Today I was talking to yet another person who was telling me about how their last diet was going great and then 'suddenly' it stopped working.
We’ve all this story before. As an overeating and weight coach, I hear it all the time.
Around about the end of the story the person telling the story usually says something like “I just fell off the wagon”, like I know the wagon they are talking about and it’s just super easy to fall off it.
The thing is we all do know this wagon and we all fall off it - a lot.
There’s only one problem. There is no wagon to fall off largely because the wagon is a metaphor and we can’t fall off metaphors. So at this point in the story, it’s worth pointing out there’s no actual wagon.
Me: “You do know there’s no wagon,right?”
Him: “So what happened then?”
Me: “Something came up that tested your resolve, that you weren’t prepared for, and you gave into that.”
I explained more. “Basically there was a situation that you had a thought about, which created a feeling, that led to you taking the action of quitting your diet.”
“If you can find the thought and change it, you can stop quitting. It’s that simple.”
He said “So, basically it’s like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy” and I said “Yes. It’s exactly like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.”
The thing is with cognitive behaviour therapy or any other thought work - If you are not using this, it’s working against you.
If you aren’t aware of the thoughts and feelings that are driving your actions they will be unconsciously driving your life. And in a marketing-saturated culture, this means you will be overeating and drinking.
The choice is whether you choose to be aware or not.
So if you think about the last time you broke a resolution or a food plan. It may feel like it was involuntary but if you take the time to think back to the occasion where you went off plan you can actually map out the thought that led to the feeling which led to the action. Once you have this mapped out you can change the thought.
It’s got four parts ...
So, a typical chain reaction might go like this
Notice how those thoughts feel reasonable but they aren’t aligned with the action you want to take?
Now if you are quick enough to catch the thought you can begin to challenge and change it to something that makes you have the feeling and action you want to have.
Remember the marketing culture is designed to meet our needs with consumption at any point in the day. If we want to push back against always eating or drinking we need to challenge the thoughts that make overeating possible … one by one.
Try identifying the thoughts that come just before overeating and once you have you’ll see that it’s so much easier to stop being controlled by them.
Need help applying this? Book a free session with me and I’ll help you with the thoughts that are driving your overeating. You can stop overeating today. (Remember, there’s no wagon.)
Hi, I'm Lydia Pattison.