I know it’s not just me who’s been through this (a bazillion times!). I’ve heard others talk about it, and read stories of others going through this. Many times, when faced with this kind of struggle, people have responded the way I have – doubling down hard and trying to white-knuckle my way through it; giving in to whatever temptation was presenting itself, vowing to get right back on track; or kicking myself for slipping up, and feeling like I failed and blown it once again.
When I hear things like, “I tried [insert diet here], but it didn’t work” or “I was on [insert weight loss program here] and I lost weight, but then I gained it all back,” I know that these are people who hit a bump in the road and spun out of control.
I’d like to suggest a different way to think about those moments when we get stuck, when it gets really hard. What if these moments are actually warning signs that we are facing an important life lesson that we need to learn. What if the only way to move forward effectively, to get past that bump in the road once and for all (as opposed to backing up and heading down the same road again) was to slow down, face whatever issue might be confronting you, and make whatever correction or adjustment that needs to be made in order to learn the lesson? I think this is exactly what those bumps in the road are about.
Whether you believe in God, Allah, the Universe, or something else, consider those times of struggle a message from that external power that there’s an issue bubbling up that you need to work through in order to move forward. Then, slow down and work through it.
White-knuckling won’t really help, nor will beating yourself up. You need to be kind to yourself; talk to yourself as you would a dear friend who’s in distress. Give yourself permission to hit the pause button, and find the inner courage that it will take to lay aside your fear and impatience so that you can identify what the real issue is. And then deal with it. I’d be willing to bet that it has absolutely nothing to do with food or eating. Overeating, turning to food – that’s not the problem; that’s how you've been coping with the problem.
It is not easy -- figuring out what’s behind that rut, and how to resolve it. Don’t be afraid to seek help. I am a firm believer in group weight loss meetings, counseling and psychotherapy. Lord knows I’ve relied on these tools on my own weight loss journey! Do what you need to do to figure it out, learn the lesson, and then move on.
And you know what? Just when get past one speed bump and start cruising again, don’t be surprised if you come across another one, and another one. Recognize the warning signs and slow down, figure out what’s behind it, work through it, and then keep going. Forward. You can do this.