Are You a Fat Fighter?

There is a story I heard once about a woman who needed to lose a lot of weight. She determined in her mind that she wasn’t going to be fat anymore. She stood in the mirror and shook her fist at herself. “I am a fighter,” she told herself. “Fighters don’t give up.” And she didn’t. She fought the fat, she fought the desire to stay inactive, and she fought against her own emotional demons.

boxing glovesAre you a fat fighter? Not just in terms of food choices, but in your mind. When you think of a fighter what image comes to mind? For me I visualize a strong, toned, muscular man with determination of steel. He doesn’t give up, and keeps working towards his goal no matter what his adversary throws at him.

For me, in my journey to lose 150 pounds, the adversary wasn’t always Oreos, M&M’s, and high fat chips, but rather life’s unexpected twists and turns that threatened to derailed me right in the midst of my success.

As an example of such a time, allow me to share something that happened during the year that I was working on reducing my weight. I had a family relationship that completely fell apart. Not in my immediate family, but in the extended family. It was an incredibly stressful time for me and my husband. What was my first reaction when the stress came? It was to eat. But I distinctly remember telling myself that I wasn’t going to allow outside stresses to push me off my plan. I was a fighter that day.

What other things happen that can threaten your success?

  • Work problems
  • Job layoffs
  • Financial problems
  • Health issues
  • Family struggles
  • __________________ (you fill in the blank) 

These types of situations can come along and affect your life at any moment, and can threaten to affect your success.

Instead of falling off the wagon under pressure, I’d encourage you to think of yourself as a fighter. Remind yourself of the objectives you have set for yourself, and never lose sight of your goals. Visualize yourself as a fighter-strong and poised to win the battle.

I do understand that this isn’t easy, because life rarely is. But if you go into your weight loss journey already thinking about fighting your way through difficulties that will arise, you are ahead of the game.

That family relationship that brought so much stress into our lives didn’t just disappear the minute I decided to fight my way through the emotional mess and continue losing weight. But instead of the relationship causing me to quit my plan, a wonderful thing happened. Working through the problem without falling back into my old habits strengthened my resolve and belief in myself.

Instead of just imagining myself as a fighter, and a survivor I saw that I actually was one. I had actually walked through a difficult situation and won.

What strategies can you practice that will help you develop your fighter mentality?

♦ Imagine yourself as a physically and mentally strong person

♦ Plan what steps you will take when difficult times come

♦ If you fall down, get right back up and keep fighting

♦ Don’t give up on your dream of winning your own personal battle

You can change your mentality from one of worry and self-defeat to one of a warrior and a fighter. I leave you with this quote by Aristotle:

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

What helps you prepare to fight for yourself? Have you ever had a victory that you can look back on as a reminder to help you stay strong? Diane

46 thoughts on “Are You a Fat Fighter?

  1. vickie says:

    A friend that also (successfully) quit smoking (during her weight loss years) said that she used to visualize the worst thing that could happen and then say to herself – and then “you STILL don’t over eat or pick up a cigarette”. And that worked to keep her steady.

    Letting my mind go to the worst is normal daily life for me – something I have to fight against – so I don’t do that on purpose – but I can picture her process.

    One of the things that I had to REALLY understand in fat blog land is that there is always going to be someone around (with a strong addict/devil on their shoulder) that is going to tell you “it’s okay, you have to take care of yourself, everyone slips up” in regard to over eating or not exercising when things get tough. I am not talking about support – I am talking about the person that tells herself “it’s okay” as she over eats and doesn’t exercise – EVERY day.

    I understand that we do need to take care of ourselves – but over eating is NOT okay – it is the first step the totally wrong direction.

    I understand that slip ups happen and we have to turn them around and get back on track.

    But that is not the tone of the type of comments to which I refer. I am talking about codependency and enabling.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Broth (with no added sodium) =-.

    • Diane says:

      @MizFit – I can tell from your blog that you are a warrior!

      @Laura Jane – I loved it too!!

      @Vickie – I do understand what you are saying, and I agree with you. It is easy to justify our actions, or help others justify theirs.

  2. Betty says:

    This is my biggest obstacle in losing weight. I can´t imagine myself that strong anymore. I have failed so many times, and know what to expect. I actually feel disgusted at myself for letting me talk myself into believing that it´s ok, to be this big. But deep down I know it´s not…
    I pray that I can get my “strength” together and start this life change journey one last time!
    Thanks for the encouraging words!

    • Diane says:

      Betty, I completely understand because I failed so many times before too. But even before I could visualize myself as a fighter, I had the desire to fight. And from reading your blog and comment, I think the desire for you is still there. I’m going to pray for your strength to come rushing forth for you.

  3. Monica says:

    I want to be a fat fighter. I just don’t feel strong enough sometimes to kick it out of my life. But I really am trying, and reading your blog every day has helped me believe that I can finally do it.

  4. Diane says:

    You ate absolutely correct ! You have to be a fighter. In my own journey, the thing that got me started and keeps me going is the deep down belief that I am better than this, and that weight will no longer define me. Originally I set out to lose weight to overcome infertility. With portion control, daily exercise and cutting out bad fats I lost 110 pounds and conceived. Sadly, I lost the baby to a stillbirth , and the experience nearly buried me . One day I said I am better than this and the weight and experience will not define me. I lost the baby weight and got pregnant again- this time it was a high risk pregnancy and I was on total bedrest for 5 months. My son was born , and I kind of got lost in the new mommy experience. Then autism entered our lives, and it buried me. Not only did I get close to my highest weight ever, but my husband and son were also seriously overweight. My son was 15 yrs old, autistic and 420 pounds. One day a bench shattered and I woke up- the old me came back and said WE are better than this and we cannot hide behind the weight. So we bean the journey as a family. It’s been slow going because of other medical factors, but we are getting there. We will get there because we are fighters.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Pain, my old friend =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Monica – Trying is key. Because if you don’t try, you will never make it!

      @Diane – You will get there. I’m so impressed by your dedication, especially considering all you have been through. I am rooting for you.

  5. Amy H. says:

    I get up so early that most afternoons I start to drag. And that’s when I like to binge. Coincidence? No. I was fighting off taking a short nap, as I considered it lazy, so instead I was sitting around eating. Now, I take a 30 minute nap and wake up refreshed. I feel as if I figured something out, like I won over the situation.
    .-= Amy H.´s last blog ..Laziness =-.

  6. Beth says:

    I have been staying on plan but it’s been difficult the last week, just being hungry. As the difficult days stack up, it occurs to me that I, too, am a fighter! I didn’t think I could withstand so many days in a row that feel “challenging”. but yahoo, I’ve been doing it!
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..New Food Choices brighten my day! =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Amy – Great job. You are like me with the early rising. Sometimes after I put the baby down for a nap, I lay on my bed for 15 minutes. I don’t usually go to sleep, but just that little rest rejuvenates me for the rest of the day!

      @Beth – YAY! That made me so happy to read your comment. You are fighting the battle, and winning those challenges.

  7. Janet says:

    The biggest threat to success for me is probably social events. I have trouble regulating my earing when I am in proximity to delicious, high fat, sugary foods. One taste and I am finished. I don’t think it’s emotional eating, or at least I can never tie it to any particilar emotion (like stress)… it is just the taste of the food! I love food!
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Day 123 – Half Marathon =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Sunny – You are welcome! It kinda matches your great blog theme.

      @Leah – You are not failing. It’s an up and down process. You had a disappointing week, but staying strong and focused is what will get you back into positive territory.

      @Janet – Social events can be hard. And the tasty food at those types of events makes it even more difficult. You have done amazing though – you will be able to handle those events as they come up. I have confidence in you!

  8. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    So true! For a long time, I made healthy choices when life was “perfect.” But as soon as problems arose, I slipped… I had to figure out that making healthy choices was my number one priority no matter what…
    .-= Andrea@WellnessNotes´s last blog ..Comfort Food =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Hanlie – Good for you!! You are so strong in your blog. I just love it.

      @Andrea – Excellent! The true test of how we are succeeding in changing our attitudes is whether or not the attitude sticks during times of stress.

  9. Deniz says:

    Your post, and especially the quote, reminded me of a John Bunyan hymn, for some reason. It just started playing in my head (OK, it’s Friday and I’m tired) so I looked up the words and they have a similar feel:

    He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
    Let him in constancy follow the Master.
    There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
    His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

    Who so beset him round with dismal stories
    Do but themselves confound – his strength the more is.
    No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
    He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

    Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
    We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
    Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
    I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.

    We are all weight loss pilgrims and sometimes the fight can be a pretty rough one. But fighters too? Yes!

    Keeping in mind that there will be trials and rough patches but the goal is worth the struggle helps so very much. As you put it “If you fall down, get right back up and keep fighting”.
    .-= Deniz´s last blog ..Random acts of kindness =-.

  10. Marcelle says:

    I see myself at this time of my life as a fat fighter…I never did in the past, I took the fact that I managed to maintain my weight for granted…then after I gained 20kgs and trying so many time to lose the weight without success I knew that I had to fight this like a *fat fighter* – so now everyday I remind myself that I’m still a fighter, am going to be a fat fighter till the end of my days – there is no ways I can allow this fat gainer to beat me the fat fighter…
    I hope lots of people who are struggling to lose the weight read this entry…all your entries as they will find so much truth by reading here.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Running In Security Complex =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Deniz – That hymn is wonderful. I looked up the definition of pilgrm and there were a few, but most of them referred to someone traveling to a destination. We are pilgrims aren’t we? Travling to a destination, and working day and night to get there. I know my faith surely helped me travel the road.

      @Marcelle – You did an amazing thing by losing that 20kgs (44 lbs). And I love your diligence in keeping track of what you are eating even while on vacation!

  11. Lola says:

    RARRRRR! That’s a rebel yell. Hell yeah I’m a fighter. I’m a soldier….a warrior. I will not, absolutely not, defintely not, stop until I succeed. (I feel like we should all huddle together now and join hands or something. :o)
    .-= Lola´s last blog ..Official Weight – Week 52 =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Lola – I love the rebel yell!! GO LOLA!

      @Sagan – Aristotle was wise. One of my daughter’s favorite subjects I had her study was The Rhetoric of Aristotle. It has served her well.

      @Michelle – Happy Friday (well, Saturday now) to you Michelle!

  12. Bearfriend says:

    Hi Diane. Another wonderful post full of really useful advice. It’s always due to some kind of stress in my life that I fall off the wagon, not simply just a tempting treat or lapse in will power per se. This issue is vital for me to deal with if I’m to have any long term success. The story of going from imagining to actually being the warrior is very inspiring.

    Many thanks,
    Bearfriend xx
    .-= Bearfriend´s last blog ..I’m not naturally fat =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Shannon – Pull that warrior out! She’s in there.

      @Bearfriend – Yes, the stress in life really can cause us to fall off the wagon. The thing I’ve noticed is the more good choices we have under our belt, the more we start to believe that we can do it. Then when hard times come, we can remember those good choices, and stay strong. Not easy – but possible!

  13. Fran says:

    I’m not a fighter YET! But I will be: starting now!

    I’m looking for inspiration and motivation and read my blogs tonight hoping to find it and by your post I find something to let me think about it tonight!

    I’ll take tonight to think things over and tomorrow no more excuses but fight the fat, fight the lack of exercise and fight stupid excuses I make up for myself!

    Thanks Diane, you inspire me!
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..Weight Challenge week 38 =-.

  14. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    I collect quotes so I have added that to my long long list! I have been collecting for years!

    I think my biggest adversary way back when was myself & often it still is… there have been so many things that have come up along the way to derail me but I fight back & always try to tell myself to not let that person or boss or work situation or family problem get in the way of all I have done. It is hard & I may not be perfect but I always manage to stick to my plan for what is best for me. Right now, hormone wise is a huge challenge but I am trying to keep myself focused & on my path to keep healthy.

    • Diane says:

      @Fran – You inspire me as well. Seriously. Isn’t the blogging world great – you learn things, “meet” new people, and find inspiration. Have a great tomorrow.

      @Jody – I love quotes too! You are a fighter. I hope those hormones settle down soon for you. I’m not looking forward to that at all.

  15. Sarah says:

    I wonder if much of the issue is that in order to “fight fat” we have to take care of ourselves and so many of us are used to taking care of everything else before we ever get to ourselves that it’s habit to push ourselves down to the bottom of the list when anything else comes up. I can’t imagine feeling overwhelmed by a big pile of bad news and, as a result, telling my kids, “Sorry, I just can’t take care of you tonight, eat a bag of chips for dinner.” Sure, they might get a dinner that was somewhat less than my usual ideal, but not taking care of them is just not an option. There are so many things in my life that I HAVE to take care of, that I just cannot ignore or push to the side. I need to make sure that taking care of myself falls into that same category.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Seen! =-.

  16. Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    Diane, I totally agree with your statement today! I AM a becoming a fat fighting warrior!!

    I would also say I am becoming an opposite girl. I’m doing the opposite of what I would normally do. Such as, instead of having seconds at dinner, I just have one, instead of chips, I find something else healthier, instead of saying I am too tired to exercise, I exercise, instead of driving to work, I am riding my bike etc…If I feel like eating because I am upset, I set the timer for 20 minutes and distract myself.

    Thanks for another wonderful post Diane!
    .-= Jenn@slim-shoppin´s last blog ..Weigh In Friday + exercising! =-.

    • Diane says:

      @ Dr. J – I think your gratitude for your fighter mentality will keep you strong!

      @Sarah – Yes, I completely agree. Especially as women. I know it’s true for me. I do take care of everyone and often times taking care of “me” was last. One thing I did on my weight loss journey was just what you described, I put myself on the list of people who needed care. And gave myself permission to move family schedules around to accomodate some of my needs for a change. The great thing was – everyone benefitted!

  17. Debby says:

    Excellent visual! I am going to start thinking of myself as a fighter in the weight loss/exercise dept. I know I am in all other aspects of my life. I’m strong, I can handle anything. Wow, whoever thought of using that mentality on the weight loss theme???

    You asked about a victory….I blogged about that over a year ago here. It was an awesome day and I still remember it!!

    http://pixies-ponderings.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-subdued-fat-broad.html
    .-= Debby´s last blog ..Time to pay the piper! =-.

    • Diane says:

      @Debby – You are a fighter already! You have done an amazing job. I loved that blog you posted. Wonderful, wonderful. You can have that quote – after all Aristotle has been gone for a long, long time!

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