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The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.

Loss of Perspective = Loss of Motivation; Pt 2

What has this to do with perspective or motivation even? Well, despite all the things I know are true about our relationship, when I am tired or not that well, I start listening to my brain’s commentary, despite knowing that this is not always helpful. I used to judge my thoughts before by whether they were true or false but have recently learned a new, more effective way to stay mentally well — judge the thoughts on whether they are helpful or not to me at this moment in time. Not helpful? Then discard it and replace by something that is.

The other day I woke up before my night shift and was tired — the people next door are renovating the house and laying paving slabs so it is loud during the day. I need to keep my windows shut to drown out the noise a bit which makes my room really hot. If the sun is out, the room is bright and hot and loud. Not the best combination for sleeping by a long shot. I woke up and was cranky and tired and sleep-deprived. I checked my mobile and no message from my man. I went online and he wasn’t there. Objectively speaking, I would have been rubbish company but I still wanted to say hello because he cheers me up. So I got all my little chores done, and returned in an hour and he still wasn’t online. No messages, no sign of life. This is where I started listening to my mind.

He is going off you.

He is out talking to someone more interesting than you. Probably Jasmine from his website who understands all his coding mumble-jumble and can talk about stuff where you just try to nod at the right moments and look pretty. Why are you so painfully dumb? You should really look into this, it’s your boyfriend’s job for goodness' sake! Well, he may not be a boyfriend for much longer anyway so don’t waste your time learning how to code just yet. Like you could learn it. Dumb.

[Jasmine, you seem like a nice girl and I am sorry for my jealousy. I don’t like other people understanding my boyfriend better than I do. I'll work on it. In the meanwhile, I hope you are married, in a relationship, or at least 70 years old]

He was too good to be true — you should have known. He probably really wanted not to play games to start with but couldn’t do it and now will just not get back in touch and hide from you and wait until you stop trying to contact him.

Remember, you are the weird one here who is too honest, you shouldn’t have told him you loved him — now you just look like a fool. Of course you scared him, men are terrified of commitment, and you wrote about him on your blog, you idiot (yep, like the scene from Hitch where Eva Mendez tells herself off, just without my man magically coming into my lounge, carrying a coffee or four).

I bet he went out to fix someone’s computer and it was a hot slim tall woman with legs all the way up to her neck and he has fallen in love at first sight and doesn’t even remember you now. He’s now with her in her house and they are in the middle of making sweet love which is why he isn’t online, obviously.

He got tired of you, it was gonna happen sooner or later, just accept it and move on.

You don’t need him in your life, you didn’t really like him that much anyway. And even if you did, you mustn’t let it show — be tough and break up.

No point carrying on with a relationship that is doomed anyway — it’s just a waste of time. Text him and finish it while it doesn’t hurt too much.

So after an hour spent agonising whether to text or not, I did text him, half-prepared to put a stop to our already doomed relationship. Turns out he’d been asleep — had a long tiring day at work and was tired. That text kicked my perspective into action again, and I could see how crazy I was being.

Thankfully, I have friends and after I spoke to one of them, this seems to be a common female trait. At the beginning of her relationship with her fiance, she used to freak out if he didn’t call her at the end of his shift. It never occurred to her that he may have been held up or had to clean up or stayed for a friendly chat with a colleague — in her mind, he was shagging his female colleagues. Most likely all at once. She’d then get so stressed about these intrusive thoughts and images that she’d phone him, only to find out he didn’t even realise it was time for him to call her as he was busy finishing the cleanup at the pub he works at.

But this isn’t contained just to my man or my family — before the era of mobile phones, I used to arrange to meet mum in town — and if she was a minute late, I would be thinking of coach accidents and bus crashes and her falling ill and the hospital phoning me at home but I was in town… and then I'd spot her walking towards me through a crowd of people and feel the most amazing relief ever.

Lately, I have been really disheartened about my weight loss or the lack thereof. I would think along the lines of “just pull yourself together — everyone else can do it so what’s wrong with you? it took you this long to lose 30lbs, you still have 90lbs to lose — it’s gonna take you three times as long, and even then you won’t be skinny, you’ll have all this loose skin and will be ugly anyway — what’s the point of this torture? Just give up already. You know you’re gonna give up anyway, so why even bother? Why not right now? Just go and get that chocolate you really want.” — and once I started listening to this rubbish, I felt like a total failure.

It didn’t help that I really wanted to dress up for my boyfriend the other day and in the zeal to be sexy, tried on some fishnet holdups that actually snapped when I pulled them on. Yes, funny, and I fell about laughing but also saw the tragedy in my mirth. I went to sleep thinking if this had been a jeans button, I could have quite possibly shot someone dead with it and it cheered me up thinking of trying to prove my innocence in front of a judge. My flab as a deadly weapon. Be scared, world.

I woke up depressed — it was obviously just that little bit too much for my brain to discharge at night so I was cranky and tired and self-obsessed for the best part of my morning. I refused to weigh myself for fear of getting worse — yes, if the scales showed some weight loss, I'd cheer up considerably but if not, or if they showed a weight gain, the pit would be twice as deep and I'd fall twice as hard. Really, I should lock my scales away and weigh myself once a month. All I could see was how long it has taken me to lose my first 30lbs and I was feeling really demotivated.

What I had failed to realise is that there is nothing wrong with my weight loss. There is nothing wrong with my motivation or commitment to this cause. What is wrong is my point of view. I have now lost between 32 and 34lbs, in 16 weeks. Seeing as most health experts suggest one to two pounds of a weight loss per week, I am either bang on target or 16lbs ahead of it. When I looked at it that way, I stopped fretting and suddenly I couldn’t hear that little voice in my head as loud and clear anymore. Yes, it could be quicker, and here I am thinking of Britney Spears post-baby, but then I don’t have tonnes of time on my hands and a small fortune to shell out on a personal trainer. I don’t have a personal chef who creates amazing tasty meals with negative calorie content, and I come back from work so tired that I fall into my bathtub half-comatose. Last week, I fell asleep in there and woke up because the water had gone freezing cold (not very nice!). My body isn’t my full-time employment (as my man rightly pointed out) and my source of income. I have a real life in which I have to go to work to pay bills and sometimes I will make myself a cup-a-soup or pot noodle because although nutritionally void, it’s quick and convenient and it fills a hole. On my days off, I will make an effort with food, prepare some for the next work day, and I will drag myself to the gym for a gruelling workout and a swim. I will walk more as I am not in a rush so I don’t need to use the buses for speedy transport. There is no need to and no point in beating myself up about something that isn’t even a problem! My current weight is just a transition stage. I watch the numbers decrease on the scales, I see the clothes get looser, I have dropped from size 24 to 22 to 20 and now to 18 (-ish hehe, not quite!), all in 16 weeks. I really must start being kinder to myself. The worst thing is that if my man hadn’t spelled all this out for me, I wouldn’t have seen it myself.

This is where it is so blatantly obvious that sometimes having friends and family give you a reality check is crucial to your mental health. All the years of self-imposed isolation haven’t done me good.

The moral of the story is that your mind does run away with you at times. Unless you gain perspective on things, you will fall into the pattern of depression and lose all motivation. And who is a better qualified expert to help you find the right perspective than someone who loves you?

Plus I love how my man says ‘that is complete and utter rubbish’ in his posh British accent. :)