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Choosing the Reaction

I feel like a completely different person this week. Since the Monday after Easter, I have been eating very well. The only thing I really have to work on is not allowing myself to eat both a Larabar and an RxBar in the same day (this is Carly’s suggestion - one I knew was coming after sending her my food journal from last week). These are those “healthy” bars made with only a few ingredients. And they are delicious! The problem is that I kind of treat them like healthy candy bars and indulge a little more than I should. Ok, so something I’m working on. I’m happy to report that this week, I have only had one bar each day.

After my food binge blow-up Easter weekend, I really could have gone downhill with my efforts to lose weight and get healthy. I could have begun to berate myself (as I’ve done in the past), and gone back to my typical day of wake up, eat a healthy breakfast and mid-morning snack, somewhat healthy lunch, somewhat healthy snack, snack on girls food, snack on something unhealthy while waiting to eat dinner, dinner, massive dessert, or actually just a reasonable size dessert at this point because I haven’t had much dessert in the past 14 weeks. Followed by feelings of guilt, and “why did I do this today”, and finished with vowing to do better tomorrow before going to bed. This was every day for me for a really, really long time. But instead, I chose to reset on Monday morning. I chose not to allow the berating thoughts to take hold. Something I’ve done in the past, which would in turn be a support system for my crap eating!

I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I was diagnosed with OCD in 2011. Or at least I think I mentioned this. Either way, I have learned some amazing tools in therapy over the years to help me deal with the intrusive thoughts that come my way. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that the intrusive thoughts come in all shapes and sizes. The content does not matter, all that matters is the way they make you feel.

One of the best things my therapist taught me was, “you are not your thoughts, you cannot control the thoughts that come in, but you can control your reaction to them.” This little statement has been extremely valuable to me as I’ve recovered from more intense bouts of OCD over the years. I’ve learned that there are thousands of thoughts that flow through one’s mind on a daily basis. However, we are unaware of most of them. It is a select few that stick and come to the forefront. And for me, many times those come in the form of intrusive, negative, not good enough, not thin enough, not smart enough type of thoughts. But the bright side is that I know those thoughts are not me. I do not choose to have those thoughts. They are coming in trying to pull a fast one on me. Trying to push me down and make me feel inadequate. Kind of nuts that your own mind can try to make you feel that way. And here is where my tool comes in...I have the choice. I can choose to allow those tougher thoughts to take up all the air space. Or I can choose to not react to them. I let them come in and let them go out without passing judgement. Meaning, I do not allow those negative thoughts to weigh me down. Well, that is the ultimate goal anyways.

I realize that my experience may be more extreme than most people or those who do not struggle with an overactive mind (OCD head), but I do believe this powerful tool of choosing how to react to your thoughts does help when trying to reclaim health and fitness.

Life happens. I can’t control most things around me. I can’t control the thoughts that come in, whatever they may be, but I can control my reaction to them. Little by little, with the help of the Body Back program, my ability to choose how I react to the negative thoughts that come through is getting a little easier. I now believe myself when I combat the thoughts with, “I am strong, I am good enough.” I wasn’t always able to do this. And I am not perfect. Sometimes the thoughts get the best of me. But more often times, they do not. Body Back is not only helping to strengthen me physically, but helping my mental game as well.

When Carly said to me last weekend, “do not allow one weekend to ruin all your hard work”, that really stuck. I was able to bounce back on Monday, without massive feelings of guilt from going overboard in Nashville and Easter Sunday. And that is huge for me. The ball is continuing to roll on this healthy lifestyle change.

Talk soon,

Bridget

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