So it's the third month of the year. Your shiny New Year health resolutions may be fading or maybe you've already decided to wait until next year.
Remember that feeling when you were like, "This time is going to be different?"
Well, I want to help you make it that way FOR REAL! But, I get where you may be coming from, -- I'm guessing it may or may not go something like this...
You're truckin' along all motivated and then one week, you get busy at work and you can't get your workouts in. That same weekend is your niece's birthday party and well, you know... The pizza and birthday cake just sounded really good because you haven't "cheated" for a few weeks!
Your weekend was so busy though, that you didn't make it to the store and now you're back to snacking on chips and crackers with your Diet Coke in hand. On top of this, spring break is around the corner. You know you're going to just eat/drink "whatever" anyway on your vacation, so really what is the point in starting back on your plan until you get back? And thoughts like, "What was I even thinking? I'm probably not meant to fit into those skinny jeans anyway," come into play...
My guess is that you've had these or similar moments/thoughts. Most of us blame it on our motivation, but I call it the "Screw it Mentality," and it's the result of self-sabotoge.
I really wish I was making this story up, but the reality is that it is far too common. It not only happens at the start of a new year, but really anytime. It could be "the holidays," or a "busy time at work," or even the longest period of them all -- Summer! It's a case of self-sabotage, and if this sounds a little like you, you may be stuck in her vicious cycle.
We can't undo the cycles of our pasts; but lucky for us, we CAN change our future. Self-sabotage can happen in all aspects of our life and occur for various reasons. I've experienced it reacting to emotions like fear and overwhelm in both health and business. Related to food, it typically isn't just about liking a certain food and the need to have it, but about a behavior/emotion tied to it. Just like any other bad habit, our willpower will only get us so far. You must add in accountability for your actions to help you through.
The hardest part of really breaking down this cycle is asking yourself some tough questions:
Is your self-sabotage cycle a coping method to deal with negative emotions either from your past or current life experiences/relationships?
Are you getting something positive from staying at a heavier weight?
What beliefs and feelings are you having about yourself when you're in self-sabotage mode?
Are you scared or fearful of being leaner for some reason? Are you scared that if you get to where you want to be that it may come back?
Do you fear how you will be treated or be judged for trying to change your body?
Do you feel like you deserve to be at a healthy weight or look/feel like what you want?
After you've dug deep, it's time to up your accountability. Work on breaking those sabotaging habits by using the steps below. I made up a little acronym to help you remember.
A.D.D. accountability to break your cycle and improve your health for good.
ADMIT: Admit that you are self-sabotaging and recognize the underlying reasons. Time to get real! First you want to figure out what is possibly triggering this habit of self-sabotage.
How do you feel when you go to eat the unhealthy foods or choose to miss a workout or choose to not log or check in? What is going on around you and what are the feelings you are having at that time? Are you stressed, anxious, guilty, sad, or bored?
Think about your environment, who is with you when you decide to miss a workout or indulge on dessert, and what you are feeling? See if you can recognize any patterns.
With food, incorporate mindful eating. Are you truly hungry and how full do you feel? Is your stomach growling? Has it been over 3 hours since you last ate? Do you already feel at least 80% full from a meal?
If you are not feeling hunger signs, you just ate an hour ago, or you already feel around 80% full, you may be triggered to eat because of an emotion instead. Your cycle/habit of feeding your emotions may be causing you to eat more.
DETOUR: Repeating the same actions you've always done is going to give you the same results. Instead of turning to unhealthy foods, negative thoughts, staying stressed and not moving, be mindful of what's happening. Once you understand your triggers, it is time to detour. Taking JUST ONE healthy detour action is all it takes to change your course.
Walk out of the kitchen and find something else to do. Drink a glass of water, take a walk, read a book/magazine, draw, do a crossword, meditate, call a friend, do laundry, clean, or turn on some music. Do anything you can to distract yourself from food until you are truly hungry and can choose a meal that makes your body feel good.
Because, let's face it. Our overall focus of eating should be feeding our bodies fuel to live as long as possible, not feeding our feelings for the short-term. Other detours include:
If you are eating and fighting the urge to keep eating past feeling satisfied because you just love the meal so much, wash your plate off at home or ask for it to be taken away at a restaurant (even with food left on it).
Ask for a to-go box when you first order at a restaurant and put 1/4-1/2 your meal in the box before you even start.
For work meetings with food, detour the desire to splurge and eat before you go. You'll be less inclined to indulge on that plate of pastries.
Chewing a piece of gum or brushing your teeth can also be great detours for eating.
If you're having trouble sticking with added movement, set a reminder on your phone or fitness tracker to get up and move around at certain times throughout the day.
Know you won't make a workout or feeling extra stressed? Sneak in extra NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) like taking the stairs, parking far away, walking around while talking on the phone, walk to the furthest bathroom in your office building, etc.
DILIGENCE: Whether you are breaking a bad habit or starting a healthy habit, it takes a lot of practice and repetition to get good at anything. Be diligent, patient, and commit to your practice. You WILL improve in time. Remember, you are aiming for progress, NOT PERFECTION.
It is all too common for people to focus on the negatives of not losing enough weight, not losing weight fast enough, or being too hard on themselves for eating one extra treat or freebie meal. So often they forget about ALL THE POSITIVE ACTIONS THEY'VE TAKEN beforehand.
Even if you have the extra wine or skip the workout, don't ignore the fact that you had several days or weeks of inspired healthy actions prior to that. Nobody expects you to be perfect. That is not healthy and not a lifestyle.
If you never cared what you ate and are now logging your food, than good for you! If you have added more protein in your diet, than you should celebrate! If you have limited or cut out your Diet Cokes and now drink a ton more water, you should be proud! If you hadn't touched a dumbbell in years and are now doing 2-3 strength sessions a week, then you are a rockstar! C E L E B R A T E the good stuff! The journey of weight loss is a long-term process. We must be mindful, patient and commit to feeling and looking our best in OUR OWN eyes, whatever that may be.
It sometimes takes a little inner soul searching to figure out your cycle and why you get stuck in it. But that is the fun part of growing and getting better as a human being. Enjoy the journey and keep aiming to live better. You CAN achieve your goals and I believe in you!
Need more help? Send me a message.
Let's get FIRED UPP,