Catch The Wave

May 31, 2010

Catch The Wave

It took me awhile to figure out that there never was anything magical about a particular food plan, bizarre diet, balls behind my ears or even medication that made me successful at losing weight the many times I had been successful.  They all work when I do them.  It is the stopping of doing them that is the issue.  If you are reading this, then that last great diet program apparently didn’t stick.  Have you figured out yet that your success was always just a matter of you catching a hold of “that side” of yourself, getting a grip on the good angel?

Everything you need to know is in your own history if you will just stop beating yourself up long enough to approach this objectively and analytically.  Stop running to the next new thing.  Turn and look behind you.  Your answers are there waiting for you.  The day you begin to use that information is the last day it will have to cost you 20, 30, 100  lbs., or worse, diabetes, cancer or a heart attack to be ready to finally stay the course.

Our own tipping point is the one and only thing we absolutely have to figure out about ourselves, because crossing that invisible line is always what unravels people down the road (dismally, 98% of people gain all their weight back and more).  Albeit innocently enough, we often undermine ourselves or allow ourselves to be undermined.  Sometimes we do something unwise and sometimes we fail to do something we really need to do to support ourselves.  And we often even know it in our heart of hearts when we are doing it.  We probably just don’t take it that seriously at the time.  If it isn’t an immediate disaster, we think we got away with it.  But it is a subtle erosion of our commitment that never fails to escalate.

If you have ever been successful at losing weight…ever, then you have had the experience of getting a hold of that side of yourself that is seemingly just “on it” – a.k.a. “when my head is in the right place.”  Here’s what you need to know.  You put yourself there with every step you took.  It is not to the credit of the program. “It” is not working…you areYou generated that head of steam that carried you for some period of time.  When your actions have motivated you, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous the actual diet is, it will work. And when your actions have undermined you, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the food plan and support is, it won’t work.  You giveth it and you taketh it away!

It was a big aha moment for me when a friend of mine who, after much struggle had finally achieved multiple years of sobriety, said that his sobriety really began when he gave up trying to find out why he was an alcoholic and decided just to work on how not to drink!

Stop asking why and learn to ask how.

You can learn to deliberately take advantage of behaviors that keep you on the right track.  Don’t worry.  You absolutely have them or you never would have had any success at all.  You just may never have thought of them in this way before.  Everyone has things that they do that work really well for them, that get them into that good head.  You can learn to utilize these behaviors to motivate yourself, or to insure your commitment, or just to start you off on the right track.  You will be astounded how, like ripples in the pool, they will keep you out of harm’s way, will provide just that little bit of tipping power that can keep you on this side of caving in.  What are you doing right?

Case in point:  I have a client who recently made contact with her evil twin big time at a golf tournament – a.k.a., an eating fest with some golf thrown in between. She started innocently enough (but not really, based on her history) with a bagel and cream cheese, ended with a large Carvel squeezed in just before bed, and had about 4000 calories of assorted junk, and 4 major meals in between.  Sound familiar?  On the bright side, after some reflection, that first misstep (breaking of the seal) and its inevitable outcome was obvious to her.

There is a great expression “If you don’t want to get hit by the train, then don’t stand on the track”.  Seems logical enough, but there was even more she could have done to glue herself onto the right track before it got away from her.  It is hard to stop a train that is already going 100 mph., so the initial steps have the biggest impact on what follows. She figured she could have accomplished at least three hugely helpful things in one step if she had just had her usual breakfast that morning.

By having the usual whey protein shake at home before the tournament, she could have:

1.  Avoided the club’s breakfast altogether and the temptation of the baked goods (her particular Achilles heel anyway) and used up that much less of that limited resource, willpower.

2.  Not “broken the seal” with the bagel that was a predcictable catalyst for out of control eating behaviors for her.

3.  Ignited that part of herself that is on her own team, that is willing to help herself stay in control.  She could have cemented her head into the right place.

Armed with this information, she can now continue to get a hold of that part of herself that won’t allow the abandon that has cost her just pounds and pounds and pounds over the years.  She can take advantage of behaviors she already easily does to bolster that part of herself that will keep her on course –  before she flips the switch that awakens the evil twin.  These eating disasters are not happening in a vacuum.  They are not falling on her out of the sky.  She is a willing, and now more knowledgeable, participant.

Her success and failure is, was, and always has been coming from her.  Now she knows how to get it and keep it.  She can see the headlights of the oncoming train and get off the track…way in advanceForewarned is forearmed.

Begin your final weight loss journey now…

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