Working on My Mental Game

I would bet that those of you out there who’ve undergone a significant physical transformation (losing weight, gaining muscle, even changing your hair color…) have experienced this:

Even though you’ve changed dramatically on the outside, you still feel like the same old (pudgy) (sluggish) “you” on the inside.

Even though I know intellectually that I look different than I did a few months ago, a lot of the time I still battle that internal negative self-talk that comes from years of being dissatisfied with my physical self. I have days when I feel like the girl in the picture – I hit the gym ready to kill it, KNOWING that I am powerful and strong. But, there are a lot of days when I still feel like I’ve always felt… pretty strong, but too soft and scared to really push myself physically. It’s funny… a few times since I’ve lost the weight, I’ve caught a glance of myself in a store window and not realized it was me.

My brain is just having a tough time reconciling old me (on the inside) with new me (on the outside). It can be tough to internalize and embrace after so many years of insecurity, and I know that working on this mental piece is going to be just as important as diet and workout to make this a lasting, lifelong change.

So, when I had the opportunity to bid on a portrait session with Tim Bougie of Bougie Photography about a month ago (as part of the Silent Auction for CrossFit Central’s ongoing Habitat for Humanity build), I jumped on it… and won! This was right around the time of my most recent body comp, where I learned that in just two months I’d dropped a full 12% of my body fat… I was looking for a way to document all the hard work and help work on that mental piece – really looking at things from an objective standpoint and internalizing them.


Tim’s fantastic. If you’re a CrossFit Central client, you’ve almost certainly seen his work and very likely been photographed by him. I met him bright and early yesterday morning down near the Lamar pedestrian bridge, and we spent a few fun hours taking shots there and over on the east side… he was great to work with! I’m not going to lie, individual portrait sessions are just naturally a little awkward (I had to have champagne during my bridal session last year to loosen up!), but Tim did a great job of making me feel at home. Plus, he absolutely blew away expectations by getting me some of the best shots the same day as the shoot. Woohoo!

This was such a great way to start reconciling the old and new me’s… lots of work still to do, but this was a great step. Thanks so much, Tim!

And here’s a reminder, folks… this is what I looked like just before I started CrossFit:

Me, the Week Before I Started CrossFit/Paleo

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4 Comments on “Working on My Mental Game”

  1. Julie Phamous
    July 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Nicole – you are so inspiring – you look GREAT!!!

    • July 17, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks, Miss Pham! Hope you’re doing great!

  2. Corbyn Hanson Hightower
    July 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Miss Nicole, though you look fantastic, probably feel great, and are arguably in fighting shape, your “before” picture isn’t a very good “before.” You just look stunning, not chubby or unhealthy in the least! ;D But your point is understood nonetheless.

    Love and well-wishes from over here in California, where CrossFit costs an unattainable and incredible $150 per month!

    • July 17, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks, Corbyn! 🙂 I must say I’ve been truly enjoying reading all your posts/articles – congrats on your success!

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