As opposed to common believe, “We seldom react to the world; Instead, we often react to our perception of the world.” If your perception is that weight management is impossible then guess what, it will be impossible! Half the battle is won or lost in the head. Read on to find out how to police your mind and win.
First and foremost, do you adopt an ALL or NOTHING view to your weight management endeavour? Do you have the tendency to view things in extreme black or white terms? Is your day either very good or disastrous? Are you either in control or way out of control? Are your foods either dangerous or safe? Are your friends either wonderful or horrible beyond description? Do you often find yourself either in a state of glee or utter depression? Police those thoughts as they are very good signs of your mental health. The better your mental state the less extreme your perception of the world will be.
Black or white thinking leads people to totally abandon control after the slightest dietary transgression. Check your thoughts after you help yourself to a piece of pie after dinner. What do you say to yourself? If you find yourself engaging in the following internal dialogue, “Heck, I have blown it. I might as well eat the whole pie now. Who cares… besides life is too short.” Let’s get a grip and have a more objective view of what just happened. Okay, you had dinner and ate a piece of pie. There is no emotion attached to this action by itself. The emotion arises as a result of the MEANING you gave to the action. You made it mean that ALL WAS LOST BECAUSE YOU ATE A PIECE OF PIE! Objectively speaking, was ALL lost because of a measly piece of pie? The answer is of course a resounding NO! This sort of ludicrously distorted self talk is what will derail your weight lost endeavours over and over again and condemn you to serial failures. These failures will strengthen your view that losing weight is impossible. Unfortunately, you will have to learn this lesson repeatedly until you get it. Just think of the movie “Ground Hog Day.”
There are no easy solutions to thought distortions as we naturally collapse an event with the meaning given to an event. Being able to distinguish the two is the first step to reclaiming your power. Next, learn to slow down, be an observer and police your thoughts, you will naturally raise your awareness. Increased awareness will reduce distortion of reality. Reduced distortion will lead to less extreme thought patterns.
Be very gentle with yourself and accept that ambivalence and lapses are natural parts of the process of change. View your lapse as an attempt to move in the right direction and give yourself a pat on the back. Then get back on track and steadfastly learn to walk the middle path.