Losing weight is easy when you change your mindset to the idea that you get to eat healthy in order to be happy and whole. Implementing it is sometimes the hard part.
“How’d you lose all that weight?” It’s the most common question I get asked these days since I’ve come “out of the closet” as a former super morbidly obese person. One thing was certain, I needed to change my mindset.
Without reiterating my entire story, which is why I wrote my memoir, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor, the short answer is I changed my mindset.
Most people know the concept that thoughts govern feelings and feelings govern behavior. If I can change my thoughts I can change everything about me.
The problem is there is always a subtle part at work that I really don’t understand. It’s called my subconscious. With my conscious mind, I will be saying all the things I “should” be doing. At the same time, constantly in the background is the subconscious mind telling me I need to go eat a cinnamon roll or bake a batch of cookies because I’m tired and have worked hard today and deserve all of those things or I’m bored, depressed, lonely, angry or …
Although with my conscious mind I know I have 280 pounds to lose and I can’t eat two dozen cookies in one night and do that, I end up there before I know it. I do this because I am led by the part of me I don’t even know is there.
For years I struggled in this loop. Diets didn’t work because the operating system of my mind, the subconscious, was always running. Although I could lose weight for a time, I would always go right back to eating because I had not really changed my mindset that said I had to eat what I craved. I always told myself I’d lose weight and then go back to eating whatever I wanted.
I was a victim to tapes that played in my head constantly and yet I did not want to be. I really did want to lose weight. The good I wanted to do I didn’t do and the bad I didn’t want to do I did.1
I was conflicted over what the little voice inside my head was telling me. I really did want to become healthy, but my rational, subconscious mind would tell me I couldn’t or didn’t want to live without sugar and bread.
To transform or become different I had to renew or totally change my mindset.2
I couldn’t just erase the old tapes, but I could stop playing them. I could put in new tapes to override the old. I could tell myself something different. I could take control of my subconscious mind that acted like a willful child.
I knew I needed to stop eating sugar and gluten. I set those boundaries for my life, but I also began playing some new tapes. They sounded like this: I get to eat lean protein that taste great. I get to eat ripe vegetables with a delicious aroma and taste. I get to eat fresh vegetables with spices and flavorings that delight my palette. I get to eat nuts and berries that not only taste good but make me feel great. I get to try new recipes and new things I’ve never eaten before. I get to be healthy and live healthy for the rest of my life.
Subconscious mind, I’m on to you. I will no longer be your victim.
In essence, I wrote a new script for my life.
Knowing that God wants me to be healthy so that I am happy and whole and available to do His will was a driving force in subduing this out of control impulse that was controlling my life.3
I do not even blame my weight gain and inability to eat properly and exercise on some malevolent power. I blame myself and my unwillingness to reign in the tug towards filling soul needs with unhealthy, weight-inducing, organ-busting foods.
I changed my mindset. I set my mind towards health in every area of my life. I took control of my impulses. I decided not to eat processed sugar or gluten. These decisions put me back in the driver’s seat of my own life.
When I’m asked me how I lost 250 pounds, my answer is I changed my mindset. No one has asked me this but just in case you have been wondering, it’s also how I will lose the additional 30 pounds. It is how I will continue to live my life. I changed my mindset. Life is grand. I get to be healthy.
It’s as simple as that. It’s as hard as that.
33 John 2