Mind Games


by Natalie Preston

First off, I’d like to apologize for missing my post last week. I’ve been interviewing like crazy these last two weeks to find a job here in Pittsburgh. And, finally, I found one. My first day was today, and I’m glad to be working again. Woo Hoo!

So, back to the regularly scheduled blog … At last week’s weigh-in, I’d lost only a pound. But this week, it was much better and I’d lost five pounds. That makes a total of ten pounds in four weeks. Not a bad beginning!

But, I’m at the point where in the past I always started to play mind games. Games like “If I eat a doughnut this morning, then I’ll eat only salads for the rest of the week to make up for it.” Or, “I can have that pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Chunk Fudge ice cream because I’ve been so good. I deserve it, dammit!” Games that essentially sabotage any food/exercise plan or lifestyle change I tried to make. And ultimately, I always ended up back where I started; fat, out of shape and unhappy.

This time around, though, I’m trying to do it differently. The mind games are still there. I’m only human, after all. But, the rules are changing. I’m playing the games to benefit, not sabotage, my plan. For instance, it was odd but it always seemed that my total weekly weight loss was less on Monday mornings than on Sunday mornings. So now I weigh in on Sundays. It’s a psychological boost that really seems to help get me through the week. Another game is that I never tell myself I “can’t” have anything. I just can’t have it right now. That pint of Ben & Jerry’s is not off limits, only delayed to some future date. It all seems to help me carry on instead of giving up.

I played a mind game just today. This morning, my recruiter met my new boss and I at the office bearing a dozen doughnuts. Later this afternoon, I noticed where he left the box, in the desk where the department keeps their supplies. I was so tempted … You know the game … “One doughnut won’t hurt. And I can stop at just one …. And I’ll eat a light lunch the rest of the week to make up for it. So it’ll be alright.” I so wanted that doughnut! But, I played a game instead. My boss, Angie, was there with me and I told her about the blog and what Deb and I are attempting. And I even said, “That’s why I don’t want a doughnut.” And that caused my pride to kick in. There was no way I would take a doughnut after telling someone I didn’t want it and why. It would be too big of a ding to my pride!

So, am I learning anything from all these games I’m playing? I dunno. In the past, they were my downfall. But, if played right, they are helping me to succeed.

My challenge for this week? How to get my exercise in while I’m working eight hours a day, and it’s raining outside!



About Deborah Riley-Magnus

Deborah Riley-Magnus is an author and an Author Success Coach. She has a twenty-seven year professional background in marketing, advertising, and public relations as a writer for print, television, and radio. She writes fiction and non-fiction. Since 2010, she had two novels released. In 2013 her nonfiction, Finding Author Success (Second Edition), and Cross Marketing Magic for Authors were released. Her newest book, Write Brain/Left Brain, focuses on bridging the gap between the creative writer and the marketing author. Deborah produces several pieces monthly for various websites and online publications. She writes an author industry blog and teaches online and live workshops as The Author Success Coach. She belongs to several writing and professional organizations. Deborah has lived on both the east and west coast of the United States and has traveled the country widely. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and recently returned after living in Los Angeles, California for several years.

One response »

  1. Natalie, sounds like you are doing good on the diet, or should I say life stlye, it never ends. I’m going to have to use some of your mind games, I lost 20 lbs but have gained 5 lbs back. I need to lose them before Christmas, don’t want anymore weight gain. It seems you are enjoying Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state. I remember having to memorize the poem “Trees” when I was in the 5th grade, when we visited Pennsylvania in 1997 I understood why she wrote the poem..The trees are so beautiful and it is so historical. Glad you like it there, quite different from California tho. huh

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