“The scale isn’t moving anyway so what does it matter what I eat for dinner.”
“Darrell misses cheesy food. Why am I trying to force him to eat like I do?”
“I can start over tomorrow.”
Know what these are? These are sabotaging thoughts. Specifically, these are sabotaging thoughts I’ve had over the last 48 hours. I’m not the only one with this kind of internal monologue, I know. Hands raised?
One of my favorite features of the Beck diet book is the way it makes you pro-actively consider those thoughts and how you’ll handle them. Each chapter, each habit change, includes discussion of the kinds of thoughts you might have to throw you off track and ways to counter them.Those countering strategies have some common themes:
– Re-read your why list. Those things are important.
– You’re worth it. Don’t let yourself worry too much about how your changes will negatively impact those around you. After all, if those changes are leading to a happier, healthier you, it’s more than worth the temporary inconvenience.
– Good choices have value, even when the scale is slow to catch up. Remember that you can control the inputs, not the output and every one of those good inputs is a better choice you’ve made for your body. Each one counts.
– We’re not unique in our sabotaging thoughts, which means we aren’t alone. The number of times I would be reading and realize that the sample “sabotaging thought” was EXACTLY what I’d been thinking is amazing. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a special flower (because of course I’m special, darn it!) but what it does mean that we are never alone in these struggles.
Pro-actively considering how you’re going to handle those thoughts when they arise, whether it’s dealing with a bad weigh in or a slip in your food plan or the donuts that show up at 3 pm, makes it easier to stay on the path you’ve chosen. Thinking through those strategies before you actually encounter them “in the wild” counts as practice, mental practice at least, and we all know that practice makes perfect.
What are your most common sabotaging thoughts? Have you ever actually written them out and thought pro-actively about how you’d counter them?