Experience is teaching me the truth of this thought. Yes, there are physical things that need to be done to manage weight, but so much of the ‘fight’ for want of a better word, is mental.
Take yesterday. What I call a ‘low day.’ I woke up feeling terrible about myself and my efforts and went to bed feeling the same way. I ate terribly, all day, including a heft wedge of Stilton and half a pot of Pringles. I followed that up with a trip to the cinema (Civil War is AMAZING by the way!) during which I ate a little bag of pick’n’mix and a couple of Minstrels.
This is significant because by the time I reached the cinema (7.30pm) the worst parts of my day were over. I felt calmer and more in control and, as a result, able to make sensible decisions guided by my brain rather than my stress. I bought a third of the pick’n’mix I might normally buy and made them last into the last half hour of the movie. By the time I got to the Minstrels, I didn’t particularly want them and only ate a handful before re-sealing the bag.
Today, another rough morning, but the act of stepping out of the house, sitting down and thinking calmly took me to my favourite coffee shop. There I ordered a single pot of fruity tea and no crisps or cake accompaniment.
The trend is easy to see the more I look. The calmer I am, the less stressed I am, the better I become at steering clear of those troublesome foods.
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but the battle is up in my head and I only lose it, when I let myself get tired, run down, or over stressed. I’m not entirely sure of how to do away with the stress aspect (I’m not able to relax in the same way I once was, and I’m also not sure of what soothes me these days—beyond snarfing a bag of popcorn) but again, as I always say, being aware of the facts makes it easier to deal with. Being vocal and public about it is also a help.
I’ve decided to make one change at a time. As small as possible. Small changes lead to big results (eventually) and the biggest challenge here won’t be the changes themselves but the patience to let them take hold. I’m not known for my patience . . . ask the other half.
These are the things I want to do in very broad terms:
- Eat less in general
- Make more sensible food choices in general and in particular in times of stress
- Exercise more
- Sleep more
- Be happier
Yes, that last one is a big vague and wishy washy, but knowing what I want, even in those terms is more than I did yesterday.
I’ll probably break these down into actionable SMART goals another time, but for now, I’m going to focus on just one. Sleep.
We all know how important sleep is and yet it’s the one thing that drops off the list of priorities pretty darn quickly. I’m going to see what happens with a concentrated effort to get more sleep each night and work from there.
Next time . . . an actionable list of goals and/or checkpoints.