Welcome back! The DSF writers took a short hiatus, but we’re back to continue to challenge your thinking, push you to your “better” (whatever that looks like), and advocate for you to be the BEST YOU!
Over the past two years I’ve lost close to 60 pounds. While the physical benefits have been fantastic (I can walk up a flight of stairs without sounding like I’m dying, my stamina is longer, I enjoy taking walks now), I’ve found that there is a change that no one talks about – the mental one.
When I first started working out – my mind would tell me sneaky things about myself:
- “You’re too big to do that”
- “You’ll be out of breath in ten seconds”
- “A push-up? Ha! You can’t even lift 50 pounds, let alone yourself”
Stress eating was my specialty. When I worked in investment banking and was under high amounts of pressure, I’d eat high-carb meals every night because they helped me “feel better.” Pasta, pad thai, huge sandwiches and chips, etc. I had not learned how to sit with my feelings and allow them to pass over. I ate to raise the amount of “feel good” hormones, rather than feeling the stress and learning how to work through it in a healthy way.
So, I ate. And ate. And ate. I ate when my heart was broken, when I felt insecure, when I felt less than.
And for a long time, I allowed those thoughts to control how I felt – about myself and my body. I realized, however, that if I wanted to feel better about my body, I had to feel better about who I was and how I felt. Stress eating caused me to feel worse. I had to learn that eating my feelings would never fix any of the actual problems I had to face. I actually had to deal with them.
I learned that there are a few things that I CAN control – and what I eat, and how I exercise my body are two things in my power. I willed myself to change that inner voice into someone that was ever-encouraging and ever-powerful:
- “You can and will do this”
- “The faster you do it, the faster you can move on”
- “You feel amazing after your workout”
- “You know what Oreos taste like – you don’t need 10 more”
And slowly, I made my positive inner voice the louder, stronger voice within my brain’s bedroom. When I realized that I couldn’t control what was happening to me, I could control how I decided to respond to what was happening to me. That’s where I found my power.
Our bodies and our minds are so much stronger that we think they are. It’s our mind that we need to convince. Your body is amazing and capable. Let it help you.
Your Sista Friend,
Timka Lockheart is an ATLien who followed a dream and moved to NYC. She received her Finance degree from Alabama A&M University in 2013 and became an Investment Banker. After 2 years of the IB life, she moved on to become a corporate strategy and advisory professional.