Getting back up again, the secret to continuing your weight loss journey

There is something I have noticed talking to people about weight loss, are you curious to know what it is? Well it is the all or nothing mentality. I speak to people who have been eating sensibly for several months and have had great results and then something happens. For whatever reason they have a “relapse”, they go back to eating unhealthily and the weight starts to creep back on. Sadly when this happens people with an all or nothing mentality often give up altogether. They say to themselves “what’s the point? I’ve lost it!”

It is time to change that thinking from all or nothing to all and everything. Here are some thoughts about how important this change in thinking style is.

I was recently reading “Sobriety Demystified” an interesting book on addiction written by Byron Lewis. According to Byron “relapse” or more appropriately “lapse” is a natural stage in recovery from addiction. It is how we handle the “lapse” that counts. This is true when applied to weight loss too, for many people there are aspects of addiction in their behaviour. With food we cannot abstain completely so it is in some ways trickier even than alcohol or substance addiction.

With this in mind I plan to share my holiday season experience with you. Remember the choices I suggested last week? Well I chose option two, relax for the week …. and then get back with the programme afterwards. Accept any over indulgences and return to healthy eating.

Originally I had planned to do option one! Option two crept up on me unexpectedly! Now important step for me to make here. I need to own this, it was still a choice. I knew I was eating stuff that was not good for me.  And I kept on going. I gained six pounds in the week of over indulgence!

Now for the interesting bit. I only enjoyed some of the over indulging. Some of it was unsatisfying and left me feeling uncomfortable and bloated. Some of it tasted greasy and unpleasant while I was eating it. I acknowledge that I kept eating during two family meals despite this. I was mildly stressed as I was the host and had cooked everything and wanted the meal to go well. An old pattern of behaviour kicked in and eating fulfilled an emotional need rather than a taste or nutritional need.

Reflecting on that now I can see this is progress, in previous years I have no recollection of not enjoying the rich and fatty foods I was eating. In fact I’m sure I did enjoy at least the idea of what I was eating. I was certainly not aware of my emotional state during the eating ritual! This year I was more mindful and so noticed what I was not enjoying.  I also noticed what I did enjoy and many of the sugary things were still tasty for me.

My choices now are to learn from the experience by reflecting on the changes in my thinking, feeling and the level of physical association I had with my body. The second choice, and this is important, is to be forgiving of myself. The third choice to remember the second part of the option I followed, accept any over indulgences and return to healthy eating. Get back with the programme!

A further reflection for me is how I can use this experience to help others, to understand that sometimes things happen that cause us to step off the path for a while. When that happens treat it as a detour and return to the path as soon as you can. Changing the way you relate to food is more of a marathon than a sprint. A deviation is just that a deviation, we have the ability to notice and readjust our course.

Take a few minutes to reflect on your experience not just in terms of your eating habits but also in terms of your relationships, feelings and motivation:

What went well?

What went less well?

What have you learnt about yourself?

What changes have you made in your thinking style as a result of this reflection?

Next week I will talk about my thoughts on changing habits for life, are there any quick fixes and what about motivation.

For those of you wanting a bit of support in getting back on track you might want to download my free self esteem audio from the link below to my website

Let me know how you got on over the holiday season.


Happy New Year! Let’s make 2013 the best yet!

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
This entry was posted in Life in General, relationships, Self Esteem, Weight loss and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Getting back up again, the secret to continuing your weight loss journey

  1. Susanna Way says:

    A great blog, and very pertinent to many. I particularly like the permission to be forgiving of ourselves – the little voices that play in our heads so often pick on our ‘deviations’ and try to ensure that they end up as detours!

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