A new year has begun and it is time to reevaluate many things from the last year to make sure I accomplish my goals for this year. I have to remind myself of some basic facts as I begin the new year. This statement resonates with me from the Hallmark Movie “The Winter Castle”, “It is not the circumstances that creates the joy, it is you!” Undoubtedly that quote is a restatement of a quote from Benjamin Franklin (yes THAT one!) who said, ” Joy doesn’t exist in the world, it exists in us.”
Exercise shows me what I can do and is not a punishment for what I eat. This is true for me in this new year as I have begun trying to bench press and increase my upper body strength. I am making slow progress but progress nevertheless. I began with a twenty-five pound bar back in mid-September and ended the year with using the regular chess press bar which weighs in at forty-five pounds.
I have to work harder to maintain my weight than others as my same-sex, weight, age, and height. Research shows that once you have been either obese (which I was) or extremely overweight you have to work harder to maintain your healthy weight than those who have always been a certain weight. Another woman who is similar to me in age, weight and height might not need to workout regularly at the gym and eat over twenty-five hundred calories a day. But I will need to work out three times a week and take long daily walks and be only able to eat two-thousand calories a day to maintain my weight loss. Yes I have to work harder than those who have never been overweight. This very fact, is the reason why so many regain all the weight within five years as they do not know to work harder or do not want to work harder to maintain their loss.
Research says that most people regain their weight within five years. I am in my fifth year and feel the pressure to maintain my weight loss. Last year my mindset got off and I gained about 8 pounds and put myself out of the “free” WW Lifetime range. I struggled (and paid) for five months mainly because my mindset was not right and therefore I was above my goal range. One of my goals was to end the year weighing less than I ended 2017 and to begin 2019 less than I began 2018. I was able to do both. Now to steadily (and healthily) lose an additional 7 to 10 pounds to regain my personal “happy” weight. I have been “free” now for four months after not having to pay for over four years. I will complete my fifth year in early July of 2019.
As you get older, your body requires less food to function. Couple this fact with already having to work harder and eat less than others it makes for a trickier and more complicated equation. I feel many get the “middle age spread” because their bodies require less food but they have not reduced their food intake. Often, appetites do not change so you have to mindfully make these adjustments to ward off the “spread.” The work required s more but the benefits of better health outweigh the effort.
If the Mind is right, the body will follow.The quote I mentioned at the beginning is exactly a reflection of what I had to learn once again this year. Mindset is not only important in being healthy but staying happy as well. I had allowed some circumstances to move somethings about in my head which caused some dominoes to topple one by one. I ended 2018 feeling much better about myself and my life and have begun 2019 with a realistic positive mindset. I am working on accomplishing lots of small goals and some larger ones in this coming year!
This is a supplement to the May 14, 2014 Weights & Balances Newsletter
How can we over-come or cope with self-sabotage?
Here are a few suggestions to help you to become more self-aware and take the steps to overcome this limiting behavior.
Strategies for overcoming self-sabotage:
Watch yourself; learn to recognize self-sabotage and question your behavior – see what you are doing, ask yourself “What did I do there?” “What was driving it?” Did I do that out of fear, spite, anger, needing control, craving excitement (drama) through conflict, or attention through sympathy? Be objective. Get to the root of the behavior and this might require the assistance of a professional who is either a counselor or a psychologist.
Don’t be afraid or doubt your Success. Success isn’t hard and fast; it’s relative. Don’t’ let success feel strange or odd, practice how feeling how you think it will feel. Keep your mind thinking of possibilities. Don’t let doubt and fear come in.
Be Yourself and Be Open – Accept experiences both good and bad don’t be afraid to get out there and experience life! It is a big world, do not limit yourself. Be aware when you are seeking approval of someone and ask yourself why you need their approval, what are you feeling.
Stop the negative self-talk/self-judgments: This negativity will quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts. Sticks and stones may break your bones but words oh how deep and long they can scar you! Give yourself lots of positive self-affirmations. Learn to be kind, loving and forgiving to yourself.
Set Goals with an Action Plan. Visualize you are successful and think of how you would act, the choices you would make and how you would feel. Set small clear obtainable goals with specific steps on how to get there. Look at the big picture– don’t focus on how far you have to go but how far you have come! Create and nurture a realistic vision of being successful. Develop a list of positive behaviors you can do when you feel tempted to self-sabotage. Do the work until you succeed.
Take Responsibility/Accountability: Admit to the behavior, say it aloud, you enable yourself to change your behavior and empower yourself and take action to change the behavior. Find someone you can be accountable to for reaching or not reaching your goals; a friend, a family member or a counselor.
Re-define Success. Challenge yourself to change your ideas of your worth; focus on effort and not outcomes. Define yourself for the loving actions you take for yourself or others; not the results of the actions.
Bring yourself to the present: take a step back, a deep breath that will keep you focused.
Stay silent. If you feel yourself trying to explain, justify or make an excuse, just stay silent. Take a deep breath and relax.
Develop skills to be successful. This might require the assistance of a professional counselor/psychologist to assist you in developing these skills.
Be patient and loving with yourself as you are developing new skills. Change doesn’t happen overnight and do not think you have the problem solved. Things in life can happen to “trigger” these behaviors so be always self-aware, self-vigilant and self-forgiving.