Does fear of failure prevent you from succeeding with a healthy eating and exercise program? Do you continually remind yourself of your past failures? This week we will look at some of the universal mistakes that people make preventing them from losing weight.
There is no such thing as failure only actions and consequences; every action has an effect whether it is positive or a negative. If you binge today as a result of an argument with your partner, the consequences of that action is that you will feel self loathing for over eating and still have to find a solution to the argument, so the action of binging didn’t solve the problem!
When fear is expressed it is recognised as anger, pain, manipulation, control, abuse, addiction, selfishness, greed, obsession, disease, corruption, violence and war. If you want to be free from reacting in fear and free from causing pain and hurt to yourself or your loved ones, you must observe your reactions or outbursts and learn to adjust them even if it is mid flow of conversation, so that you can end the pain and suffering that you cause as a result of not being responsible for your thoughts and actions. I am sure you can relate what I am saying to many areas of your life not just eating. If you are ready for change and really want to stop blaming others for contributing to your pain even though it’s your dieting and lack of food that is the problem not the other person, then you must gain knowledge of who you are and study your ways and your outbursts because You cannot transform your actions if you don’t stop long enough to observe what you are doing and why. Change can be difficult at times, and if you are finding it hard act differently, why not ask for assistance? It is worth your while to ask for help so that you can live your best life. In Ireland there is a belief that asking for help means that you’re weak. To remain living a life of pain or suffering on account of past conditioning or limited beliefs is unnecessary when you can talk to a professional who will teach you the mental and emotional tools to change your life forever.
Diets are subconsciously based on fear, fear that you will feel deprived and won’t have enough to eat, fear that you won’t lose weight quick enough, or that you won’t maintain your weight loss. There is also one that we don’t often spot too easily and that is fear of failure, we find it difficult to recognise it because it is a passive fear. We don’t tell ourselves that “I’m not starting a diet today because I am afraid I will fail” No, we start off feeling really motivated, believing “this time I’m going to lose the weight”, but often by the end of day one we have completely sabotaged our progress. It would be fantastic if we were able to watch our eating patterns and maintain the weight loss after the diet ends, but this never happens if you are an emotional eater and you haven’t dealt with the reasons why you are over eating.
If you associate food with “cheating” and attach morals, suggesting that you are either good or bad because you cheated then guilt, shame and self loathing will more than likely follow. The instant you make yourself feel bad about “cheating”, the positive focus ends and so does the diet. It is okay to eat the food that you enjoy in moderation even the types that you consider “cheating” just don’t lose focus and accountability to yourself if you do, and most importantly don’t use “cheating” as an excuse to “give up”. You weren’t bad in the first place so you don’t need to “start being good again” tomorrow, all you did was indulge in something that was conflicting with your new healthy eating life style and that doesn’t mean you give yourself an excuse to let go of accountability to yourself. Always resume your healthy eating and exercise plan quickly and without fuss, if you notice that you are arguing with yourself in your head because you “cheated” then stop it immediately. it isn’t a big crime to have a chocolate biscuit!
How do we recognise and learn from past dieting mistakes?
Let’s look at a couple of definitions of the word “mistake”. A real mistake is an error made in judgment or choices that can be seen, with the knowledge of hindsight, not to have been the best. We all make mistakes if we are inexperienced, or don’t have enough information. Now I am telling you this for a reason because this is where the madness starts and most of you reading this article who have tried every diet in the book will know exactly where I’m coming from here. Let’s take a person who is 45 years old and started dieting at 15, a good 30 years of diets. Now let’s say they start their diet on Monday, (I want to meet the person who decided that Monday was a good day to start anything and I will have a few choice words to say to them) okay not every Monday but every 3rd Monday (I’m trying to be gentle here) an average of 16 diets a year for 30 years equals 480 diets! Give or take a few. How insane are we? We would lock somebody up for less. It’s madness when we believe that diets or gimmicks fix our emotional weight issues and 480 diets is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. You may think that you haven’t done the same thing time and time again because you tried different techniques, but no matter what technique you use to lose weight, if your weight loss strategy has been to eat very little food for weeks on end and afterwards go back to your original eating patterns where you gain back all the weight, then you haven’t changed what food means to you. I know you might say that you have worked on changing your thoughts loads of times but keep going back to the painful ones, if you want to have a break through into a happier life here are 5 questions that you can ask yourself?.
1. Why haven’t I been successful to date at losing weight, what is it about dieting that doesn’t work for me?
An example might be, “because I was never disciplined with the amount of food that I ate, I wasn’t committed to or being accountable to myself to eat properly. Food was the only thing that I looked forward to and it got me through the day because my days are boring, I have no friends” etc etc. you get the idea.
2. What happened that I couldn’t maintain my weight loss in the past?
3. Why do I want to lose weight?
4. What occurred that I let myself off the hook, instead of committing to myself to lose weight?
5. If I knew that I couldn’t fail what would I do differently this time?
Don’t just reply to these questions with short answers, really take your time to answer them honestly; if you can’t be honest with yourself you won’t lose weight and maintain your weight loss. Set up a daily strategy to fit into your life style that works for you so that you can achieve your goal for a healthier and happier life even if it is baby steps that you take, re-evaluate your steps every week so that you build trust, confidence and self esteem in committing to your new decision after all you have the rest of my life.
Margaret Denmead is an experienced therapist with a successful private practice in Cahir, and has helped many people create the change in their life that they so desire. She is a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, N.L.P Master Practitioner, Life Coach and she also works with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can contact her on 086 8256204 to make an appointment and check out her website margaretdenmead.com or email email@example.com