Every now and then, I start to think I’m slipping back to being the way I was before Sherry and I did our first Whole30: morbidly obese, unhappy with my health, and feeling physically worn out and horrible. The stranger part is that, while I’m a little bit heavier now than I was at my lowest weight, I’m still 135 lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest. I’m also still very healthy, I’m fit, and nowhere near as unhealthy as my mind tries to trick me into thinking I am. So why does this happen?
I’m no doctor, psychiatrist, or any other sort of trained person to sleuth this out, but I have my ideas. First, I think it has to do with fear of going back to my old lifestyle which led me to being incredibly unhealthy and morbidly obese. I still crave pizza, garlic bread, pasta, and hamburgers from time to time, and it’s those cravings that bring me fear that I’ll just surrender one day and get right back into the old bad habits.
Second, it likely has something to do with the memories of how hard it was to do simple things like tying my shoes or going up a flight of stairs. It scares the hell out of me to think that my life was filled with so much self-inflicted misery and difficulty.
Third, I think it’s part of the drive to be better, to stay the course, and to continue on the right path. I know this one seems like it’s contrary, but hear me out. I think that fear is a healthy part of motivation. Think about it. There are days when people show up on time to work not because they want to be there, but because if they don’t, they will jeopardize their work performance or get in trouble with their boss. For me, fear of failure or back-slipping helps fuel my desire to keep going.
Fourth and finally, I think it’s possible that since I abhor losing, the fear of losing to cravings, temptation, or lack of effort is completely untenable to me. The self doubt is a reminder that I need to keep kicking myself into gear and to keep moving forward despite the smaller distractions.
Self doubt manifests itself in many ways, and while it stinks and feels like a hurdle, once I wrap my head around it, I turn it into fuel to drive me further, farther, push myself to work harder.