By Nancy Desjardins, R.N.C.P. Many of you have declared, “This is it! No more!” You’ve made the decision that you’re ready for a change and announced it to yourselves and to the world. We’ve all done that at some point, which is a good thing. Problem is, most people fail to follow through on their resolution. Why? Because they lack focus and are not getting a clear mental picture of the end result! For example, how will you look when you accomplish what you set out to do?
The fact is, 90% of people get stuck on the how, instead of the end result. If your dream is to be fit/healthy/beautiful/feeling sexy/and happy, forget about the how! Decide this is what you want, and make the commitment. Then, picture in your mind the image of you as fit/healthy/beautiful/feeling sexy/and happy! Write it down, so you can keep that image with you at all times. Think of it as getting a clear mental picture of what you want, because isn’t that the real secret to success? Ask anyone who has succeeded in anything in life and they will tell you that they had already achieved success in their mind before any action was taken.
Part of creating that clear mental image of success is getting to know yourself – not only what you want in the future, but what may be holding you back now. Many people replace what they’re missing in life with comfort food. So letting go of things – issues, people – that don’t serve any good in our lives is an important step to achieving the success we can see so clearly in our minds. So is saying “NO!”, and starting to put ourselves first! That means accepting who we are, and what it is we love most, instead of pleasing everybody else.
The comment I hear most often, “I want to change,” or “I want to start putting myself first,” or “What do I want?” Only you can answer that question. Start by getting personal – and honest – with yourself. Ask yourself deeper questions – every day. You might be surprised at your answers! Once you start to have this incredible relationship with yourself, you will begin to notice the magic around you.
I quote from Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body, from a chapter that looks at things that hold us back and the probable causes of much of our unhappiness. She wrote, “Addiction: Running from the self. Fear: Not knowing how to love the self.”
So how do you put a stop to emotional eating? The next time you’re upset, and before you reach for the pint of ice cream or super-size those fries, think about the guilt you’re going to feel later on. Don’t give in to the craving, or to the emotion that drove you to food in the first place. If you’re angry with your husband, don’t punish yourself. If you’re frustrated with your boss, don’t take it out on your body. Find a healthier outlet for anger and frustration.
Here are a few things you can do the next time you get upset.
- Find a mentor! I have mentors in every area of my life!
- Wait five minutes. That’s easy enough, isn’t it? Many times, just the act of waiting is enough to overcome our desire to binge on sugars, carbs and fat. Think about your long-term health. After all, when you succumb to binge eating, you’re only punishing yourself.
- Find different foods to reach for when you’re upset. You can gain pleasure out of chomping a celery in two (and it sounds very satisfying as well).
Break the cycle by finding something to substitute your particular comfort food. It sounds boring, but try shadow boxing, or punching your pillow instead of reaching for that chocolate bar. Do ten ju
mping jacks or take a quick walk. Get your mind off food. It’s not the answer to what ails you. Emotional eating is a very powerful habit. Many of us think that if we can’t indulge when we’re upset, we’re somehow sacrificing pleasure and comfort. However, the long-term results of such attitudes leave most of us overweight, miserable and quite discontent.
Find positive, healthy ways to fight your emotions and learn new habits. Sure, it’s going to be difficult and oftentimes frustrating, but you’ll soon begin to feel much better. Take it one day at a time. Expect to fail once in a while and when you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just get back on track. Pretty soon, you’ll be amazed at the changes you feel inside.
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