Starting To Falter
(Read Part 2 Here)
So you now have your journal. You’ve got to know yourself; your strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully realise that it is YOU who is in control.
You are now well on your way to knowing how to think positive.
Unfortunately, that may still not be enough…there will be times when you need more help. For whatever reason your determination starts to get distracted and your motivation begins to waver.
The first thing to do is accept that this is normal.
You are not unusual or beyond hope which can lead to negative thoughts creeping back in:
- ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me…’
- ‘I always end up sabotaging everything…’
- ‘I will never lose this weight…’
- ‘I am such a failure!’
THAT IS SO FAR FROM THE TRUTH.
The only thing that is happening is those age-old programs of how you used to treat yourself are popping back. Your subconscious recognises them and sees them as a comforting familiarity which causes you to have those negative doubts.
And that’s fine because that’s what you taught your subconscious for a long time.
Today things are different.
Now you have amunition to push those thoughts and doubts back to where they belong and keep training your subsconscious to the new programs that you are now building.
Look upon your old self as a distant memory and a reminder of how far you have come.
Let’s continue with building that motivation and determination for success…
Weapon #8: When You Don’t Want To Fight
There are those times unfortunately, when you don’t want to fight the negativity and you don’t care about the consequences.
Sometimes you just WANT to give in. You want to have that comfort that only food can give you.
You don’t want it to stop or for the feeling to go away. And you DO NOT want to read your journal because it will rob you of that pleasure you crave so much.
And that’s okay.
But in that moment, before you have the cookie (or whatever it is you want to eat), just pause for a moment.
Don’t think about having the food or not having the food.
Go upstairs or walk into another room.
Head away from the source of food.
As you walk start to think about what would happen if you don’t have the food. Will you mourn it? Will your day be ruined? Will anything catastrophic happen?
Don’t think of this as a way of stopping yourself from having the food – you can still have it – just give yourself a few seconds beforehand.
Then start to think about your why.
- Why do you want to lose weight?
- Why do you want to give it all up?
- What it is that makes you want to give up all reasoning?
- Why do you want to go against what you have been working to achieve?
- When the comfort in that food you are about to eat is over so quickly, why do you want to sabotage all of those other times when you worked so hard to resist?
Now start to think about how you will feel if you DO NOT have the food.
- You WILL get a buzz
- You will feel achievement
- You will feel hope
- And most of all you will feel like YOU could actually get a grip on yourself, take back control and finally have that slimmer body you want.
This little distraction could be all it takes to shift your mind away from negative determination so you can get in there with other aversion tactics within this series.
Write this exercise in your journal as a reminder to do when the time comes. Read it often so it almost becomes like an instinct to ask yourself why.
If you still have the food, then don’t worry.
Be content and triumphant that you tried to resist.
You are making progress.
But make a note of anything you felt that could help you next time.
Sometimes it can be a little thought that started to make you doubt that you really wanted to give in – but you quickly pushed it away as the temptation was too great at that time.
Make a note of that thought and practice it.
Next time it might just be more powerful than your negativity.
Weapon #9: Response Cards
Judith S Beck, the creator of The Beck Diet Solution uses response cards which can be extremely powerful in fighting off attacks of negativity and self-sabotage.
The idea is to create written cards for situations you encounter that may cause you to make the wrong choices.
Even though it’s hard, it doesn’t mean I can’t do this.
Get away from it.
This is just a craving and cravings always go away.
I will feel so much better in the long run (and in the short run)
when I overcome it.
For more information see What is The Beck Diet Solution?
Weapon #10: Attack Negative Thoughts
Try and preempt the negative thinking that you know will pop into your head – these are similar to triggers but usually more obvious.
Write them all down. It doesn’t matter how silly you think they are – this is just for you.
And when you suddenly have a negative thought – add it to your journal (at this point you don’t have to do anything about it, just document it so an attack can be prepared for next time.)
An example of a negative thought could be:
‘I really want to have that pizza for lunch instead of my boring chicken salad’
Now, find an argument against the negative thought, for example:
Of course, you really want that pizza, it tastes lovely and much, much better than what you should be having.
But what about that feeling afterwards? That horrible feeling of disappointment.
The pizza will be gone; your stomach will feel uncomfortable.
You will hate yourself. And for what? Five minutes of a high – because that’s all it will be.
Look back at your journal and remind yourself of those why’s – make new ones up if you can.
Write a response card like the example from The Beck Solution:
The pizza is going to be really nice, and I am going to want it
but I can resist it.
It’s more important to me to lose weight.
If I eat the pizza, I will get momentary pleasure,
but afterwards I’ll feel worse.
Try and think of every negative thought or excuse that has risen in the past and find a good counter attack for it.
Weapon #11: Highlight Challenges and Prepare
Challenges in life can become triggers so it is important to recognise and plan around them so they don’t end up causing significant damage.
Challenges are things like social events, picnics, cooking disasters, weekends, hot summer days, afternoon lows, family/friends’ birthdays, conferences, spontaneous activities etc.
The best line of defense is to have back-ups in the form of healthy snacks, low fat recipes and quick and easy alternatives to dishes that won’t break the calorie bank.
These back-ups will depend on the type of challenge e.g.:
Sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps/chips, pork pies… all great for picnics but not if you’re trying to stick to plan. Try thinking of foods that you could take instead and that you will enjoy just as much:
- Chicken salad with a low-calorie dressing but add things that you wouldn’t normally like pickles, sweetcorn or grated carrot.
- Egg mayonnaise on whole meal rolls and use low fat mayo and no butter
- Low fat chicken sausages cut up on sticks
- Wraps packed generously with low fat meats and cucumber or pickles
This has happened to me on more than one occasion and can unfortunately lead to a trip to the nearest take-away!
Keeping cupboards stocked with healthy, quick-and-easy meals has been a life-saver on the occasions when I have managed to ruin dinner.
And if the take-away does happen then that’s okay too…
Let it go but allow it to yourself.
Don’t look on it as you have given up on your diet,
it’s a bump in the road – accept it and move on.
It’s no detriment, you will enjoy it, and the world will be okay again.
It is amazing how life gets in the way – constantly, and if you’re not prepared for it, you will blame yourself for failings that are not there.
Find alternatives but make sure those alternatives are enjoyable or they may not work…
The lure of the pizza shop can be a strong incentive to beat.
Weapon #12: Send a Message
If you know a friend or relative is feeling down or is going through a rough time, chances are you would send them a message. Even if it’s just a short text to let them know you are there and to provide some words of comfort.
So why don’t you do that for yourself?
You know there will be times when you are going to struggle. You know there will be times when you will just want to give up. And you know that sometimes all you need is somebody to say…
‘it’s okay, I’m here and everything will be fine’.
Well you know what…? You have that somebody with you at all times, reminding you of why you’re doing this and being your very own cheerleader.
And best of all that somebody knows you inside and out, and knows exactly what to say to keep you going through the tough times…
That person is YOU.
In your journal, start to write down messages to yourself that you know will give you encouragement, for example:
‘Hey, it’s me. I know how you’re feeling and it’s okay because we knew it wouldn’t be easy but just remember all those things we want to do when we’re much slimmer, and the clothes…remember the clothes we want to wear…? I’m here for you to let you know you’re not alone and you can totally do this.’
‘Hey, it’s me. You will be fine and I am so proud of you. What you are feeling now is temporary – it will not last. Just ride it out, ignore it and think of all those things we are going to do when we have lost more weight. Keep on in there, I am here with you – every step of the way.’
And when you’re thinking of giving in, look back at those messages that you have written to yourself and know that the negative feelings will pass and your brain will be shifted.
You will then be able to rejoice in the most satisfying outcome of success that will last a lot longer, and be way more powerful than any temptation to jeopardise your diet, no matter how overwhelming it felt at the time.
Weapon #13: Accept Not Doing Everything Perfectly
There are so many tips, guidelines and advice about losing weight, it is easy to think we have to do them all if we want to see true success.
And we get bogged down, we get obsessed with doing things perfectly that we get discouraged, fed up and disheartened when we don’t.
It is always the same…
At the beginning of any diet, we do all the right things; from calorie counting and smaller portions, to drinking litres of water and visiting the gym three times a week.
We don’t sneak a cookie or use high fat dressings; everything is low calorie, low fat and low carbs.
And we RELY on the scales to reward us each and every week – with no option of failure.
But being perfect is hard and we start to slip-up…
The gym gets missed two weeks running and we’ve not had any water today.
There’s a discrepancy on the scales and we’re convinced it’s down to the extra helping of potatoes…
We feel like we are failing, and we start to convince ourselves that we will never succeed at losing what now seems to be a huge amount of weight.
It’s okay not to do everything perfectly…
- It doesn’t matter if we don’t have 8 glasses of water.
- It doesn’t matter if we had an extra helping of pasta on Tuesday.
- It doesn’t matter if we don’t work out.
- It doesn’t matter if we have the odd slip-up at the weekend.
- It doesn’t matter if we don’t do everything perfectly.
And it doesn’t matter if this week we put weight on.
Dr Ailis Brosnan, who specializes in diet philosophy advised that losing weight successfully is not about the ‘all or nothing’ mentality and had this to say ‘…the idea is to make as many healthy choices as you can. Start to see your efforts one decision at a time – if you don’t make a healthy choice for lunch, that’s okay, learn from it, move on and make a healthier choice for dinner.’
Concentrate on keeping going which is far more important than getting everything right.
Weapon #14: Go CAM (Complimentary Alternative Medicine)
Alternative therapy can be extremely powerful and it can be a huge advantage in your fight for positivity. Practising self-help can mean you have more control over what happens to you, and this brings confidence in tackling situations when they arise.
So be open-minded and up for trying new things because one of them might just be the weapon that works for you.
I am a great believer in hypnosis, as you will see from my earlier posts on losing weight with hypnosis. It is by no means a miracle cure; it just lends a helping hand so I can get over some of the challenges along the way. If you want some more information on hypnosis and my experience with it then head over to Hypnosis – Day One of my Journey.
Everybody I have ever spoken to who practices Yoga swears by it; it is a powerful technique for your mind, body and soul.
Yoga…when you stop living obsessively in your head and start identifying with the voice [in your head], positive change always follows – Jennifer Niles
Jennifer Niles over at Mindbodygreen says this about practising yoga ‘…you begin to realise that life has deeper meaning. You come to understand that destructive habits no longer serve your ultimate goal. This awakening directly affects weight loss because it encourages the elimination of unhealthy habits’.
Yoga transforms from the inside out so it tackles negativity from within and helps to focus your mind on what is more important to you and your well-being.
Hot on the heels of yoga is meditation. A powerful stress reliever; meditation calms the mind and allows better channeling to inner-peace, enabling you to focus on what is truly desired.
Our daily lives are constant triggers for stress and interestingly, EOC Institute explains that stress is one of the reasons our body produces extra cortisol. This chemical makes the body think something is on its way that will affect our food consumption, and the body protects us by storing fat!
By meditating we can help to clear the layers of worry, negativity and fear, which in turn reduces the body’s natural response of producing extra cortisol therefore releasing our fat stores.
Meditation: stress and negativity reliever = fat loss = PERFECT
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
EFT or Tapping is a great exercise to perfect as it’s an in-the-moment-as-you’re-having-it technique. A distraction method that uses pressure points on certain parts of your body, and in turn, changes the intensity of a feeling so you don’t act on it.
EFT was created by Gary Craig and on his retirement, he released EFT into the public domain. Further information can be found on his website at EmoFree.com, with instructions on how to use EFT at How To Do EFT. You can also download a free ebook at The Tapping Solution.
Researching the various areas of complimentary alternative medicine and learning them are further tactics to go into your journal…even more powerful weapons to help in your fight against negativity.
Move on to Part 4: Fighting Negativity
I would just like to declare that I am not a health professional and I don’t have all the answers…in fact these articles could be all gibberish and just mutterings from a desperate dieter! I am a firm believer though in the power of positive thinking, especially when we have to make changes we don’t really want to make. These articles are based on research I have done, as well as my own experiences; if they can be of any use to you on your journey, then they have been worth writing, and if not, well at least I finally got them off my chest…