I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t focusing on food and weight. Mostly I was unhappy about my size when I was “thinner” It never lasted very long. When I was growing up the focus was mainly on Diets. There was always some new diet that came down the pike, promising all-you-could-eat or fast weight loss. Basic thinking was a diet was something you went on to lose weight and then you went off it. A very little talk about behavior, mindset, and change. Most of us get to a point where change is more welcome than staying in our present condition and that is usually when people sign up.
All or nothing mindset
In more recent times we now know that our behavior, gravitating towards old habits, keeps us in the revolving door. Along with our food tracker, it can be helpful to keep track of all your positive accomplishments as well as times you slipped away. A common trap is when you go off a little bit, the old thinking is ” well I ate extra today, so I might as well enjoy the rest of the day”. Does it mean you have to eat everything in sight because you went over a little or didn’t track? Absolutely not!
More damage is done with the “All or nothing mindset”. One wayward bite should not wipe out weeks of success, yet many of us fall into this trap. Better to track the small overage and let it go. I remember a coach once said, if you fell down one step would you throw yourself down the rest of the stairs? Try thinking of it that way and change that behavior. Most of us will have a wayward bite here or there, it’s the behavior that follows that determines long-term success. It doesn’t matter what you ate at lunch with your friends go home and make a healthy dinner.
Boredom, Tiredness, Hunger
Another behavior change is recognizing pitfalls and changing your reaction to them. Boredom, Tiredness, Hunger. I use to leave a snack and water in the car so I would never come home ravenous if I got stuck in traffic or an appt ran over. When we are tired we tend to eat whatever is in front of us instead of taking time to prepare something. It becomes an excuse to go off. Eating to escape the unpleasant state of boredom is something most can relate to. When you are ready to commit to your new eating plan write down how you will deal with boredom. This way you will have a plan and change a behavior that got you in trouble.
Being mindful of the food you eat
Moving forward there are many new behaviors to incorporate into your new way of living. Reading nutrition labels for one. Being mindful of the food you eat will allow you to make better choices. Be proactive when eating out. Almost all restaurants have online menus. Recently on vacation, a restaurant was suggested to our group, I looked online and asked if we could look for another place. I also have no problem asking the waiter to make substitutions. You will feel so much better when taking control of your life.
Remember you are not good or bad you are moving forward. Change of lifetime habits is not easy but it can be done with planning and willingness. The main thing is to recognize these behaviors and have the plan to deal with them. I never thought I would be out from under my compulsive eating. It’s amazing that it no longer rules my life. One positive behavior that did turn me around was finding foods I like so I did not feel deprived. Recognizing foods that got me in trouble and those I could live without. Start thinking you are on a living plan instead of a diet is a great start. That is the beginning of new behaviors.
Author: Coach Jeri