Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, RedMountain Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist
Before the holiday season, you were highly motivated and committed to living a healthy lifestyle. Beginning each day with enthusiasm and hope, you followed your meal plan, increased your water intake, and often avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner. You were determined to reach your weight loss goals once and for all!
Then…the holiday season arrived. You drank a bottle of wine and ate an extra piece of pumpkin pie. Realizing you had “blown” your diet, you ate more and more over the following weeks and before you know it, you have gained weight. Now, the season of splurging is over and you are most likely feeling bloated, overstuffed, uncomfortable, and disappointed with yourself.
Every time you relapse on your healthy journey, you have two choices: 1. To keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or 2. Accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings you closer to the body and future you want.
So, you may have been walking backwards since Halloween, but instead of waiting for tomorrow, next Monday, or next month to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. Below are 4 steps to get back on track after the holiday season.
Step 1: Face the Consequences
Let’s face it, you probably stopped weighing yourself once your indulgences began. So, now is the time to step on that scale and see the damage you did.
Step 2: Don’t Beat Yourself Up
It happens! The damage is already done, so stop beating yourself up. In fact, research indicates that beating yourself up about past behavior is not effective or motivating. Calling yourself fat, disgusting, a failure, and/or other nasty names is truly a recipe for overeating and continued weight gain.
So, take a deep breath, relax, and focus on what you can do right now to get back on track toward your weight loss goals. Begin to change your self-talk by being present and catching yourself next time you start the shame spiral. Picture a stop sign or a traffic light and stop your thoughts! Begin to replace them with self-compassionate thoughts that make you feel more enthusiastic, motivated, and inspired.
Some examples include:
“Today is a new day”
“I can start over today”
“I am capable of losing weight.”
“I am back on track.”
Step 3: Diet Proof Your House
Diet proofing your home is vital to your overall success. Get rid of all of the left overs from the holiday season. Did you know, the average person consumes 70%- 80 % of their calories from food that comes from their refrigerator and pantry? If you are attempting to create new eating habits while there is fat, sugar, and salt laden treats in your kitchen, you are setting yourself up for failure. Diet proof your home so there is nothing to grab when urge to splurge kicks in.
Step 4: Get Back to Your Routine as Quickly as Possible.
Get back to your old routine that was effective! Do what works! The experts agree that routines can be both calming and important in getting back on track. Structure is key! If you create structure, you can get back on track faster!
You can get back on track and lose your unwanted pounds. We at RedMountain Weight Loss are committed to helping you succeed. Stop thinking and start doing! You are worth it.
If you need extra support, schedule an individual counseling session with me so that I can help you break through your weight loss barriers and succeed once and for all!