on an Instagram picture. I don’t fear food because nutrient dense food- whether it healthy grains and breads, extra fat from avocado, or organic egg yolks- tastes delicious, is beneficial to balancing my hormones and helping me conceive one day. “I’m doing this for me”