Lots of things in life inspire me to write. One of the things that compels me is talking to people out in the real world and hearing from them.
You bring questions. You have struggles. You wrestle with many of the same things the rest of the human race does. You wonder why you trip and fall over the same issues….again…and again….
Todays post is driven by something I’d say more people can relate to than not… it was a question casually posed to me in the grocery store the other day…
“Why do I keep going back and doing the same thing over and over again?? I (intellectually) know better.”
Meaning, making poor food choices. To much of it. The wrong kinds. The binge. The mindless eating. The food “rewards”.
Oh do I hear you. Loud and clear, I hear you.
I’m on a journey, but I haven’t arrived and I have my weak areas too that can be stumbling blocks. The only thing is, I’ve had some time and practice that helps me be more in control and maintain those weaker areas.
Most of the time…..
As I listened this week ( actually this topic has come up a few times with different people) I reminded them that the reason we do.. the reason why when things get rough in life, or we’ve had a stressful day or whatever we revert to the habits that have ( most likely) been ingrained in us for a lifetime, or maybe all of our adult life.
Listen up… don’t fool yourself…. food and drink are as much of a medication to us as drugs and alcohol can be.
They act in the same place in our brain where we receive pleasure… which can be comfort us under stress or when we want to feel good.
I don’t drink sodas but as I’ve talked with people and listened I’m blown away at the dependency so many have on soda. And I don’t need to preach that a steady, daily diet of pure sugar will lead to a nice weight gain. And don’t be fooled by diet ones either. They promote the same dependency and often contribute to weight gain too.
It might not be soda but maybe a trigger food… often it involves sugar or salt. Both of which seem to feed off the other, triggering a desire for both.
Sometimes it’s just slipping back into eating more than you need. Eating beyond being satisfied to that overly stuffed feeling.
Whatever your poison is, you know it. You know exactly what it is.
But back to the question… why? Why do we fall into these things again?
Habits my friends. Habits that we’ve built, coddled and maybe if we’re honest with ourselves, zealously held on to, unwilling to give up.
Habits built over time that feel comfortable so when the day goes haywire, we naturally feel comforted by something old and familiar to us.
We need to make a practiced discipline at rewiring new habits in ourselves.
Yes. It might take some time. Yes. You might flop and fall on your face more than you want to. But the important thing is you keep getting up and you keep moving forward and making a better decision each time.
Because you’re building new disciplines, new habits, and these things just don’t happen overnight. It takes a bit of time.
I can tell you, moving into my 9th year of my health and fitness journey that there are so many things that have become second nature to me now that I don’t think about anymore.
It wasn’t like that when I started out.
But over time, building new habits, things got easier.
I offered up this same advice in my one on one conversations. I understand the frustration and the, well, disgust, you can feel for thinking you’ve “failed” again.
Hear me.. you haven’t failed. The sheer fact that you’re aware of what you did and want to keep getting better at it means you haven’t failed at all.
Get up. Keep moving forward. Repeat as needed until you develop new skills for your weakness.
Some ideas for you on your journey:
Know what things are your personal weakness. Understand what you’re triggers are. What makes you reach for those things?
Think about how you’ll feel after. Will you feel good about the choices you make? If you can, then maybe that “thing” is ok. Will you feel defeated again and have that self loathing for not being “stronger” or more “disciplined”? Will it be worth it?
Consider how victorious you’ll feel making a better choice.
Call a friend, go for a walk, whatever it takes to refocus your mind. If you wait it out, the feeling can pass.
Do you have goals? Will this habit keep you from reaching them?
Learn a new thing to do when those feelings come. Practice it.
Developing an awareness for what triggers you is the first step to building and reshaping habits and new skills in your life.
There is nothing more satisfying than reshaping your mind with a new habit or discipline. Just don’t quit the process before you get there.
Have you learned ways to cope with negative behaviors? Have you built new habits that have replaced old ones ? How has that made you feel ?