Friday, December 5, 2014

The Monster Inside My Head

Guest Post written by John Bukenas

"I have been on a quest to lose weight for over 30 years. And like most people, I’ve tried every diet plan, every lose weight quick pill.  And they would work at first, but nothing stuck.  

You know the deal, lose 25 and gain 35.  Adding 10 pounds a year to your frame can really take a toll on you in 20 years.

In 2011 I was totally out of control.  I was almost 500 pounds, I couldn’t walk a hundred yards without being in pain and out of breath.  

I decide to try again.  But this time it would be different.  I would do research, stay focused, learn what went wrong in the past.  And as usual, it worked. For awhile, but this time the difference was I decided to go public.  I decided for accountability I would start a podcast and maybe others would come along for the journey.

The podcast is a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because of the wonderful people that have come into my life.  A curse because failing publicly is so embarrassing.

Because of my podcast I had lost 108 pounds.  

I learned more about nutrition, and exercise but there is still something out there that I have not figured out.  It’s the why?

Why do I overeat?  Why do I medicate with food?  Why does nothing else I’ve tried not ease the my stress, my negative feelings?

I’ve tried meditation, tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), journaling.  Nothing seems to work as well as food.  And as I write this I realize how silly it sounds. Because as soon as there was stress and pressure in my life everything I learned went right out the window. So I realized.

There is a monster inside my head.

This monster is killing me and I don’t know how to stop it.  For years I secretly fought it, but it always won.  Because the monster knows me better then I know myself.  If I build a defense, it knows just how to counterattack.  It’s patient, it’s relentless, and after a year of battling It’s won.  I gained all my weight back, I have stopped podcasting.  

Because I don’t have any answers.  I could go on every week and tell you about all the new research that has come out.  I could show you all the great technology there is to help monitor diet and exercise.  And I could interview others who have successful, and how they accomplished their goals.  But that is not why I started the podcast.  It was to come up with answers and a plan to have success.

So I’ve been trying a new plan.

I’m trying to make peace with the monster inside of my head.  It’s not easy, we hate each other.  But my conscious is no match for my subconscious.  I realize I am so mean to myself.  I demand perfection.  If I make a mistake, I really attack.  I say, “I know better, I’m weak, I’m lazy, I’m worthless.”  This attack on myself starts the depression spiral.  Then it starts over again.

I don’t do this with anyone else.  I don’t expect perfection from others because I know it’s unrealistic.

So I’m starting again.  I promise to be kind to myself.  To be understanding.  To forgive my past failures and put it in the past.  To reach out for help when I’m struggling.  And to be there for others who struggle.

Then it hit me.  I realize the monster I’ve been fighting actually loves me.  The monster hates it when I attack myself, it wants me to feel better.  The monster and I just need to figure out how to do that without food.  Because failure is not an option."

John Bukenas hosts the Let’s Reverse Obesity Podcast.

John’s contact information can be found at  


Laurie Weaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie Weaver said...

Sending you hugs and positive support for your bravery John. I have so been there. I call my monsters the Robot Aliens and have come to the same epiphany. Making peace with food is hard for us lifers, but I believe in my heart it is doable. Thanks so much for sharing today.

Anonymous said...

A "monster" in my head is the perfect description. Its big, its mean and its scary. How'd we ever let that thing in? Or why? Or did we just create it ourselves? I agreed with everything you said right up until you said your monster loved you. My monster doesn't love me. My monster is an accumulation of negativity, well-intentioned criticism from family/friends/myself and all of the crap that society/weight loss marketing companies have filled my head full of. Its a monster that looks and feels like it has my best interests in mind, but truly wants to snuff me out, and given enough time, it will. I need to wrangle my monster and at least lessen its power, if not destroy it completely-if I'm ever going to survive. I truly hope your monster is a good one, but don't be deceived as I have. I used to think my monster was on my side with its call for perfectionism and strict rule adherence but it was a smokescreen. My monster is truly sucking the life out of me while I look the other way. I've been allowing this. But I'm coming to realize that its time to be strong and do what it takes to get rid of mine before it destroys me...