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Psychology of weight loss

I introduced myself yesterday and I have been doing some thinking about why I believe I will be successful at reaching my ultimate goals and maintaining them once I do.

I believe that weight gain (for most people) is a psychological problem just as much as a physical one (at least in my case). It has everything to do with self worth. You see, I believe in myself and feel good about many of my accomplishments, but I also compare myself to others and never feel I measure up.

Until a couple of years ago, my life was all about work and taking care of my family. Well, after my divorce I had one less person to worry about. It's me and my son now. However, I made a crucial mistake in believing that my concerns do not matter. I put my son first and ignored myself. This is a fallacy of logic, for without a healthy father, how can my son be healthy and happy? So when I decided to work on ME, I was giving myself permission to put my concerns on equal footing with my son's.

Now, the past two years I spent much of my time in a depressed state because of my weight and because of my broken family. However, I did allow myself an outlet for my own enjoyment. I picked up a hobby. In my case, the hobby was amateur radio (also called ham radio). It was something I always wanted to do but never allowed myself to spare the financial costs. Part of being a ham has traditionally been learning Morse Code (telegraphy). Most modern hams forgo this skill, but I decided I wanted to learn it. I spent much of my time refining this skill. I sacrificed a lot of social time and I spent a lot of time in sedentary activity to practice. BUT THAT ISN'T THE POINT. For a change I had sone something I hadn't done in very long time...I had done something that made me feel good about ME. It wasn't work, it wasn't career, it wasn't for my family. It was strictly for me and my own psychological benefit. I quickly became VERY GOOD at this, and impressed many people in my skill, people who had been doing it for 30+ years who said my skill was equal to theirs. The average Morse expert operates at a speed of 30 words per minute. I was able to send and recieve it at 35-40 WPM in only 2 years of learning the discipline. Not only that, the intelligibility of my "fist" (telegraphy word for sending technique) is quite good and I rarely have operators ask for repeats or indicate that they don't understand me.

So, if you are following me, the point I guess is that feeling good about yourself plays a large role in your attitude toward your own health, appearance, and self image. When I decided to lose weight, I had a "can do" attitude about it. Just as with my hobby, failure is not an option. And just as the skill of telegraphy is something you never lose once you learn it, I believe that a healthy lifestyle of weight management CAN be very much the same. I believe that I CAN make going to the gym part of my routine. I WILL NOT allow myself to fail at this.

So, my suggestion to anyone who is trying to lose weight is to find other things to do to feel good about yourself. Develop a hobby or a skill that affirms your self worth...even if it is something as simple as antique collecting. Become good at something! And once you become good at something, you may find that you will never be satisfied with NOT being good at something, including weight management. Another thing to add. I'm going tommorrow and getting fitted for contact lenses. I wore them in high school (17 years ago) and my confidence level was much higher then. I think every little thing you can do to restore a sense of vim and vigor and youthfulness is good for you. I also bought an MP3 player and downloaded a WHOLE LOT of music. Much of it is newer "post-grunge" and "nu metal" music that is kind-of "past my time". Sure, I've heard a lot of this music before and even liked most of it, but being 35 I am kinda "out of touch". I'm familiarizing myself with the names of the bands, their style of music, recognizing them. I'm trying to recapture my teens and early 20's you might say. Hey, being fit means feeling young, right? Maybe this will help!

Tue. Oct 2, 3:28pm

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Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck with your health goals.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:31 PM

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I have to agree with you. I think part of my problem with my weight is feeling no selfworth,,,,I am a stress eater and use food as a replacement for everything in life...I am now learning to deal with this issue and have lost over 40 pounds by not letting the way i feel mentally stand in the way of the way I look physically. Best luck to you!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:42 PM

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It's great to hear such a positive story. Thanks for the encouragement.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 11:21 AM

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I definetely need a hobby.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 9:55 AM

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