Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, RedMountain Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist
On January 1st you might’ve made your New Years resolution to lose weight. Beginning each day with enthusiasm and hope, you followed your meal plan, increased your water intake, began an exercise regimen, and avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner.
That first month, you were committed and enthusiastic about reaching your goals and ready to make changes! However, as the weeks and months progressed, frustration set in and your motivation diminished. You realized that weight loss efforts can be time consuming and tedious, and you started to feel the strain. Over time, you gave in to temptation and have been off track ever since. “I’ll start over again tomorrow” turned into “I’ll start next week, month, etc….”
Sadly, this is a common cycle. In fact, research demonstrates by the second week of February 80% of those with weight loss resolutions face the remorse of disappointment as they failed to achieve their goals.
Any time you relapse on your health journey, you are presented with 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.
You may have been walking backwards for a while, but instead of waiting for tomorrow, next Monday, or next month to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. Below are 5 steps to get back on track after a slip.
Step 1: Face the consequences
Let’s face it, you probably stopped weighing yourself once your indulgences began. Now is the time to step on that scale and acknowledge the potential 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 neither effective nor motivating. Calling yourself fat, disgusting, a failure, and/or other nasty names is truly a recipe for overeating and continued weight gain.
Step 3: Press your reset button
Now is the time to take a deep breath, relax, and press your reset button! Think of the image of a big red button inside your mind and picture yourself pressing it. You are now “re-booting” and starting your weight loss journey once again.
Step 4: Change your self-talk
I encourage you to 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 5: Get back to your routine as quickly as possible.
Get back to your old, effective routine! 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.