A common theme with our clients who are starting on their Shrinking Thinking journey is how stuck and overwhelmed they feel with their weight. Hating where they’re at, hating how they look or how they feel about themselves, hating their relationship with food. Afraid to look ahead because all they can see is things getting worse. Not knowing what to do about it or how to get started with all the million changes they know are required. Experiencing that horrible sense of panic in their chests, feeling that shortness of breath in their throats, the tears building, that feeling of complete overwhelm which is just about to engulf them…..
Aargh!!! Stop!! We all know how awful it feels!
Yes, it feels horrible, yet I bet you still beat yourself up for being stuck with your weight – again! You’ve been here before, and I bet you’re feeling angry at yourself for STILL not being able to do anything about it! You’re a capable woman so how come you can’t just get this sorted like you do with everything else in your life? How come you can’t stop yourself from eating something to make yourself feel better, which you know is actually going to make you feel even worse?!
If this is you, right now – here’s the first bit of advice…. Breathe! Breathe, and let go of the panic, because there are some simple steps which can help to move you from overwhelm to action!
Phew, that feels a bit better doesn’t it? 🙂
Ok, so let’s stop for a moment and figure out what’s happening.
What are you actually focusing on? What are you actually thinking about when you think about your weight? Really think about it for a moment….
Well, most likely you’re thinking about what you DON’T LIKE, what you DON’T want, how you DON’T want to feel. You’re probably focusing on everything you DON’T want to have in your life.
Have you ever heard about the Law of Attraction? (If you haven’t go Google it, watch the film and get “The Secret” book by Rhonda Byrne.) What the Law of Attraction basically says is you get what you focus on, you get what you think about. So if you’re always focusing on what you DON’T like, then you’re going to get more of it. Make sense?
So how can you change this? How do you stop focusing on what you don’t want? Here’s 3 simple steps which can make a huge difference.
Step 1. When you’re stuck and overwhelmed, it often feels way too difficult to think about what you really DO want – it might feel, quite simply, unreachable or impossible. So let’s go back to what you don’t want, and start there. Write down all the things about your weight that you don’t want, or don’t like. Then, for each point, write down the OPPOSITE of what you don’t want. Funnily enough, you’ll find it’s pretty likely to be what you actually DO want!
- Maybe what you don’t want is to feel so awful about yourself anymore. How can you flip it to the opposite? How can you rephrase this with positive words, instead of negative ones? Maybe you’d like to feel better about yourself? Would that feel better? Is it a good place to start?
- Maybe you don’t want to ache so much – in your knees, in your back. So perhaps your opposite could be to start focusing on feeling less pain, and moving towards being pain free?
- Maybe you want to stop snacking. So instead of focusing on snacking – what you don’t want – how about focusing on learning to be in control of what you eat?
Step 2. Once you’ve got your list of the “what I do want’s”, what’s the next step? It’s thinking about “how could I get some of this in my life?” How could I get some of what I do want into my life? For each of your “what I do want’s”, start by making a list of your ideas. Be creative, think outside the box, outside of what you’ve done before. If you were to dare greatly, how could you get more of what you want in your life? Have you seen someone else do it, and been inspired or excited about what they’ve done? Could you dare to do just a little of that?
- So if you want to start feeling better about yourself, perhaps you could create some positive affirmations which make you feel good. For example, “I’m in the process of learning to be kinder to myself” or “I’m learning how to take control of what I eat”.
- Perhaps you could read a book to help you to limit your negative self-talk (I highly recommend The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters).
- If you want to be in control of what you eat, perhaps you could contact an expert who can help you stop snacking (the experts at ShrinkingThinking come to mind here….! 🙂 )
Step 3. Take action! The important thing is to just make a start! When we’re in overwhelm, it’s tempting to make a big list of everything we need to do – but as the Queen of lists, take my word for it – that just creates even MORE overwhelm, and makes it even harder to get going! So here’s the secret. Pick just ONE of the items on the list – just one – and go take action on it.
- What can you do today that will take you a small step closer to where you want to be?
- Can you do it today, or will it take you a week before you can do it? If it’ll take a week, break it down into a smaller task – what can you do TODAY?
Then go take that one small step forward. Once you’ve done it, take another step. And another. And another. Pretty soon you’ll start building some positive momentum, and you’ll start feeling better, more in control. And you know what? Every single day is a chance to start again! If you have a bad day, a day where you didn’t manage to take that step forward, don’t worry! Instead of beating yourself up about what you didn’t do, change the thought to “what little thing did I do today which DID move me forward?” There will be something, even if it’s tiny, just go look for it, you’ll find it. And then think about what you could do tomorrow which will get you started. Cos tomorrow is a new day, a new chance to take a baby step towards what you do want. And there’s always a tomorrow! How cool is that? 🙂