Last post I mentioned how self-critical and demeaning thoughts sabotage weight loss. Please remember that if you’ve been frustrated with your efforts, it wasn’t you that failed—it was your plan that didn’t work.
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Once my clients are able to stop aiming their frustration at themselves, they can start learning to examine their previous attempts at weight loss with curiosity. Curiosity allows us to ask questions that will build effectiveness in the future. “What went wrong last time?” “Where did I get stuck?” “What do I need to do differently this time around?” “What did I need incorporated into my previous plan that I can add this time?”
Our judgmental inner critic operates on the philosophy that feeling badly about ourselves will motivate us to “do better.” This theory of change simply doesn’t produce lasting results, and we all know this at some level. Next time you are listening to your own inner critic, ask yourself whether you’d ever talk to a friend the way you are talking to yourself. Most people are appalled at the idea. That’s something to pay attention to.
I can usually tell when my clients are ready to start losing their weight and losing it for good. Just before it starts to happen, they come to appointments looking and sounding visibly lighter. This happens before they’ve lost weight—and that’s because they’ve learned to set down the fifty pound boulder of judgment and self-blame—something we start attacking in our very first appointment.
The blame game doesn’t work. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to step back and observe your own judgmental self for a week. When you eat or don’t eat, when you exercise or don’t exercise, take note of what that judgmental voice says to you. Do you notice that it is rarely satisfied and seems to never give compliments?
Ban your perfectionist. You’re never going to get it “perfect” and if that’s your expectation, then the stakes are too high and you are setting yourself up to feel like you’ve failed. Stop slamming yourself for what didn’t work and start asking the questions that will help you figure out what will. Hint: these questions often start with “Why” why was I still hungry after lunch?, or “How” how can I rearrange my meal plan so I’ll be less hungry next time? or “What” what else could I do?” or “What could I do instead?”
Are you starting to see how this shift in paradigm can be the key to achieving your weight loss goals? Next time, I’ll show you how to go a few steps further into developing a plan that truly works for YOU.
Take good care,