Falling off course is natural, par for the course and to be expected as part of ANY change process. Weight loss is a transformational process, not only of the body, but of how you feel, think, behave and how you live. Slipping off course isn’t the problem, it’s what you do with it that makes all the difference. Do you justify, rationalize or punish yourself when you slip? Or are you picking through the experience to locate the valuable treasures?
Your slip ups are windfalls of cash falling from the sky
Would you walk away from money falling from the sky?
Stop, look, notice and collect the cash when you fall off track
What is invisible to your eyes is impossible to manage. When the invisible becomes visible it works FOR you, rather than against you. Slip ups and mishaps turn on the lights where it was pitch black. Are you running away from the new light or staying to look?
A healed blind spot will never again be blind
Sam’s sugar splurges were guaranteed to provide instant euphoria, but ended in paralyzing arguments. The longer Lori strayed off her whole foods diet the more she felt the need to return to therapy. Regular exercise had Barry socially engaging more easily and optimistically all day long, but he got easily derailed with screen time (TV, cell phone, gaming and social media). The more time he dedicated to the screen, the darker and more pessimistic he became, making it harder to get back to exercise. Social cocktails were Sage’s tender spot, and she had devised a strategy to keep the cocktails without it compromising her weight loss regime. As time wore on she noticed the intensity of her periods was tied to monthly cocktail consumption and her dogs weren’t cared for as lovingly in the days that followed a night out. On rare occasions Bobby bought her favorite, less than honest snack, but saw her body systematically needing sinus medications the next day. A blow out truth statement from her son made Terri see she put everyone on a diet when she was on a diet and included everyone as an accomplice when she fell off track.
Weight loss is slippery. Slipping is not the problem. Stop, look and notice. Let the slip up make the invisible visible. Insight from personal experiences changes behavior without struggle. When behavior changes life changes. Slip ups are free money, so be sure to stop and collect what’s there for you. Let me walk you through three areas to consider, ponder and chew on so you can make the most of a mishap.
Don’t look at the fall, look at the details that led you into it
✦ How long were you craving to slip off course before you actually did? Or was the decision so spontaneous that it blindsided you?
✦ Which area makes your weight loss slippery? (Your thoughts and ideas? Your feelings? Body function? Certain people? Or certain places? Certain relationships or interactions?)
✦ If you have no idea why you fell off track then consider the quieter outside forces such as weather, moon cycles, geographic region, season, solar activity…
✦ Maybe there has been a change in housing, employment, medication, supplements or pets?
✦ Are you responding to the throws of life?
✦ How is your body working? Do a full walk through check list of your body function (energy, strength, sleep quality, digestion, skin, urine, stool, pain levels, and everything else).
✦ Are your typical symptoms better or worse?
You have two or more dialogs happening at any given time. There is the one on the outside and the narrative and voices on the inside. What are those dialogs as you read this article? What were those dialogs when you slipped?
The TV sitcom “The Wonder Years” demonstrates this outer and inner dialog concept brilliantly. Here is a YouTube clip, and is less than a minute of your time.
You have a whole cast of characters inside. Which characters coaxed you into the slip up? Which joined you once you slipped? What characters got you back on track?
✦ Was your inner child in a tantrum screaming “Everyone else is doing it!”?
✦ Did your highly qualified inner bookkeeper do the numbers and announce the books will be balanced in only 7 days if you cut one hour off your sleep, go to the gym daily, and add an additional 30 minutes of cardio while maintaining a heart rate of 130?
✦ Is your inner bully firing well targeted insults at you?
✦ Did your inner court judge sentence you to a punishment of two weeks of steamed vegetables?
✦ Is your inner cheerleader dusting you off and singing you back on track?
You have a personally unique set of characters, totally different from anyone else and they are all sourced from your life and life exposures. Notice your inner dialogs. What characters are helping? Hurting? What were they saying? How are they effecting your choices and behaviors?
You are the only one who knows what is going on inside. It’s personal work and requires total honesty. You know you are at the levels that matter when you are a bit embarrassed or laugh at the discoveries. It is not always easy for me to keep tabs on what my inner characters are up to. Over the years I have seen my characters change roles, some have left and new ones have arrived.
One character that has been very helpful in steering my ship is Mister Rogers. Maybe you too would benefit from having him or someone like him amongst your cast? This three minute YouTube clip “I like you just the way you are” is a great way to bring his wise loving and powerful presence inside.
Your slip up came with expensive one-of-a-kind gems, but you have to unpack the baggage to find them. Here are a few questions to get you started. You may only find certain gems the more times you slip off course. Keep unpacking.
✦ How long were you off course?
What did you eat? Why that? How much?
✦ Was your exercise and activity level effected? How?
✦ How did your choices affect your health and body function that day? The next day? The days that followed?
✦ Did your behaviors change? What? When? How?
✦ How did your social interactions and relationships fair?
✦ How did you sleep? Did your dream content change?
✦ Who encouraged and supported the indulgence? Who judged? Who got you back on track? Who silently witnessed the happenings, but remained unconditionally ever present, kind and respectful?
No two people have the same physiology, nor the same relationship to food(s). Let your weight loss be a personal discovery process rather than one of conformity to one size fits all approaches.
If you simply can’t figure out why you keep slipping at the same spot then give me a call. I have fun ways that will invite the shy timid gems out of hiding so they can be seen and appreciated.
P.S. With New Year’s Resolutions just around the corner I have a random suggestion. Rather than resolve to lose weight, why not resolve to notice everything you encounter on your weight loss path, your discoveries will lead to permanent weight loss results.