Mind the Gap
Ok, so you are trying to lose weight and be healthier, right. So you start a new eating plan. And you stick to it like a boss for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, but you start ‘slipping’.
You have a cupcake here, some chips there, order a soda at lunch and pretty soon you find yourself eating the way you to, you are back to your old ways. Then you notice and start again…but it feels harder to stick to your plan than before, so you find yourself slipping constantly, so you may even feel like saying frog-it and give up.
This is the gap.
The Gap is knowing what to do, but having a hard time do it (consistently).
Ugh. This is a frustrating place to be…I get it, I’ve been there!
The Gap is really common and is the number 1 problem I run into when helping some make changes in their life.
The reason for the Gap is different for many different people, but here are some common ones
1.What are you telling yourself? You are making choices that make you feel good both physically and emotionally, but you are telling yourself that you would rather have_____. You order the salad at the restaurant and it tastes good, makes you feel healthy and successful, but you are telling yourself that it’s not as good as the Burger and fries. So you are trying to start new habits, you are unconsciously reinforcing the old ones. This is sabotage and undermines your best intentional and your true wants. But this is normally happening without you really being aware, so start noticing what you are telling yourself. And deliberately rewrite that mental script.
2. Figure out why you want to lose weight, really. The reason is never as simple, I want to “I want to fit into my old jeans”, “ Wear a Bikini” or “I want to be healthy” and it’s always a deeper, more fundamental reason. And is normally linked to our need to feeling important, loved and valued.
I want to fit into my old jeans…because then I feel like my husband will love me again”
“I want to be healthy…so I don’t end up being on dialysis from diabetes like my dad and burden my family.”
“Wear a Bikini…I want to feel important, I want to feel lovable and find someone who loves me for me”.
Think about how your life, all the different areas, will be different and better when you make the change you want. Observe this “picture” how do you will feel? That feeling is probably your WHY. Knowing your why will help you stick to your plan, even when it gets hard.
3. Pointy Feelings. No one overeats because you are biologically made to, it’s because you, it’s because food has become your way of dulling those pointy feelings (we all have them) or to regulate your mood. We eat for many reasons other than being really hungry like being bored, tired, stressed, and sad. So when you feel that need to eat, pause for a second and feel what is happening for you in your body and your head. Are you really hungry or do you just want to eat something? Is this a pattern? And once you have paused, you can decide what to do next, maybe it is eat those chips, or maybe it is going for a walk or having some tea to relieve your stress. If you have used food to help regulate your mood then taking food away leaves us with all these emotions we aren’t used to feeling, and that is very uncomfortable. But feeling this discomfort helps us make real changes in our life, that will support long-term health and happiness.
4. Temptation – Food is everywhere. And it tastes really good, but most of it is not what you want to eat to feel healthy long-term . Modern food has been created push our biological buttons, so you will crave them. What you see as lack of willpower is really basic biology and it’s hard to fight biology. So do yourself a favor and just remove all those tempting foods from your environment, because no matter how determined you are, if it’s around, will you eventually eat it.
5. Lack of Planning. There are lots of unknowns in this world, but one thing I know for sure, is that you have to have a plan to be successful. Our brains were made to work on default, and it’s easy for us to default into our old ways of thinking and acting. We much practice the new habit often to create a new default. So until your new habit becomes your normal, use your default setting in your brain to your advantage. So make a plan. In the beginning, you may need to plan everything, but it will be worth the time. You will be creating a new baseline and habit everything time your follow your plan and you gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Feeling successful is vital to succeeding.
If you find yourself in the gap, don’t fret, it happens… it’s part of the process. Just have love and compassion for yourself, recommit, and investigate these steps. You will figure it out. You got this.
Habit change and weight loss aren’t easy, but when done right, the process will transform your life. When done right, you make foundational changes to the way you show up in the world, which makes you who you were meant to be, both in body size and spirit.
So Mind the Gap.
P.S. If you need help understanding and changing the gap in your health and wellness plan, contact our dietitians and wellness strategists to set up a free Nutrition mini- session, so you can start creating real change in your diet and your life –>firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule yourself on our calendar.