I lost 5.7 lbs.
That’s a pretty impressive number for one week, and, no doubt there are multiple reasons for seeing such a significant drop in one weeks’ time. Hydration, sodium intake, sleep, activity, exercise, calorie deficit, alcohol consumption, stress, BMs, and time of day all play a role in the number on the scale. I guess all the planets aligned for me this week.
I’m not too excited because I’ve lost and gained so many times, the roller coaster of numbers is normal to me. However, I am excited about the mindset shifts I made, again, this past week. Nothing new, just refocused on what I know works for me.
Over the years, I’ve learned that I overeat, most often, due to boredom. When I’m alone, lonely, have no plans, or lack hobbies, I start thinking about food. Food thoughts become my hobby. This is what fills the empty space. What could I cook? What could I order? What sounds good? What’s open? Who has curbside pickup? I start reading recipes and menus searching for the best options. I search the cupboards for appetizing ingredients.
I know this kind of thinking sets me up for consuming unsatisfying calories. I also know food doesn’t fix the boredom; it causes additional problems and fat gain. So why do I do it?
Prior to the covid quarantine and through much hard work, I had succeeded in reframing my thinking. I upgraded my mindset and developed new routines that led to 20 lbs. of fat loss. I had finally created a mindset where I was in control of my thoughts and actions when it came to food. I felt great!
Then, the pandemic hit. I was home alone. There were no social gatherings, no trips out into the public. For a while it was fun, and I maintained my good habits. But gradually, boredom set in, old habits and mindsets returned, and the pounds started adding up…again.
I know how to swim out of the rip current of my thinking. I know what to eat and how to exercise. I know how to reverse the weight gain. Yet, for a while, I did nothing. Now, it’s September and I’m back in my flow. I revisited what worked for me in the past, made a plan, committed to myself, and sought out reinforcements.
Here are the five steps I took to establish a healthy relationship with food.
- Becoming aware of the situation was the first step in changing my mindset and habits. I had to catch myself when the food thinking began and recognize that boredom was the underlying cause. I had to ask myself: Why am I choosing to think about food? Am I hungry? Am I thirsty? Could I do something else? Could I think about something else? Am I bored? At first, I sometimes ignored my inner self-talk. But know I pay attention and make a conscious effort to change the dialog.
- Secondly, I needed to rid myself of the boredom. I did this by taking on a part time job, enrolling in a few classes, writing, creating a group to learn how to play pickleball, and began refinishing furniture. I may have been a bit overzealous!
- The third thing I did was to make a plan for myself. I visualized my ideal self and created a routine that my ideal self would live out on a daily basis. I pictured what I would eat, where I would eat, and how I would eat.
- Taking action is the fourth step. This isn’t an all or nothing journey, it’s an 80/20 balance. Sometimes my choices are better than others. Sometimes I drink the wine and eat the chocolate. But I don’t judge myself, I celebrate the fact that I stopped after one glass or one truffle.
- Finally, I inserted accountability into my life to help me stay on track. I joined an organized group of people who are actively working to improve their health. I joined forces with a friend; we check in on one another for daily support, idea sharing, and celebration of our small wins. We stay focused on the positive for ourselves and for one another.
It sounds so easy…just do it, right? If only it were that simple.
Do what you can, from where you are, with what you have.