You Are What You Believe
I started out this year being more determined to consistently exercise. For six straight weeks I exercised for a half hour almost every day. I missed one or two “sessions”, but when I did, I got back on track. In addition to the half hour of movement, I also used a daily exercise app to do around five minutes of focused exercises each day, things like crunches and push-ups. I didn’t change my diet at all - I still eat junk food, and probably much too often!
And here’s the thing – I felt great, physically and mentally. It seemed like my torso was a little slimmer and more toned, especially on the sides. It was subtle, but still enough for me to notice. And maybe for others to notice too because I also got a couple of compliments from people who noticed that I looked slimmer. I also felt physically stronger, a little more robust. But most importantly, I felt proud of myself. And it almost felt like a high (perhaps it was all of those good endorphins being released!). I felt energized, positive, happy to be taking care of myself.
So, imagine my surprise when I weighed myself and found that I weighed the most I have ever weighed while not being pregnant! I don’t actually own a scale, so I don’t weight myself too often. When I go to the doctor’s office, or to a friend or relative’s house, sometimes I quickly pop on the scale, mostly out of curiosity. I maybe weigh myself one or two times a year. And I realize that scales behave differently and maybe some aren’t calibrated, but I think I can trust them to be close to accurate.
When I saw the number, I cringed, I sank, I immediately tumbled down from that high. I felt disappointed that my efforts hadn’t paid off. Grrrr, I was so mad at that number!
But then came the clarity. Wait a moment, assuming that number was accurate, it was the number when I felt great too. The only difference was that I became aware of the number and it represented something negative to me. It represented failure of some kind, it didn’t match a goal or ideal I had somewhere in my deeper mind. But I realized the number shouldn’t cancel out all of the positives that I had experienced. I still put in the effort to be more active, I still noticed results in my body, my energy and my attitude. I believed in myself and what I was doing, why should a number change that?
So, what harm is there in believing positive things? What is the downside? Both sides of this situation were beliefs – on the one side the belief that I was fit and active and on the other side the belief that my efforts were ineffective and I was larger than I had wanted to be. Both sides had truth, it was just a matter of which one I believed. Well, I can tell you it felt so much freer and enjoyable to believe that I was active and my body and my being were responding positively to that. I actually felt heavier when I saw that number, and I realized that I felt so much lighter when I was enjoying moving.
It’s okay to challenge your beliefs, you aren’t locked in. What you believe becomes true for you, and it flows throughout your life. So, if you are having difficulty making a change, or if you feel down or low, perhaps start with looking at what beliefs are keeping you in that place. I wonder if there are updated beliefs that would feel better for you. If there are, hold them in your mind, your heart, your being, and notice what happens. Oh, and throw out your scale!
(Credit to boredpanda.com for the graphic that beautifully illustrates the body/health struggle for a lot of women)