March 2, 2012 by Inspired
(For back ground on what we are working on here, check out Guilt Gain, the previous post. Here’s a quick summary:
Guilt gain is weight acquired through the vicious cycle of being ‘bad’, feeling bad for being ‘bad’, then being actually bad and over-indulging in serotonin laced ‘comfort food’, self-degradation and—you guessed it—guilt.)
Forgive—but don’t forget.
This is the hardest step, and it may take a few times of trying to actually accomplish. This is where you forgive all past transgression, and realize that; yes, it is worth continuously trying; no, it is not complete and utter failure because of lack of success in the past, think of it as a learning experience; and finally there is no last chance, every day is a new day, every new hour is a new hour, every moment a new moment to make better choices that positively effect life, just because one makes one bad decision does not mean DOOOOM.
The *Start* Button.
Realize there isn’t really a *restart* button, if there was then I would be 135lbs and 22 years old -.^
But there is a brilliant, big red, action getting *Start* button. Which is awesome, because a *restart* button would mean there was nothing learned from past actions—this was the most recent “duh” moment for me. So have that *Start* button ready to go and…
Here is the fun part, where you can imagine yourself anyway you want to be. You have a lifetime to get there, whether you are starting at 18 or 90, there is always still time. It may take longer to see the fruits of labor the older you are, but the opportunities are still there—you may just have to add a few steps to accomplish the same goal.
What is your “perfect” self like? (Go into as much detail as you like, many of the strategies below can be applied to different aspects of improving one’s life. ^.^) Where are you now in comparison to where you want to be? (Scary, but think of it as aspiration, not an overwhelming statement—you have the time, these are life changes.)
Celebrate the large and small victories.
Every victory is just that—a victory. Enjoy it, remember it, use it. How you may ask? When you are having negative reactions, feeling depressed or overwhelmed…whenever, whatever may be getting you down; remember the victories and know that you can do it an step forward from that step back.
The Current Situation.
Figuring out where you are now, and how you got there, are keys to helping develop a well laid plan. A quick note: Do not use the following to derail you before you have begun, this is just to help you begin your new lifestyle; not to make you feel guilty about the past or procrastinate on planning the future. We’re here, and now; not much to be done about what has (or has not) happened in the past, but there is plenty to be done and planned for the future. Let this be empowering and a way to better understand yourself. ^.^
Here are some suggestions to get started.
#1, decide on something you can do right now—then start planning
(It may help to do a health journal for 3-14 days to really define the things here.)
- Identify past patterns, positive and negative. More specific the better. (Example: I tend to eat when I’ve had an especially bad day at work. or At 3pm I always go for a snack, usually salty and sweet.)
- List things, people, places that make you feel BAD about yourself; and even better yet how to start avoiding them. Learn tactics to reduce these negative impacts, it’s worth it—though sometimes it may be hard. (Example: Dramas tend to make me upset and act out for the rest of the day. or Anytime I’m around my aunt she mentions my weight.)
- List things, people, places that make you feel GOOD about yourself; this will be your arsenal against negative situations, feelings and guilt. (Example: I love the way my muscles feel toned after a good workout. or When I finish something on my to-do list I feel accomplishment.)
- Things that derail/hamper your forward progress. (Example: If I don’t work out in the morning I don’t workout. or I tend to get sick a lot.)
- Identify your reason(s) for wanting to change. (Hint, at least one of these reason should be for YOU -.^) (Example: I want to feel good in my clothes. or I want to be healthy so I can keep up with my family as we grow.)
- Take it in small, incremental steps that you write out. (Example: I will drink 2 glasses of water every day this week, 3 glasses of water next week…)
- Replacement therapy, get something ‘good for you’ to replace ‘bad habits’; stay aware and try to substitute as much as possible. (Example: knitting to keep you hands busy at night instead of snacking while watching tv or splitting a meal at a restaurant instead of eating a full plate.)
- Develop a mantra, have it mean something significant. Use this mantra for inspiration, contemplation and motivation. (Example: I will be healthy or mmmmmmmmmmmmm)
- Give yourself time. Commonly I have read that lasting weight loss is at an average of 1-2lbs a week. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but at 2lbs a week, that’s 104lbs a year. That. Is. Awesome. ALSO, to change a habit takes 3-9 weeks depending on how engrained the habit is. (Here is a great article on Breaking Bad Habits and Developing Good Habits from pickthebrain.com)
- (I’m assuming starting from the a ‘bad’ scenario—me.)
Rewards & inspirations, things you know will help you to stay on track in developing new habits. Whether it is a trip to the spa, trying to get pregnant, being able to go on a roller coaster, joining a sport, running a marathon—define things that will help you when it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, and make sure there is more than one inspiration. Why? Because this is intended to be a lifestyle change, and lifestyle changes do not have expiration dates. Made it into that dress? Wonderful! Congrats! Now keep it up so that you can go kayaking next month with your honey or play games in the yard with the kids. Also, it helps if you write it down and keep the reminder nearby; in your purse, wallet, by the nightstand, wherever you will see it as a constant reminder.
Good travels on your way to a healthier, less guilt ridden life ^.^
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