PROGRESSION NOT PERFECTION
by Lee Betchley CHt
(Sherman Oaks CA)
Lee Betchley CHt
One reason things may not have worked in the past is your focus. Weight programs often fail because most people focus on perfection not on progression.
Often dieters will lose five pounds and perhaps gain two back. Instead of acknowledging the affirmative experience of losing three pounds , you may obsess over the two pounds gained.
Or you might think “I was doing great until Saturday night and then I blew it!” You are focusing on that one-day even although you have spent two weeks making healthy choices.
If you accidentally backed into a tree with your car, you wouldn’t continue to back into the tree to create more dents because you had already dented it. The idea would seem silly to you.
Much in the same way to say that one day or one event denotes a global failure on your part is just as ridiculous.
When you put your attention on the choice you didn’t want to make, you are so focused on a mistake. Not seeing really seeing the big picture.
Think about the word “mistake”. A take that was missed. In the film industry a “take” is a scene shot. Even the best film directors will often do several takes of the same scene to ensure they have it the way they want it.
Think of a mistake as simply that a take that was missed. And so you rehearse it in your mind until you see it the way you want it. Imagine you are watching a video tape of a certain time when you felt you could have made a better choice.
No rewind it a and see yourself making a better choice. Practice this each time you you notice you made a slip-up and you will retrain your mind to do the new behavior.
Remember slender people don’t beat themselves up when they overeat. They don’t say, “What’s the point? I’m destined to be overweight” or “I knew this was too hard!” Slender people simply notice they are full and have become physically uncomfortable.
They may notice and say, “Next time I’ll stop before I feel this way” or “This is great motivation to exercise more.”
Much in the same way just as you can rehearse a better choice after a mistake, you can use the same visualization before an event.
Most people say that you can’t predict the future. I say that is not entirely true. In fact, you probably do it on a regular basis.
If you picture yourself at a holiday get together overeating and feeling miserable—you will probably do just that. This mind set is about focusing on the failures. And you will get what you focus on.
The future has not occurred yet. It doesn’t exist except in your mind. Now if you are the creator why not visualize yourself making a better choice or anticipate saying “no” to certain foods.
If you are worried about an upcoming event (a Holiday Dinner?) because you are uncertain if you can make a healthy choice ask yourself if you are using this event as an excuse to predict failure.
Be honest with yourself in an effort to recognize the situations and circumstances where you need to retrain yourself.
During these times focus on what you will be gaining by remembering and acknowledging why you are making an effort in the first place. You should take 100% responsibility for your choices.
Remember, this isn’t about expecting yourself to be perfect either. Create an easy to follow plan to overcome each situation. Do not look at any event as a roadblock or a stumbling point.
Instead as an opportunity to shift your mindset and relearn new habits. After all, habit patterns are things you learned. And if you learned them you can unlearn them.
You can help retrain yourself by repeating certain new habits such as eating slowly. Not only chewing your food slowly but also placing your utensil down between each bite and do not pick it up until you have completely chewed and swallowed each piece.
Make a commitment to eat only at the table and do not pick at the food while it’s cooking. You can serve yourself on a smaller plate and leave at least a bite of each item on the plate.
This will help you train yourself to stop eating when you are full. And before you go for seconds ask yourself “How will I feel after I have this?” Get into the habit of asking this question.
Think your choices through. Behavior modification works only if you are consistently repeating new behaviors.