Monday, February 27, 2012
It is so easy, sometimes, to use absolutes - particularly ALWAYS and NEVER. I can't say that I never say never, but I do try very hard to avoid it.
One example? I really really dislike fish or any form of seafood. (Well, technically I do eat tuna / albacore, but that's it.) I dislike liver. I dislike brussels sprouts and cauliflower and lima beans.
Will I say that I would NEVER eat any of those? No. If I had a choice between starving and eating something that would normally be a no-go for me, I'd eat. I might not look delighted, but I would eat. I'm not sure if there's any edible item out there that I would absolutely refuse to eat if the circumstances were dire enough.
The words ALWAYS and NEVER often concern me when I see them used with respect to health, fitness and weight loss. There really isn't much place for ALWAYS and NEVER in a lifestyle change. ALWAYS and NEVER depend on things not changing, so change is in direct opposition to them.
"I ALWAYS give up around this point."
Okay, so? This time is a new time. Don't give up and you can immediately say you didn't give up around this point.
"I ALWAYS blow my diet on the weekends or in the evenings."
Are you sure? Can you go back and prove that every single evening and weekend have involved excess eating? Even IF you can, this time is a new time. Make this ONE weekend or evening not a blown evening and poof, the ALWAYS is defeated.
"I'll NEVER get this weight off."
So ... if you start to lose, you'll be wrong. Since internally we know that being wrong is bad (if not deadly), we're now likely to unconsciously sabotage ourself. That just sets us up to fight our own best efforts.
"I'm NEVER able to stop my bingeing or emotional eating"
This one is kind of interesting, actually. How likely are we to remember the times we overcame an urge to binge or eat because of overpowering emotions? If we didn't do so, it isn't going to be remembered. There's such an interesting way that our minds remember a few key episodes (probably the worst ones mixed with the most recent ones) rather than all the potential situations and a ratio of times we didn't to times we did, not to mention a comparison of really bad to not so bad.
If there's a trigger food, try thinking back and see if there has ever been a time you didn't binge around that food. Or recruit someone to help you by providing a single serving or less of that food and be there for you to prevent that expanding into more. Bingo, now you've stopped one binge (with help) and proven it can be done. Similarly, with emotional eating, try to think of times you've felt particularly strong emotions and done something other than eat. Crying until you felt sick? Screaming at the top of your lungs? Curling up under the blankets? If even once you've responded to that emotion without eating, then NEVER isn't the right word.
Instead of ALWAYS or NEVER, try to put things in a past tense (that acknowledges the frequency without claiming the absolute) and a present to future tense (that expects improvement over time).
I've often had trouble keeping myself motivated at certain milestones, but I'm almost to this one and I know I can keep going. I look forward to beating more of these milestones.
I'm slowly gaining more control of my binges. With my best friend's help, I was able to limit myself to one bag of chips. I look forward to being able to enjoy a single serving and actually appreciate the flavor.