Think-Feel-Eat Episode #26: “Self-Sabotage”—Practical Tips (Part II of III)
Hi! I’m Donna Reish, IF teacher, weight loss coach, blogger, and half of “The Minus 220 Pound Pair” as my husband and I have lost over 220 pounds together (160 of that in the past couple of years through the Weight Loss Lifestyle habits and strategies I teach!).
In this episode, I bring you more information about “self-sabotage.” In the previous episode (TFE 25), I gave the “thinking and feeling” aspects of “self-sabotgage.” Now in this episode, I dig into practical tips for “self-sabotage.”
How can we avoid “shooting ourselves in the foot”? What can we do practically to help ourselves not go off and on our plan and then start again and again?
Of course, the teacher in me (language arts lady) had to do a quick review of episode 25—Pick-a-Protocol so you have a food protocol firmly in place (TFE 21—One BIG Decision to Make Ahead of Time); work on/prepare thoughts ahead of time so that you are ready with more helpful thoughts when the “quitting” or “giving in” thoughts come; plan your food each day (TFE 22—The Daily Decision to Make Ahead); and more “thought-related” topics.
Then we dug right into half of the practical tips (other half coming next week!). These include working on stress management AND with tools that are unrelated to food or alcohol. Use stress management, pre-planned self-care, and sleep to help cortisol levels stay low so that you won’t “stress quit.”
Next came some practical, “do these” tips for sitting with urges. We have to get away from relying on willpower and white knuckling our way through urges to quit or eat off plan and instead use in-the-moment techniques that work even when willpower is waning as the evening draws near. Some of these include counting backwards from ninety, setting a timer for ten minutes, journaling, writing what you want to eat in your plan for tomorrow rather than eating it today, and more.
Finally, I did it again—talked about Dr. Stephan Guyenet’s The Hungry Brain and how we have to create barriers to hyper-palatable foods. I gave several practical tips here while also cautioning against using the barrier method exclusively. (See Motivating Monday’s e-article August 10, 2020.)
Think Feel Eat Outline 26 Self-Sabotage Part II (of III)
A. Review from Episode 25: Ways to End Self-Sabotage (or Ways to End Giving Up!)
1. Have firm protocol in place so you know when you are going off and what that will look like (Use my Pick-a-Protocol Packet to determine what protocol you will most likely be successful on!) TFE Episodes: 16, 17, and 18
a. People who are successful at weight loss/maintenance aren’t perfect; they’re just on way more than they are off!
b. 80/20 works—it’s 70/30 or 60/40 that doesn’t work
c. When protocol is firmly in place, it is obvious “I’m going off for this wedding”—or “I’m staying on protocol completely even when we got out for dinner this week”
d. You don’t “fall off a wagon”—there will be no wagon to fall off of…this is your way of life 80% of the time…more often than not…how you live.
e. Call it what it is: little quits, giving up, giving in, choosing, deciding, going off plan….use the pronoun I…
2. Work on Thoughts ahead of time
a. What is that Thought right before you obstruct your progress?
i. This won’t matter
ii. A bite won’t hurt
iii. I’ll start tomorrow
iv. I’ll start Monday
v. I’m not losing now anyway
vi. Doesn’t matter what I eat—you can lose weight eating anything (true….but can you STOP eating just anything?)
Get a Thought or two ready!
b. New Thought
i. Every bite DOES matter
ii. I can choose to do something different tomorrow; today is already planned
iii. “This is my new/future size six life!” (or X weight life…or whatever your most motivating final goal is)
2. Make decisions ahead of time with your “adult brain”—pre-frontal cortex
a. This keeps you from having to use willpower to so much (WLL 60 and WLL 61)
b. This allows you to plan the day ahead of time (Get your freebie journal sheet here!)
i. TFE 21: The One BIG Decision to Make Ahead of Time
ii. TFE 22: The Daily Decision to Make for Weight Loss
c. This allows you to decide something different on another day. “There’s always tomorrow!” is a helpful thought when you have already decided ahead of time.
d. Plan foods for their satiation, caloric intake, etc.
e. Plan down to the time and number of times you will eat (3 minute exercise!)
B. Practical Tips to Avoid “Self-Sabotage” (or obstructing your own progress)
1. Work on stress management ahead of time and with tools unrelated to food
a. Self-care is something you decide ahead of time—not in the moment
b. Plan Delights of the Day for yourself to give yourself practical, fun, purposeful things to look forward to without involving food or alcohol
c. Use breathing techniques, walks, novels, talking books, podcasts, favorite shows (without food), yoga, journaling, prayer, self-coaching, talking with a friend, games, etc. ALL PLANNED
d. Create your day to purposely reduce stress as stress raises cortisol, which causes cravings and potential weight loss disruption/increase fat storage
e. SLEEP! WLL 31
2. Use a tip from Sitting With Urges (TFE #9)
a. Counting backwards from 90
b. Setting a timer for ten minutes, telling yourself you can have it if you still want it in ten minutes
c. Journaling instead of eating
d. Writing it on tomorrow’s plan right at that moment
3. Create barriers to hyper-palatable foods
a. See Motivating Monday from August 10th for why JUST creating barriers doesn’t work on its own
b. Try not to have hyper-palatable foods
c. If kids need snacks, choose either things you don’t like or less enticing foods in general like graham crackers, saltines, etc. over pastries, cakes, cookies, etc.
d. When you do decide to have something seductive, you will have to drive to get it
e. Buy individual servings of snack type foods
f. More practical tips next week!
C. Next Steps
1. Intermittent Fasting Course—first Monday of each month; use code SAVE20 to get $20 off!
3. Perfect Storm of Weight Loss