One of the biggest obstacles I find in patients and those who are Rebooting when it comes to sticking with a long-term successful weight loss, weight maintenance and a healthy lifestyle plan is how they address their emotional wellbeing! This is a major factor in any long term success. When we feel bored, unhappy, stressed, loneliness, irritated or tired we unfortunately all too often reach for those unhealthy snacks and meals to cope. Eating is something people do as an activity too frequently to fill a void where they may be feeling unhappy emotions.
In clinic, I find that patients who tend to yo-yo with their weight and health goals, may truly not feel worthy of happiness and health, they may not truly believe that they can be healthy because they haven’t been successful before, they may feel the weight is a protective layer against the world, or they just don’t know how to get there, how to support themselves successfully and maintain the results.
Asking yourself the right questions and getting the right help to find the true causes of why you may be sabotaging your own success! This can be the most successful step toward making your health wishes become a reality.
Unfortunately, when an emotional upset comes up, old habits are hard to avoid. If you have always tried to eat your emotions away, then this may resurface when stressed. Emotional eaters often go into an auto-pilot state and start consuming food to help cope with stress without even realizing they are doing it. This is where binge eating can start creeping its way back in and food is used as a soothing emotional vice.
We all eat emotionally to some extent, and some more than others. If you have found your yo-yoing has been caused from a history of negative self-talk, stress, feelings of worthlessness, fatigue, anxiety or depression then it’s time to look at the emotional dimensions to enhance your long-term success.
Much like a smoker often takes up smoking when a stressful event arises, so does an emotional eater or a food addict. We eat to feel nourished and content and this unfortunately may occur too frequently and will inhibit our success.
It is important to address emotions with other positive activities to improve your coping skills, your happiness and of course your health.
Alternative activities to help you feel good:
- Meditation and mindfulness to calm the body and mind
- Hobbies and finding activities that bring you joy
- Listening to uplifting music
- Watching a funny movie and reading books
- Enjoying a warm bath
- Treating yourself to a massage
- Talking and socializing with like-minded friends
To support yourself in your health goals, it is beneficial and important to research and consider new tools to cope with stressors and to have a greater understanding of your own behaviors and relearning other techniques to cope with those negative emotions.
To enhance your emotional wellbeing to support healthy weight loss:
- Seek counseling by talking to a health care practitioner such as a psychologist, counselor or life coach that can help to unlock the reasons why you may be sabotaging your own success
- Talk to loved ones that know you well and support you in a positive way
- Be kind and patient with yourself
- Journal your thoughts and feelings; this is a great tool on Reboot programs that helps gain an understanding of behaviors and habits, sorting through your emotions via writing and working on solutions
- Don’t beat yourself up and don’t listen to any negative self-talk (this doesn’t help EVER)
- Pass on negativity because being criticized, put down and insulted absolutely never helps anyone to be successful
- Read and watch motivational and health related documentaries, and success stories; These have a positive impact because people can see that others in similar situations have been successful, so this translates to ‘I too can to be successful’. Just like Joe and Phil did in Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 1
- Focus on self-love and appreciation! Appreciating your own body and your own self is a key factor
- Understand your triggers and know what they are so you can work towards solutions
- Practice affirmations to set you up and support you; start with ‘I am healthy and vibrant’ and ‘I can do anything I put my mind to
- Visualize success; Often when people have lost the weight, or regained their health, they may still see themselves sick and overweight and this can then set them up to revert back to their old habits, so practice seeing yourself healthy NOW
If you really want to eat to take the edge off make it a delicious healthy soup, broth, juice or smoothie. This can avoid eating all the wrong things as you re-learn new healthy habits.
Remember a healthy mind is the first step to a healthier YOU! And supporting yourself in all ways particularly your emotional wellbeing will give you exactly what you want.