Never let a hot dog dictate your mood!
Its good advice…you know it is!
There might be some as yet undefined circumstances where a person’s mood can be profoundly effected by a sausage inna bun* but in general, no.
Ok this post isn’t just an elaborate ruse to get (yet another) discworld reference in, I promise! I do have a point.
Recently I have been attempting, as Granny Weatherwax would say, to get my mind right. I have been concentrating on the small choices and the small changes (by small…I don not mean easy, but I’ll get to that). I have been involved in a project called Project Love run by one of the trainers at the gym (Donna, she is lovely!)
This is a different king of challenge to the crazy all out madness plans I was following before Christmas, this is a much more balanced approach. By the end of it I should have a set of tools (mental ones…not hammers and screwdrivers) which will allow me to make good choices for myself, and to accept myself and my bad choices without letting it spiral into a pit of chocolate fueled craziness…
I am having to relearn these things as in the first few years of this project, I managed to get myself into a mindset (more or less) where I was capable of making sensible decisions and accepting (even liking) myself for who I was. Recently however I have lost the belief in myself. I have restarted and rebooted trying to get back to where I was, but mostly been concentrating on the physical side of things. Signing up for kickstarts and crazy challenges because they were easy… not physically easy, but they gave me a meal plan and a lot of exercise to throw myself into, so I didn’t actually have to think…
Don’t get me wrong, these have their place, and they have helped me come around to here where I am addressing the mental aspects of things too 🙂
I have been challenged to consider why I am overeating again, why I have fallen back into old habits. More than that I have been challenged to stop beating myself up for falling back, but to accept that it happened, try to figure out why and to move on. (spoiler…I have been emotionally eating for a while in the hopes it makes my anxiety go away…it doesn’t)
It made me realise I had spiraled back around to some of the negative mindsets I had managed to leave behind a few years ago. I was constantly telling myself I was fat and stupid, and had ruined all the hard work I had put in. I honestly believed I was a rapidly atrophying lump who was barely capable of moving any more.
(yes I know I was moving and actually proving myself wrong, but I couldn’t see it!)
I am just starting week three of the project and I thought it was a good time to share some things I have realised (or remembered)
Regaining a positive mindset has to be active.
You can’t just continue telling yourself how stupid you are, how badly you are messing everything up and how broken you are and expect to wake up one day and not believe yourself. You have to challenge those thoughts when they arrive and actively remember to tell yourself positive things instead. Speak to yourself the same way you would speak to other people. I would never tell someone else they were stupid for eating chocolate, I would never believe it of someone else so why is it ok for me to say it and believe it about me?
One bad food choice is not a reason to sit in a puddle of guilt and definitely shouldn’t effect the next food choice.
There is no way in the world that anyone can make perfect, nutritionally wonderful food choices all the time. I make more than my fair share of terrible ones at times, but I had got into the habit of letting the choices I was making dictate my mood. My mood in turn dictated my food choices and there I was bang in the middle of a comfort eating cycle.
It is important to (attempt to) disassociate food from mood. An unhealthy breakfast or lunch doesn’t mean all the food that day should be unhealthy. An unhealthy meal does not mean you have to feel miserable and guilty, one bad choice will not ruin everything. Just move on and make a different choice next time 🙂 It is important to actually make choices too, each meal/snack should be considered and eaten consciously rather than absent mindedly scoffed without appreciating it or even noticing! Doing this makes you realise why you are really eating and makes healthy choices easier to make!
Trust that you can have one biscuit without eating the whole packet. It is a choice not a reflex. If you don’t trust in your own ability to control the biscuit eating impulse or the snacking impulse then you will never actually control it. I have to trust myself to make good decisions most of the time. Not trusting myself leads to restrictions and that leads to bad eating patterns!
Its not just food either, I have realised I have lost the trust in my body I used to have. When faced with a new exercise or movement my first reaction is doubt. I need to relearn to trust that I can move!
Trust and believe in yourself. (thanks Shaun T)
I am the only person who can make a change in my own behaviour and I am perfectly capable of doing it. What is more, I am already a person worth believing in. I am strong and capable and my eating habits do not define me! That seems like an odd thing to say, but I had forgotten that somewhere along the line. I post about being unstoppable…It is time to believe my own hype!