I’ve been amazed at how many people identify with me on the emotional eating front – especially among people who, like me, have to juggle a lot of balls and spin a lot of plates to keep everything ticking along.
It’s one of those things most of us have done at some point – landing face first into a bowl of ice cream/chips/cookies/all of the above(!) as a comfort mechanism. But curbing that can be really hard when you’re new to health and fitness – especially if you’re viewing it as a diet, rather than a lifestyle change (and if you’re doing that, allow me to direct you here for a few reasons why that won’t work.) The notion of dieting relies on the idea that it’s a temporary state to get you where you want to be, at which point you go back to normal – and gain back the weight plus interest.
You have to make permanent changes to your life to lose the weight and keep it off – and a huge part of that relies on your emotional and psychological attitude and strength. A lot of us who are or have been overweight are a little weaker on this front than others anyway, because (in my experience, at least) we’re uncomfortable in our skin – and years of fat-shaming in the media and society don’t help that one bit. So if you’re going to make changes that last, you need to bulk up on the emotional reserves and shore up the defences – and the way to do that is by talking to yourself.
“She’s finally cracked,” I hear you cry.
But no – I’m a big believer in the fact that you can talk yourself in and out of a positive mindset. Just last week before I had my weigh in, I was having a total fat day. I felt bloated, tired and frankly a bit stroppy – and I was beating myself up. The day after, having had a really good result, I was walking around thinking I was the godess lovechild of Christina Hendricks and Beyonce. It’s all psychological.
So what do you say to yourself? How do you keep the big fat wolf from the door?
That all depends on where you are on your own personal journey. You might need to spend some time just looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding what’s gorgeous about you – because there’s definitely at least one thing that makes you amazing. At least.
Or, you might need to address what you’ve been ignoring for however long it’s been – because I know all too well that it’s really easy to kid yourself about how many pounds you’ve gained, just as easily as you can pretend that you DEFINITELY DID NOT EAT AN ENTIRE BOX OF MINI DOUGHNUTS LAST WEEK WHEN YOU WERE FEELING A BIT HORMONAL. Yeah. I’m familiar with that one too.
And it’s fine to not be totally happy at first. It’s not supposed to be easy, and sometimes, being a bit down is good – after all, didn’t Gandhi say something like “healthy discontent is the prelude to progress“? I’m aware I’ve taken that completely out of context – but let’s face it, he’s bang on the money.
Anyway, wherever you’re starting from, it’s important to start that process of engaging yourself fully in the process of changing your life. They don’t say “mind over matter” for nothing, you know. But you shouldn’t feel like you need to go at it completely alone – nope, you have to equip yourself for this sort of battle. With tools and stuff.
So I’d suggest keeping some mantras at the ready, and focusing on them when you’re feeling a bit tender. You can even use them at the start of the day to really help you focus and stay on track, if you think it might help. These are just my suggestions – feel free to create your own too!
I’m really lucky to be as healthy as I am.
I think I’ve said what I need to say on this subject here – but it’s always important to bear in mind that there’s no doubt somebody else worse off than you. So make the most of every moment.
I’m stronger than I was yesterday, and I’ll be even stronger tomorrow.
Building up will power is a learning curve – and like anything, the more you practice, the easier it’ll get. For that reason, every day you spend making positive changes will make it easier in future – so stick with it!
It doesn’t matter if I trip up – so long as I get up again.
One bad meal, one extra treat, whatever – these things aren’t going to destroy your fitness efforts unless you let them. We all have to have a break from time to time – God knows I can still inhale chocolate when the occasion calls for it – but using a treat as an excuse to ruin your entire day/week/month/life… I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t fly here. No way. So don’t even consider it.
I deserve to be happy – and I can create my own happiness.
I’m a big believer in this. You don’t need to rely on anyone or anything else to be happy – and if you try to do so before you’re happy with yourself, it just won’t work. Getting to know, respect, and be happy with yourself is an important process, and one that most of us don’t find time to do – but if you’re investing the time in getting healthy and improving your life, you might as well incorporate this too. Because more happiness = less emotional eating. Which will, itself, lead to more happiness.