Please don’t! Here’s why, how, and what to do if you have…
We all have them don’t we? Those days where it all seems too much and we just want to say f**k it and throw in the proverbial towel. If you don’t you’re a very lucky (and slightly odd) person, and I seriously envy you! I’m talking about those days where losing weight just feels like a never ending journey requiring far too much effort for far too little reward. Given that losing weight has unquantifiable benefits, from a physical and mental health point of view, that might seem stupid, but sometimes it’s just hard for those huge benefits to out-way quite how exhausting losing weight can be.
But the point is that we ALL have days like that. You are categorically not alone, and days like this are the ideal chance to engage with your weight loss on a more intellectual level and channel your feelings in a positive way to turn a momentary lapse in motivation and courage into a lesson learnt. The best thing that you can do for yourself at times like these, is to sit and really analyse why you’re feeling the way you are!
Is it because someone put you down, or made a comment about your weight or your progress? Is it because you’re feeling left out from the rest of the non-dieting world? Is it because other people are losing weight faster than you? Is it because you’re tired of feeling like the ‘fat friend’ but you’re convinced that’s all you’ll ever be anyway so what’s the point? Or is it because of the every day stresses of life, love, work, home, family, partners, kids, pets…the list goes on and on… are too much? Life is a stressful thing, and the way that many people deal with stress is to eat ‘bad’ food, especially those of us who struggle with our relationship with food.
Whatever the reason behind the feeling that you want to quit, by identifying it you will be taking the first steps to over coming it, and preventing yourself from ending up in that situation again in the future. Whilst it’s impossible to remove the stress out of life, after all what fun would that be right (!?!), we can put in place mechanisms with which we can deal with those stresses and improve our mood enough to avoid feeling like packing it all in.
I know I’m talking about food here, however whilst I am certainly not a trained psychologist, I am someone who has struggled with depression and unhealthy eating habits throughout my teenage years and into my adult life. What’ I’ve found is that not only does identifying my triggers when it comes to food really help with my weight loss, but doing so for other areas of my life has really helped my emotional health too. Something they teach you in CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is to identify the negative cycles in your life, and to work out how to break those cycles when they start. This goes for everything from food to relationships, so it’s a good life skill to develop!
Once you’ve identified what’s making you feel so crap, the next step is to make a very important conscious decision. That decision is to put whatever is causing these feelings behind you, to decide that you’re bigger than your problems, and tell yourself that you are worth fighting for. That might sound slightly over dramatic, but it’s true. Your physical, mental, and emotional health is 100% more important than a bad day at work or fight with your other half. Life stress is something that we often have no control over, and a lack of control is one of the scariest things in life, however our eating habits and weight is something that we do have control over – so take advantage of that!
I am very aware that when you’re feeling low, depressed, unhappy, tired, emotional, frustrated, angry, disappointed, or pretty much any negative feeling out there, it’s very hard to put things into perspective…but it’s so important to try! Focusing on why you started, how far you’ve come (even if it’s only that you haven’t got any heavier!) and the long term benefits of your weight loss, will give you the strength to say ‘f**k off’ to those feelings instead of ‘f**k it’ to your weight loss! I am on the same journey that you are and I find it really difficult! I’m a very emotional person, and I wear my heart on my sleeve and in the contents of my fridge. If I’m feeling low I often very consciously make the decision to give in, which is completely the wrong thing to do! I am trying to get better at taking my own advice, because fixing one’s emotional relationship with food the one thing that I believe can really ensure long term weight loss.
This is why I love Slimming World! It has completely changed my relationship with food, and I’m so grateful for that. After years of crash diets, unhealthy eating habits, self loathing and a complete lack of body confidence, I have finally begun to fix the way I feel about food. I have come a hugely long way since starting this journey just over a year ago, utilising the techniques I’m talking about here. By identifying the negative cycles in my food habits, and working out how I can change them or avoid them completely, I have finally begun to appreciate food again for what it should be…an absolute delight! I’m hoping that sharing my recipes, thoughts, advice and struggles as I do on this blog can help other people to do the same, because it has completely changed my life!
Hopefully, by identifying the reason behind your lack of motivation, deciding to put yourself ahead of that event or feeling, and putting your emotions into perspective, you will be able to overcome the desire to give in. However, what’s perhaps even more important than this, is to know how to get yourself back on track once when things do get tough. Often the lack of motivation can be triggered by falling off plan in the first place, life gets in the way sometimes and that’s 100% OK! Working out how to pick yourself up after a set back is just as important as avoiding them in the first place.
Because let’s face it, no matter how much we put our weight loss into perspective, or how often we decide that we are bigger than our problems, we all have bad days. We all have days where we sit in bed eating ice cream and ordering Chinese take away, it’s just called being human. If you can’t avoid it, that’s OK! The best thing about being on a journey to change your lifestyle, as opposed to a crash diet, is that you have the rest of your life to get it right. So my best and biggest piece of advice to you, if you have said ‘f**k it’ even just for a day, is this…
Forgive yourself! Stop beating yourself up, and leave it in the past. Your journey is larger than the pack of Haribo that you accidentally inhaled on the way to work, or the KFC you indulged in after a night out on the town, so put it behind you and move on. Remember that you are your biggest critic, so if you stop criticising yourself then the pressure is cut in half! It’s not healthy to associate food with negative feelings, no matter what that food is, so just as you should make an effort not to allow emotional feelings to make you eat unhealthily, you should equally not allow the fact that you’ve eaten ‘bad’ food to make you feel bad about yourself! Don’t punish yourself by going further and further off plan…that’s not going to help anyone, especially not you.
If you’re struggling or need advice please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, I’ll always help where I can. As I always say, this blog is the story of my journey and the food that I eat on it, so the likelihood is that I’ve probably experienced similar feelings, and hopefully I can help in some way! Happy slimming gorgeous readers!