Often when people make a change in diet or exercise, it’s been a long-time coming, but it’s usually prompted quickly by a frustrating, painful, or shameful experience.
You may be putting on work clothes and trying everything on to finally acknowledge nothing fits you right. The clothes, turned inside-out on the floor and the bed, are evidence. You can’t go on with how you’ve been living.
You may get home from an evening out to dinner. You ate every course — drinks, appetizers, salad, main course, dessert. Now you’re home and looking at your stomach, bloated from all the food. You strip down to change for bed, looking disgustingly at your stomach. You knew you weren’t hungry for most of that food but you ate it anyway.
Or you may find yourself so busy that you are eating everything on-the-go, in the car, at the counter, and in front of the television. You wonder how you got so busy that you don’t have time to eat a meal slowly and consciously.
You’re not alone. Nearly everyone presses the re-start button many, many times. And they do it because they’re frustrated with themselves…. many, many times.
I’ve learned something super important from hundreds of conversations, and from my own experience. When you immediately launch from “frustration” into making a plan to get in shape, you are missing two big things.
Many of you know that I’ve lost 80 pounds and kept it off, without ever being on a diet. I never re-gained any weight through the process. It’s been 14 years since I hit rock bottom, and I continue to improve in mind, body and spirit. How many people do you know that have done this? Here are two things I continuously do before I press re-start.
Forgiveness is HUGELY important to healing any issue that you’d like to be done with. You simply cannot go from frustration right into behavior change without self-forgiveness, and expect to be a brand new person. I learned this a long time ago and attribute it to why I keep my body looking and feeling wonderful. I’m not perfect. I have episodes, as I call them, of eating “not right.” They are way shorter than years ago, and way less self-sabotaging. But even if it’s some ice cream and cheese that makes me feel like crap over a few days, I still go through self-forgiveness.
The “process” of self-forgiveness isn’t time-consuming at all. It does require you to be still and present with yourself, though. Find a quiet space, put on something comfortable, put your hand on your heart, and ask yourself for forgiveness for how you’ve been treating yourself. Tell yourself you’ve been doing the best you can. In this moment, you know better and you’ll promise to do your best again. Self-forgiveness allows you to stop beating yourself up. I’ve been reading “Wings of Forgiveness” by Kyle Gray. It’s an easy read with short prayers to ask for healing.
Before fixing your frustration with a new plan right away, you’ve got to reflect on some things. Choose your most destructive behavior and ask yourself why you’ve been doing it. It could be an easy one, like hardly drinking any water. It could be harder, like a sugar addiction. In most sugar addict cases (and I was one of them), there’s a physiological addiction in the body, but it is NOT the reason or an excuse. Don’t blame your body. Most likely, you’re unhappy. Most likely, you don’t have enough play, pleasure, joy and lightheartedness in your life. You’ve been turning to sweets to make life sweet.
Reflection allows opportunity for “AHA” moments.
Forgiveness and reflection both put you back in your heart-space, the space of your true personal power and wisdom. Allow yourself self-forgiveness and reflection before you jump into a diet, program or plan.
Here is more insight about how I lost all the weight without a diet, and kept it off.
Here is how you can work with me, so I can guide you to feel better in your body.
Sending you courage!