So today I thought I would talk about a couple of the mindset tricks that have helped me over the past couple of years.
They relate to the word ‘can’t’.
I don’t know about you, but if somebody tells me that I can’t do something, or that I can’t have something, then I want it even more. I can think of nothing else until I have had or done whatever it was that was off-limits to me.
When I look back at my old eating habits I actually think that I was sabotaging myself in so many ways. I would almost eat more of the food that I wasn’t supposed to be eating in order to prove that I could…if you tell me that I can’t or I shouldn’t, then I can and I would…to the nth degree at times!
When I recognised this habit in myself, I knew that I had to do something about it.
I tried to prevent myself from binging by telling myself ‘I can’t have that’ or ‘I shouldn’t eat that’. It rarely worked…or if it did, it would be a temporary fix and I would once again find myself stuffing my face with junk food. And it wasn’t just the food which did the damage, it was the emotions and feelings of failure that my repeated perceived lack of will-power created within me.
So I stopped using the word ‘can’t’…and replaced it. I would tell myself ‘You can…in 30 minutes.’ I called this my ‘pause’ and it is something that I have written about before. As with all things health related though, you have to practice and so I like to repeat myself on a regular basis!
I would then use that 30 minute period to try and identify what it was that I really wanted. I would ask myself questions relating to my mood, the day I had experienced, how I was feeling in general…all sorts of questions to try and work out why I wanted that binge. Questions which got my rational mind focussed and in charge again, rather than the emotions being in charge.
For me, I knew that if I had eaten a decent breakfast, lunch, and dinner then any other food I was seeking was to satisfy my mind…as my body and it’s needs had been well taken care of already.
I would sometimes start an argument with Mr WLB, or I might meditate, pick up a book, grab a shower and do my nails, ring a friend…anything to distract myself. And do you know what? Nobody died…I didn’t crumple in a heap and waste away because I hadn’t eaten that food. It’s okay to want something…just as it is okay not to have it!
Sometimes, I would end up eating the food. But I would do so mindfully – mindfulness…something else I have written about a lot! I would make sure that I bloody well enjoyed my food and I owned that decision. I tried not to beat myself up over it…as that is a pointless endeavour which leads right back to that binge, guilt, binge, guilt cycle.
This was one of the biggest ‘tools’ that helped me overcome my binge eating.
It takes practice though…occasionally I would practically be licking the fridge to get at the food inside it within 5 minutes of my 30 minute pause!
There was also a moment in time last year that I said something which made me feel amazing. It is another trick that I use which involves the word ‘can’t’. I was visiting my niece and nephew and they had been baking. My niece had produced some butterfly cakes with sparkly bits sprinkled on them, and my nephew had make some Thomas the Tank Engine ones.
My niece proudly carried the tray of cakes in from the kitchen to show me, and rested it on my knees (she said that there was more space on my knees now that I was not so fat!) and she wanted me to have one as, “One won’t hurt, and they aren’t that big”…she was learning saboteur tricks early! I then said, “No thank you sweetheart, I don’t eat cakes.”
Now where on earth that came from, I will never know. Who am I kidding? I love cake – I used to polish off a carrot cake meant for a party of six in one sitting! “I don’t eat cakes”…it dawned on me though that I don’t. Anymore! I haven’t eaten cake for a long, long time. It felt good to say it. I didn’t feel deprived as I hadn’t said, “I can’t have one.”
How empowering is it to say, “I don’t”, rather than, “I can’t”? I can’t seems to be very negative…I can’t…it seems as if you are depriving yourself. Yet to say I don’t somehow doesn’t. I wouldn’t take a cigarette from someone as I don’t smoke. And they tend not to get offered to me as people know that I don’t smoke. The same goes for alcoholic drinks…I don’t drink anymore.
I wonder, if I keep telling people that I don’t eat cake…will they stop offering it to me, trying to tempt me into having ‘just a little’ as it won’t hurt?
Anyway – let’s move on. Today has been good. I haven’t been as busy, which is always nice as it gives me time to regroup and plan. I caught up with the horses, who are in fine form – but just pestered by horse flies at the moment. Mr WLB and I hit the gym – which I guess could be perceived as fun…if fun involves achy muscles and lots of sweat! I caught up with the director of the charity I work for about a project we are working on. Then Mr WLB and I popped to the shops for today’s supplies. I read a bit more of the book that I am reading, started making plans for some courses that I want to run concerning mind changes for weight loss, prepped my food for the day, and got ready to head to the talk I am giving tonight…at the Woman’s Institute. Which was great fun – I met some lovely people and it was my first non Slimming World gig! I then came home, got my PJs on, meditated, and headed to bed to get some rest in preparation for my PT session tomorrow.
Here is today’s food…
Breakfast: Rye toast (2 x HEB), spinach, and boiled eggs.
Lunch: Spiced rice with grilled veggies and veggie sausages.
Dinner: Sweet potato, mixed beans, cheese (2 x HEA), and salad.
Snacks: Nakd bars (13 syns) and blueberries.
Exercise: 40 minutes rowing machine, 10 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes treadmill.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx