You know you want to get rid of that pesky cushion around the real you. You’re certain of it. Maybe you’ve done it before and somewhere in your mind, you know it’s possible. But it’s not happening. Why? Here are five ways you may be sabotaging yourself and keeping yourself from reaching your goals.
1) Skipping breakfast. Somewhere in your mind it may make sense that if you eat later, you’ll eat less. But breakfast gets your metabolism rolling and working for you. If you skip it, you handicap that process, and can cause lasting damage there.
2) Rewarding yourself with food. I made it through a really stressful week. I deserve something sweet. I finished all my dinner. Here’s a bottle to calm you down(little kid bottle with a nipple, later big kid bottle with a cork.) These messages shoot at us before we can even talk. Food as reward. It’s imprinted on our souls. But it’s just food. If you can get it back into the “fuel” category and out of the “feel” category, you will have a much smoother time getting to and staying in your healthy weight range.
3) Fat suit as protection. I have been told by therapist friends that victims of childhood sexual abuse will often make themselves as unattractive as possible (subconsciously, of course) as a defense mechanism against unwanted attention. Sometimes we use weight this way as well. We know that when we are slimmer we will have to put up with cat calls and whistles (figuratively–or maybe sometimes literally) because that’s what our culture values. Maybe we don’t feel like dealing with that. I often wonder if we lived in that culture where obesity is believed beautiful (and it didn’t kill you), if the reverse would happen.
4) Going on autopilot. If you know that every Friday comes and you want a cocktail, chances are this Friday will be no different. If you know that after every dinner, you want dessert, chances are you are going to want dessert the next dinner. Many habits are imprinted in us Pavlovian-style when it comes to food. I can’t drive into Los Angeles to this day without thinking of all the eateries that have so many feelings attached to them from Crustaceon in Beverly Hills to The Spot in Hermosa Beach. With food, this mindless approach can carry a high cost. We must remain mindful of our patterns.
5) Waiting too long between fuelings. The easiest time to make poor choices is when you’re too hungry. If you sk ip meals (like just about every middle grader I know), you learn the pattern of overeating and storing fat. You confuse your metabolism. It follows, then, that if you can keep yourself from getting hungry, you will make better choices. Keep snacks nearby and eat every 3 -4 hours if you are maintaining or 2-3 if you are losing. Be mindful of the amount you are eating since you are eating more frequently than the faulty 3 squares a day model.
One effective way to get to the bottom of your patterns is to journal. Write down your stuff. Figure out what you’re doing. Then be honest with yourself and decide what’s most important to you and what you’re going to do about it.