How planning to change is really holding you back.
When it comes to making big changes in our life, especially when those changes have to do with food; it seems like there are always hidden pitfalls waiting to derail us given a chance.
One of the most common traps I see clients getting stuck in is the - I'll start tomorrow/Monday/next week/when my kids go back to school/when I get over this stressful period of my life - the list really is endless.
One of the biggest problems that this particular trap sets us up for is what I call the 'pre-famine feast mentality.'
It's like you are planning to go on a trip to a deserted island. In preparation for your trip, you attempt to binge and cram anything and everything in sight for fear of never having it again.
This idea and mental conditioning that in - X amount of days i’ll be starting my diet/entering restriction mode. And that as of that day, I'll no longer be able to have X, Y or Z. Sends our system into a panic as we prepare for all the things we will be missing out on.
What happens next is even worse.
Tell me if this sounds familiar
"since I'm going to be starting my diet on Monday - and I'm not going to be eating any junk food, only healthy food - and since this time is it! - I mean seriously it, for life - That means I am never gonna eat junk again - so since it's the weekend, I better go all out and have a huge goodbye feast, since it’s gonna be my last."
I can't tell you how many goodbye feasts/binge-fests I have had.
I would go all out, all weekend, full-on Mukbang style, before that was even a thing.
Caution to the wind, nothing was off-limits, and, it even became fun trying to see how much "naughty" food I could cram into me in one sitting.
All with the idea in my mind - that in just a few days, my binging ways would be a thing of the past. Soon I would be smooth sailing on my ship towards healthy island, never to look back again.
The sad thing is - that ship never reached its destination, and the journey was far from smooth. Usually, within just a few days, I had already fallen off the boat, and was back flailing around in deep water.
Shockingly, I would find myself back at it the following weekend. With hopes higher than every once again justifying the most outrageous food binges, all why saying to myself, this time is it.
It wasn't until years and pounds later that I finally realized how flawed my thinking was.
Telling yourself that you are about to lose something or give something up for good; only instinctively drives us to hold on to that thing even harder.
Knowing that you are never going to have that which you love ever again, makes you obsessed with getting as much in a possible before it’s gone.
Think of knowing the next time you see a close friend or loved one will be your last time with them. You would want to hold them close every minute of the day until the last second.
This is what happens when an alcoholic thinks about giving up liquor, or when a smoker thinks of never being able to light one up every again, or when a food addict thinks of never aging having a slice of cake.
Just like loved ones, we have formed close bonds with our addictions and love them, and how they make us feel. And just like with people, they can also hurt us and make us feel bad, but the loss of them still hurts.
As long as your perception focuses on the loss, you will never be able to break free.
One of my go-to sayings is "For now, not Forever" this saying works for many situations but is especially true in this instance.
When we remove the Foreverness out of the equation and only focus on the, For Now, we can make change possible without feeling like we are losing out.
When we say to ourselves just "For Now," just "For Today" I am going to eat fruit instead of candy, or I'm going to eat a homemade dinner instead of fast food. Making small individual changes instead of massive all or nothing changes make change more doable.
Perhaps "for today" is still too hard for you and if so that's ok and perfectly normal. In that case, say "for this hour I'm going to eat fruit if I'm hungry" and the next hour the same.
There is a reason the saying "one day at a time" exists.
Sometimes it's, “one hour at a time,” for those of you in particular hard places it might be “one minute at a time,” I know how that is, and I was once there too.
Focusing on "For Now" also helps you to become more mindful and aware of the present moment. It shifts you away from worrying about the future and helps ground your choices in the now.
After all, change doesn't happen overnight, it's not just a one-time thing you do and then Boom! Instant results.
It's a series and accumulation of thousands of tiny actions that add up to something big over time.
Lasting change is not about becoming perfect, or eating perfectly every day, but rather about making the best choices you can make for your health moment by moment throughout the day/week/month/year.
Start today by taking small actions steps throughout the day. Aim to make the best choices the opportunity to make a new choice.
I can't stress enough how important it is to find support on this journey of yours.
Surrounding yourself with others that understand and or have been where you are; can be comforting and inspiring in times of need.
This is why I created the Food Over Mood Facebook group, and I encourage you to join and be apart of a heart-centered support group for women just like yourself that struggle with weight loss, emotional eating, and food addiction.
If you are looking to take the next step in your journey and want to know more about how coaching can help fast track you towards ultimate food freedom; Click here to learn more.
I love hearing from you, leave a comment down below or feel free to get in touch.
Love and wellness