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Will Power or Mindset Mastery?

I remember when I was in my own way, I felt ashamed, stuck in my own way. I was 100 pounds overweight and well a picture is worth 1000 words, or so they say.

For me, back then I was living a life that I was unhappy with and I just couldn’t figure out how to change it. I couldn’t think past my pain. I couldn’t find the way out of being stuck in my own mental & physical roller coaster ride.

They say weight loss is all about willpower. I found out that was a lie.

I mean, I had the will - I was willing to change some things and I had the power to make the changes… I was a capable human being. So why did I stay stuck for so long?

I found out that it had all to do with my Mindset. Allow me to explain the difference between willpower and Mindset Mastery. My belief is that they are two very different things.

You see, I was raised in a big Italian family. Every dinner was filled with carbs. Bread, Pasta. Butter, Cheese, Potatoes. I was taught that preparing and having really big meals was normal. A typical Sunday sauce would start with me “tasting” a couple of fried meatballs in the morning just to taste them of course. Then I would make and stir the sauce all day long- yes with the wooden spoon like in Goodfellas.

And each time I added an ingredient or turned the sauce, I just had to try my product. I couldn’t put out something that wasn’t edible after all. The way to taste sauce properly is to rip off a piece of fresh Italian loaf and dunk it in. Then taste. A little more garlic, pepper or maybe it needs a pinch of salt. Another dip, no it’s definitely garlic. And back in for another scoop until it was perfect.

Then when I discovered how to make the best garlic bread in the world, a second loaf would be buttered, oiled, cheesed and garlic spread all over and into the oven.

That would be served with the pasta. Yes of course at least two pounds of pasta because I could eat nearly a half-pound on my own. Then the Parmesan Reggiano.

Then when everything was simmering, some antipasto hits the table to hold us over till the actual meal is served…

Breaded & fried chicken cutlets, pasta, meatballs, ricotta cheese, sauce, that amazing garlic bread... And last but not least if anyone had any room left after indulging we would have a little salad.

Now, It's important for me to note here that I didn’t just eat because it was delicious (and yes it was). I also didn’t eat all of that because I was hungry either. I kept eating long after the feeling of fullness.

Eating became my escape... Some people escape to the Caribbean or a retreat or dive into a good book. Me I dove into the pasta bowl. It was quite literally my escape place.

When I was a little girl and I wanted to escape all the mental and literal noise in the violent household I grew up inside, that I would “Escape” upstairs to my grandparents and with that a warm meal to soothe my empty tummy and my empty feelings.

Pretty soon I was 260 pounds and I wasn’t happy at all. I was sick and tired of looking like I did and feeling like I did and the worst part was wishing I was someone else. I was such a loving and caring person was wishing to be someone else. I had hoped to rip off my outer shell costume and reveal the whole person I wished to be inside.

The challenge was that was fake. The only thing I found was shame, sadness, fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. So much so that I sabotaged my chances of losing weight because I already lost the battle inside my mind. I would defeat myself before I started with thoughts like “Why would you even try, this is who you are, you're meant to be this way, you failed so many times before... and so on.

I discovered the limiting and disempowering belief about escapism, the addiction I had to the mental noise in my head, re-living my family childhood drama cycle, the food itself, and changed it to an empowering belief that supported me. One that supported who I wished to be, who I really was beneath the costume. I had to discover my why- why I wanted and deserved this change. Why I was worthy of something better, Why I should believe I could do it...

Now THAT took a whole lot more than just willpower.

It took a total overhaul of my belief system. It took me years of dissociating overeating with comfort and safety. It took me facing that my break up with carbs was also a break up with me hiding from pain.

All is this was done together in a strategic way in order to gain control of my thoughts, emotions, of my feelings, and of my life to create lasting change.... and not just on the scale. That was just an outcome of my commitment to my overall wellness.

I had a divorce from the belief system that I built up over a lifetime, one that started at my “great big Italian escaping reality” feasts even when I was the only one at the table.

One day I said, is it real? I asked myself again, is it a real statement that because I was Italian, or because I grew up in a house of violence that I had to live out the rest of my days unhappy? I mean I spent so much time in unhappiness that I did wonder if it would be possible. That is the truth.

Then one day, I did it. I said NO MORE LIES. No more will I continue the struggle of a lifetime, no more will I continue to punish myself with the soothing foods and negative rollercoaster ride that followed. I expose the lie and wanted to see if I would survive without the carbs….

So I gave up ALL things white. All carbs, cheese, butter, pasta, bread, cakes and cookies. (And the mental noise that kept me at a low vibration)

Guess what, I did survive. Not only did I survive, pretty soon the weight was shedding and with it my limiting belief system. What was growing was even better- my self-confidence, my happiness, my joy, my sense of accomplishment, my self-trust… and I can go on. Over time, I realized that just because I was indoctrinated into a life I didn’t have a choice to be in, didn’t mean I would never have a choice to change the outcome of that energy.

If it isn’t serving, explore it and ask yourself is it really true? Can I change? Put your belief system to the test. See what you discover. And it starts with changing just one thought.

That thought that I couldn’t change brought me on the journey to losing over 100 pounds and keeping the weight off, and more importantly, my Mindset is in check and I feel a sense of accomplishment.

Now you may not have weight to lose- this isn’t about what to eat and how to lose weight. It also isn’t about feeling the need to lose weight if you are happy.

It is about mastering your mindset so you can live a life by your design. And when something doesn’t serve you, knowing you have the power (if you wish to) to change the beliefs.

And that brings you to places you couldn’t have imagined until you accomplished it one thought at a time.

Wishing you success in all your transformations,

Love, Maria