Those of you who have read my blog before will know I am on a journey to a slimmer version of myself and with 35lbs, (two and a half stone), lost in 20 weeks, I am succeeding, which is great. I have also made great progress in my novel Flickers, and yet for the last month, I haven't touched it at all. BUT - why is it that when things are going well for us, we search for reasons for signs that it isn't working? We hunt for opportunities to send us spiralling back to the start or to put us back in a negative place. We look for excuses to justify why it's okay to stop trying.
I am getting close to my target now, I am fitting in 98% of my wardrobe, I am buying size 10/12 clothes and some fit and look great, others need a little more work. So why do I have days when I feel like I will never reach my target? Why do I long to gorge on a takeaway? Is it because it is so much easier to be the lazy couch potato that sits in front of the TV with a family size bag of crisps to myself? Probably. Is it because the realisation has dawned on me that if I want to stay slim, I can never go back to my old ways? Probably. Is it because I find it unfair that some people can eat whatever they want and never gain weight. Yes! Of course I would love to swing by Cinnabon and pick up a delicious treat and not worry about the consequences!
I am human, and I admit I have allowed myself treats and days off plan within the last 6 weeks which has slowed my progress, but I think it's perfectly human and what I have learned is moderation. In the past I could have eaten a whole Terry's Chocolate Orange in one sitting, and now I can leave an Easter Egg untouched for weeks. That was once unheard of in this house.
My biggest lesson of all is that rewards don't have to be edible. In the past I would have looked forward to a weekend of fast food, takeaways, amazing desserts and meals out because 'I deserved a treat'. I have started to celebrate my victories with other rewards and treats that don't affect my hips! I have treated myself to clothes in my new size, perfume, skin care, make-up and of course, books!
My top tip this week for weight loss and keeping it off is to delay what you're craving. Don't say you can't have it, you'll only want it more. Tell yourself, you can have it, but later or even better, tomorrow. Just do one more day on plan. In the morning, tell yourself you will have it in the afternoon. In the afternoon, delay it until evening. When it gets to evening, remind yourself if you eat it after 8pm, there won't be time to digest before bed, so best save it for tomorrow. Before you know it, a whole week has gone by and you're back on the scales, and you're delighted at the loss!
Self sabotage comes in all sorts of ways and isn't always about weight loss. We torture ourselves over a huge variety of reasons, looking back to the past instead of looking forward. Don't beat yourself up with how you used to be, look at the present and the person you are now, strong, focused and getting closer to your goals every day. Learn from past mistakes and acknowledge how much you have changed, how stronger you are even if you don't feel like that right in this moment.
It's the same for writing. We write and then stall at a scene that we feel just doesn't sit right with the rest of the story. We put it in a drawer and tell ourselves we'll never finish a novel, that we haven't got what it takes. If you keep overthinking it, ripping it to shreds, deleting paragraphs or telling yourself nobody would want to read it, then you're going to believe it.
To succeed at anything, you have to dig deep for strength, especially during difficult times. You can be whoever you want to be, the only person stopping you, is you. So dust yourself off, tell yourself this time you will prove you can reach your target, whatever that may be.
Thanks for reading, stay safe.