If your luggage wasn’t the only thing that came back heavier from your Christmas holiday then you are not alone.
Many of my clients have come back from their holiday having put on a few pounds. We all know logically that this should not impact on our life but when we suffer with low self-esteem and poor body image, then putting on a few pounds starts to feel like a very big deal. We tell ourselves we have lost control and that we will never get this food thing 'sorted'.
But the thing is I disagree. There is always a way.
First let me explain the truth about putting on a few pounds. No one is going to love you any less, you are not going to lose your job or your house and the world is not going to end. It's highly likely that no one has even noticed your weight gain and your jeans being a little tight doesn’t mean that you are awful, weak-willed or pathetic.
When I ask my clients’ the question ‘What are you saying to yourself about this extra weight?’ I am hearing some pretty mean replies. They range from ‘I have really let myself go’ or ‘I can’t believe I have got so fat’ or ‘I am totally out of control’ to even worse; ‘I am disgusting’.
It makes me wince.
Because talking to yourself like is mean. Like really, really mean.
And you know what. It gets you no closer to your desired outcome. Result NIL.
The cycle is vicious.
We look at our bodies, choose nasty thoughts and in turn we generate feelings like anger, worthlessness, disappointment or hopeless. These feelings generate actions (of guess what) eating more food to solve our negative feelings and our outcome, yep, you know how it rolls, we just get bigger.
Enter, emotional eating…
We then decide to go on a ‘diet’ but we KNOW it will not work in the long term (and that this will perpetuate the cycle all over again) but we do it anyway.
We survive a few days on salad and water or protein only but then guess what.
We fall off our unsustainable wagon and head into the apple crumble shared over a night out with friends that was meant to be, um, shared…
But that’s ok because tomorrow you will start the diet again.
But that’s not ok because the diet wagon just doesn’t work.
You see, diet thinking is misled thinking. Take it out your mind.
Try a different way.
The first step in helping yourself out of this negative emotional eating cycle is to change your negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk like the stuff people are bringing into my office does not make anyone thin (or happy). If that were the case, you would already be thin (but probably not very happy).
So if being mean to you hasn’t worked, or got you thin, you have to start to think differently.
First off promise yourself you will not go on some crazy diet, go mental at the gym, and begin the Insanity Workout twice a day or only juice apples and carrots for the next 10 days.
Anything negative is not a sustainable answer.
Second, how about you try this radical piece of advice…
Live each day working on the basis that you will treat yourself with love and respect. You will be kind to you and choose thoughts that generate good feelings.
Remember that learning how to eat normally is not defined by what you eat, has nothing to do with ‘actions’ and is instead defined by how you think and in turn, how you feel about yourself.
You gotta get the thoughts right FIRST.
Trust me when I say that when your THOUGHTS are right the rest just follows and you know what…
That apple crumble just won’t look so exciting after all.