I don’t know about you, but there have been several moments in my life where I wished I had a magical reset button. My iPhone has one, my laptop has one, my internet router has one. When you hit it, things go faster or help you start with a clean slate.
Don’t wait until you have to make your next round of new year’s resolutions to begin again. A new year, a new you? Well, maybe. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned on this 100 pound journey, it’s that tomorrow never comes. A misstep is just that, one step. How you handle the misstep is what makes all the difference.
1. Begin Again NOW.
How many times do you find yourself vowing you’ll start tomorrow, or Monday, or next week? When you slip, it’s easy to dive into that mindset. The “what the hell” effect. The slippery slope. Defeating that thinking means taking action in the moment. So, you’ve eaten something off plan. Then comes the self-recrimination. Sometimes you say tomorrow I’ll do better or sometimes you bail completely, choosing to ditch it all and push it out of your mind. This is exactly what NOT to do. Don’t blow it off until tomorrow. Don’t justify it because cousin Susie’s wedding is tomorrow, or that office party is happening on Friday. Yes, it’s hard in the moment, but derailing efforts won’t get you the vision you have for yourself. Neither will shaming or beating the crap out of yourself. What WILL make the difference is simply moving forward. Forgive and Forget. You hit a snag, and you’re bigger than the momentary slip. You’re bigger than your failures. And without failure we don’t learn. So let it go, mentally sweep it out the door and begin again NOW.
2. Stop, Drop and WRITE.
Take a breath, sit down, and, using whatever writing instrument you desire (ideally by hand), answer the following questions:
- What went through my mind when I slipped?
- Why did I commit to this journey in the first place?
- How do I feel when I’m off the powder? (sugar and flour)
- What am I afraid of right now?
- Where am I having difficulty?
- If I were my best friend, what advice would I give to me right now?
Pinning down what goes on in the mind, learning to know what our triggers are is all information for the future. Oftentimes it’s a reaction stemming from stress or an emotion that triggers us. Sometimes it’s anger, or frustration, or deprivation, or loneliness. Getting better insight around what led to the fall will help you re-commit and recognize what is driving you in your weaker moments. Since this writing is only for you, be brutally honest. Get it all down on paper. Maybe you’re not even aware of what’s driving it, so pinning that down more clearly, will help you in the next weak moment.
3. Put Your Heart, Mind and Soul Into Even Your Smallest Acts. This is the Secret of Success. (Swami Sivananda)
Remind yourself that the journey is made up of thousands of steps. One step at a time. A wall gets built brick by brick. It’s not the big efforts, it’s the little ones each and every day. So if you have a misstep, it’s just that, one step. And each of your small efforts in the right direction, meal by meal, choice by choice, WILL get you there. Therefore, one slip isn’t going to make a big dent in the long run. This one calls for patience, and keeping your focus on the present. The present is the only place you can effect real change. So why waste time and energy on past and future? Focus on one meal, and one day.
4. Create Visual Reminders
Look at your “before” pictures, and look at who is standing in front of you in the mirror. Whether you’re one week in, or 6 months in, fill your mind with the visual of where you are, where you were, and where you want to be. Make a little vision board for the refrigerator, or put it above your desk or as a screen saver. Pictures help us remember and reset what’s important. They help us to remember the goal, of why we’re going through the tough moments and why the time is now versus later. When you’re having a setback, take the time to begin plotting out what a new wardrobe will look like. What clothing do you look forward to wearing? What events can you shop for, putting it on a wishlist? When you hit a milestone, buy yourself something. It doesn’t have to be the whole wardrobe, but it can be one fabulous outfit that fits you now, that you can alter down the road. Or, hit the discount stores to buy a “for now” outfit to keep you looking fabulous during your metamorphosis. The more you feed your vision, the stronger it will be, and help fortify you in the weaker moments. And make no mistake: We ALL have weak moments, even if we’ve been doing this for awhile. It gets easier, but the pull is always there to some degree. Feed your vision daily!
5. Remember That Nothing EVER Tastes as Good as Being Luminous Feels
Whenever I’m having a weak moment, this is a mantra that helps me to remember all of the empty promises those sugary floury foods deliver. To some degree I know it’s conditioning over time. Eat a treat, and you’ll feel better. But when you fast forward to after the slip or the binge, ask yourself, how are you really feeling? Aside from whatever shame or upset there is surrounding the slip, really ask yourself: Was this worth it? Is it worth it to go back to feeling the aches and pains, the low energy, the overall malaise? Food is meant to nourish and sustain. Yes, we should enjoy eating, but It is not an emotional band-aid. It’s never fixed anything.
The most important thing to remember wherever you are in this…
You are NOT alone. We’ve all been there. We have all gone through it. Whether you’re part of the A Team, or just more comfortable doing this on your own, you are NOT alone. We walk with you. There is power in numbers, and whether or not you’re into the support group thing (for many years it was the last thing I wanted to do), know that there are lots of us BadAsses on this road with you, Through thick (literally) and THIN (literally). We’re with you. Forgive and forget, and know you are more awesome than you give yourself credit for. Trust the process, and never give up on you.