I get so much inspiration from the emails you send me each week--detailing how you kicked the Mouth Monster's butt, how you struggle at 3:00pm and how wonderfully you are succeeding. It's so motivational!
When are you most likely to fail? If you are anything like Robin and I, the possibility of making bad decisions seems to pop up at the most inconvenient times. Coincidence? I think not. Here's more from Robin directly.
The other day, my weight-watching colleague said to me, "I'm so angry at myself. Last night I had a donut at 10:30! It wasn't even all that good." I've been there, too--feeling bored, tired, anxious, etc. And what do we do? Reach for something to eat. The urge can be so instinctive, you may not even realize what's happening, but pretty soon you're in front of the cabinet, looking for the snacks you seem to always turn to.
To be successful at weight loss, you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it's worth pondering--what role does food play in our lives, beyond appetite? Do you get up and walk over to the kitchen at work when you want to avoid doing a particular task, or break up a particularly monotonous day? Does something feel "off" when you watch tv in the evening without a bowl of popcorn or pretzels?
These are examples of the little bits of discomfort we feel every day, when we aren't experiencing any strong emotion or life change, but when food just sort of sounds like a good idea. To go without the bag of Sunchips, or handful of pretzels, or midday Starbucks run, can take time to adjust to. You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You're re-learning how to sit with yourself, to deal with whatever it is right in front of you that food typically would distract you from. Ask yourself--am I reaching for this food because I'm genuinely hungry? Or am I bored, tired, or trying to distract myself from something else? Sitting with your own thoughts, and really figuring out what's going on, can be uncomfortable. But over time, you'll get used to it and a new, confident feeling will replace the out-of-sorts feeling that comes with starting a weight loss plan.
So what can you do, besides give into the uncomfortable feelings and munch your way to bliss?
Drink Something! Try water, tea, coffee, or seltzer. Try to avoid sugary drinks! Sometimes at work, I just want to get up out of my seat for a change of pace. Walking over to the water cooler, filling up my Bubba and a few moments of chit chat with a colleague can scratch the itch that food typically would provide. Nine times out of ten, you're just thirsty anyway.
Challenge yourself to move! We all may hate exercise, but a quick walk around the block/building can provide a change of pace and a quick break from a monotonous day. Use your wearable tech or an app on your phone to count your steps. Even better, challenge your work bestie to try to out-step you. You'll be marching in place for bragging rights before you know it!
Acknowledge that this isn't fun. I get it. Going without the things you typically enjoy, changing habits, and having to sit with yourself and your emotions aren't fun or easy. There's a reason we eat (and overeat), and that's because it feels good. We don't do anything in life unless there is a payoff, plain and simple. Remind yourself that this is hard now, but you'll be so proud when you step on the scale the next week and see positive progress! Eventually, you'll gain happiness from opting out of the cheese and crackers at a networking event. Or maybe you'll be proud when you get up from the couch and realize you don't have to brush pretzel crumbs off your shirt. Take your victories where you can!
It's going to take a while for the love of instant gratification to be replaced by the joy of a long-term victory. Working on being comfortable with being uncomfortable is all part of the process. You got this!
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