NOTE: I found this article at PSYCHOLOGY TODAY & wanted to share it (I posted the Resource link at the bottom of my blog):
Stop Fooling Yourself about Weight Loss!!!
There is a parallel with overeating. Delaying is easier than the hard work of developing healthy new eating habits.
If you have a negative eating habit you can find corresponding negative habits of the mind, emotions, and behavior.
1. You have a negative habit of the MIND when you dwell on food. This habit may include CONNING YOURSELF into thinking that if you allow yourself one last binge, you'll be good forever. Then, you repeat the con later.
2. EMOTIONAL HABITS involve caving into fattening food cravings without reasoning. You THINK you've got to consume that candy bar. You THINK you need it right now. You meander to your candy shelf and eat even when you are not hungry. Do you have a choice?
3. BEHAVIOR HABITS are programmed activities where you follow an eating routine as though you had no other choice. You eat your regular meals and snack through the day. You refuse to pass your favorite donut shop without getting an extra snack. While there, you add extra cream and sugar to the several cups of coffee you drink.
EACH PHASE OF A NEGATIVE EATING HABIT REINFORCES THE OTHER. Your mind is swirling with tension. You eat to calm down. Your eating is now on AUTOMATIC PILOT. This distraction feels temporarily relieving and reinforces eating when tense. This reward has a chemical and muscular phase that is driven by your lower mental processes. However, if you know what you are up against,
-- You can make enlightened choices.
-- You can decide to execute the choice.
-- You can do what you decide.
Without some restraint you will not get very far. However, a reliance on restraint--particularly the white-knuckle variety--can lead to disappointing results. By putting your hope on this approach, you really haven't done much to break a complex habit of consumption.
Millions delude themselves into thinking that white-knuckling is the quickest and easiest solution. For most, this is not an effective solution.
Eating temptations will accompany you throughout your life. When white knuckling doesn't work for you, here are two alternatives.
1. Rather than looking at restraint as a one-time event, LOOK AT "CHANGE" AS A PROCESS OF IMPROVING . By improving over time, you'll relapse less.
2. Allow yourself to experience spontaneous eating urges and make note of them when they occur. Pay attention to how long it takes to live past the urge without acting on it. Repeat this experiment seven times. Average the duration for the urges. This gives you a measure of time between when the urge starts and wanes. BY OBSERVING YOUR FOOD URGES, YOU MAY CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ABOUT THEM. You can consciously show yourself that you CAN live past the urge. This may work better for you than white-knuckling.
YOU MUST BEAT THE INNER CON-ARTIST!!!
You must eat and drink to live. Saying you have a consumption drive for food and water is reality. But when you develop craving for fattening foods, and routinely cave into cravings, you have a harmful habit of consumption. If you periodically find yourself in this double bind, how can you escape this trap?
You can find a connection between excess eating, consuming addictive substances, and procrastination. All link to seeking relief. But the relief you get in the short run is like borrowing from a loan shark. You make the wrong decision. You fall into the postponement trap. This automatic process is costly, especially when delaying weight loss actions is an ongoing and health dangerous practice.
If unhealthy habits of consumption are damaging, then why not STOP NOW? You may fool yourself into believing "Better days are coming. I'll wait. My weight will someday melt from my body like spring snow." This is "Con-Artist" thinking.
Con-Artist thinking has plagued humanity since the dawning of language and self-conning. The Con-Artist thinker is the conceiver and finagler within you. It's the kind of sabotaging thinking you may hear when you are at odds with yourself on losing weight, dropping an addictive substnce, or producing versus procrastinating. When you're faltering on your no-diet plan, tune into your thinking. You may hear your inner Con-Artist voice. For example,
"I can have that extra helping of Bavarian chocolate cake. Tomorrow I'll be good forever."
Catch the inner Con-Artist by THINKING about your thinking. You may hear the word "later" iterating through your mind. The "I'll stop later" message also can erupt while you're eating fattening food or using addictive substances.
Rather than try to quash inner "Con-Artist-thinking" by decree, ACCEPT IT as a NATURAL but NEGATIVE thinking habit. Play with contrary ideas. If you think:
"I NEED that piece of pizza right now or I'll die," you have a Con-Artist assumption that you can capably question.
What would you do if someone paid you a million dollars to permanently stop eating pizza? Would you do what you could do and pass on the pizza? If you think the million dollars is worth more than pizza, you've subverted a con. But don't rest on your laurels just yet. This voice will be back.
The inner Con-Artist has a few simple messages.
--- "Later" is a typical ploy.
If you take this inner Con-Artist logic for granted, how has that worked out for you? If you are like most, the answer is: "Not well at all." Let's look at another questioning opportunity. Ask yourself:
"What makes the future a better time for losing weight and keeping it off?" A rational answer to this question can throw chaos into your inner Con-Artist thinking.
Bottom line: those actions which have not worked 'before' are unlikely to work now. You MUST catch the inner Con-Artist by THINKING about your thinking.