I consider myself a bit of a psychological hypochondriac. Whenever I read a book, I have every single mental and emotional issue mentioned and I am convinced that therapy and deep introspection is the only answer because I am obviously a wee bit mental and maladjusted.
This is not such a good thing for me. Feeling that I am somehow 'broken' and doing (or not doing) things for the completely the wrong reasons messes with my delicate self esteem. If my emotional responses to life's every day decisions aren't what they are supposed to be, then I feel that I am not as 'good' a person as I should be.
So whether or not I am deluded about the state of my psychological health I have decided that these are my beliefs.
★ I want to eat because I am hungry. I am trying to trick my body into dropping fat tissue that is normal and healthy for a woman to carry. I am asking my body to be unnaturally lean and it is fighting me all the way. If I continue to take in less calories than I need, then I will experience physical hunger. If I am too severe for too long, I will binge sooner or later. It's biological.
★ I get exhausted because I am not giving my body enough fuel to train the way I do. Being exhausted makes me cry more often, get shitty more often and decreases my patience with other people. It's biological.
★ Deprivation brain triggers rebellion. I no longer tell myself that I can't eat "x" until after I reach my goal because I know I will either break the rule or spiral into uncontrolled eating as soon as the goal is reached. It's controlled by how I think.
★ Wanting a lean, athletic shape doesn't mean I only feel valued by the way I look. My motivation for dieting and training is because it is my hobby/project. It is a challenge outside of work that I can spend time each day working on. I am not shallow, self absorbed or trying to prove that I am better than anyone else. I am doing it because it's fun (in a sadistic kind of way LOL) and it brings me a sense of satisfaction and pleasure to see how I can shape my body through my daily actions.
★ I love food - including sugary sweets, deep fried fish and chips and chocolate. A warm bath might or a long walk might work sometimes, but there are days when only a big bowl of oats will make me feel better. This is how I am wired, and this is perfectly OK.
★ PMT makes me cranky and extremely hungry. It is not helped by the fact that the scales sometimes go up or at best stay the same. Once my period starts, the craziness ends almost like a switch has been turned off and I usually have a decent drop. It's biological.
★ I have just as many emotional scars from my past as anyone else, but the past has gone, and this moment is all I have. I am free to choose whatever path I want. Every mistake I make is still the best choice I can make with the circumstances and information I have at the time. F*cking up is the only way to learn and grow.
★ Life isn't meant to be easy - it is not unfair when things don't turn out the way I want them to - it is just what life is like. I am not expected to feel happy all the time. Some things won't be that much fun.
★ This life is what I have chosen. I can be a middle aged size 12-14 successful interesting woman and not have to deal with logging calories or waking at 5-30am to train before work. No one is forcing me to do any of this. I don't have to be lean and strong. It is what I choose. I am not doing it to spite my mother (or only just a bit? *joke*)
★ I am capable of achieving my body composition and fitness goals. I am not setting myself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. I am willing to do what it takes but not at the expense of my bigger goal of learning how to 'live lean AND love life' [thanks Coach!] . Carbohydrate cycling is working for me, but if it takes longer than I expect to be lean enough for the stage then I won't compete in May. After all there is always July and October and next year.
So, all the freaky shit that comes from being a figure athlete is completely normal. It happens to almost all of us. We are perfectionist, we are strong women who are vulnerable, we are driven, and we usually don't give a f*ck what anyone else thinks.
So I reckon that I don't need therapy after all.