Let’s start with mistakes. All of us make mistakes. I have a friend who once told me that ‘children are professional mistake makers.’ I love this thought as it immediately makes me feel compassion and acceptance for my children when they make a mistake. Instead of getting frustrated, I can offer them advice that I am offering you, which is to use mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn. We can do this for ourselves when losing weight too.
Mistakes Help Us Grow
If you have been following my articles and blogs for a while, you will be privy to the fact that our brains are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain. That means we have been making mistakes right back when we were evolving humans! Only back in those days, the pleasure was in more limited supply. Think along the lines of eating too many berries instead of woofing down a whole bag of M & M’s that we have easy access to today. But we are still here as a species today, and we have evolved to this point by being willing to make mistakes.
Stress Overeating Can Be Caused By How You View Mistakes
When you experience uncomfortable emotions like stress, overwhelm, worry, or confusion, the brain sees these as painful and will be strongly motivated to seek pleasure to make us feel better. Enter stage left the chocolate, cookies, or big glass of wine in the evening, right? There is nothing more certain with having a human brain than making mistakes.
But you use these mistakes to make it mean something about you.
- I don’t have any will power
- I will never be able to lose weight
- This is too hard
These are little digs at yourself, which said often enough you will start to believe them. Your brain will consistently find evidence to make thoughts like these true. And not only that, but you will also probably feel bad about feeling bad and reach for that chocolate bar in the cupboard that will make it all better. Mistakes CAN be forgiven and mistakes help us grow.
How Mistakes Help Us Grow in Weight Loss
Don’t beat yourself up; practice a new mindset and see mistakes as a way to learn and grow. Choosing to stay curious when you make a mistake can help you highlight patterns that you may not have noticed before. When you become aware of thoughts and situations that cause overeating, you can actively create strategies or practice new thoughts that will see you taking different actions when a similar situations arise in the future.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up – Try a Different Way
- Get conscious of when you are making a mistake and eating or drinking something you had not planned.
- Learn from your mistake. Is there a pattern? Is it a familiar situation or a familiar feeling that you try and escape from and turn to a quick fix to feel better?
- What could you do next time instead of reaching for the chocolate or feel-good food?
- Go for a quick walk.
- Repeat a positive mantra to yourself like ‘I am OK,’ ‘I choose to learn from my mistakes, or ‘I am only human.’
- Allow the feeling to be in your body and not try to escape it. Believe me, this is possible, and you won’t pass out!
- Do a brain dump and write down all the thoughts that are causing the uncomfortable emotion. You will be surprised how useful this can be.
- Be honest with yourself. Are you being too stringent with what you are choosing to eat? Is it because you are in a hurry to be in your ideal body now? Perhaps it would be more manageable for you to make smaller changes each week. It may mean that it takes a little longer to get to your goal, but the cost of not doing this may mean you give up on your goal completely. You get to decide.
- But the biggest thing I would recommend is not to beat yourself up. This leads to feelings of hopelessness or apathy, which do not drive great actions in weight loss. Remind yourself you are human and then take the next action toward your weight loss goal.
I help client’s uncover causes of overeating and over drinking. Together we apply tools to build the relationship they have with themselves, reprogramming belief systems and applying tools to keep taking action to be the best version of themselves. It is an enlightening journey where you recognize that making mistakes is all part of the process.
If you are interested in hearing more about the tools that I teach to uplevel your life, then lets jump on a FREE 20-minute no-obligation zoom call. Click HERE to schedule a call. Or click HERE to find out more about my Stop Overeating Program.
Have a beautiful week.