My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me

This week is when I would normally do my monthly weigh-in. Since I’m going Scale Free for the Summer, I am skipping the weigh in. I have to say, this process has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought not having the scale dictate how I feel about myself would be an enlightening, liberating experience. So far? I’m having the opposite reaction to going scale free. Instead, I feel like the scale has MORE power over me and my moods than ever.

I thought I was just going crazy. Then Lori said: “You know, I was finding all kinds of ‘flaws’ with my body when I stayed off the scale. It’s almost like we need to find something else to focus on.” It was nice to hear that she went through something similar, and that maybe it isn’t all in my head.

My mind can play tricks on me. During that time of the month I can feel like I’ve gained 10 pounds. Have I? Most likely not, but the mind can trick us. Most of what gets in my way is what goes on in my head. I never thought I’d want to try to swim 2 miles. I knew I could do it physically, but when it came to the mental part of doing something like that I hit a wall. I struggled mentally to complete it. My mind wandered, I talked myself out of doing it, I talked down about my abilities. Why would I sabotage myself? Why would I keep myself from trying something new?

“Limits are most often all in your head.”
— Gary Allen via @RunToWin

I think the Portland Century bike ride this August will be a challenge for me in a lot of ways. Sure there will be a physical challenge because no matter how GREAT in shape you are, 100 miles sitting on a bike is gonna hurt. But I think the biggest challenge for me will be the mental wall I have.

A few weekends ago I biked 40 miles and felt great. I was able to sit on the bike for hours, my legs felt good, but my mind started to weaken towards the end. We were probably 8 miles from home but I was DONE. I was ready to be home, ready to get out of the saddle, ready to just stop. Those last few miles were the hardest of the 40 miles because mentally I had checked out.

I never had a mental block when I was trying to lose weight. I was focused. I was GOING TO LOSE 100 POUNDS! I was determined and there were no other options. So how do I get over the mental barriers I keep setting for myself? And why is the scale holding so much power over me even though I haven’t stepped on it in a month?

I wish I had some answers. The only thing I can tell myself is to be persistent: if there’s a challenge facing me, tackle it head-on and stop procrastinating!

QUESTION: What mental barriers are keeping you from doing something?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

6 thoughts on “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”

  1. I wish I had the answers too. I face the same challenges. The weird thing is that when I am bike riding with someone else or in a group fitness setting, I push myself a lot harder than when I am working out alone. If someone challenges me by saying- you can’t do that…. boy look out! I will do it or die trying. I wish I had the same drive when I a being accountable to only me!!! Let me know if you figure it out! 🙂

    1. Good point–sometimes when I’m really struggling all I need is for Michael to tell me to snap out of it to get me going.

      I think accountability makes a difference. Even though I only weighed myself once a month before this summer break, I think that act made me accountable to myself (or to the scale).

  2. I don’t know if it is the same for you, but for me the scale is a tool that helps tell me I am on the right track. Things are different for us big losers. I have learned that the scale isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you try to ignore it, you almost give it more power that way.

    I feel better weighing myself occasionally now again ( even though my scale doesn’t have numbers on it). And that is totally okay. I finally realized there is nothing wrong with monitoring on the scale if I need that. I was trying too hard to be “intuitive” with my eating and using my clothes as a measure. That just doesn’t work for a thinker like me.

    1. I’m finding that it is a tool that I need–even if it is only once a month. I’ll continue with the summer as is I think, or at least until August and then go back.

  3. It’s such an individual choice and path we take after we have lost (and maintained) a large weight loss. I like weighing every day, and when I don’t, I know that I have to step on it the next day. It’s an accountability partner for me.

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