One day you wake up and decide that this is it – you are TIRED of being overweight, of overeating, of making food choices that make you feel awful and you’re going to fix it NOW.
You are rolling with enthusiasm. You want to get started immediately and you want results yesterday. You decide that the only way for you to keep momentum is to go ALL in. You will eat as cleanly as possible, as strictly as possible and work out as hard and as often as you can.
Sounds like a recipe for success, right?
All goes well for a bit. The first couple of days are hard but you know it will get easier as soon as you see results! The scale goes down a bit, but you’re so hungry you can’t stop thinking about food and you don’t really have enough energy to do the workouts that you planned to do.
Pretty soon you are so frustrated that you find yourself ordering a pizza and eating almost the whole thing by yourself. And too bloated the next morning to workout. And too ashamed to eat the light breakfast you planned so you hit a drive-thru on your way to work. And it goes downhill from there.
What started off strong and ambitious, screeched to a halt when the progress you made didn’t match up with your expectations. The effort you were putting in didn’t feel equal to the results you were getting back.
You feel like a failure but you are not a failure, it’s just that the way you went about it failed. There are 1000 ways to do everything and the surefire way to fail at weight loss, changing your relationship with food or any habit change is to go at it with extremes.
When we attack life changes with gusto, a part of us feels like we can get from A to Z faster that way. If we go at it hard, fast and ferociously – totally committed, we’ll have faster results. We think we can skip over B, C, D etc and still make it to Z.
But we can’t do that.
If it took you 10 years to gain 50 lbs, it won’t come off in two weeks. If you are a decade in to an overeating or bingeing struggle, you won’t be able to reverse it in a month. If you’ve been running away from your feelings your entire life, you can’t expect it to be easy after trying it once or twice.
If we want to reach point Z, the end goal . . .we have to be willing to tackle all the steps in between. We have to do the work, all of it. There is no skipping over any of it.
We want to, but we can’t.
Every time we try to go at these changes hard, we’re attempting to skip over some of the hard parts. We know this is true, because our intention is to use whatever momentum and enthusiasm we have in the beginning to propel us forward as fast as possible. Otherwise, there would be no rush. But we know (from past experiences) that our enthusiasm will fizzle when stuff gets hard – and so we think we are doing ourselves a favor by moving quickly in the beginning.
You’ll get no judgement from me on this. I know exactly what that feels like. I can’t tell you how many times I got pumped up researching and planning how I’d lose the weight finally “this time” and how urgent I had to get started. That urge to fix stuff RIGHT NOW. That feeling of disgust that we feel when an item of clothing doesn’t fit the way it should. The way you wish you could snap your fingers and be the person you want to be. It feels overwhelming – like there is a massive, crushing weight holding us back from experiencing life the way we want to.
The reason we feel a crushing weight holding us back is because of our own resistance to feeling things as they unfold. The more we push away and resist, the heavier it feels.
Just like we’re uncomfortable with feeling our uncomfortable feelings in our day to day life, we’re also uncomfortable with change, with being present and with not being in control.
Change is hard. Being present is hard. Not being in control can feel hard if you’re used to holding tightly to it. But if it was all easy, would the reward be as great? Probably not.
If you seriously want to make it from A to Z, take your time. Be patient. Experience each step along the way fully. Resist the urge to rush it.
Habit change takes time and the body takes time to adapt and change. No one goes to the gym once and comes out with a fit body. It takes a long time, a lot of commitment and showing up daily. Why not settle in and make changes in a way that you can sustain long term? Not only are you more likely to make it to your goal (there is nothing to fizzle out when you’re not running on momentum alone) it will also be less painful getting there.
As a side note, something awesome that happens when you submit fully to each step in the process of changing your eating habits is that over time, your daily thoughts become less about your weight, food, and your relationship with it and more about living your life. You start to find yourself choosing food and enjoying it with less drama, less stress. Your weight becomes more stable. Periods of overeating become less frequent and less severe. You judge yourself less. It really does become less of a big deal. So yeah, it takes more time and it’s not sexy going slow, but it’s so much more worth it!
Listen to your intuition. You already know what to eat and that you should get some physical activity regularly. You have the knowledge. You do not need another quick fix or another 21 day weight loss program. What you do need is to learn the lifelong skills and habits you will need to eat the way your body needs you to and practice them. Daily.
I know you can reach your goals. You can lose the weight you’ve put on. You can stop overeating so often. You can have a healthier relationship with food. It doesn’t have to be such a rush.
Will you do all the work it takes day by day?
Can you settle in and not skip over steps along the way?
What can you do today that will gently push you closer to your goal?
What will you do tomorrow to continue moving toward it kindly and sustainably?
Who in your life can support you in making these changes slowly?
Could you use some support in this area? Schedule a free consult with me here.
You can also download a free copy of Healthy Eating Shouldn‘t Be a Workout: Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living (includes recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways to save money and more!). It’s my starter tool pack for those who want to begin changing their relationship with food. One of the recipes you’ll get in that download is my Mango Mandarin Green Smoothie (below) which is full of Vitamins A & C, potassium and iron. And it’s delicious!