Trying to put my skinny jeans on again after a summer of going on trips and constantly eating out is a painful experience! Both physically and emotionally.
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, at least that’s what Oprah Winfrey says. Clearly she’s never eaten my famous Lake Powell Trail Mix full of M&M’s and white chocolate and butterscotch and peanut butter chips along with all my favorite nuts and caramel balls…amazing! Summer wouldn’t be summer without my special trail mix…at least that’s what I tell myself…
It’s pretty crazy how we form an emotional bond with things, whether it’s a morning cup of coffee or diet coke, or a snack at bedtime, or smoking a cigarette, or having a drink, or eating chocolate when stressed…we all have different habits we’ve formed and often times we don’t even realize how emotionally and physically dependent we have become on certain things until they’ve become a genuine addiction.
As much as the physical addiction happens, it started with an emotional addiction. We see things as our security blanket, thinking we need them in order to feel okay, when really those things are just a piece of fabric with no special powers of comfort or protection. Those things have as much control over us as we gave them in the first place. And the only way to take back control is to change the way we are thinking about them. We have to stop allowing ourselves to think that we need them in order to feel happy or safe.
We have to tell ourselves “I can get through the day without my diet coke and still have a great day today!” or “I can make it through the day without that piece of chocolate cake and still feel happy.” We have to talk some sense into ourselves by reminding ourselves that we are in charge of the situation and we don’t “need” anything that isn’t good for us or isn’t healthy. We need to start telling ourselves how excited we are to get healthy, how awesome it is to drink water, and eat those vegetables that by golly we are going to LIKE!
We start overcoming bad habits by taking charge of our THOUGHTS! If we can do that, the rest will be easy, or at least easier. If we want to be in shape again and fit those favorite skinny jeans then we have to tell ourselves daily that we want to put those jeans on and feel how loose they are worse than we want to put that chocolate in our mouth. And we have to tell ourselves that we want to play with our kids and dance around without being winded worse than we want to drink our soda. Talk to yourself about the fact that your number one priority is to feel good, not to eat bad things, and not to sit on the couch watching TV, but to feel good about your body and how you are caring for it.
Focus your thoughts on the positive and help those around you do the same. Overcoming our bad habits or our lack of good habits is never easy, but it certainly helps to have friends to boost you up and motivate you each day. Most important, start being your own best friend and motivate yourself.
Offer yourself rewards for making progress. Maybe a new outfit you can get when you lose a few pounds, or a special night out once you’ve gone without drinking soda for an entire week…think of a reward that can be the “CARROT” that dangles in front of you each day to motivate you to stay on track.
Now if only I can come up with a carrot that would motivate me as much as a bowl of lake powell trail mix does 😉
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )