pretend pregnancy project – mind tricks for weight loss

I took immaculate care of myself when pregnant, but failed brilliantly at it without child. It’s so easy to nurture others, so how can I capitalize on this?

It’s something I’ve been pondering for a long time as I’ve struggled with losing weight. Booze has been my biggest roadblock to weight loss and inhibitor of doing things I say I want to do or enjoy. I also know I can take turn off my booze consumption at the flash of a positive pregnancy test, but be seemingly incapable of restraint when not preggers and it’s after work or the weekend. It got me thinking, what if I can channel my inner nurturer and pretend like I am creating a new life? One that’s destined to transform me from the inside out?

That’s how the pretend pregnancy diet was born. I’ll take care of myself as I would if I were caring for someone else. It’s not eating for two bodies, but giving birth to a new life, one that’s innocent, vibrant and has no business with booze.

I’ve realized the only way I’m going to get back down to a healthy weight is to keep off the bottle. When I indulge on weekends, I end up gaining back the weight I lost over the week. So, in an effort to keep things in the downward direction, I’m not partaking in alcohol for at least nine months…something I’d do if I was pregnant.

The catalyst was a bit of a bender at the end of summer with consistent consumption over vacation. Two weeks ago, it finally sunk in that I only have four months before I turn 40, an alarming realization discussed here. I’d promised myself four months prior that I’d get myself healthy before then. Well, those four months came and went and I ended up piling on more pounds with my thirst 🙂

Anyway, since then, I’ve been abstaining completely. The first few days I was very aware of my ingrained habits of reaching for a beer, and noted when I considered it in my phone but didn’t partake. I found this empowering. I still haven’t had any, and haven’t even been thinking about it. I’m experiencing way more energy and feeling much better. Amazing what clearing out an alcohol saturated body will do.

Last weekend was a mental challenge with the pretend pregnancy diet as we had a company camping trip. It wasn’t that I wanted any booze. It was realizing how my identity has centered around alcohol consumption and my identification with being the fun drinking lady who’s up to throw one back any time. It’s not easy to create a new identity. At this point, getting healthy is a bigger priority for me then a few drunken laughs.

So I went without on the trip, and it felt amazing! It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. Funnily enough as much as I was thinking my co-workers would think I was a downer for not drinking, no one commented on my lack of booze consumption. Either because everyone else was too busy enjoying themselves or maybe even think I’m expecting. I didn’t advertise my pretend pregnancy diet because I didn’t want to come off as a kill-joy. It was nice to have fun without it for sure. Now, I’m on the journey of discovering who I can become without it.

Meanwhile, with all this spare time and energy of not drinking, I’ve managed to conquer things I’ve been procrastinating on like taxes, vet and car maintenance appointments. I’ve also got paint ready for our next house project. I feel like this all stems from clearing out the booze, which has just been draining my motivation and energy during my free time.

So far the last couple of weeks have been surprisingly easy. I’m definitely fueled by the big birthday. So we’ll see how long it comes easy. It’s been positively self-perpetuating because I’m seeing the weight come off that I’d piled on during the last month of my free for all.

I know I have more to address than just booze in terms of taking the best care of myself and letting go of things that aren’t enhancing my life. I realize it’s going to take time and discomfort to disconnect from their power. I’m hoping as I do that, even if things aren’t easy, I won’t use booze as a crutch to fix things and instead keep the mantra alive of my pretend pregnancy diet.

Ultimately I know the numbing effects of booze and overeating (another vice) doesn’t fix anything and just makes you feel worse. I know it’s about working through the parts that feel like they want/need an escape and finding healthier coping mechanisms. My lack of self-esteem has definitely risen to the forefront during these weeks of clarity and my tolerance for settling for less than I desire (equivalent to what I deserve) is dissipating.

The question before me now is, what choices can I make that align best with my worthiness that’s growing inside by the day. With more love and nurturing I am hopeful that nine months from now, a healthier and happier version of myself will be born.

Of course, if booze isn’t your vice, what is? What’s keeping you from taking care of yourself and not everyone else? What new life awaits you when you make yourself a priority?

Catch up on my 40 by 40 journey!

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