We all self sabotage during the weight loss process with a justification that “it’s ok to eat / drink this because it’s the weekend, I’m on holiday, It’s Christmas….” However this is just another excuse not to face up to the journey ahead.
Weight loss is not easy. It requires dedication, diligence, and patience. Plus it requires a 7 day approach rather than being partially mindful, and this is where people frequently go wrong.
The next time you find yourself thinking “it won’t matter if I eat this…” remind yourself that if you gave in to every weakness, you would increase in weight in no time and spoil your chances of reaching your goal weight.
We all eat for different reasons. Some people turn to food in a crisis or when feeling upset. Others turn away from food and can’t possibly think about eating during an emotional time in their lives. But that’s just the nature of who we are as individuals.
Emotional eating is complex. Usually it’s an automatic response to another problem and our attempt at masking the real issue gives us momentary relief from having to face or deal with it.
Regarding emotional eating, I frequently say to my clients, “why create another problem in your life, when the only thing that turning to food will do is that it will probably lead to an increase in your weight, subsequently leaving you feeling weak and out of control.”
It would be far better to tackle the problem head on. Of course, this is easier said than done.
So how do you deal with emotional situations when they occur and at the same time be successful in not turning to food as a comfort?
Firstly, you have to scale your problem. In terms of 1-10 how important is the issue and how is it currently affecting your life? This is where documenting your thoughts can be helpful. Journaling is a good way of breaking down any issues. Putting feelings on paper assists us somewhat in off-loading the burden. Writing down both negative and positive points can be very helpful in self-recovery.
The 1-10 scale is a useful tool to establish what the crux of the problem is and how you could attempt to deal with it. We tend to ruminate (over-think) our problems, blow everything out of proportion in our mind, and panic, leading to increased anxiety and a genuine feeling of helplessness.
Therefore, it’s at this point we feel the need for instant gratification. A diversion to take the problem away. This desire to comfort eat does give some relief in making the issue subside momentarily. But the problem is still there and eventually enters our minds with even more vengeance than before because now we’re feeling guilty for using food as an escape mechanism.
The next time you have an emotional issue, starve it of its hold over you. Try talking it through with a friend or family member. Get it out into the open, don’t bottle it up. If you cannot talk it through, then write it down on paper, or better still walk it off. Exercise gives you an emotional release of pent up negative energy. The point being, the more you find ways of releasing the problem the less grip it has over you psychologically.
Ask yourself how important will this problem be in my life say in 6months or even a years’ time? Chances are it won’t even register in your life. How many times have we all beaten ourselves up over issues in the past we felt were too huge to deal with at that moment? I can only speak for myself and the answer is many times. But now when I think back, these same issues have become insignificant in my life. We are constantly changing and evolving in life and that is our purpose. To give and learn, to change and grow, otherwise what is the point of being here?
© Martina Gallivan. CBT Therapy for weight management 2015
Week 3. Set yourself realistic goals!
Many people have unrealistic goals when trying to achieve a personal target weight and frequently find themselves becoming disappointed because they have only lost say 2lbs in a week. It’s a natural reaction to want to lose weight as quickly as possible. However, I always say to my clients, “you didn’t increase in weight overnight and it would be unreasonable to expect it to fall off overnight.” There are always… faster, quicker “diets” out there but statistics have proven that although you will lose weight quickly, you’re more likely to pile the weight back on again within a short space of time. It’s much better to reduce in weight slowly, healthily and in the process, learning how to change your thought pattern whilst doing so. It’s good to have a personal goal for your own weight loss journey, but set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t become what I call “an event dieter” or someone who is forever dieting for a specific event. That’s a sure way to pile on the weight after the event as you’re constantly giving yourself permission to eat freely in between those times. Give yourself a target of between 1-2lbs per week. 1lb less, is 1lb of butter let’s face it. Climb the ladder 1 step at a time!
Check in for more tips next week!
Over the next few weeks on this Facebook page I’ll be sharing tips about losing weight and how to deal with personal challenges and emotions that every individual who has ever lost weight experiences during their progress.
Throughout any weight loss journey you must firstly identify the benefits of losing weight. Ask yourself “what’s in it for me?” “What do I want to see as an end result for my efforts?” The list of benefits are endless – more energy, better health, more self confidence, increased self esteem, not to mention being able to fit into smaller clothes sizes. Being able to walk with purpose and without feeling other people are looking at you etc… Write down a list of benefits and advantages of losing weight. This will immediately give you a sense of personal self control. So this week write down your own goals in a diary and look at it every day. The advantage of seeing it will reinforce the strength you’ll need to keep going!
Feel free to share this blog with anyone you think may benefit from it. Watch out for Tip 2 next week!!